Straight from the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, it has been announced that not only is writer Christopher Priest returning to Marvel, but that he is set to pen ‘Inhumans: Once and Future Kings’ and tell the definitive origin of The Inhumans! With this five-issue event series telling us how The Inhumans came to be, one has to wonder what will be changed from the 1965 introduction of the characters way back in ‘Fantastic Four’ #45 from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Priest will be teaming with Phil Noto on the artwork to delve into the “definitive origin” of the Royal Family which we’ve heard countless times but haven’t actually seen play out on page. The time period will be set right after Black Bolt goes through Terrigenesis and The Unspoken sits on the royal throne. Perhaps they’ll even call Attilan’s previous ruler by name for a change.
When talking about this family of rulers, he was asked if the route would give all of the early details away and delve into the almost Shakespearean take on royalty in this secretive race to which Priest stated:
“I’ve never written the Inhumans before outside of, perhaps, a brief cameo or two. I was actually surprised and challenged when Marvel offered me the project. I see this series as part of a bigger and more complex overall history. As I see it, we can either bore people to death by trying to be too much, or we can go the “Rogue One” route and tell a fun story which embellishes key points of their origin. I presume if the audience wants to see more of this era of the Inhumans, Marvel will respond.”
When we jump into things, we’ll see characters before the Royal Family taking their place as the Inhuman leaders. In fact, it will give us a fun little team up:
“Neither Black Bolt nor Maximus are much like the characters they ultimately become. For one thing, Maximus is not yet Mad. He is a sane if hardheaded and strong-willed loyal brother, and the two are paired off for this adventure. Now, of course, Max’s unique character flaws give rise to certain rivalries and pettiness which will ultimately divide them but, from the beginning, they are Starsky and Hutch if not quite Quantum and Woody.
I’d prefer to avoid providing definitive ages because that sets off debates, but it’s fair to say the characters in this story are about the same age as the original Lee-Kirby X-Men. Most if not all have undergone Terrigenesis.”
It will be fun to see a bit of Black Bolt working with Maximus as partners before the years of betrayal start cropping up between them:
“These brothers are partners. They’re similar to Scott and Alex Summers, Chris and Liam Hemsworth. Ultimately, they become a bit more like Cain and Abel, as Maximus’ deep character flaws distract from their bond of trust and creates a wedge between them that grows exponentially until it reaches its ultimate conclusion.”
Another more interesting aspect will be seeing Black Bolt and Medusa together before their marriage and how they interact with one another:
“Medusa represents the obvious flaw in a rigid caste system; she was born into a role she is genetically ill-suited to perform. Medusa was never going to host teas or perform ceremonial duties like a royal princess. From birth, she’s wanted to be on the front lines, with her male cousins, engaging the enemy, defending the realm.
At the stage of her life wherein, our story is set, Medusa is terribly and completely sick of men falling in love with her. She is weary of all the speculative talk of who she will someday marry or who a prospective love interest might be. She’s a person, dammit, not a farm animal to be groomed and bred.
Our story presents several persistent suitors for Medusa, but she’s interested in none of them — including Black Bolt. She wants to be accepted, in the same way, and on the same level as her male Royal cousins. The man who will ultimately win her over must first prove his acceptance of her as an equal partner in defiance of the stricter roles laid out by the Attilan caste system.
For me, the challenge of writing Medusa is to reveal her humanity and vulnerability without compromising her hard candy shell or writing her one-dimensionally “Hulk Smash!””
As a huge fan of Priest’s work, I’m very curious to see what he puts together in the book. I’ve never been the biggest fan of The Inhumans but this story which sets the pace for the years that they’ve filtered into Marvel’s comics might help sway me in their direction. We’ll see.
Are you looking forward to ‘Inhumans: Once and Future Kings’? Happy to hear that Christopher Priest is returning to Marvel? Share your thoughts below True Believers!
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!