At the beginning of the Kree-Skrull War, millions of years ago in Earth time, the alien Kree established a station on the planet Uranus, a strategic position between the Kree and Skrull empires. Through their work at this station, they discovered that sentient life on nearby Earth had genetic potential invested in it by the alien Celestials. Intrigued, the Kree began to experiment on Earth's then-primitive homo sapiens by splicing Eternals' DNA into Cro-Magnons.
Their goal was apparently twofold — to investigate possible ways of circumventing their own evolutionary stagnation, and to create a powerful mutant race of soldiers for use against the Skrulls. However, although their experiments were successful in creating a strain of humanity with extraordinary abilities, the Kree abandoned their experiment for reasons which are not yet clear.
Their test subjects, the Inhumans, went on to form a society of their own, which thrived in seclusion from the rest of humanity and developed advanced technology. Experiments with the mutagenic Terrigen Mist gave them various powers, but also caused lasting genetic damage and deformities. This led to a long-term selective breeding program to try to mitigate the effects of these mutations. Their city of Attilan has frequently been relocated and rested for a long time in the oxygen-bearing Blue Area of the Moon.
The once-secret existence of the race came to light among the general public as the Inhumans interacted more often with many of Earth's superheroes — including the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and the X-Men — whom they aided against threats such as Galactus, Ultron, Magneto, and Apocalypse.
The Inhumans were led by their king, Black Bolt, and his royal family, consisting of Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton, Crystal, Maximus the Mad, and the canine Lockjaw. Both Crystal and Medusa were members of the Fantastic Four; Crystal also was a member of the Avengers.
Attilan's society and culture were predicated on a conformist belief system which permitted individuality as it applied to genetic development and physical and mental ability, but demanded rigid conformity in that each member of society was assigned a place within that society according to those abilities following exposure to the Terrigen Mist. Once assigned, no Inhuman, no matter how great or powerful could change their place within this rigid caste system.
Also, the Inhumans' culture strictly prohibited miscegenation, or racial combining, between Inhumans and other races. Although a member of the royal family, the Inhuman Crystal appeared to have ignored this prohibition when she married outside of her caste to wed the mutant Quicksilver. However, this may have been a privilege due to Crystal's standing as a member of the royal family.
In contrast it appeared that such permissive behavior was lost on the children of the immediate members of the royal family. Gorgon's daughter, for example, attempted to form relationships outside of her caste and was strictly prohibited from doing so, although this may have been because her relationship was with an Alpha Primitive, a cloned creature with subhuman intellect bred for labor, the lowest Inhuman caste. It was not clear, however, whether commoners faced such strict disciplinary measures under similar circumstances.
However, Inhuman society changed radically. Ronan the Accuser sought to use the Inhumans as an army to disrupt the Shi'ar control of the Kree after their defeat in the Kree-Shi'ar War. Appearing over the city of Attilan, Ronan seized control in a surprise attack and forced the Inhumans and their king, Black Bolt, to obey, or he would destroy their only home and everyone in it. During their time in forced servitude, Ronan revealed that the Inhumans had always been intended as weapons in service to the Kree. To this end, much of the genetic attributes that were encoded in them during the original experiments were meant to give them the abilities and appearances of various alien races. The idea being that these Inhuman slaves could be used to infiltrate alien worlds and races to conduct espionage or assassinations to weaken potential conquests. Ronan used the Inhumans in just this manner, disrupting treaties being negotiated by the Shi'ar, and launching attacks on ships and bases. Eventually, Black Bolt sought to free his people by challenging Ronan to a personal battle. If Ronan won, the Inhumans would continue to serve him. If the king won, the Inhumans would go free. After a terrible battle, Black Bolt won and Ronan, demonstrating that the Kree still had honor, kept his word and left the Inhumans. All was not over however, as the Inhumans were not willing to just follow Black Bolt back to Earth. Pressure had been building in the closed society of Attilan since open contact with the outside world had been made. During their enslavement by Ronan, the Inhumans had wished for their freedom, but had also developed a sense of pride in their power and a belief in their own destiny. They no longer believed that Black Bolt or the royal family was fit to lead them in the new life they wanted, and they exiled the royal family from Attilan. The royal family returned to Earth to find their destiny. After suffering bigotry and living in Latveria, they returned to Attilan which was located on the Blue Area of the Moon. The Inhumans are currently fostering better relations with Earth by sending students to a Wisconsin University.
