Inhuman Nature: Beware, the Hidden Land!
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby lay down the foundation of all things Inhuman in FANTASTIC FOUR.
Bred by an alien race to be a warrior caste and possessing alien DNA, the Inhumans exist as humans possessed of incredible and otherworldly powers when exposed to the substance known as Terrigen. Living secretly, for the most part, among their fellow man, the Inhumans forge their own destiny as a separate society. Dig into the history of the Inhumans with these Marvel Unlimited comics in preparation for “Marvel’s Inhumans” heading to IMAX and ABC this fall!
In 1965, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the world to a hidden, super-powered race that continues to spark the imagination to this day. With “Marvel’s Inhumans” making television history, with the first two episodes premiering exclusively in IMAX® theatres for a two-week window beginning September 1, then with the full series starting September 29 on ABC, we’re looking back through the group’s stories history, starting where it all began: FANTASTIC FOUR.
Though Medusa had been palling around with the Frightful Four making trouble for their Fantastic counterparts, we didn’t really know anything about her lineage until Gorgon showed up to track her down in FANTASTIC FOUR #44. To escape, she stowed away in Johnny Storm’s sports car which inadvertently woke Dragon Man up not long after.
The beast attacked at the same time that Gorgon made his stomping presence felt with the rest of the team. As they battle, Gorgon mentioned that he and Medusa belong to a secret race of incredibly powerful individuals.
After the fracas broke up, Johnny went wandering around town and eventually stumbled upon – and instantly fell in love with – Crystal, another Inhuman. He implied that they both came from the same race and received a nice tour of the Inhumans’ hide-out in the city, plus an introduction to Lockjaw, Karnak and Triton.
The full fury of the Inhumans almost came loose in #45, but readers had to wait a full month to find out more about Black Bolt! This strong, silent type used the tuning fork-like apparatus on his head to channel power into himself, enough to go toe-to-toe with The Thing, earning comparisons to the Hulk in the process.
All the while, an individual known as The Seeker sought out this particular batch of Inhumans to take them back home to The Great Refuge. Black Bolt and his crew arrived first and met King Maximus who allowed his wordless brother to take the crown off his head knowing he could still use the Atmo-Gun to destroy humanity on his own.
The FF showed up in time to see Maximus use the weapon to theoretically kill every human on Earth, but the device failed! However, in the ensuing madness, Maximus switched the settings and used the weapon to create an impenetrable dome around Attilan, keeping Johnny and Crystal apart for a time.
The Fantastic Four didn’t have much time to dwell on the Inhumans, though, as Galactus and Silver Surfer introduced themselves to Earth later that very same issue!
In addition to debuting this new race living on Earth, these issues also established Black Bolt as the leader of the Inhumans and brought he and Medusa together. We even heard a version of their origins from The Seeker. The Inhumans started as an advanced race while humans still dwelled in caves. They became genetic engineers who could bring about any power imaginable, but they hid in the Great Refuge after humans started attacking them out of fear and intolerance.
THE INHUMAN CONDITION
Medusa pre-dated her fellow Inhumans by several issues, debuting in a Wizard flashback in FANTASTIC FOUR #36 when he, Paste-Pot Pete and Sandman wondered about bringing in a woman for the Frightful Four. Once fully assembled the group invaded the Baxter Building, nearly defeating the FF in the process. Madam Medusa proved incredibly powerful not just because of her mentally controlled tresses, but also as a leader and warrior. What made the future queen of the Inhumans pull jobs with a guy named Paste-Pot Pete? During a fight with fellow Inhuman Trikon, he blasted her off a sky sled. The ensuing crash left her with amnesia. Not knowing who or what she truly was, she wandered Europe where The Wizard met her in the past and eventually called on her to join his group of hoodlums.
The Inhumans break out into their own escapades in the pages of AMAZING ADVENTURE #1–10 by Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, Gerry Conway, and Mike Sekowsky.
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