INHUMANS had a long road to development, but Marvel managed to find a way to get it out with its latest TV series. Originally planned as a film, INHUMANS instead got pitched as a television show for ABC. To make it extra special, the first chapter of the new epic saga was shot with IMAX cameras.

This was part of the network’s plan to team up with IMAX to release the first two episodes in theaters. However, what audiences saw in theaters was one big mess that they could have just waited to watch on TV.

The Story

Marvel’s INHUMANS follows the Inhuman Royal family, who are living in a sanctuary hidden on the Moon’s surface. Black Bolt and Medusa rule Attilan with their cousins Karnak and Gorgon, Medusa’s sister Crystal, and Bolt’s brother Maximus as part of their roundtable. Their class system mirrors the traditional monarchy: the royals and those working in the court have wealth and power, while the people below them work in the mines.

Black Bolt Maximus Inhumans

After seeing the trailers and clips, it is revealed that Maximus stages a coup against his family. He does this believing that he will lead the people of Attilan to salvation by heading to Earth. The use of the Terrigen Mist, which was first introduced during the third season of AGENTS OF SHIELD, is also a part of the series. On the show, it becomes an initiation for the citizens of Attilan when they become of age.

READ: Speaking of Black Bolt, check out our review of BLACK BOLT #4!

The same rules apply with this mysterious substance as anyone with the Inhuman gene can be given abilities. However, there are those like Maximus who are not given the gift after the Mist enters their body. He is the only character that has been dramatically changed from the comics, in that he ends up staying human on the show instead of getting telepathic powers.

Medusa Maximus Inhumans

Marvel Has Its Limits

Despite being the latest entry in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, INHUMANS fails to live up to expectations. If the first two episodes were any indication, the new TV series does not have a reason for audiences to stick around. It tries to hold the same appeal as GAME OF THRONES, but much smaller in scale.

Besides having Iwan Rheon from the HBO series, the set designs of Attilan and the palace give us that same feel as Westeros. There is also the power struggle between Bolt and Maximus that reminds us of the race for the Iron Throne. However, the costume designs look too much like people coming out of a Renaissance fair. The dialogue is not as strong as any of the Marvel properties, and the action does not pick up until at least the second half.

Maximus Inhumans

The Characters

Anson Mount makes his best impression as Black Bolt, even though he does not have any dialogue to go with. He uses some sign language to communicate, but without a voiceover, all we see is a bunch of the same hand signs used in different ways. We do not even get to see much of his power until the second part of the premiere.

READ: Want more Marvel TV reviews? How about a review of DEFENDERS season one?

Even Serinda Swan’s Medusa does not showcase enough of her powerful hair, which we can see rendered with CGI effects. Ken Leung’s character Karnak comes off as a serious type, but his sense of humor unbalances his personality, so it is hard to tell if he is trying to be funny. Iwan Rheon comes off as a bit more irritable than a sinister mastermind as Bolt’s conniving brother Maximus.

Medusa Inhumans

The IMAX and Visual Effects

Filming the first two episodes with IMAX cameras feels completely unnecessary after seeing it in theaters. These characters do not use their powers a lot, which kind of defeats the purpose of having this on IMAX. We only get some decent immersive sound during a few action scenes in the two episodes. We can see some of the effects being used heavily on Lockjaw, the teleporting huge bulldog.

It also seems like Lockjaw’s powers is on the fritz when he teleports some of the characters to different parts of Hawaii. There is also some choppy editing in the first two episodes. However, only about nine minutes of footage were cut from the theatrical release. In other words, we may end up seeing those scenes when the show airs on ABC. However, putting extra scenes in does not seem like it would improve the sloppy start of this series.

Inhumans Royal Family

The set designs and locations for the series do not offer any amazing locales on either Attilan or Hawaii. Attilan looks great on the outside as we see this hidden oasis on the surface of the moon. The inside gives us a different story as it looks like a cluttered and generic fantasy palace. Even the shots of Hawaii don’t showcase how beautiful the islands look except for the overhead shots of Oahu.

READ: Want to know more about the INHUMANS comics? Then take a look at our review of INHUMANS ONCE AND FUTURE KINGS #1.

Black Bolt Maximus Inhumans

Final Thoughts

Overall, this adaptation of INHUMANS is a huge let down for Marvel after it’s long line of success. The series does not offer much to keep you engaged for the rest of the series. It has unimpressive visuals and execution. Its source material has a lot of good stories from power struggles to forbidden love that the show could draw inspiration from, but we do not get that here.

We do not get to see the dark and complex nature of the comics in this series, which involves a lot of character development with the Royal Family and their twisted relationships with each other. Since this is not on cable, we may not be getting a darker show like the Marvel Netflix shows. We only have seen the first chapter, so it might get better as the series progresses. INHUMANS does have a lot of potential, but so far it does not look very promising.


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