Quicksilver stole the Terrigen Crystals in an attempt to give himself back his powers, and to give back the depowered mutants from M-Day their powers. The theft led to a conflict on Genosha between the re-powered mutants (whose powers came back as too powerful for their own good, and eventually surrendered), the Inhumans, and the U.S. Office of National Emergency (O.N.E.). The conflict ended with O.N.E. confiscating the Terrigen crystals, to which Black Bolt responded by verbally declaring war on the United States. The Inhumans managed to recover the crystals, but the episode ended with Maximus again taking control of Attilan.
Sometime later Black Bolt was replaced by a Skrull impostor. The Skrulls attacked Attilan who intended to use Black Bolt's voice as a weapon of mass destruction. The Inhuman Royal Family defeated several Skrull soldiers and took a Skrull ship with the point of taking the war to the Skrulls and save Black Bolt. Medusa travelled to Hala and requested the aid of the Kree in finding their King. Ronan requested Crystal as his wife in trade for the Kree's aid which Medusa agreed to. The Inhumans then rescued Black Bolt and his son.
Having decided that they would no longer be used and abused by other races, the Inhumans took drastic action to ensure their survival as a race. To that end, they activated a series of long dormant machines beneath the city of Attilan, transforming it into a gigantic starship, powered by Black Bolt's voice. Breaking free from its resting place on the Moon, Attilan entered hyperspace and tracked down the remnants of the Skrull Armada, completely eradicating it. As Attilan entered Shi'ar space, it attracted the attention of three Shi'ar warships, who ordered them to depart or they would open fire. They, too were destroyed without mercy.
Attilan reached the planet Hala, destroying the protective shield that guarded their weakened empire and entered the planet itself. The Royal Family confronted Ronan the Accuser, the steward of the Kree Empire. Ronan bowed down to Black Bolt and acknowledged him as the King of the Kree Empire.
The Inhumans installed Attilan over New York City. When Thanos arrived Earth in the search of his long lost Inhuman-descendant son, Black Bolt fought the Mad Titan in an evacuated Attilan to protect the location of Thanos' son. During the battle, Black Bolt activated a Terrigen Bomb which spread the Terrigen Mists across all of Earth, causing millions of Inhuman-descendants to suffer Terriginesis and turn them into Inhumans.
Alternate Universe Inhumans
Ultimate Inhumans (Earth-1610)
Two mountain climbers reached the walls of their city, Attilan, in the Himalayas when they were turned back with their memories erased. The Inhumans made themselves known to the Fantastic Four when a member of their royalty, Crystal, fled to New York after being ordered to marry Black Bolt's brother. Johnny came across Crystal and attempted to save her from two royal guards from Attilan who were trying to capture her. Beaten, Crystal took him back to the Baxter Building, and revealed herself to the Fantastic Four. She left her dog behind, who had the ability to teleport, which the Fantastic Four used to enter Attilan. Once their presence was discovered, the city was stripped of its advanced technology and destroyed by Black Bolt, and the Inhumans, including Crystal, relocated. They are hinted to have relocated to the moon.
The Ultimate Attilan is quite different in appearance from the MU version, like a giant wasp's nest crossed with a Gothic cathedral. Ultimate Crystal, Lockjaw and Black Bolt are similar to their counterparts; Medusa is depicted as having actual snakes for hair, like her mythical namesake. Gorgon is female, Karnak projects energy blasts (though he can still sense weaknesses and pressure points), Triton has a more squid-like appearance, and Maximus is a somewhat effete courtier, whom Crystal describes as "preening" and a "peacock". Other Inhumans shown include Tri-clops, with clairvoyant vision (including the power to see the invisible), Densitor (Maximus' flunky, who can presumably increase his strength, durability and mass, enough to become fireproof) and an unnamed Inhuman who can produce a swarm of insect-like flying creatures from his body.
They claimed that their city had remained secret for 10,000 years, which makes their ancestors contemporaries with Ultimate Marvel Atlantis. After the freeing of Namor by the Fantastic Four it is discovered that Atlantis and the Inhumans had been at war for thousands of years, and it was the Inhumans that finally sank Atlantis.
The Inhumans that existed on Franklin Richard's Counter-Earth would have origins that were similar to their Earth-616 counterparts. All the Inhumans on Conter-Earth would be constructs of Franklin Richards except for Crystal who was one of the victims of Onslaught who was reborn on Counter-Earth. The history of the Inhumans would be shrouded in mystery. They would worship Galactus and his heralds as gods. The Terrigen Mists would originate from a cavern far below the city of Attilan in the Himalayan mountains. It would later be revealed to be a "creation device" (dubbed as such by Maximus. This is likely the Catalyst Pod implanted on Earth by the heralds of Galactus centuries earlier.
