Sunday, June 3, 2012

Top 5 Things That Prove The Inhumans are Boring.

With the astounding success of the Avengers movie, there has been a deluge of rumors going around suggesting what other Marvel teams might get tapped to become a movie. One that seems to be popular is The Inhumans.

However, I think Hollywood would have more success with a different team because a dirty secret of the comics world is that the Inhumans just ain't that exciting, and I can give you 5 reasons why.

One: They have never had a comic series which lasted longer than 12 issues.

First there was a brief run in Amazing Adventures for ten issues.

A title they SHARED with the Black Widow. However, it didn't take long before even this brief stint proved unsuccessful, and by issue 11 they were replaced by The blue haired Beast.

After that, they drifted in comics limbo until they were given another chance to carry their own comic. This time it was a full length series that ran bimonthy in the Bronze Age.

I really can't tell you much about this series as the only issue I ever was able to buy as a kid was number 11, wherein they fight a sentient cockroach.

Some of the artists who have worked on both series include such masters as Jack Kirby, Neal Adams and George Perez, but even those masters were unable to save the books from quick cancellation.

Two: For Two Decades, they were pretty much ignored by Marvel.

In the Bronze Age, it seems like Marvel was pumping out Giant-Size Annuals left and right. Almost ever hero or team had their own annual:

There are some notable exceptions to this rule, but by and large, most Marvel characters headlined an annual during this period. All the Inhumans managed to swing was a reprint appearance in Giant Sized Hulk Annual 2.

Later, during 90's, when Marvel was pumping out Annuals based around nebulous crossover events such as Atlantis Attacks, Days of Future Present, The Vibranium Vendetta, ect... Not a single Inhumans annual came out during this period. However, they did manage some guest appearances in The Fantastic Four Annual 18 and 21 (An Evolutionary War crossover).

Still, aside from the FF annuals, they didn't get much time on their own. Outside of a lone graphic novel in 1988, and back ups in What If, they were pretty much forgotten from 1977 to 1999.

It wasn't until the 1999 Paul Jenkins, Jae Lee mini-series that they headlined their own comic again. After than, they were back to guest-starting in every other Abnett/Lanning Cosmic storyline. Most recently, Jonathan Hickman made limited use of them in his current Fantastic Four run.

I think what their spotty publication history suggests is that readers like the notion of the Inhumans more than we really like the characters themselves. They work best as spice in the Fantastic Four's comic, but can't really carry their own narrative for long.

Three: Crystal, the hottest Inhuman chick around, sleeps with everyone BUT the Inhumans.

It's not like there are a lot of competition for men in the Great Refuge, so, why is it that Crystal feels the need to cross the street so much?

First there was Johnny Storm:

Note to Johnny. If your girlfriend starts dressing like you, it's a bad sign.

Then Quicksilver:

That's a scene that won't end well on facebook.

And now Ronan the Accuser:

At some point, you have to ask yourself, what does Crystal know that we don't?

Four: Maximus the Mad is a poor man's Loki.

Why do I have the feeling his favorite scent is the stench of failure?

Five: Triton, Gorgon and Karnak are D List at best.

Let's be honest. Despite all the covers like this:

We know Triton is no more special than a green Atlantean who swims in his boots.

Karnak, well, he's just a jerk.

And someone please tell Marvel no amount of face tats will ever make him any cooler.

And Gorgon. Jeez. Where to start.
  • The dude has giant Goat feet, but feels like he can hide identity with a domino mask.
  • He has the power to shatter matter he stomps on, but doesn't fall through the floor when he does it. How does that work exactly?
  • He is wearing my grandmother's shawl.
The cover Fantastic Four 44 was the first (and last) time that guy elicited excitement from readers.

Because right after they flipped that cover, here's the goon waiting for them on page 1.

I guess in the hands of a writer who could ignore the historical precedent that these three guys have zero personality, maybe something could be done with them to boost their appeal. As it is now, they ain't really helping Black Bolt's Omph factor as his Entourage.

Summation: Look, I get that a lot fans, myself included, have fond feelings for The Inhumans, but when you look at just how dry the characters are and their lacking fictional legacy, you sort of realize that a lot of our fondness is based solely on nostalgia.

On the other hand. Black Bolt sure looks cool, doesn't he?

- Jim


Tim said...

I always liked Crystal and Black Bolt as characters - but yeah, everyone else on the inhumans is pretty much dead weight. Aside from the Jenkins/Lee miniseries, there really isn't a lot worth hunting down of theirs.

Trey said...

I wouldn't go so far as to call the Inhumans boring, I would be extremely surprised if they got a movie--and I'm surprised now that anybody thinks they would.

My money is on the Seeker 3000.

(not really.)

MattComix said...

Jim, I think you're half right. The Inhumans are not boring IN CONTEXT of the Fantastic Four. Minus that context, yes they're boring or rather they are less interesting.

But to me that speaks more to how there are many characters who can't and simply do not NEED to hold their own titles. We need to let go of this late 30's idea that character fans like must equal gets solo book, movie, etc.

Because part of the fun is their interaction with the character(s) they were created to interact with in the first place.

This is why I don't think Robin or Catwoman need their own books either. Hell, I'll even go on record as saying Wolverine never needed his own book! IMO He was a lot more entertaining as the short, pissy guy in the X-Men!

So really rather than thinking about an Inhumans movie they should be thinking about how to reboot the Fantastic Four in a way that makes us forget liquid metal Doom and Galactus as a cloud. Maybe the Inhumans could be part of that.

..and yes, Black Bolt does look cool.

Jim Shelley said...

@Tim - yeah, if the rest of the supporting cast had as much zing and Crystal and Black Bolt, I think they would be much more interesting. It's one of Kirby's less imaginative creations overall IMO.

Jim Shelley said...

@Trey - What? No Woodgod movie?

Jim Shelley said...

@MattComix - Man, do I hear you on the Wolverine solo title. That character was sooooo much more interesting when we didn't know everything there was to know about him. (Or rather, when decades of poor storied hadn't been written to tell us what his past was like.)


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