Unraveling the Mystery of Marvel’s Inhumans: Origin, Powers, and Legacy

Welcome back to our comic book deep dive, where we explore the nooks and crannies of Marvel’s sprawling universe! Today, we turn our focus toward a group of characters that have long intrigued and captivated fans: the Inhumans. Royal family, genetic experiments, and a city on the moon—what’s not to love? Let’s dive into the fascinating origin, unique powers, and complex motivations that define these enigmatic beings.

The Genesis of the Inhumans

The story of the Inhumans begins some 25,000 years ago, when the Kree, an advanced alien race, began conducting genetic experiments on primitive homo sapiens. Their aim? To create powerful warriors who could be used in the Kree’s ongoing conflict with their mortal enemies, the Skrulls. Though the Kree abandoned their experiments, they left behind a genetically modified human race with unique abilities and powers.

The descendants of these experiments would become the Inhumans, living in their hidden city of Attilan, which has variously been located in the Atlantic Ocean, the Himalayas, and even the Moon!

Notable Members and Powers

The Inhumans are led by their royal family, which includes characters like:

  • Black Bolt: The King of the Inhumans, whose voice is so powerful that even a whisper can destroy a city.
  • Medusa: Black Bolt’s Queen, who has prehensile, super-strong hair that she can control at will.
  • Crystal: Medusa’s younger sister, able to manipulate the four classical elements—earth, air, fire, and water.
  • Gorgon: A cousin to the royal family, with the ability to generate seismic shocks through his hooves.
  • Karnak: Not altered by the Inhumans’ transformative Terrigen Mists, but trained to see the flaw in all things, physical or conceptual.

These characters have a range of abilities triggered by exposure to the Terrigen Mists, a vapor arising from the Terrigen Crystals, which are unique to the Inhumans. The Mists activate the dormant Inhuman genes, resulting in a process called Terrigenesis, which bestows unique powers but can also lead to monstrous physical transformations.

The Inhumans’ Place in the Marvel Universe

Initially created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965, the Inhumans were somewhat of a secondary concern for Marvel, often showing up in other characters’ stories like Fantastic Four and Thor. However, their profile has grown over time, and they’ve starred in various series, offering explorations into political intrigue, isolationism, and diversity.

The Inhumans also serve as an interesting counterpoint to mutants in the Marvel Universe. While mutants are often feared and ostracized, the Inhumans are generally more secluded and have a defined, albeit often morally complex, social structure.


Here are some of the most widely recognized and collected comic book issues featuring the Inhumans:

  1. “Fantastic Four” #45 (1965)
    • This is the first appearance of the Inhumans and therefore a critical piece in any Inhumans collection. It was in this issue that the Fantastic Four first encounter members of the Inhuman royal family.
  2. “Inhumans” Vol. 1 #1 (1975)
    • This issue marked the launch of the Inhumans’ first solo series, written by Doug Moench and illustrated by George Pérez. It delves into the politics and society of the Inhumans, making it a must-have for fans.
  3. “New Avengers” #7 (2013)
    • This issue is significant for its focus on Black Bolt and his role in the larger Marvel Universe. It was part of the “Infinity” storyline and played a pivotal role in the events that unfolded.
  4. “Inhumans” Vol. 2 #1 (1998)
    • Written by Paul Jenkins and beautifully illustrated by Jae Lee, this 12-issue series won an Eisner Award and is considered by many as one of the best Inhumans stories ever told.
  5. “Uncanny Inhumans” #1 (2015)
    • Coming out of the events of “Inhuman,” this series sought to redefine the Inhumans for a new generation. It features key players like Black Bolt and Medusa and introduces new characters as well.


So there you have it—the fascinating world of Marvel’s Inhumans. A creation of science and the embodiment of diversity, these characters pose important questions about power, leadership, and morality. While they may not be as mainstream as the Avengers or the X-Men, the Inhumans’ unique place in the Marvel Universe offers a wellspring of captivating stories just waiting to be explored. Thank you for joining us on this cosmic journey, and stay tuned for more Marvel deep dives!

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