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History

History

Twenty-five thousand years ago, an alien Kree patrol ship in the Solar System shot down a ship manned by Eternals, a human subspecies created on Earth by the Celestials. Kree scientists studied the remains of one Eternal, Arlok, and were fascinated by his superhuman powers. Realizing that Earth beings possessed unique genetic potential, the Kree sent a scientific party to Earth to perform experiments upon humans with the intention to create an army of superhumans for themselves. Their creations possessed enhanced strength and long lifespans. However, the Kree ultimately abandoned their work on Earth for unknown reasons, and the Inhumans developed into a distinct society.

 

The Inhumans, led by King Myran, settled in the city of Attilan, located in the North Atlantic Ocean just off the island continent of Atlantis, and became one of the most advanced cultures on Earth. When the Great Cataclysm destroyed Atlantis, Attilan endured and became legendary amongst humanity. They surrounded their city with a protective dome, subtly altering its internal environment, and began referring to Attilan as the Great Refuge. Not long after the Cataclysm, the geneticist Randac discovered the Terrigen mist, a gaseous mutagenic substance created by the exposure of rare Terrigen crystals to precise combinations of heat and vapor. These crystals appeared to only be found in a cavern beneath Attilan.

Black Bolt flying over his home of Attilan

Randac exposed himself to the Terrigen mist, unlocking the superhuman potential the Kree had left in his people’s DNA. A Sentry robot left behind by the Kree examined the mutated Randac and judged that the Inhumans had achieved what the Kree had hoped for. However, the Sentry also warned them that they and the Kree might also become enemies.

 

Randac became the new ruler of the Inhumans and established the Genetics Council, a 12-member body of internally chosen Inhumans who hold lifetime positions as Attilan’s supreme court, chaired by the Inhumans’ king. Randac made the Terrigen mist available to all the people of Attilan, and they were astonished by its effects. But not all Inhumans had genes fit for Terrigenesis, and many transformed into mentally damaged “monstrosities” upon exposure.  Genetic screening was developed to detect those Inhumans unsuitable for Terrigenesis; the interface for the computing system that manages this became known as the Sacred Helix of Randac. The Genetics Council began mapping the Inhumans’ lineages, prescribing marriages for Attilan’s citizens on the basis of the probable quality of an offspring’s genetic makeup. Those with the best genes were awarded superior positions in society. In modern times, Terrigenesis is treated as a rite of passage for young Inhumans, only performed when a certain age is reached.

Randac exposed to the Terrigen mists

Over 100 years ago, Genetics Council leader Agon became known as one of the greatest rulers in Attilan’s history. Agon convinced his wife Rynda to subject herself to Terrigenesis while she was pregnant. Their first son, Blackagar Boltagon (Black Bolt), became the mightiest of all Inhumans. From birth, he possessed a voice powerful enough to shatter mountains. Black Bolt was raised in solitude and taught to control his powers. Later, he was betrothed to his cousin Medusa, who was believed to be an ideal genetic match. Despite Black Bolt’s problems, Agon convinced his relatives to expose the children of the royal family to the mists as infants, which led to a generation of royal offspring (Black Bolt, Medusa, Maximus, Triton, Gorgon, Crystal, and Karnak) who all possessed fantastic abilities.

 

Although ruled by a hereditary monarchy, true power lies with the Genetic Council who control the Terrigen mists and dictate who may marry or have children. Lost tribes of Inhumans have hidden amongst the ordinary humanity for millennia and became heroes and villains such as Ransack the Reject, Daisy Johnson, and the animalistic hero known as Yeti.

 

Following Thanos’s invasion of Earth, Black Bolt released Terrigen into the Earth’s atmosphere, triggering uncountable transformations among those of the human population with latent Inhuman genes. These new super-beings were termed NuHumans. The mists also had an unexpected and tragic side-effect: anyone with the mutant X-gene was susceptible to toxic shock from Terrigen exposure. As NuHumans proliferated, mutants all over Earth began to die.

 

UNLOCKED POTENTIAL

 

The power of an Inhuman depends on their reaction to the Terrigen mist, and no two Inhumans share the same abilities. Others have special abilities without undergoing Terrigenesis. Black Bolt can emit terribly destructive shockwaves if he speaks, Medusa can control her hair, Lockjaw can teleport to anywhere in the universe, Maximus has an incredible intellect and proclivity for strategy, Crystal can manipulate the elements, Triton can survive underwater, and Gorgon has advanced strength and durability, along with hooves for feet. Karnak did not undergo Terrigenesis but was trained to detect the weak spot in any object, making him one of the most formidable fighters in the Marvel Universe. Some Inhumans can transform into hideous abominations if exposed to the mists, and some sources say that Lockjaw was once an Inhuman child before turning into a dog.

The Inhuman Royal Family

Several people on Earth were unaware that they were Inhumans and underwent transformations when they were exposed to the Terrigen mist. These include Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), who can shapeshift; Moon Girl (Lunella Lafayette), who is super smart and can transfer her consciousness out of her body; and Ulysses, who can see into the future.

 

All Inhumans (at least those born and raised in Attilan) speak their own language, Tilan, though many also speak English, Russian, or Chinese. In recent years Black Bolt has required Attilan’s children to study English. The Inhuman monetary unit is the Dren.  

