Marvel announced a conference call tonight with writer Matt Fraction and editor Nick Lowe, to discuss the upcoming ‘Inhumanity’ which will target the Marvel Universe later this year. Following Inhumanity #1 by Fraction and artist Oliver Coipel in December, the story will be followed next year with Inhuman #1 from Fraction and Joe Madureira, an ongoing series focusing on the Lunar Royals.
Read on for what the pair had to say about this new turning point in the Marvel Universe, starting with this teaser which pitches the series:
As a first thing, Fraction talked about the general idea of the one-shot, and the following storyline. This is all very heavily tied-in to the current Infinity event by Jonathan Hickman – issue #3 of the event ended with the initial set-up for Inhumanity. But issue #4 also appeared to be a big part of Fraction’s future storylines with the characters, and a lot of the premise of Inhumanity isn’t being revealed until that issue is released.
The central focus of the one shot ‘Inhumanity’ will be Karnak, one of the Inhumans, as the characters try to work out what happened at the end of Infinity #3, when their home Attilan was destroyed. Fraction called them “space nomads”, who travel around the galaxy with their home – and now that home has been destroyed. An important part of this will be the destruction of Attilan, as it speaks to the long, bloody history of the Inhumans and their legacy.
As well as being now homeless, the characters will also find they now have nowhere to go. As the above teaser suggests, people around the World will wake up to find that they’ve transformed and have become Inhumans themselves. A lot of the ongoing series will be based in that idea, with a ground-level approach to becoming an Inhuman, and what it means. He dubbed this “a super-humanitarian crisis”, which is pretty great.
Many conflicting voices will come into being once Inhumans start appearing, with some wanting to hurt them, some to help them – Marvel emphasised the idea of superheroes needing help. New characters will be created, with Fraction likening the first issue to when the Ultimate Universe was established. He’ll get to create new characters, power-sets, relationships, and so on.
Art by Nick Bradshaw
When it came to press questions, I asked how they feel this idea of being an Inhuman compares to the idea of being an X-Men – especially for new readers. This was a bit of a difficult question to answer, it appeared, with Infinity #4 apparently revealing a lot of this detail. Axel Alonso spoke on this, saying that he couldn’t spoil Infinity #4, but he felt a large part of the differentiation would come from the legacy and past of the Inhumans. This was a pretty lengthy, interesting answer, actually.
He said that the history of the Inhumans is much different to the history of the X-Men, and mutantkind. The Inhumans were a failed experiment to redefine and improve humanity, and the characters have spent much of their history on the run, moving from place to place. They have a different legacy and ancestry, in other words – this isn’t like the X-Men, where anybody can suddenly become a mutant, but it doesn’t affect their past. If you find out you are an Inhuman, then you’ve just inherited a specific ancestral history you have to deal with.
We’ll have to see how Infinity #4 addresses this, and what new wrinkles it adds to define the Inhumans apart from the X-Men – but I thought Alonso gave a fair, considered response, given that he couldn’t spoil Jonathan Hickman’s current story.
Art by Skottie Young
Elsewhere, press questions asked about how other heroes will react to the Inhumans – which will be dealt with largely in tie-ins, which include Avengers AI, Avengers Assemble, Uncanny X-Men, and Incredible Hulk. There will also be an as-yet unannounced one-shot from Fraction which ties into this new status quo.
Characters including Karnak and Maximus were asked about, as well as the three Inhumans who have appeared in Fraction’s FF series. Of these, he said that Karnak will be the focus of the Inhumanity one-shot, whilst Black Bolt and Medusa’s son Ahura would have an important role in the main series. Black Bolt’s four other wives will also make an appearance, appearing mainly to help accentuate the idea of otherworldliness which is important in Fraction’s view of the Inhumans as a race.
So it was an interesting call, although a lot now seems to rest on Infinity #4, and what Jonathan Hickman has up his sleeve. The idea of legacy was touched on several times, as well as the specific history of the Inhumans, and the idea of this being a sprawling, multi-character storyline.
Inhumanity #1 will be released in December. Inhumans starts January 2014.