Oh dear. Well, I guess I’ll just call this the “Overall Series Review”, because let’s face it, there won’t be a Season 2! Yeah… So, Inhumans is a new part of the MCU that focuses on the mostly super-powered Inhumans that live in a secret city on the moon, and yet somehow manages to be extremely boring, like that time that person made a martial artist with special powers boring. What’s that? It was created by the same person who made Iron Fist? Ah! I see. Maybe don’t hire him again, Marvel? Sounds good. Let’s take a look anyway!
After a military coup, the Inhuman Royal Family escape to Hawaii, where they must save themselves and the world.
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Cast of Characters:
Behold! The Inhumans! … and then yawn, before walking away and watching X-Men.
Black Bolt (Anson Mount) – The current King of Attilan and therefore the ruler of the Inhumans. His power of destructive vocal cords is so powerful that a whisper could bring down a building, and a shout a city. Therefore he speaks through sign language, with his wife Medusa translating.
Medusa (Serinda Swan) – Medusa has really long hair that she’s able to control like limbs via her Inhuman powers. That and the fact that she’s the Queen on Attilan are about the only interesting things about her, so why don’t we remove the hair powers in Episode 1? Sounds good!
Maximus (Iwan Rheon) – Maximus is the brother of Black Bolt, but he never developed any Inhuman powers from the Terrigenesis process. If he weren’t part of the Royal Family he would have been sent to work in the mines, because the Attilan society is rather crap like that. Maximus wants to become King, both to fulfill his own desire for power, and to prove a point about the old fashioned class system being… well, old fashioned.
Karnak (Ken Leung) – Karnak is Black Bolt’s cousin and the Royal strategist. His power allows him to see the faults in all things and find the best possible route to take in any given situation. As such, he has never known what it’s like to make a gut decision or use his instincts… Hello plot point!
Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor) – Gorgon is another one of Black Bolt’s cousins and is the head of the Royal Guard. He has bull-like hooves for feet that he can use to create seismic waves by stomping.
Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) – Medusa’s sister who has the ability to control the elements. She also is in change of Lockjaw, the large teleporting dog that the Royal Family can use to get about the place quicker, I guess…
Auran (Sonya Balmores) – Auran has healing powers and is a close ally to Maximus, knowing full well she’ll be rewarded if his planned coup succeeds.
Louise (Ellen Woglom) – Louise is a member of the Callisto Aerospace Control Centre who has had a life-long obsession with the Moon. She happily takes some time off work if it means she gets to meet some moon people!
and many more!
Yep, this is just about all the “good” there is.
Although it’s a shame he never wears the trademark mask, I don’t mind Black Bolt as he is shown here. He leads Attilan and is willing to take risks, but can be persuaded to be a bit kinder by the love of his life. Plus his powers are still on-point in their absurdity, which is always the best part of the character. Maximus is also a fun villain in that at least there is a reason for it, the political system in Attilan is crap, and it really is unfair that people without powers or with non-useful powers are sent to work in the mines like slaves. He’s absolutely spot on, but at the same time it’s also clear that he has a severe want to be acknowledged and it’s mostly a selfish grab for power because he thinks he deserves it. While this isn’t on par with his Ramsay Bolton portrayal from Game of Thrones, it’s still a good snivelling coward portrayal that I enjoyed. The end, where he is placed in a safe vault under the now crumbled Attilan instead of being killed by his brother was a good end for the character as well.
Lockjaw was handled well from the comics, it’s weird we live in an age where an entirely CG dog can appear near-weekly on a TV series (although given the show’s lack of success, I’m sure all those hours put into it seem like a waste…) Crystal is actually a … somewhat interesting character, although her falling for a cool surfer dude was embarrassingly cliché and poorly written, she at least felt like a naïve girl finding her way in the world for the first time. Oh and Mordis, the Inhuamn with such a powerful heat vision power that he has to wear a special welder’s mask, but yet is sarcastic and non-serious, was one of the only fun characters on the show.
I also like how it ties in with Agents of SHIELD, and therefore the wider MCU, by having the Royal Family look into why so many new Inhumans were being born on the Earth, an after effect of Agents of SHIELD’s third season where Terrigenesis crystals ended up spread across the world via polluted seas (or was that Season 2? Oh, I can’t be bothered to look it up. Sorry.)
“No, THIS is a good TV show.” “Oh, right…”
Well, the most obvious one is just how dull it is. Medusa’s interesting to start, but then her hair is cut and she becomes complete unsympathetic and really dull. Karnak is plain and emotionless, but not really in a funny way, and his journey of falling in love and finding out that going on gut instinct wasn’t at all interesting. Gorgon was just muscle, which is fine, but again a subplot where he and a bunch of Hawaiian beach bums fight off some of Maximus’s thugs because “that’s how we do it in Hawaii, we look out for friends in trouble” was complete cheese and nonsense.
Speaking of Hawaii, it’s lucky a lot of the show is set in the beautiful scenery, because the scenery in Attilan was just grey and dull, with a lot of the furniture being made to look alien at the expense of being practical to use.
Louise was fine as the nerdy human, but didn’t really add anything other than a different kind of cliché to the show. Auron was again fine in her role as stoic assassin, but when she had to show emotion over he conflict of interest with Maximus, she just… didn’t. No emotion in her voice, barely any … movement in her face in general. Not good. Any other side character you can also throw into the “barely developed and completely unoriginal” category as well.
The series ends on the Inhumans now having to live on Earth due to Attilan collapsing. It’s a logical step towards an interesting Season 2, but now that’s off the cards, it’s kind of a shame it’s been left so open ended. Now, I’m not saying leaving something on a cliffhanger is a negative because having confidence is a good thing and all that, but it’s a shame because I can’t see the plot point being followed up on due to the lack of… er, well… any positive reaction to the series. Even a possible Agents of SHIELD season 6 in 2018 / 2019 will probably ignore it. What’s that? Ruins of a large city found on the moon? Nah, not big news. Maybe the Inhumans will be erased from the universe via the Reality stone in Infinity War…
But overall, I just have to reiterate how dull the show was overall. Each new episode wasn’t a “can’t wait to watch” situation, it was a “oh, I have an hour to kill before I end the day watching something I want to, I’ll stick this week’s Inhumans episode on”, and this was purely because I like the MCU and, frankly, I knew writing this review would at least be somewhat funny given how unfortunately bad it is. Why on Earth they gave the showrunner of the least liked TV series in the MCU the keys to this big non-Netflix series I’ll never know. Nor will I ever know how someone can get such amazing and magical concepts that pretty much write themselves so wrong…
The CG dog that’s more believable than most of the acting… and Lockjaw. No, wait, that joke made no sense…. Oh well.
Lesson re-learned: Don’t give Scott Buck the keys to an MCU franchise! Inhumans has a few highlights, but key word being few. Mostly its really dull, has the production feel of a cheap 90s TV show (beyond the CG dog) and has a cast of characters that are somehow less charismatic and interesting than the mute emotionless leader they follow. Thank goodness for Marvel getting the X-Men back in their fold, maybe we can go back to forgetting about the Inhumans going forward…