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, inspired from studying a dead Eternal.
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 Attilan has frequently been relocated and, as of 2005 stories, rests in the oxygen-bearing Blue Area of the Moon.
The once-secret existence of the race has come to light among the general public as the Inhumans interact more often with many of Earth's superheroes — including the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and the X-Men — whom they have aided against threats such as Galactus, Ultron 7, Magneto, and Apocalypse.
The Inhumans are 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 have been members of the Fantastic Four; Crystal has also been a member of the Avengers.
One interesting observation is that Attilan's society and culture are predicated on a conformist belief system which permits individuality as it applies to genetic development and physical and mental ability, but demands rigid conformity in that each member of society is 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 can change their place within this rigid caste system.
Another interesting note is that the Inhumans' culture strictly prohibits miscegenation, or racial combining, between Inhumans and other races. Although a member of the royal family, the Inhuman Crystal appears to have ignored this prohibition married outside of her caste to wed the mutant Quicksilver. However, this may be a privilege due to Crystal's standing as a member of the royal family.
In contrast it appears that such permissive behavior is 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 is not clear, however, whether commoners face such strict disciplinary measures under similar circumstances.
Major Story Arcs
During their stay in Attilan on the moon, a group of Kree refugees arrived and was attacked by the Inhuman guards. When one of the Inhuman guards was outnumbered the Kree told him they came to beg for Sanctuary. This was a lie they said so they could get close to the Inhuman Royal Family and assassinate them. The Kree had found Medusa and Black Bolt playing in a garden since they renounced their monarchy and let Attilan decide for themselves. The Kree stayed in a part of Attilan which held old Kree machinery, in tents. Three Inhuman kids came here to play but saw three Kree soldiers. Having a dislike towards Kree they tried to scare them. One of the Kree children got a gun and shot one of the Inhumans in the leg. And then tried to shoot an Inhuman guard who was invincible. During this time in the Chambers of the Inhuman Genetics Council, the Kree was granted an open hearing to decide whether their sanctuary in the Blue Area is to be permanent or temporary. In the end the Inhumans sent the Kree away.
Servants of The Kree
However, Inhuman society changed radically recently. 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.
Exile of the Royal Family
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.
Son of M
In the events of Son of M, 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 repowered 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. The conflict ended with the O.N.E. confiscating the Terrigen crystals, to which Black Bolt then verbally declared war on the United States.
During the Civil War, The Sentry went up to the moon to get away from it all. There he encountered the Inhumans. Nobody remembered their previous encounters but were intrigued by it. They allowed him to stay but in the end he left with Iron Man, leaving Crystal with questions about their time together.
In the Illuminati Black Bolt was discovered as a Skrull. It is believed that this Black Bolt was the same who fought an enraged Hulk (see: World War Hulk) and lost. After learning about Black Bolt's disappearance, Medusa confronts Iron Man who tells her that Black Bolt was kidnapped by Skrulls. This prompts Medusa to leave Iron Man and take the Skrull that was posing as Black Bolt and present the new Skrull invasion threat to the Inhuman Council. The Skrulls sprung their trap on the Inhumans and ravaged their city. Medusa acts and leads the Royal Family to steal the Skrulls spacecraft and leave Attilan to gain help from the Inhumans old master's, the Kree. Meanwhile on the ship that Black Bolt is held captive, they tell him that they captured him because they intend to use his voice as a weapon and obliterate Attilan.
After Medusa makes a pact with Ronan the Accuser, they embark on a quest to find out where the Skrull ship is headed and must split up into three groups to do everything they have to simultaneously. Meanwhile, it is learned that Ahura, Black Bolt and Medusa's son, has also been taken captive by the Skrulls to use as leverage if Black Bolt does not do what they say. After the Inhumans complete their tasks, they prepare for an assault on the Skrull ship that has Black Bolt. As the fight begins, Black Bolt tells Ahura to go to Ry'bik (the Skrull scientist) and control his mind to let Black Bolt free. As this happens, Black Bolt kills Ry'bik and a Skrull female takes Ahura captive in attempt to bargain Black Bolt his life for hers. However Medusa kills her when she finds Black Bolt. The Royal Family return home and tell the Inhumans that they will return to their roots and go to the Kree who shall rule them. Eventually, the pact that Medusa made with Ronan turned out to be a marriage between Ronan and Medusa's younger sister Crystal.
