Inhumans might not be as well known as some of the other Marvel TV shows, but its cancellation caused a domino effect in the MCU that’s more significant than you might think.
The 2017 series, which is not considered canon to the MCU, followed Black Bolt (Anson Mount), the king of a society of people with supernatural abilities. Known as Inhumans, these people’s powers were awakened by Terrigen Crystals. The majority of Inhumans lived on Attilan, a city located inside the Earth’s moon, but Inhumans started to emerge on Earth itself, causing conflict between Black Bolt and his brother, Maximus (Iwan Rheon).
Far from the best TV series, ABC canceled Inhumans after one season. Initially planned to be part of the Marvel movies in order, Inhumans wound up being made for the small screen instead, a new book sheds some light on what happened.
The book claims that Kevin Feige was too busy making the best superhero movies possible to focus on Marvel characters like the Inhumans, which is said to have led to Marvel’s Creative Committee (a board of comic book writers that acted as a focus group for Marvel Studios) branding the Inhumans as “wayward characters.”
These “wayward characters” were passed on to Jeph Loeb, who was in charge of overseeing Marvel series. But Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter is said to have “deeply resented” how Fox were able to maintain the rights to X-Men characters, and so instead of promoting their competitor’s X-Men movies, simply made their own version of the X-Men with the Inhumans.
“That has everything to do with the fact that the film rights are controlled by a rival corporation,” X-Men writer Chris Claremont is quoted as saying at New York Comic Con in 2016. “The corporate publishing attitude is ‘Why would we go out of our way to promote a title that will benefit a rival corporation’s films when we could take that same energy and enthusiasm and focus and do it for our own properties?’ Hence the rise of the Inhumans as the new equivalent of the mutants.”
But given the Inhumans were such a massive flop, how was this a win for Marvel Studios? Well, it paved the way for one of the company’s best Disney Plus shows, Ms Marvel. And with Kamala Khan soon making her big-screen debut in Phase 5 film The Marvels, it seems like Marvel Studios really did end up having the last laugh — even if the studio had to deal with the embarrassment of the Inhumans.