The Inhumans would first appear publicly when archeologist Dr. Harry Johnston would bring the Maklu Tablet to the American Museum of Natural History. The Inhumans would attack seeking to reclaim the stone leading to a clash with the Fantastic Four. The Human Torch would be injured in the fight and brought to the hidden land to be healed. The rest of the FF would follow and be captured by the Inhuman royal family. After a series of misunderstandings, the FF would agree to help the Inhuman Royal family in stopping attacks from monsters that came from the cavern, leading to a battle with the mad Inhuman Maximus.
When Galactus finally arrived on Earth to consume the planet, the Inhumans would aid the Fantastic Four and the Avengers in stopping him, ending in the world eaters destruction. When the heroes native to Earth-616 were required to return to their home reality in order to save both Earth and Counter-Earth from destruction at the hands of the Celestials, the Inhuman royal family would board the ship even though only Crystal was the only Inhuman originating from Earth-616. Their fate is unknown, however as texts have indicated that the Counter-Earth version of She-Hulk was merged with her Earth-616 counterpart, it's likely the same happened to the Inhuman royal family.
The ultimate fate of the remaining Inhumans remains unrevealed, however their home has become a floating haven for the survivors of Counter-Earth's many world shaking disasters and is under the protection of the Young Allies.
Maximus choose to awoke Black Bolt and tell him what happened: He killed the entire Royal Family, including Bolt's wife, Medusa. Hearing this, Black Bolt screams, destroying the entire Inhuman city and killing every inhumans.
The Inhumans were mutated with the Terrigen Mists and guarded Ship on the dark side of the moon. They fought and defeated the X-Men, who were then imprisoned. They were destroyed along with Ship by Sunfire.
In this reality, the history of the Inhuman royal family would diverge from Earth-616 during the events of the Kree-Skrull War. In this reality, Rick Jones would be slain early on in the conflict, prolonging the war. When the Kree invaded Earth, Professor X would summon many of Earth's super-humans to participate in the counterattack. The Inhuman royal family would be among these gathered heroes and they would fight off the invaders until the war's end.
The history of the Inhumans of Earth-9997 mirrored that of their Earth-616 counterparts, in that they were a group of humans who were selected centuries ago by the Kree for tests in which they were exposed to Terrigen Mists. This allowed for the Inhuman nation to gain great powers. This has been later revealed to have been the case because of Celestial manipulation of early man. Each human born was given a "Celestial Seed" which would allow for mutation. This was because the Celestials reproduced by impregnating planets with embryos which would birth after centuries of incubation, destroying the planet which served as it's womb. In order to defend this planetary incubator, the Celestials would manipulate the dominant species of the planet to act as unknowing anti-bodies. As such, in the case of the Inhumans, the Celestial seed would be activated upon exposure to the Terrigen Mists, granting them fantastic powers.
The past history of the Inhumans of Earth-9997 continued much as it did on Earth-616, however it appeared at some point in history the Inhumans returned Attilan to the Himalayan mountains. The reason behind this move was unknown, however it's possible that the Inhuman nation began to grow tired with living on the Moon. Eventually, the Inhuman population grew tired of living in seclusion and decided to leave the Great Refuge to forge new destinies among humanity. This happened at a time when Maximus was once more vying for power. Maximus had built a bomb that - once detonated - would release the Terrigen Mists into the Earth's atmosphere. The Inhuman Royal family would stop Maximus from doing so, Medusa killing him. With no kingdom to rule over, the Inhuman Royal Family decided to take to the stars and find their fate elsewhere in the universe. However, Black Bolt felt that his people would be persecuted and demonized by humanity, much like they treat mutants on the outside world, and as such Bolt decided to unleash the Terrigen Mist bomb filling Earth's atmosphere with the gas. This was unknown to all, including the Watcher, whom Black Bolt had blinded to prevent him from seeing. It has been suggested that Black Bolt had some intimate knowledge about the Celestials' plans for the Earth, and releasing the Terrigen Mists on the Earth was a way to set plans in motion to stop the Celestial birth in Earth's core.
Black Bolt's action effectively caused almost all the humans on Earth to become Inhumans, mutations happened on a global scale causing a major global crisis. Economies fell, food became scarce, and the world's governments crumbled, most world leaders being replaced by long time super-humans who had experience with having super-human abilities.
