As a kid, I feasted on comic books. I followed the multi-layered storylines of Marvel’s superhero lines, as well as the sharp, snappy, inventive comics in the DC line.
So any time a new Marvel or DC motion picture or television series debuts, I have to give it a chance. Whether it’s the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the ones that Disney puts out), the DC Extended Universe (the ones that Warner Bros. shows), the DC Berlanti Universe (all the superhero programs on the CW), the Spider-Man Extended Universe (the films that Sony produces) or the X-Men Expanded Universe (20th Century Fox holds on to those rights), I need to watch them. For me, it’s a reconnection with my childhood – or at least the pleasant and least violent part of my childhood.
So I was extremely intrigued that the Royal Family of Attilan, also known as the Inhumans, are scheduled as a new TV series debuting Friday nights on ABC. Here’s a trailer.
If you’ve never read an Inhumans comic book, let me get you quickly up to speed. The Inhumans were subjected to the superpower-granting Terrigen Mist, and have formed their own society on Attilan – on the far side of the moon, just in case you wanted to visit. Black Bolt is the king of the Inhumans, and his spoken words can cause cataclysm – so he chooses to remain silent. His wife Medusa has living hair that can protect and attack. The other Inhumans in the comics – Karnak, a master of the martial arts; Gorgon, whose stop can create a seismic wave; Crystal, a master of the elements, and Lockjaw, the ginormous dog with the power of teleportation – are in eternal conflict with Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus the Mad.
And since the first two episodes of Marvel’s Inhumans were filmed with huge-format IMAX cameras for a special theatrical release, I went to the theater last night to get my two-hour premiere on.
And … um … well …
Judging from the movie I saw at the theater … this show has some serious issues that must be resolved immediately, or the show will be toast.
First off, despite filming the first two episodes with IMAX cameras, watching the show on an IMAX screen didn’t exactly make that experience worthwhile. It just looked as if I was staring at the TV set with the screen pressed against my nose. And the CGI graphics – especially Lockjaw – looked horribly cheesy on the big screen.
And what the hell is Ramsay Bolton doing running around this show? Shouldn’t he be defending Winterfell against Jon Snow and abusing the alluring redhead Sansa Stark? Oh wait … wait … that’s the ACTOR playing Ramsay Bolton from Game of Thrones, he’s now defending Attilan against Black Bolt and abusing the alluring redhead Medusa… yeah, unfortunately, every time I saw Iwan Rheon in the Inhumans preview, all I could see was Ramsay Bolton and it kept pulling me completely out of the storyline. Because, for all intents and purposes, he’s playing Maximus the Mad as Ramsay Bolton’s twin brother. Just not working.
And what did they do with one of the most identifiable Inhumans in the show, the super-haired queen Medusa?
Wait till you see what happened to her hair in this third preview clip. Stay till the end.
What the hell happened to her hair? Well, in the movie, Maximus subdues Medusa and has his followers shave Medusa bald. What? Why? Aren’t we at a point where CGI technology could create believable super-hair action on a small-screen budget – even though in IMAX, that mobile attacking hair of Medusa’s looked rather chintzy? Ugh. Why not just do a Fantastic Four cartoon series and replace the Human Torch with a wisecracking robot? Oh, wait…
Yeah, almost forgot about that.
But it does bring up another point. In the comics, the Inhumans are tied directly to the Fantastic Four plotlines – heck, Medusa WAS a FF member for a while, and Johnny Storm and Crystal were an on-again, off-again item. Is this somehow Marvel’s way to get as much of the Fantastic Four Extended Cinematic Universe – which 20th Century Fox still holds the rights to – and surreptitiously integrate it into the Marvel Extended Universe, or maybe the Marvel ABC Extended Universe (that’s the one with Inhumans and the long-in-the-t0oth Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?).
The thing is, I’m not sure I care.
Because after watching two episodes in IMAX format of Marvel’s Inhumans, this show just left me flat. I was expecting a lot more, and received a lot less. Now maybe, like all other Joss Whedon-produced TV shows, it’ll pick up halfway through the show’s first season … oh, wait, Joss Whedon isn’t part of this program. He’s just involved with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – oh wait, he’s not part of that program either.
This is going to be a tough call. I’ll watch the show for a few episodes, just to see how this program pans out. Maybe it will be a truly epic production, similar to the great storylines Stan Lee and Jack Kirby crafted with this comic. Or maybe it’ll devolve into a “bad guys versus good guys” program.
Oh yeah, and one other thing that miffed me about the IMAX preview movie.
Where the hell was the Stan Lee cameo appearance? There’s ALWAYS a Stan Lee cameo appearance in a Marvel movie, and I didn’t see a single glimpse of the great one. Not one. Feh.
Now don’t get me wrong, your opinion may be different upon watching Marvel’s Inhumans when it begins its Friday night ABC run.
Me … I’m just underwhelmed at the prospect. But I’m hoping it will get better.
We shall see.