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Right now, Marvel's X-Men and Inhumans are pitted against one another in all-out war over in the Inhumans Versus X-Men event. The aftermath of this event, though, will see both the X-Men and the Inhumans relaunched — and a lot of fans are wondering if the Inhumans' new status quo is offering tantalizing hints to the TV series we can expect to see next year!
In 2013, #Marvel transformed the Inhumans franchise by having Black Bolt release the Terrigen Mist into the Earth's atmosphere. Since then, Terrigen clouds have been circling the globe, triggering the latent powers of anyone who has Inhuman genes. A little over a year later, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 used this as the inspiration for its own Terrigenesis arc. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., though, the Terrigen was released into the water, and any seafood — or fish-oil vitamin pills! — could be used to unwittingly trigger a person's Inhuman genes.
Over in the comics, the Terrigen Clouds have been used as a mechanism to empower countless new characters — most prominently the tremendously-popular Kamala Khan, better known as the new Ms. Marvel! In the aftermath of last year's "Secret Wars" event, though, Marvel revealed that the Terrigen has been chemically altered by exposure to Earth's atmosphere. It's now become toxic to mutants, and this has inevitably led the X-Men and the Inhumans into conflict.
We know that the Inhumans Versus X-Men event will wrap up that story, resolving the Terrigen crisis and leading to the majority of the Inhumans actually quitting the planet. This moves them a lot closer to their original status quo, the one that the Inhumans TV series will be based on; with a royal family ruling an isolationist Inhuman colony. Stripped down to its basic concept, this new status quo definitely sounds like Marvel is trying to synergize the TV show and the comics, so the fact the Inhumans are being visually redesigned may well give us clues to the aesthetics of the Inhumans series.
Take a Look at the New Designs!
The original design for Black Bolt is pretty iconic — a sleek black bodysuit with white shapes cutting down the torso, and a focusing insignia on his head to concentrate his power. It's no surprise that the redesign pays homage to this. The bodysuit has changed to armor, though, and the whites have been replaced by light blues. Where Black Bolt's traditional look is a pretty basic superhero design, this gives him the appearance of a warrior king wearing battle armor. A sharp, jagged cape has been added to give a regal look.
Medusa's redesign matches her husband's aesthetic; again, she's abandoning the traditional purple bodysuit and going for a look that, while giving a clear homage to the original, also carries hints of battle armor. In Medusa's case, though, the battle armor is subtly modified with strips of fabric to ensure she retains a sense of femininity. She's the very image of a fantasy-genre warrior queen.
The redesign of Gorgon is a fascinating one, not least because there are three variations. As with the other outfits, the suit base is a variation on the current costume, but more interestingly, he switches between an armored look and a cloaked one. The cloak definitely evokes a regal, monarchic society, and maintains the fantasy aspect Medusa's costume hinted at; the space armor reminds me us of the sci-fi edge.
A powerful elemental, Crystal's redesign still pays homage to her traditional yellow jumpsuit — and the jacket is a clear homage to the costume she wore while serving as an Avenger in the 1990s. I confess that I've never been a fan of random styilized patterns in the manner we see on her costume (the strange diamond beneath her navel just doesn't seem to work, in my view), but even I have to admit that the general look is fairly effective. Again, you have a variation that features her covered with a cloak.
One of the newer Inhumans, Swain's redesign is fascinating. Her basic costume follows the common theme of being a stylized adaptation of her current look, but this time round we have three variations. Aesthetically, the variations give us an odd sense of Inhuman society: on the one hand, you have simple jackets; on the other, you have monarchical garb that wouldn't look out of place on a bishop. It's a fascinating contrast.
Another of the newer Inhumans, Flint's variation matches the same notes as the rest — but, given his lower status, he doesn't have a royal variation. Instead, Flint has three outfits based on different cloaks, hoods, and jackets. The costume is a lot less busy than some of the others, and in my view is the most effective.
Intriguingly, the designs include Marvel Boy, a Kree character who isn't traditionally associated with the Inhumans. His costume has been subtly modified to fit in with the Inhumans' general aesthetic, suggesting that he'll be integrated into Inhuman culture.
The redesigns are fascinating, and strongly suggest that Marvel's Inhumans relaunch will re-establish the concept of Inhuman society. They hint at a science-fantasy culture, one that's strongly monarchical and influenced by tradition, and yet embraces science to the extent of having space armor! If these are indeed hints as to the nature of the Inhumans TV series, then they offer a fascinating glimpse of how Marvel may try to blend the contrasting elements of the Inhumans franchise together.