When Marvel Studios announced they were developing an Inhumans movie a while back, fans were on-board with the revelation. The move made sense; The Inhumans could fill a gap left open in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by the X-Men’s absence. And, what’s more, the superhero flick could help bridge the gap between cinematic and small-screen installments of the MCU. However, it doesn’t appear as if the Inhumans will do those things anymore. Earlier tonight, Marvel Entertainment confirmed they will roll out an Inhumans television series next fall - and fans aren’t so sure that the show will do much to the larger MCU.
The MCU’s creation in 2008 did many things for superhero films. Iron Man ushered in an era of canonical, thrilling franchise opportunities for some of Marvel’s biggest heroes, but they would be done on the big screen. The MCU is inclusive of its small-screen counterparts, but it is biased. Ticket sales trump cable ratings, and Inhumans will only be limited by their network programming.
If Inhumans follows in the steps of Agent Carter or Agents of SHIELD, then the series will be very isolated from the larger MCU. The latter series do rely on the shared universe’s stories, but they very rarely affect anything in the film; Instead, the films enact all the action which the shows must abide by. Unless that feedback loop reverse for Inhumans, the superhuman series will be aware of what happens in films like Guardians of the Galaxy - but it will not be able to affect them similarly.
For some fans, this reality might be a depressing one. When Marvel began toying with a live-action adaptation of Inhumans, fans had hoped the heroes would replace key X-Men mutants and their various powers. Since the Inhumans were a hybrid species of humans, they were gifted with superpowers like the X-Men; They just acquired the gifts through terregenisis instead of natural mutations. The presence of Inhumans in the larger shared universe would set up Marvel’s Phase IV with more action-driven characters. But, now, it seems like those heroes will be sequestered to the small-screen.
Of course, it makes sense for Inhumans to debut on television rather than film. The series already has an entry point to cable thanks to Agents of SHIELD. The primetime drama introduced the Inhuman race to audience back in its second season, and it continues to deal with those superhuman today. So far, details about the upcoming series are being kept quiet, but fans do know that Inhumans will feature Royal Family members like Black Bolt. This tidbit has fans hopeful about a crossover between Agents of SHIELD and Inhumans - but even a direct mash-up might be too ambitious.
Since Inhumans will contain the Royal Family, viewers should expect the series to focus more about the politics and culture of Attilan, the metropolis for the Inhumans. The society is very different than any others explored in the MCU with its rigid caste system and hi-tech advancements. If the alien planet is featured in Inhumans, the MCU could reference it similarly to how Thor has nodded to the universe’s other realms.
However, there is only one real way for Inhumans to fundamentally affect the MCU, and that is to jump to the big screen. The cinema is the official arena which houses canonical changes to the MCU, so the Inhumans would need to make a break for the big screen if they wanted to become major players amongst fans.
What do you guys think? Do you want Inhumans to make major changes in the MCU? Or do you think its impact will fizzle? Let us know in the comments below!