It looks like another group of Marvel characters are getting “Uncanny”: the Inhumans. On Tuesday, news broke that Marvel is launching Uncanny Inhumans, spinning out from the current Inhuman series launched in early 2014. This new series announcement, however, comes in the wake of the 2018 Inhumans movie, and with it amplified attention that Marvel Comics can amplify and reap the benefits.
Newsarama talked with series writer Charles Soule, whom also writes the Inhuman series, about this book, and the deep contrasts between these two sister titles as he digs deep into the “world-building” of Marvel’s Inhumans.
Newsarama: Uncanny Inhumans – what is it, Charles?
Charles Soule: Well, it’s the second title in the growing “Inhuman” side of the Marvel Universe. The first title – Inhuman – which I’ve been writing from the start, has been about world-building. We’ve introduced concepts like Terrigen, the Inhuman royal family, New Attilan and the NuHumans to Marvel readers who might not have been aware of them. Even though the Inhumans in their first incarnation go back to the very beginnings of the Marvel U, they’ve always been sort of a cool fringe element. Inhuman has been about bringing them to the forefront, and expanding the concept in interesting new ways.
So, now that all that groundwork has been laid, Uncanny Inhumans seems like a natural outgrowth. It’s a bit more street-level, a bit darker – less concerned with the struggles of the Inhumans on New Attilan, and more about cool specific tasks undertaken by the book’s lead character… the one, the only, the quietest man in showbiz… Black Bolt.
Nrama: He makes Groot seem verbose.
Charles, you've been beating around the bush very lightly about the goings-on of Black Bolt in Inhuman. Has all that been to save it up here for Uncanny Inhumans?
Soule: I would say that was more out of an effort to really build up Medusa (Black Bolt’s wife and queen of the Inhumans) as an awesome lead in her own right. I’m a big fan of tough, capable ladies, and Medusa is certainly that. I thought we could tell a great story about her efforts to rebuild her nation and help her people without the help of Black Bolt. So, while Mr. Boltagon has been present in the series (notably in issues 7 and 8, and he comes back in a big way in issues 11 and12 as well), it’s been Medusa’s show.
But Uncanny Inhumans will certainly feature him much more prominently.
Nrama: So Black Bolt is the big star – what can you say for him in this series?
Soule: For one thing, he’s never really a solo lead, you know? Black Bolt is always depicted as part of a larger ensemble – the Inhuman royal family, the Illuminati. It’s extremely rare to see him flying off and doing his own thing from start to finish. In Uncanny Inhumans, we get to see him really mixing it up – we see how he fights, which does not always end with him uttering some perfectly apropos word and blasting his opponents into oblivion.
I’m excited about it because it feels like new ground for the character, which is always a good thing. Putting Black Bolt in new situations will result in some very cool stories, and I can’t wait to write them.
Nrama: Black Bolt's not that big of a talker -- will this be a sparse book, or will other people be filling in the conversation?
Soule: As mentioned, Black Bolt is the lead, but I’ll be bringing in a supporting cast made up of both established Inhumans and some of the cool NuHumans that have been appearing in the main Inhuman title. Guys like Reader, Iso, Lineage, Inferno or Frank McGee. I’m not saying they all appear (or any of them,) but those are the types of characters I want to include. We might even have a surprise cast member from another corner of the Marvel Universe…
Nrama: Most likely culprits to me would be his family, especially given he’s been away from them. Will Medusa, as well as their child Ahura, show up in this series? Medusa’s front-and-center in Inhuman, but Ahura’s been absent for awhile.
Soule: Yes. Medusa will be peripheral (just as Black Bolt is peripheral in “her” book,) although she’s the engine that drives the first arc. Ahura is more of a prominent feature in Uncanny Inhumans, though. We haven’t seen the young lad since the “Infinity” event in 2013, and I feel like it’s time we checked in on him.
Nrama: Who’s on the other side of the chessboard here?
Soule: A bunch of rogues, old and new, but I can say that the villain for the first big story is Kang the Conqueror. I’m a fan of time travel stories, and since the Inhumans have a twenty-thousand year history on Earth, using Kang seemed like an opportunity to check in on some of that. Most of the early history of the Inhumans has never been seen, which I think is fascinating unexplored territory. And Kang’s just awesome – the more arrogant the better for a villain, as far as I’m concerned.
Nrama: Working with you on this is your Death of Wolverine partner Steve McNiven. What’s it like reuniteing with him, but not in a Wolverine-related book but way over here with the Inhumans?
Soule: Pretty phenomenal. No downsides at all. Steve is a fantastic collaborative partner, and I think that now that we’ve got Death of Wolverine under our belts, we’ve established a great shorthand that’s enabling us to… work smarter, I guess you might say. I’ve seen pages from the book, and man, they do look pretty.
Nrama: Last question, vocabulary. "Uncanny" is a common superlative at Marvel, thrown on numerous books... but will you be living up to that here in this "Uncanny" Inhumans book?
Soule: I’ll do my best! I think the “Uncanny” books (whether you’re talking X, or Avengers, or wherever else it might be used) contain a certain type of anything-goes storytelling. Uncanny, inmy mind, really means “not the same old thing,” and that’s this book all over. It’s big, it’s brash, and it takes no prisoners.