Marvel Fatigue – Inhumans (First Impressions)

Rating:

*Transcript of Marvel monthly brain-storming session*

It’s finally happened. The world well and truly has Marvel fatigue.

We’ve hit them with so many comic book movies and TV shows over the last decade that people are starting to really not give a damn.

So how do we combat that?

Why, give them a show they never asked for, and probably won’t even notice coming and going amidst all the other bobbins that’s being thrown at them in the constant battle for validation!

I need validation!

Quiet Stan!

EXCELSIOR!

But, we just finished Defenders, and Infinity War is coming up soon. That’ll put all our kids through college. We already won. So why not just take a damn breather for a while?

No! They NEED Inhumans!

Who?

Inhumans.

What’s that then?

Where have you been?? It’s what the second season of Agents of Shield was all about!

Agents of who…?

It’s about a queen with hair that has a life of its own, a martial arts dude, a guy who’s half horse and a giant d…

I thought we already did the Mortal Kombat movie…?

*Sound of a gunshot, followed by a large thud are heard. Transcript ends*

I’ll admit, even as a huge comic book reader, I’m pretty tired of Marvel stuff now. And Inhumans is a franchise I’m only vaguely familiar with. Medusa I’m aware of via A-Force and the recent Karnak book was pretty dope, but aside from being force-fed the terrigen-powered super-humans in last year’s Inhumans vs X-men crossover, I really don’t know much about them.

And yet, I watched. Of course I watched. Like an iPhone owner unable to break the bonds of Apple, Marvel have me ensnared. I have no choice.

And, to be honest, the feature length pilot of Inhumans was far from as terrible as the preview audiences would have us believe. It wasn’t mind-blowing by any means, but it was enjoyable enough.

Concentrating on the race previously introduced in Agents of Shield, the show centres around the Inhuman royal family; king Black Bolt (Anson Mount), a being with the power to kill with a mere whisper, the Sindel-like Medusa (Serinda Swan) whose hair has a life of its own, horse-legged Gorgan (Eme Ikwuakor), Karnak (Ken Leung), whose power is to predict the outcome of any situation, peppy teen Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) who controls ice and fire, and their giant teleporting dog Lockjaw. Oh, and there’s also little brother Maximus, (Misfits star Iwan Rheon), who has no powers and really isn’t too happy about it.

The pilot introduces us to our key players before seeing them usurped by Maximus and being banished to Hawaii (worse places to be exiled to…).

And that’s about it.

There are some decent performances here. Rheon is great as the twisted Maximus, showing a much greater talent than Misfits ever gave him credit for, and Mount as the essentially mute Black Bolt makes the whole thing watchable with his expressive gurning and shrugging. Karnak’s Sherlock-vision is also an awesome little touch, so kudos to whoever designed that.

The main problem seems to be in the production. All of the budget has gone on creating this moon-based set-piece (along with the admittedly awesome Lockjaw), which, although impressive, does not make up for really cheap looking costumes and some shoddy CGI for the heroes’ powers. Medusa’s hair is wishy-washy (thankfully, as far as the effects team are concerned, getting cut off halfway through the episode), and Gorgon’s legs are just laughable.

The script is standard Marvel fayre, and the cast deliver it well enough, but there’s just that overhanging lack of necessity. We didn’t need another series. We were happy to wait for Punisher…

 and Runaways…

and Cloak and Dagger…

and New Warriors…

and New Mutants…

and X-Force…

Oh bloody hell…

Inhumans, Fridays at 9 on ABC

Created by: Scott Buck

Starring: Anson Mount, Serinda Swan, Ken Leung, Eme Ikwuakor, Isabelle Cornish, Ellen Woglom, Iwan Rheon, Mike Moh, Sonya Balmores