In space, the Inhuman royal family mutated further as well, it is unknown if this was a natural evolution of their powers, if it was triggered by their new environment in space, or further exposure to the Terrigen Mists. Whatever the reason, each member of the Inhuman royal family (with the exception of Luna who remained human) saw their Inhuman abilities increase. Gorgon and Triton would become more animal like in appearance, Karnak's head would increase in size and his mastery at finding flaws would envelop every aspect of his being, Medusa would grow more hair, and Black Bolt became something even more powerful, and less human all together. It appears that the Inhuman royal family are the only Inhumans that saw an increase in their mutation during this point in history, as all the long time Inhumans on Earth appear to have remained the same.
The Inhuman Royal family returned to Earth after they saw the fate of the Eternals. Approaching the planet when the Eternals took as a home when they had left Earth, they found that the planet was destroyed from within and all the Eternals were encased in Vibranium. It was later revealed that the Eternals had the bad luck of settling on a world that was impregnated by the Celestials that had come to term. Fearing that the Earth could suffer the same fate (half-correctly believing that Vibranium was the cause) they returned to Earth looking to warn Reed Richards, and also to gather the members of their race, specifically their son whom they had left behind. Arriving on Earth, they found that everyone on Earth had mutated and everyone (except for Black Bolt) wondered what caused this. Also on Earth, they found Reed Richards and learned that Richards had taken up the identity of Dr. Doom following the death of Doom and his wife, and that he blamed himself for the mutation of all humanity. Richards (incorrectly) theorized that it was his Vibranium energy beacons -- devices he installed all over the world to try and solve the energy crisis -- that caused the mutation when a malfunction caused one of the beacons to explode, and transmit the fall out all over the globe. Agreeing to find the lost Inhuman nation, Reed reconfigured Charles Xavier's Cerebro machine to track down the Inhumans. Reed quickly found out that every mutate on the planet was registered as an Inhuman, and taking this information back to the royal family they learned the truth and realized that Black Bolt had unleashed the weapon which his brother Maximus had created.
Ultimately, X-51 (who had been selected by the Watcher to record Earth's history since being struck blind) revealed to Reed Richards the truth of the Celestials' plans for humanity, and that the Final Host was coming to Earth to pass final judgment on the planet. Black Bolt was the first to tackle the Celestials alone, however this proved to be a distraction. In his dying breath, Black Bolt called for Galactus, as Galactus was revealed to be the counter force in the universe insuring that the Celestials would not over breed and take over the universe. Galactus (in reality, Franklin Richards, mutated into a new Galactus following the death of the original) fought off the Celestials who came to Earth.
Following the defeat of the Celestials, and the destruction of the embryo growing in the Earth's core, the Inhuman royal family was taken to Medusa and Black Bolt's son Ahura, who had been left in the care of King Britain and trained to be the new Black Knight. Given a new costume made out of Vibranium modeled after his father's own costume, the new Black Bolt refused to lead an entire planet of Inhumans, choosing servitude over royalty. Black Bolt the 2nd ended up becoming one of Earth's champions, leading the Iron Avengers on various missions. In addition, Bolt's planned wedding to Luna (who had now mutated into a new form thanks to her exposure to the Terrigen Mists) did not come to pass, as Bolt had no interest in marrying Luna.
Medusa and King Britain eventually agreed to marry to unite the Inhuman and human nations into one unified monarchy. This plot was almost foiled when Mephisto used his powers to free Meggan, Britain's first wife who had been trapped in stone for years following a battle with the Grey Gargoyle. Meggan eventually sacrificed her life trying to stop Mephisto from rallying an army of Deviants to take over the Earth.
Fates of individual Inhumans
The fates of individual Inhumans are as follows:
Earth X Notes
- The release of the Terrigen Mists into Earth's atmosphere neutralized the weakness to humanities industrial pollutants.
- Jim Krueger and Alex Ross, created these characters, based on concepts by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
- The Inhumans were first seen in Earth X #0.
- Representatives included virtually the entire population of Earth, due to the release of the Mists.
Powers and Abilities
Varies, if any. Even without using the Terrigen Mist, the Kree modifications, combined with centuries of selective breeding have given all Inhumans certain advantages. Their average lifespan is 150 years, and an inhuman in good physical condition possesses strength, reaction time, speed, and endurance are all superior to of the finest human athletes.
Enhanced Strength An average (unmodified by Terrigen) inhuman in good physical condition can lift one ton.
Enhanced Speed An average (unmodified by Terrigen) inhuman in good physical condition is slightly faster than Captain America, and thus superior to the finest human athlete.
Enhanced Reflexes An average (unmodified by Terrigen) inhuman in good physical condition has reflexes slightly superior to Captain America's, and is thus superior to the finest human athlete.
Enhanced Endurance The endurance of an average (unmodified by Terrigen) inhuman in good physical condition is slightly superior to Captain America's, and is thus superior to the finest human athlete.
Average Strength level
Karnak, and other normal Inhumans who are in excellent physical shape, can lift 1 ton and are physically slightly superior to the peak of normal human physical achievement.
Due to their closed society, Inhumans have a far lower threshold to disease and pollution than ordinary humans.
Habitat: Attilan, same as Earth
Gravity: Same as Earth
Atmosphere: Same as Earth, though with no germs or pollution
Population: At present there are about 1,230 living Inhumans, all of whom dwell in Attilan.
Type of Government: Monarchy
Level of Technology: Mostly Genetic Manipulation, though in general superior to Earth standard. Echo-Technology, which utilizes power from vibranium capacitors that store whispers of Black Bolt, includes; Echo-Skeleton Armour and Echo-Weapons (designed by Maximus).
Cultural Traits: Miscegenation Prohibition, Rigid Caste System, Conformists
- Royal Family:
- Newly Manifested Inhumans (Terrigen Bomb)
- Marilla: Deceased
- Agon – Father of Black Bolt, son of Symak, and husband of Rynda.
- Andvari – An engineer who designed the technology to relocate Attilan from the ocean to the Himalayan mountains.
- Asmodeus – An Inhuman who has green bat wings.
- Aven – Former holder of the Royal Sceptre.
- Avion – A child who was killed.
- Banth – lover Dazzler while she was in Attilan.
- Belial Toiven – Mother of Rexel Toiven; wife of Usurieus. She has telepathic powers.
- Cuidar – Inhuman doctor.
- Devlor – Became a member of Fantastic Force.
- Dewoz – An Inhuman who was transformed into duplicate of Alpha Primitive by Terrigenesis.
- Dinu – A teenage Inhuman.
- Flaidermaus – A flying guardsman.
- Galen: Royal family doctor
- Goran Malidicta
- Kaliban (possibly Yeti from First Line)
- Krush – An Inhuman guard.
- Kylus – An Inhuman who lived in 500 B.C.
- Maelstrom – Son of Phaeder and Deviant. An avatar of Oblivion and currently residing at its realm.
- Magnar (mentioned)
- Marista – maid of Medusa.
- Maya – nanny of Luna.
- Mendicus – An Inhuman ambassador representing Attilan at the United Nations.
- Nadar – An Inhuman scientist.
- Nestor – An Inhuman who lived in 500 B.C. as the former ruler of the Inhumans.
- Nollik – Mother of Aeric
- Ozel – An Inhuman who plotted to steal the Royal Spectre.
- Payne – An Inhuman guard.
- Phaeder – Geneticist who was exiled from Attilan and lived with Deviants for some time. Currently deceased.
- Randac – Former ruler.
- Ransak – Son of Maelstrom and Deviant. Lived with Eternals for some time. Current whereabouts are unknown.
- Rexel Toiven
- Rynda - Mother of Black Bolt; wife of Agon.
- Seeker II - Twin brother of the original Seeker.
- Sisko –part of the "The Hidden Ones" who were once kidnapped by Nazis and have the ability to shapeshift.
- Usurieus Toiven
Le-Roj (San Francisco) (Earth-616)
- No special notes.
- Thor #146-152 (back-up stories) (1967-1968)
- Amazing Adventures Vol 2 #1-10, (August 1970 - January 1972)
- Inhumans #1-12, (October 1975 - August 1977)
- What If? #29-30 (back-up stories) (1981)
- Inhumans Graphic Novel (1988)
- Inhumans Special aka Inhumans: The Untold Saga #1 (April 1990)
- Marvel Comics Presents #168 (1994)
- Inhumans: The Great Refuge #1 (1995)
- Alpha Flight/Inhumans Annual #1998 (1998)
- Inhumans Vol 2 #1-12 (1998-1999)
- Inhumans Vol 3 #1-4 (2000)
- Inhumans Vol 4 #1-12 (2003-2004)
- Son of M #1-6 (2006)
- Silent War #1-6 (2007)
- Secret Invasion: Inhumans #1-4 (2008)
- X-men first class annual 2012(2011)
- Discuss Inhumans (Race) on the forums
- Appearances of Inhumans (Race)
- Race Gallery: Inhumans (Race)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Inhumans (Race)
- Images of Inhumans (Race)
Links and References