This Marvel’s Inhumans review contains spoilers
Marvel’s Inhumans Season 1 Episode 7
It’s amazing how things improve when the Inhumans aren’t just aimlessly wandering around Hawaii and fighting such epic opponents as generic drug smugglers and jealous veterinarian ex-girlfriends.
That’s right, this week’s episode of Marvel’s Inhumans was indeed the closest thing we’ve gotten to any actual for-real Inhumans story since the series debuted. Because, you know, characters actually used their powers and there was, you know, action. Not every character, mind you, because Gorgon has come done with a bad case of the deads. And Marvel still seems to think Sinead O’Conner Medusa is a thing that people want. You like that Sinead reference? How timely. Anyway, this week’s Inhumans was indeed the most exciting episode of the freshman series. Let’s not go crazy now, Inhumans is still leagues away from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Gifted, or the Netflix shows, but I quite enjoyed this week’s installment.
Perhaps it’s because the character of Triton has always been a favorite of mine. Do any of you Den of Geekers have one of those left -of-center characters that you’ve just liked since you were a wee nerd? Triton is one of those charactesr to me so I was all sorts of pissed off when the aquatic Inhuman died in the opening moments of the first episode. So imagine my delight this week when Triton shows up alive as it is revealed the fish man’s demise was all part of Black Bolt’s carefully laid out counter offensive against Maximus.
Triton not only returns but kicks some series ass as the once-believed dead amphibian goes one-on-one with Maximus and beats the living Bolton out of the newly anointed usurper king. It’s all part of the Inhumans plan to take back Attilan and since we’ve been waiting so long for the Royals to head back to their lunar home, it is quite satisfying to see the Inhumans abandoned the claustrophobic and pointless confines of Hawaii and be shunted into the sci-fi setting that just fits the Inhumans aesthetic. No drug dealers, no pointless dude with floppy hair named Dave, just action. Albeit it’s low budget action, but between the Maximus versus Triton fight and the Karnak versus Auron fight, there was more action in this week’s Inhumans than in the entire series combined thus far. I mean, between the Triton sequences and the parlay between a returned Black Bolt and Maximus on Attilan, it is almost like Inhumans has become a real Marvel TV series! Imagine?
Add to the action some interesting debates on whether it would be moral to kill Maximus and you have a multi-layered episode. Of course, Black Bolt wants to end Maximus while Medusa wants the people of Attilan to see the Royals have mercy. So you have this fun debate about kingship and vengeance and it’s all so much better than Black Bolt shopping for clothes and Medusa riding a bus.
Triton isn’t the only Inhuman that returns this week. Last week, Gorgon was shockingly killed while battling Mordis. This week, Karnak uses the research done by Doctor Evan Declan to try and revive Gorgon. I have to admit, I was drawn in as the series finally has high stakes. Gorgon has certainly been the most likable character in the series, so his demise hurt. But as the episode’s stinger reveals, Gorgon is back and has gone bestial. Will this lead Gorgon to his more monstrous comic book form? I really want to find out and having incentive to tune into this show that just three weeks ago seemed like Marvel’s first complete dud is pleasantly surprising.
Even Crystal has some fun character development this week as she longs to return to Earth. This aligns her with the dreamy Crystal of the comics who always longed to return to the Human Torch in those early Inhumans tales. I mean, Dave is no Johnny Storm but it’s nice to see the Inhumans act like they are supposed to.
Maximus also had his moments this week as he grows more obsessed with undergoing terrigenesis. He reveals himself to be completely self-involved and cares nothing for his people. His loyalists are all pawns in his game to gain Inhuman power and the cracks in his revolution are starting to show. Even Auron doesn’t buy into what Maximus is selling as his little game starts to crumble. And then Triton goes all Assassin’s Creed on his ass. Did I mention, I really like Triton?
Now look, I’m not going to die on the hill defending Marvel’s Inhumans, but I very much enjoyed this week’s installment. There’s still a lot of crap to deal with. Like the fact that when a large crowd of Inhumans gather, they all just look like bald people wearing drab clothing. I mean, you can’t hire some makeup artist to get a little Nightbreed up in here? And the bald Medusa thing is just inexcusable. But seeing Triton cutting through the waves like a Kirby splash page come to life and seeing Karnak using his powers, not against one dimensional drug dealers, but to save the life of Gorgon really pressed my Marvel nerd buttons.
So congratulations Inhumans, there might just be something here to get behind.
“Havoc in the Hidden Land” was the title of Fantastic Four #159 (1975) by Roy Thomas and Rich Buckler. In the bygone days of 1975, Medusa was actually a full-fledged member of the Fantastic Four. Sue Richards was on leave from the team and choose Medusa as her replacement. In FF #159, Sue rejoins the team and helps free Attilan from Xemnu the Titan and his soldiers of the 5th Dimension. If you’ve never seen Xemnu, he looks like a sentient hairball but he has vast mental powers. This classic FF issue and Inhuman appearance has some thematic commonalties with this week’s episode of Marvel’s Inhumans as it sees Medusa and the Royal Family return to Attilan to free the Inhumans from enslavement by a hostile force. I really dig how the TV series has taken titles from classic Inhuman comic appearances. Hey listen, the Inhumans barley use their powers so there has to be some tribute to the comics.