 

MISTRUST AND MAYHEM

 

The main enemies of the Inhumans are regular humans who fear and mistrust them, similar to how they feel about mutants. This is why the Inhumans mostly keep to themselves if they can help it. They are often at odds with the Kree, the very race that created them and, under the leadership of Ronan the Accuser, once enslaved them.

 

The Inhumans have also been vulnerable to betrayal from the inside. Maximus, Black Bolt’s brother, has tried to seize the throne several times. He was successful on a number of occasions, but was always later deposed.

Maximus taunting a silent Black Bolt

DIPLOMATIC ALLIANCES

 

The Inhumans are usually a tight-knit society preferring to trust no one except their own people. However, alliances with other heroes and groups are sometimes necessary when the Earth is under attack. Threats to the world required the Inhumans to join forces with teams including the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and X-Men. When the public took notice of them, however, they maintained their distance.

The Inhumans meet the Fantastic Four

The Inhumans have welcomed at least four humans and one Kree to their city in recent years: Quicksilver; Midnight Sun, a deceased martial artist reanimated by the Kree; Star Thief (Ditmal Pirval), a mutated activist; Lucas Jackson, a grotesque mutant orphaned by a bigoted lynch mob; and Falzon, a renegade Kree scientist. Other Kree expatriates were briefly allowed to set up homes outside Attilan in the Blue Area, but were later evicted after some of them illegally Terrigenated themselves.

 

Black Bolt and Medusa recently helped initiate an attempt to intermingle the Inhumans’ culture with humanity’s, sending the young Inhumans Tonaja, San, Jolen, Nahrees, and Alaris to study as exchange students at the University of Wisconsin. Despite many cultural misunderstandings and an attempt on their lives by businessman Terrence Haller Jr., they adapted to the human way of life before returning to Attilan.

 

BATTLES FOR ACCEPTANCE

 

The Avengers first learned of the Inhuman people when they met Triton. The team helped him locate Black Bolt, who had gone missing. After a successful rescue mission, the grateful Inhumans built a strong association with the Avengers, even allowing Crystal to serve on the team at one point. Crystal helped bring the Inhumans and Kree closer together by marrying the former Kree leader Ronan the Accuser.

The Royal Family looking over Attilan

Years later, the Inhuman king Black Bolt moved Attilan to the air-filled Blue Area of the Moon. Kree leader Ronan the Accuser enslaved them, using them as an army against the Shi’ar. Black Bolt won their freedom by defeating Ronan in combat, but the Inhumans exiled him and the rest of the royal family, unwilling to trade one ruler for another. Black Bolt eventually returned to lead them once again.

 

The Inhumans returned to Earth, floating Attilan over New York City. Thanos arrived, hoping to force the Inhumans to turn over his Inhuman-descended son, Thane. Black Bolt attacked Thanos with his scream, destroying Attilian in the process. Black Bolt then activated a Terrigen bomb that transformed anyone on Earth with Inhuman genes into a full Inhuman.

 

Maximus once convinced Quicksilver to steal a number of Terrigen crystals and take them to Earth, where the United States government acquired them. When they refused to return the crystals to Attilan, Black Bolt declared war on America pending their return. He sent Gorgon and an elite team to New York City, intending to create publicity about the theft of the crystals, but one of Gorgon’s team members overreacted and over 40 humans were killed, turning most of humanity against the Inhumans.

War breaks out between Humans and Inhumans

An assault on the Pentagon succeeded in the return of the crystals to Attilan, but not before Gorgon underwent an uncontrolled second exposure to the mists, leaving him physically enhanced but emotionally uncontrolled. The U.S. government experimented with the mists on its own soldiers, and a group of Terrigen-empowered suicide troops invaded Attilan; one detonated herself in an explosion so powerful it was seen from Earth. The explosion leveled most of Attilan and killed countless Inhumans. In the aftermath Maximus, with Medusa and Ahura by his side, reclaimed leadership of the Inhumans and rebuilt their city while arming for war with America.

 

Before the Secret Invasion, the Skrulls kidnapped and replaced Black Bolt. Once the original Black Bolt was restored, he dislodged Attilan from the Moon, turning it into a starship that he used to lead the Inhumans to space. They destroyed the last of the Skrull armada that attacked Earth and then destroyed the Shi’ar ships. They made their way to the Kree Empire, where Black Bolt became their king too.

 

Black Bolt led his people against the Shi’ar in the War of Kings. While the Kree won, he was lost in a confrontation with the Shi’ar emperor Vulcan. Black Bolt later returned and cemented his control over the Inhuman tribes from across the galaxy by taking a wife from each one.

 

The Inhumans witness a bomb that blows a hole in Space and Time

During the second Super Hero Civil War, the Inhumans became directly involved in a fight between Iron Man and Captain Marvel when a new Inhuman by the name of Ulysses Cain came onto the scene. Due to Ulysses’ unique ability to see into the future, Captain Marvel wanted to use him to stop further tragedies while Tony was more wary of the power. Their disagreement led to several deaths, including those of Bruce Banner (Hulk) and James Rhodes (War Machine/Iron Patriot).

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