Once upon a time, the Kree (the blue aliens in Guardians of the Galaxy like Ronan the Accuser) and the Skrulls (shape-shifting aliens that we can’t get in a Marvel movie because Fox owns the rights) were engaged in a war with each other. In order to gain the upper hand, the Kree conducted experiments on different species in the galaxy to create the perfect army. The winning biology turned out to be that of the human race and thus, the Inhumans were born.
Having Inhuman DNA grants one longevity, enhanced strength, speed, and endurance. However, once exposed to a substance called Terrigen Mist, Inhumans undergo a secondary evolution that gives them a unique set of powers and abilities. This process is called Terrigenesis.
Traditionally, exposure to the Terrigen Mist was a selective process wherein only a few Inhumans would be granted powers in order to preserve a superior bloodline. However, during the Infinity story arc, Terrigen Mist was blown into the atmosphere, causing mass evolution to humans with a dormant inhuman gene and increasing the inhuman population.
The Inhuman Social Construct
The Inhumans are governed by a monarchy in the form of the Inhuman Royal Family. They are traditionalists who have a caste system in place for each member of the Inhuman population. Each one has a purpose or role to serve based on their powers. The majority of the race used to live in the dark side of the moon in a city called, Attilan. Since the explosion of the terrigen bomb on earth, the Inhuman city is now situated along the Hudson river, where they house and protect the newly emerged Inhumans.
The Inhuman Royal Family
Black Bolt is the King of the Inhumans and one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe. He unleashes massive amounts of energy using his voice. This power inhibits him from speaking as a mere whisper can cause a lot of destruction. His full voice can destroy an entire planet. Talk about being overpowered.
Black Bolt’s wife and queen of the Inhumans, Medusa can control every strand of her hair, which she uses as her weapon. She can make her steel-like hair grow at command and she can even lift heavy objects with it. Medusa also serves as Black Bolt’s translator despite his inability to speak as she is able to interpret his body language.
Karnak is my favorite Inhuman because he manages to be a badass without having to go through Terrigenesis. Karnak is a master of martial arts and has the uncanny ability to see the flaws or weak points in all things. These skills along with his enhanced Inhuman physiology make him one of the deadliest fighters within the Marvel universe.
Gorgon is Black Bolt’s cousin and a mentor to newly emerged Inhumans. Gorgon’s transformation gave him hooves that allow him to create seismic shockwaves.
Triton’s transformation caused a total physiological makeover as he was given aquatic features such as green skin, fins, and webbed feet. He can only survive naturally underwater. When in land, he wears a special mask, allowing him to breathe. Underwater, Triton has enhanced strength and speed.
As a former member of the Avengers and the ex-wife of the mutant Quicksilver, Crystal is probably the most deviant member of the Inhumans in terms of their societal norms. Her powers allow her to control the four elements.
Maximus the Mad
An Inhuman with a genius-level mind, Maximus is Black Bolt’s brother and an unstable member of the Royal Family. Often seeking the throne for his own, Maximus is a constant thorn on Black Bolt’s side through his destructive inventions.
Last, but not the least, Lockjaw is the family pet. Unlike the average dog, Lockjaw is capable of teleportation and serves as the main form of transportation of the Royal Family.
The Inhumans TV Show
The Inhumans are about to get a huge push from Marvel now that their cinematic debut is on the way. The Royal Family will be the main stars of an upcoming show to be released on September 4 of this year. In fact, Inhumans have already been introduced during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s 2nd season and has been a prevalent element in the show.
I hope this quick overview of the Inhumans got you excited for this interesting bunch of characters. For now, you can check them out in the Inhumans vs. X-Men comic book arc.