Take it from a fan of the characters. The first trailer for Marvel/ABC’s Inhumans movie/show/thing didn’t cut it. The design was bland. The plot was cookie cutter. The effects were practically non-existent. As a TV show, it would have been average enough to last a season or two. And hey, that happens. TV is supposed to tell a longer story than film, take more risks, and consume a fraction of the budget. They fail quite a bit. It’s actually quite an achievement that Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter have been to above average. And when you factor in all but one of the Netflix shows, Marvel’s small screen track record has been about as solid as its big-screen big brother.
But for some weird reason, Inhumans is punching at a higher weight class than SHIELD and Daredevil. The first two episodes of the eight episode series will not only premiere on ABC but also on IMAX screens nationwide. It is Marvel’s first super high-definition cross platform entertainment mega project. In fact, it’s the first such project I can think of. So maybe Ike Perlmutter is playing 15 Dimensional Backgammon and Inhumans will usher in a new era of entertainment but a lot of that rests on the success of media’s Jackie Robinson and after seeing the original trailer, I was very worried it would not only kill that idea entirely but technically be Marvel’s first big screen flop.
The plot is confusing. It’s Game of Thrones in space. One of the characters can’t speak. One has prehensile hair. One is a giant teleporting bulldog. And don’t get me wrong. Those three characters are amazing. Black Bolt specifically is one of my favorite comic characters, period. He’s the silent ruler of a secret tribe of super people whose voice could level a skyscraper. And he has one of those weird but amazing old school comic costumes.
So thank Boltagon, the new trailer for Inhumans…works. It isn’t breaking new ground (Gorgon pun intended) but it went from cringey to serviceable. The plot seems a little more dynamic. Palace intrigue with super powers translates a lot better in trailer form if you actually get to see the super powers. Medusa’s hair looks way better than I expected and is just a relief to see. Black Bolt’s scream has visual presence and the shots they chose give us a look at a character who can scare you with a stare. Putting some focus on characters like Karnak and Crystal is a smart move. And Iwan Rheon can play a usurper with his eyes closed.
I’m now excited for the show. I don’t have faith in the IMAX release just yet, but things are trending in a positive direction so that could surely change.