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Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Inhumans get put down by an ingrate who distorts their history to boot

The Times Record in Fort Smith, Arkansas's written a crummy article about Marvel's Inhumans, partly about the TV show in production, and come off sounding like they thought Black Bolt and family should never have come to be:
As it hits the mid-point of its run, “Marvel’s Inhumans” is obviously not as bad as critics made it out to be. But it does have a conceptual problem going back to its comic book roots, and it remains to be seen whether that will be a bug or a feature.
I think the whole article is just a bug of a feature, and the opening certainly hints at the shoddy take to come.
First, let’s address the catastrophic critical reception of the first two episodes, which were shown on IMAX theaters Sept. 1, then repeated as a television premiere on ABC on Sept. 29. As it turns out, the numbers for both the movie and TV premieres were respectable — not Marvel’s usual blow-out numbers, but good enough.

And as the series has progressed, it’s obviously better than the critical drubbing it received. The special effects are passable, except for maybe Medusa’s hair, which is obviously not an issue at present. The characters are fleshed out decently. The plot is moving along briskly.

The pall over the show seems to have derived mainly from the decision to screen a TV show on IMAX. A big canvas is necessary for a big-budget production like “Avengers.” But for a small show like “Inhumans,” the expanded image just magnifies its flaws.

″‘Inhumans’ is not a series with a big budget, and IMAX is the worst possible way to showcase cheaper CGI,” summarized ScreenRant.com’s Rose Moore on Oct 7. “Effects that may have passed muster on the small screen looked breathtakingly awful in an IMAX format — which led to them being highlighted in bad reviews.”
Umm, what if it's not better than the critical reception it got? If anything, the column itself could use a nice little drubbing based on the following, that's for sure.
Meanwhile, comics fans of the Inhumans should be pretty satisfied with the faithfulness of the show. Heck, even the episode titles are mostly lifted from old comic book stories.

But therein lies the rub: The comic book Inhumans have until recently always been supporting characters. And that’s because they aren’t intrinsically heroic — or even sympathetic.

When introduced in the mid-1960s, The Inhuman royal family was a group of mysterious (and hostile) superhumans that the Fantastic Four kept stumbling into. Eventually it was discovered that these folks came from a hidden city in the Himalayas, full of thousands of Inhumans. They were on the run because Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus the Mad, had usurped the throne. Naturally, the FF helped The Inhumans unseat Max and return home.

Which, for years, was just about the only plot involving the Inhumans. Every once in a while Maximus would take over, the royal family would go on the run, and the Fantastic Four (or the Avengers) would help restore the status quo.
Gee, talk about reducing it all to superficiality! I haven't read every Inhumans story from better days, but those I did depicted the bunch as anything but hostile, even if they lived in isolation. If anything, relations got better in some ways, if not all, as stories progressed. Say, what about the time in the early 80s when the Inhumans asked the FF to help them move their city of Attilan to the moon to help clear up an illness they were suffering? Sure, Maximus may have had what to do with that but still, one of the goals was to help the Inhumans heal from the plague, including Crystal and her expected infant fathered by Quicksilver. And then, contriving a perception that Americans don't appreciate stories about kings and queens, the writer says:
Which, you’ll note, is a monarchy. Since when do Americans like monarchies? Since when do we care which guy in an authoritarian regime is the boss? Why should we pick sides in a battle between royal siblings about who gets to sit at the top of a rigid, inequitable caste system?
Hey, I may not think monarchies are perfect either, but it's not like every single monarchy in Asia and Europe, for example, was inherently evil and corrupt like Spain's recently suggested. Sure, a superficial presentation of a monarchy may not be the greatest, but that aside, if monarchies are truly the worst thing to happen, then by that logic, every fictional story of a noble king and queen, prince and princess, emperor and empress is invalid. In other words, the Greek mythology tales, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are worthless, along with John Carter of Mars and its depictions of royalty on other planets, and even Arion: Lord of Atlantis and Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld are somehow a big wrong just because they depict royalty figures with common sense. The same must go for Sub-Mariner, because even though he was intentionally depicted as a flawed blowhard in early stories, he did act heroically by fighting evil forces and sought to redeem himself for his mistakes as time went by. Why all of a sudden the negative claim about monarchies when even democracies, presidential and parliamental, are no more immune to corruption than monarchies?
In the comics, Maximus’ ultimate aim is to kill all the humans, whereas Black Bolt wants peace. So, in that sense, sure — let’s support Black Bolt, peacemaker. But at the end of the day, he presides over a society that assigns inflexible roles by dint of birth or Terrigenesis, the process that gives Inhumans their powers at adolescence. As Americans — who declared “all men are created equal” when we asserted our independence from an unjust monarchy — that should be appalling.

Further, the characters themselves aren’t terribly likable. Do you think TV’s Medusa is too haughty and imperious? That’s right out of “Fantastic Four.” Do you find Crystal a bit bratty? Gorgon too eager for a fight? Karnak irritating? Black Bolt maddeningly stoic? Yep, that’s just how Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created them.

Plus, they don’t think much of humans. Seriously, even the best of them consider us an inferior race, not much more than monkeys. And they are xenophobic to an ugly degree. What part of that are we supposed to applaud?
Even this part is superficial and misleading at best. I think it was with a 2004 series that Sean McKeever really brought them down to low levels of supremacy-like renditions, because I don't recall even Crystal being as "bratty" as they imply in whatever Bronze Age material I read.
But it was fine in the comics for a long time. For one thing, Crystal and Johnny “Human Torch” Storm had a dramatic star-crossed teen romance going, which was cute. Crystal (and later Medusa) even joined the Fantastic Four, when Sue “Invisible Woman” Richards was sidelined by pregnancy. Plus we didn’t have to think about them much — they were remote supporting characters whose city eventually moved to the Moon. Out of sight, out of mind.

But then they became stars. Well, Marvel Comics is trying to make them stars.

Marvel has an outsider group with super-powers that come at adolescence, but can’t use them in the movies. That’s the X-Men, who are much more likable than the Inhumans, because they didn’t think they’re superior, aren’t xenophobic, want to fit in and are abused because they are different. They are a metaphor for every minority in the history of man, from homosexuals to African-Americans to angst-ridden teenagers.
Umm, even this misses some more recent characterizations, because when Grant Morrison was doing the writing for 2 and a half years in the early 2000s, they didn't seem particularly likable under his renditions. Why, they even seemed borderline xenophobic, precisely the argument the dummy who wrote this slop is trying to make about the Inhumans, without even confirming whether Marvel's improved characterization back in the comics proper, or arguing why it should've been done long ago.
But thanks to some bad business decisions in the 1990s, Twentieth Century Fox owns the movie and TV rights to the X-Men and all related mutant concepts. And, while Marvel won’t acknowledge it publicly, it appears that a decision was made to play down Marvel characters and concepts to which it didn’t have the film rights.

“In 2014, Marvel Chairman Ike Perlmutter ramped up his war with (Fox) with a series of moves apparently designed to diminish the stature of the Fantastic Four and X-Men in all areas under which Marvel controlled the rights,” wrote bleedingcool.com correspondent Jude Terror in March. “This has included canceling Fantastic Four comics, reducing the prominence of the characters in Marvel’s comics, and disallowing any merchandise or licensed products featuring either group. As a replacement for the X-Men, Marvel has been trying really hard to make vaguely similar property The Inhumans happen, to varying degrees of success.”

As noted, Marvel Comics does not acknowledge this to be true. But most fans treat it pretty much as a given.
That's because, alas, it is. But most news reporters like the jerk who wrote this awkward piece dismiss it as something not worth defending like they will a SJW when they see a topic of the sort turn up.
So, as the X-replacements, the Inhumans have had to step up. They have had to become more sympathetic, and more engaged with humanity. This was achieved in the 2013 crossover event “Infinity,” when Black Bolt blew up a “Terrigen Bomb” that activated dormant Inhuman genes in humans across the globe. In an instant, the Inhumans had to go from a hidden race to one that had to make friends with humanity so they could gather and protect all the new Inhumans popping up.

