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This show looks surprisingly dull and low-budget for Marvel.
Inhumans is a sci-fi/fantasy epic about the royal family of the Inhumans, a superpowered race who live in the hidden city of Attilan. Before we go any further, here are three tidbits of relevant information about this show’s creative background:
- Its showrunner, Scott Buck, is the man behind Netflix’s Iron Fist, the only genuinely bad Marvel Studios project to date.
- Scott Buck hadn’t heard of the Inhumans before he was offered the job.
- Inhumans went into production before Iron Fist’s terrible reviews came out.
The trailer introduces the Inhuman king Black Bolt; his wife, Medusa; and his brother Maximus (Game of Thrones‘ Iwan Rheon). Instead of sharing the Whedon-esque tone of Marvel’s other ABC shows, it follows the serious mood of the Netflix franchise—without the same caliber of acting, visual flair, or fight scenes as shows like Daredevil.
The Inhumans are relatively obscure Marvel characters, and this trailer doesn’t do much to introduce them. We don’t really see their powers, and it’s hard to engage with Black Bolt as a protagonist. (Black Bolt can’t speak because his voice is catastrophically destructive, which makes him tricky to write.)
Rather than leaning into the Shakespearean drama and weirdness of the comics, Scott Buck depicts the Inhumans in what looks like a minimalist art gallery, glaring solemnly at each other. There’s also a noticeable lack of special effects, which presents a problem when your female lead requires constant CGI. Medusa is meant to have superpowered hair (comics!) but instead, they’ve got her wearing some kind of orange Halloween wig. Remember, this show is premiering at IMAX theaters before it airs on TV.
“Low budget” doesn’t necessarily mean bad (who doesn’t love classic Star Trek?), but it’s hard to take Inhumans seriously when Black Bolt’s CGI dog uses the MGM lion roar instead of barking. And judging by the tone of this trailer, we’re meant to take Inhumans very seriously indeed.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor