Meet The Family: A Guide To Marvel’s Royal Inhumans, Ranked From Worst To Best
Marvel Television recently announced plans for an Inhumans TV series, launching in late 2017 on ABC and centered on the Inhuman Royal Family that was dreamed up by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in the mid-1960s. The Inhumans are a superpowered offshoot of humanity created by interfering aliens, ruled over by the House of Agon. The members of that Royal Family have yet to appear onscreen, despite the recurring presence of Inhumans on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD.
We've put together an introductory guide to the House of Agon's core members, including the king and queen, and their big dog too, so that new fans can get a sense of who's who. For those old fans who know the characters only too well, we've also voted on the best and worst of them, and placed them in order. Check out the list below!
AhuraSon of the King and Queen. Created by Ann Nocenti & Brett Blevins. Marvel Graphic Novel #39 (1988).
Ahura Boltagon is a prince who was never meant to be born. He struggled with the mental illness that he shares with his Uncle Maximus, and in time achieved the freedom and balance to be as terrible as any other teenage boy. But this is a teenager who can kill you with a dirty look, and that's a teen to watch out for. Most of the best Inhumans were created by Jack Kirby, but among those that weren't, Ahura is one of the best. [Elle Collins]
TritonCousin of the King. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Fantastic Four #45 (1965).
Triton is essentially a hunky version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, but the natural limitations of aquatic heroes means these guys always have to fight for a scrap of appreciation, and Triton is B-list even by their standards. Sometimes stories about the Inhumans even forget that Triton is one of the originals. When will the world ever learn to love a hunky fish? [Andrew Wheeler]
GorgonCousin of the King. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Fantastic Four #44 (1965).
Every team needs a big ol' bruiser, and Gorgon fits that role to a tee (even if his name doesn’t quite make sense). He's not always the most likable of characters, and underneath his rough exterior is an equally rough interior, but he’s perhaps the only member of the royal family to constantly act in its interests, and in recent years he's proved to be a really good dad too! [Kieran Shiach]
KarnakCousin of the King. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Fantastic Four #45 (1965).
Whereas a lot of the Inhuman royal family’s powers tend to be more straightforwardly superheroic, Karnak’s abilities present a fantastic high concept; "finding the weakness in anything." That gives creators a tremendous amount of leeway to explore. Is he a great martial artist? A consigliere? A mere mortal who can return to life by finding the weakness in death itself? He has been all these things and more. He can be so many things in so many different stories, and above all, an open challenge to creators. [James Leask]
CrystalSister of the Queen. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Fantastic Four #45 (1965).
Crystal's elemental powers offer infinite possibility, but her most important trait may be her pragmatism. She's the most aware and self-conscious member of the Inhumans, with a better handle on how to interact with other species than the rest of her family. As a result, she offers a fascinating counterpoint to the bigger-name Inhumans, and drives a more empathetic perspective for readers. She's smart, composed, and understanding; of course she was the one to drive the forging of relationships with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. [Steve Morris]
MaximusBrother of the King. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Fantastic Four #47 (1966).
It might be an unpopular opinion, but Maximus The Mad is one of the greatest villains Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created together, and he's someone that makes any story he's in super interesting. He's one of the Marvel Universe's best schemers, to the point that he often opts not to use his powers of persuasion, because that just makes it too easy — and the added family drama with his brother Black Bolt makes any Inhumans story instantly more compelling. [KS]
LunaNiece of the King and Queen. Created by John Byrne. Fantastic Four #240 (1982).
Crystal and her dirtbag ex-husband Quicksilver are characters worth treasuring, but their daughter Luna may prove more interesting than either of them. Luna is a sometimes incredibly creepy kid, showing a knowing side to her personality that mirrors Valeria Richards — but with a lack of that human centre that makes Valeria at least somewhat trustworthy. Luna wanders around in a psychedelic dream, protected by her big teleporting guard dog. It's a shame that we're unlikely to ever see her grow up, because she could prove an incredibly unsettling, hypnotic, adult. [SM]
MedusaQueen of the Inhumans. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Fantastic Four #36 (1965).
Like many great characters, Medusa casts an evocative image, with her massive red mane of prehensile hair. Moreso than its king, Attilan's queen is immediately noticeable as a figure of power, and as the voice of the royal family and its matriarch, Medusa at her best is allowed to be a complex figure balancing the responsibilities of power and family. Her time with the Future Foundation deepened her character, showcasing her empathy, balanced with her otherworldly authority and that hair that radiates around her like an aura. A striking figure both in design and character, Medusa is not to be trifled with. [JL]
Black BoltKing of the Inhumans. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Fantastic Four #45 (1965).
If you're into the strong, silent type, they don't come much stronger than Black Bolt, or much more silent. The king doesn't say much, because his voice has the power to level cities, but that's helped lend the character an air of aloof mystery that makes him more compelling. He's insanely powerful, but fascinatingly contained, and as he watches and unpacks the politics of the Marvel Universe, we all want to know what he's thinking. Two other factors make Black Bolt a popular favorite: First, his Kirby-designed costume is one of the all-time greats, from his thunderous lederhosen to his tuning fork diadem. No-one looks cooler. Second, his real name is Blackagar Boltagon, which is so excessively ridiculous that it loops back around to amazing. [AW]
LockjawAnimal companion to the Royal Family. Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Fantastic Four #45 (1965).
It's hard to imagine anyone not loving Lockjaw. He's a huge puppy dog who teleports you to where you need to go! He's so smart that for a while the story was that he wasn't a dog at all — but thankfully that was retconned, because Lockjaw is the best dog, and not letting him be one kind of ruins him. He's loyal to the Inhuman Royal Family — he even has a tuning fork on his head to match his master — but he's also spent time with the Thing and Ms. Marvel, two of Marvel's best characters. who are made even better with Lockjaw around. He may not star in many stories of his own, but if you could magically wish one comics character to life and hang out with them, Lockjaw would be an excellent choice. [EC]