War of Kings
As the Inhumans where now married into the Kree Empire after the wedding between Ronan the Accusar and Crystal of the Inhumans, the two fractions worked together more closely. Disaster however struck when X-Men villain Vulcan, whom had become the Emperor of the Shi'ar Empire, attacked the Kree Empire right after their wedding. A huge war broke out, eventually leading to a fight between Vulcan and Black Bolt, seemingly resulting in the death of both. After Black Bolt's death during his battle with Vulcan at the end of the War of Kings, Medusa took control of the monarchy and ruled in his place. Some months later, Black Bolt returned, having survived his encounter with Vulcan. It was then that Black Bolt joined the Illuminati once more, this time in accompany with his brother Maximus the Mad.
Infinity and the new Inhuman
Some months after the events of War of Kings, the Inhuman city of Attilan had been located above the Hudson river in New York City. It its there that they learned that Thanos the mad Titan was heading towards Earth in order to reclaim and kill his Inhuman son, not knowing where this son was and how he looked like.
It was a long held Inhuman secret that the Kree experimented on not only the human race but four other species as well. Known as the Universal Inhumans, they all were created to reignite the evolution of the Kree race and implanted with a genetic memory that would unite them together. The memory claims that the five queens will join the one king who returns from the forever night and band together in a new holy land which will be known as New Hala.
This one king happened to be Black bolt, who returned once again, to his people. Almost immediatly after his return, the Inhumans had to protect themselves against the Kree. With the help of their friends from Earth (and the sudden appearance of Celestials), they managed to survive the attack.
Along with the humans of Earth, the Kree also experimented on the Alpha Centaurians, the Badoon, the Kymellians and the Dire Wraiths. All of whom are led by a queen.
Terrigenesis - exposure to the mist of the Terrigen Crystals. Created the Inhumans of Earth.
Isogenesis - injection of the extract of the Isogen Orbs
Amphogenesis - one drop of diluted water of the dormant Amphogen
Antigenesis - eating the nectar of the Nightblooms of the Anitgen Tree
Exogenesis - inhaling the Exogen Spice
Powers and Abilities
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 greater than the finest of human athletes. Karnak and other normal Inhumans who are in excellent physical shape can lift one ton and are physically slightly superior to the peak of normal human physical achievement. However, most Inhumans are used to living in a pollution-free, germ-free environment and have difficulty tolerating Earth's current level of air and water pollution for any length of time. Exposure to the Terrigen Mist can both enhance and in some cases reduce these physical capabilities.
Inhuman Royal Family (Earth):
Black Bolt: King of the Inhumans.
Medusa: Queen of the Inhumans.
Crystal: Medusa's Sister.
Gorgon:Cousin of Medusa and Black Bolt.
Karnak: Cousin of Black Bolt.
Luna: Daughter of Crystal and Quicksilver.
Lockjaw: Transporter of the family.
Triton: Cousin of Black Bolt and Brother to Karnak.
Earth-295 - Age of apocalypse
The entire family were killed by Maximus, who was become Death the most vicious Horseman of Apocalypse, later he used their bodies to create a loyal force of Inhumans beings altered by the Terrigen Mists. The team not only includes the royal family besides other humans were converted (for instance Rhino).
They confronted Magneto's X-Men at the blue area of the moon and were victorious, nevertheless Cyclops released Sunfire causing the entire destruction of the ship, which supposedly kill them.
Roster: Death (aka Maximus), Black Bolt, Medusa, Lockjaw, Rhino, Triton, Crystal, Gorgon and Karnak.
Earth-691 - War of the Worlds
In this reality, the Inhumans were betrayed by a member of the Royal Family that was not an Inhuman (believed to be Luna) and were made slaves, forced to live in a reservation underneath Attilan. This information was given to Black Bolt and Medusa in the past by Talon, but it seemingly had no effect on his future.
The Inhumans would become part of an experiment by Loki in selective breeding. He would make them work and toil, breeding the best with the best and forcing them to battle one another to chose the strongest. In the end, he made his choices and invaded Asgard with them. He was defeated by Woden and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Inhumans would not be free long and would be enslaved by Rancor and her renegade mutants immediately after Loki's defeat.
