Manimal Comics: Inhumans

Inhumans- Fantastic Four (Vol 3, #51)

One of the more interesting teams created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee for Marvel Comics, Inhumans features one of the most interesting and unusual of all superheroes, Boltagon Blackagar or Black Bolt to his friends. Black Bolt possesses a voice that does to the environment the kind of serious havoc that X-Men Cyclops’ eyes are able to wreak. But it isn’t the oddity of Black Bolt that is of interest to this blog. It’s two of his associates that prove far more interesting.

Inhumans Black Bolt

 

First we have Triton, who, for all intents and purposes, looks as if he hails from the same quadrant of the galaxy as Savage Dragon, but isn’t quite so powerfully constructed as that hero and Triton is actually a true sea creature unlike SD. Triton first appeared in Marvel Comics as an Inhuman in the mid-sixties, long before Savage Dragon graced comics. As a child he was exposed to a mutagenic mist and wound up with a sexy “Creature From The Black Lagoon” kind of body. But with the green fins came a slew of capabilities including super senses (sight, hearing), strength and super-fast swimming speed.

Inhumans Triton

 

Inhumans Triton 4

 

Inhumans Triton 5

Art by Mike Deodato, Jr.

 

Inhumans Triton 3

 

Inhumans Triton 2

So, tell me, how is it Triton wears boots while swimming? And Playtex gloves, too? Glad these things were dropped when more logical artists took over.

 

And then there is Gorgon, who is completely unlike the creatures known by that name in Greek mythology. They included Medusa who, in a far lamer creation here, just happens to be Black Bolt’s wife and, in what appears to be a concession to very unenlightened sexism, possesses “wild hair power”rather than the more sinister snake-hair of the legendary monster.

Gorgon is a bull-hoofed satyr of sorts who has been deprived of his satyr horns. Oh well, he does however possess an awesome power (IMHO at least). When he stomps his mighty hoofs the earth responds by quaking and producing massive fissures. Nothing solid such as architecture can hold up to his attack. This reminds me of the power one the Titans in the Age of Mythology PC game uses to destroy the opposing forces and help claim their towns and territory.

Inhumans Gorgon

 

Inhumans Gorgon leather chaps

 

Inhumans Gorgon Thoom

I know I am not alone in wishing this team would get its own movie, but that is probably only slightly more than very wishful thinking at the moment. If the coming “Guardians of The Galaxy” movie (August 1st debut) is the big hit I expect it will be, there is a strong chance that Marvel/Disney will chose to venture down this road, too. (Marvel chief Kevin Feige talks about the possibility of a movie here.)

Inhumans features a group of fascinatingly different characters but, so far, most of the times they have appeared on the TV screen they have come off either being menacing villains or so serious they act wooden. If you are wondering why I have gone off on this Marvel Comics tangent, it is because of the latest episode of the animated series “Hulk and The Agents of Smash” (Ep. 22, “Inhuman Nature”), a series I generally ignore. The title clued me in that one of the rarer but worthy Kirby/Lee creations was dusted off and delivered to the small screen.  The animation design of the series definitely gets a thumbs up, but the writing and the fact that any show featuring Hulk is just an excuse to destroy everything in sight leave me disinterested at best. Still, I can appreciate the design of Inhumans for this series and especially love seeing Triton and Gorgon however briefly they appear.

You can watch Inhumans performance on the series here.

 

Inhumans

 

Above B&W work by Ben Deney

 

Inhumans appeared in an episode of the Fantastic Four animated series from the 90’s. See that video here.

More recently they have appeared in a Marvel Knights direct-to-disc motion-comic movie. I have yet to see this so cannot comment on its quality.

Here is a video about Inhumans history as a Marvel comic.

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June 16, 2014 · 3:26 PM

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