Incidentally, the Terrigen clouds created by the bomb are fatal to mutants. Talk about metaphors.
Talk about absolute sugarcoated disgust. Not only was the whole crossover uncalled for, does a crossover need to be written up in order for more Inhumans to be created? Of course not. Yet what's really disturbing is that it was mainly an excuse to create the Muslim Ms. Marvel to serve as a propaganda vehicle.
Anyway, it appears that both the X-Men and Fantastic Four may return to prominence, thanks to a couple of current epics titled “Legacy” and “ResurreXion.” Which is another story.

In the meantime, we now have the Inhumans as marquee players. How is ABC going to make us like them?
A better question would be why the journalist who wrote this slop doesn't want anybody to like the authentic Inhumans, isn't asking for Marvel to improve characterization back in the comics proper if it guarantees it'll make them more likable characters, just like they did with Wolverine in the Bronze Age, and doesn't even lament that they'd go to such lengths to make a character like Kamala Khan so unlikable/unappealing by forcing a bad religion/ideology onto her character and making her a mouthpiece for deceptive propaganda. He just goes on to say:
I don’t know that they will. But, interestingly, the one place the TV show is varying significantly from the comics is when it comes to Maxiumus the Mad.

In the comics, Max is an unstable genius, whose Inhuman powers eventually manifest as mind control. On TV, though, Maximus is ordinary — in fact, he is genetically human. He has been belittled by the rest of the royal family, allowed to remain (and not work in “the mines,” where low-class Inhumans go) by virtue of being Black Bolt’s brother. He is openly sympathetic to those on the lowest rung pf the ladder, because he’s been there. And now that he’s taken over, he says he wants to dismantle the class system.

If Max wasn’t so transparently power-hungry, bloodthirsty and vicious, he might almost be sympathetic.
Hmm, this is certainly starting to take a worrisome turn. Is that supposed to be deliberate, making the folks with superpowers the goodies, and the much more human antagonist the baddie? Fishy fishy. As is the premise his wish to dismantle class systems sounds like an attack on people who want to develop democratic systems and equality. You have to wonder if Maximus is meant to represent a right-winger on the TV show, and if that's the case, then the project's been hijacked for the sake of an anti-conservative agenda. Then again, hasn't that been all Marvel's position for many years since Joe Quesada took over? Surprisingly enough, it does provide an interesting revelation about where the comics have been going recently, or so it seems:
Could TV “Inhumans” actually go where the comic book Inhumans have only recently gone, with the royal family stepping down and allowing free elections in Attilan? Or will it hew to decades of repetitive comic book stories that make the Inhumans inherently unappealing?

That, in the end, will determine if “Inhumans” is a success or not. Ratings aside, if TV can transform the Inhumans into characters who grow into something heroic, into people we can openly root for, then it will achieve something the comics never have.
Now they tell us! But turning Attilan into a democracy alone doesn't likable personalities make. Nor does saying "never have", when here, according to his notes, Marvel at least began depicting Attilan embracing a democratic system, presumably with a parliament, which I thought he considered a vital element in making them likable. Guess not. No matter how the Inhumans are depicted, it's clear he's written them off in predisposition.

And even if the Fantastic Four and X-Men return to "prominence", as he puts it, there's no chance resulting stories will be entertaining either, so long as Quesada's insular bunch remain in charge.

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One way to fight terrorism is for Western-born Muslims to find a way to be Americans, or Brits or Frenchmen, without betraying their history and traditions. Ms Marvel is a Muslim girl who loves science fiction and looks up to comic book superheroines like Carol Danvers, one who shuns bacon but doesn’t wear a head scarf and who writes fanfiction and hates terrorism, not just because it is evil but also because it brings shame to her family's community. She is a good role model. G I Joe now has a patriotic new recruit who may be a Muslim – ditto. Why make it so the only Muslim role models that Muslim comic book fans are allowed to read about are evil terrorists? Now that would be a real aid to ISIS recruitment.

I think you're the only person to say bad things about Khan, but unfortunately you're saying the "wrong" bad things.

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