Earth-1610 - Ultimate Inhumans
The Inhumans made their debut in the Ultimate Marvel Universe during the Ultimate Fantastic Four issue Annual 1: Inhuman. It begins with two mountain climbers reached the walls of their city, Atillan, in the Himalayas when they are 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 Atillan 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 Atillan. 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.
Earth-9997 - Earth X
The Royal Family consisting of Black Bolt, Medusa, Gorgon, Karnak, Luna, and Triton, left the solar system to go and find where they came from. Upon finding the planet they found out that vibranium destroyed it. They also found the Eternals covered in vibranium and couldn't get out. The came back to Earth to find Ahura who is going to be Luna's husband. When they came they wanted to find all Inhumans that was left on Earth. So they found Mr. fantastic and asked him if eh knew a way. He reconfigured Cerebro to find Inhumans and found out that all the people on Earth were Inhumans. Medusa thought about this and told Mr. Fantastic what happened. A while ago Maximus built a machine that would release the Terrigen Mists into Earth's atmosphere mutating the humans on birth. The Royal Family stopped him but at the loss of Lockjaw. Medusa figured it couldn't be Maximus since he was dead when people first started changing. It was Black Bolt, when he and the rest of the Royal Family left he didn't want the Inhumans to be discriminated against so he turned all of Earth into Inhumans. They used the fork on Lockjaw to teleport places.
Earth-? - Millennial Visions
In this reality, Magneto confronted the Inhumans and tried to make them part of his empire. After confronting the Royal Family and being denied their support, Magneto is launched into a pitched battle with the Royals, resulting in the loss of his helmet. He attacks the Inhuman children in the mists room, only to have them stolen from him. Releasing the Mists into the castle itself, Magneto escapes, but Karnak orders the Castle to be encompassed in a large bubble, and sunk beneath the ocean waves. The Inhumans within the castle, and the bubble mutate further, with Medusa becoming aquatic, and having to live outside in the ocean itself.
In this world, the Inhumans were the Ultimate Cosmic weaponry. The Kree had originally designed the Inhumans to evolve into Galactus level threats, eating and destroying the Kree's enemies
on a planetary level. However, when the Royal family chose to embrace their evolution, their first target was the Kree Homeworld. In a last ditch effort, the Kree called to Galactus for help. Galactus sought out and waged war on the Inhumans, with a final battle between Black Bolt and the Devourer of Worlds. In the final battle, as Black Bolt screamed "Die." it eradicated the two gods and tore a rift in space itself.
As Space was ripped apart, the remaining Inhumans used their powers to try and contain the destruction of the nearby universe, but it became glaringly obvious they were only delaying the unavoidable. That was until Black bolts voice spoke to Medusa and told her and the other Inhumans to open their minds to him. Using their powers in concert, the Inhumans were able to stem the rift, but in doing so, they have damned themselves to wander and protect the same part of the Universe, never straying too far from the rift to prevent it's power from wreaking havoc, or falling into the wrong hands.
The Inhumans appear in the episode "Medusa and the Inhumans," where they seek to take over the world. The episode is notable for having Medusa be the leader of the Inhumans rather than Black Bolt, and for depicting the Inhumans in a more overtly antagonistic manner than the comics usually do.
The Inhumans initially appear in the three-part "Inhumans Saga" storyline before appearing in a running subplot throughout the show's second season. The storyline retells their earliest appearance from the comics, with the Fantastic Four coming into contact with the Inhumans following a clash with an amnesiac Medusa. From there it is revealed that Maximus has engineered a coup in Attilan, leading to a clash that ends with him trapping the city in a force field. They are eventually freed when Black Bolt shatters the barrier.
The Inhumans appear in the episode "Inhuman Nature," which loosely adapts parts of their first appearance. In this version of the story, Maximus has manipulated the other Inhumans into believing humans are evil, while the Hulk and his allies attempt to convince them that both races can live together and learn from one another. The show also has A-Bomb be the one to develop a star-crossed romance with Crystal, rather than Johnny Storm. Some of the Inhumans return in the series finale to help the heroes battle the forces of the Supreme Intelligence.
The Inhumans appear in the episode "Inhumanity." In it, the Inhumans are poised to engage in a war with S.H.I.E.L.D. after Maximus brainwashes the other members of the royal family. After Spider-Man and Triton resolve the situation, Nick Fury makes Triton the ambassador of his people and invites him to join the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy.
The Inhumans appear in the episode "Crystal Blue Persuasion." In it, the Guardians of the Galaxy are brought to Attilan (which is in space in this series) after the populace are stricken with a Terrigen Plague. The Guardians help save the Inhumans and prevent Ronan the Accuser from destroying Attilan.
The Inhumans appear as recurring characters in the third season in a major role. In the episode "Inhumans Among Us," it is revealed that a certain section of the human population carry dormant Inhuman genes, which could potentially be activated if they were exposed to the Terrigen Mists. In "The Inhuman Condition," it is revealed that Seeker is working with Ultron to conquer Attilan. Ultron seeks to use one of Seeker's inventions to exterminate mankind, but Black Widow thwarts his plan by throwing a Terrigen crystal into the device. This causes the Terrigen Mists to spread across the globe, awakening many new Inhumans across the planet.
During the "Civil War" arc, Truman Marsh enacts a governmental Inhuman Registration Act, which forces all Inhumans to have Registration Disks placed on them. This divides the heroes of Earth, who come down on opposing sides as to whether or not this is just. It eventually turns out that Marsh was actually Ultron in disguise, and that the disks were actually a means for him to control all Inhumans. The Avengers are ultimately able to free the Inhumans and destroy Ultron.
Television (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
Inhumans are featured prominently in the show's second season, where it is revealed that Daisy Johnson, one of the main characters, is half-Inhuman. The season opens with the members of S.H.I.E.L.D. battling agents of HYDRA for possession of a mysterious obelisk, which later turns out to be Kree in origin. The agents eventually discover an abandoned Inhuman city underneath San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the obelisk opens to reveal a Terrigen crystal inside. The crystal causes both Daisy and Raina to undergo Terrigenesis.
In the latter half of the season, the agents encounter a Kree warrior named Vin-Tak, who reveals the origin of the Inhumans. It turns out that many years ago, Kree scientists conducted experiments on Earth to turn humans into living weapons, and the resulting survivors became the first Inhumans. A hidden Inhuman haven called Afterlife is also introduced, with the location run by Jiaying, Daisy's mother. In the season finale, Jiaying declares war on mankind and attempts to kill them by using Terrigen crystals (which are fatal to humans not descended from Inhumans), but is ultimately stopped. However, some submerged crystals introduce Terrigen into the ecosystem, spreading it across the globe.
The show's third season deals with the resultant boom of new Inhumans cropping up around the planet as the result of the Terrigen spreading. Daisy leads a team of Inhuman operatives dubbed the Secret Warriors, while hate groups like the Watchdogs seek to wipe out all Inhumans. The agents must also contend with Lash, a mysterious Inhuman who is hunting down and killing the newly awakened members of his own species, and Hive, an ancient Inhuman who seeks to conquer the planet.
In the fourth season, Inhumans are now forced to register with the government after the events of Captain America: Civil War.
In 2017, it was announced that the Inhumans would star in their own live-action TV series, set in the same continuity as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the other entries in the MCU. The series introduces Attilan and the Inhuman royal family into the MCU continuity, and features the family fleeing to the United States after a coup. The show stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Serinda Swan as Medusa, Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, Iwan Rheon as Maximus, Ken Leung as Karnak, Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon and Mike Moh as Triton.
- The Inhumans and their lunar city of Attilan are featured in Marvel Ultimate Alliance, though the Inhumans themselves are not playable characters. The offer the heroes refuge after Doctor Doom steals Odin's power and conquers the Earth.
- The Inhumans appear in Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- The Inhumans appear in Marvel Future Fight.
- Several of the Inhumans were featured in Toy Biz's Fantastic Four line in the 90's.
- Studios such as Bowen have done statues and busts of the various Inhumans.
- Hasbro released a special Inhumans box set featuring Black Bolt, Medusa and Karnak for the Marvel Universe line.