The Queen’s Gamble, and Terrigenesis with Glitter!

Cap and the protagonist obviously had differing views on how hard it is to have an audience with Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans.

Cap and the protagonist obviously had differing views on how hard it is to have an audience with Medusa, Queen of the Inhumans.

So…at the front end here, I need to back pedal a bit. Given the time intensive realities of drawing comics pages, sometimes the punch line gets drawn before the actual event comes to a close. In this instance, that is very, very true. The punchline was basically about how inaccessible School leadership has been about matters that are important to the rank and file teacher staff. It seemed like it had come to a very tangible flashpoint, that would be ignored, and there was a sort of brinksmanship on both sides.

However…this morning, a real “spirit of compromise” was brought down, with an unexpected meeting. On that, I can’t say that I wasn’t surprised, given earlier communications, or lack thereof. Still…it was a pleasant surprise, and there was a real attempt to meet in the middle on policy, as it were.

So…in short, I’m not so sure Captain America owes our hero any money on that bet. Also, as an unexpected side effect, the day went much smoother than anyone expected.

Onto the comics related portion of the post. “Agents of SHIELD” just clearly finished paving the way for the Inhumans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while also introducing Mr. Hyde and Daisy Johnson (Quake). For those of us who don’t read comics, there was a mess of “huh?” in that sentence. First off, if you weren’t watching the show, the “viewpoint” character of “Agents of SHIELD” was a hacker named Skye. I didn’t find her that likeable. In season 1 it didn’t take long for the show to indicate that the tech savvy hacker Skye was special. She had a mysterious upbringing after a horrible incident involving S.H.I.E.L.D. (and as we learned, Hydra) when she was a baby. She was labeled a 0-8-4 for being “an object of unknown origin” and towards the end of the first season, she was cured of lethal gunshot wounds with the blood of a Kree alien (the blue alien corpse that also saved Coulson) with no negative aftereffects. It was clear that if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was embracing the source material in the comics – something we knew it had to do more of this season – that Skye, her mother and Raina were all Inhumans. And they are.

So…for those of you who aren’t marvel fanatics…you’re asking “What are Inhumans, anyway?”

Short form: the Inhumans are a group of genetically altered people, the result of experimentation on early humans by the Kree ages ago. The Kree, who had setup shop in our solar system during a war with another alien species, saw how quickly humanity evolved. Since their own species was relatively stagnant in that regard, the Kree looked to solve their evolutionary issues by toying with us, or at least, create an army they could recruit in their war effort.

They eventually abandoned our solar system and the Inhumans created their own secret society, eventually discovering that rare Terrigen Crystals had a powerful effect on their biology and could grant them superpowers through a process called Terrigenesis.

In Marvel Comics, the terrigenesis process begins when terrigen crystals are exposed to water at a certain temperature, creating the terrigen mists. When a person with the Inhuman gene inhales the mist, it begins a transformation and a literal cocoon forms around them. When they break free of it, or “hatch,” they will have changed. Sometimes this means they have new abilities/super powers, sometimes it means they’ve physically altered, even to a monstrous degree. The whole thing is kind of like a genetic Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremony, a big “coming of age” moment.

This is because the Inhumans have a Genocratic society. Simply put, the Terrigenesis result determines what you will do in the city of Attilan, and your role, job, even your social class. The Inhumans society is intensely strict about genetics and their social hierarchy is build around assigning roles to people based on their abilities. They even limit breeding between Inhumans based around minimizing the more extreme mutations.

So, there you go.  Terrigen crystals.

So, there you go. Terrigen crystals.

Turns out that the obelisk which Kyle McLaughlin calls the “Diviner” houses the crystals, and both Skye and Raina are exposed. And with that, the Inhumans get introduced to continuity.

Why do we care? I mean, most viewers have never seen these guys:

The Inhumans as drawn by a favorite of mine, John Byrne.

The Inhumans as drawn by a favorite of mine, John Byrne.

We care because Marvel can’t use the word “mutant” in its Disney driven Cinematic Universe. Fox has that word. But they can use the word “Inhumans” and the big push in comics has been to make the Inhumans a more global population, a nation of outsiders, in the way of the X-Men’s mutants. In that way, they will get all the benefits of “mutants” with none of the legal or franchise issues.

It also much more closely aligns the show with the comics, allowing far more cross marketing. Overall, a pretty clever decision.

There you go…a pretty brief comics to TV history lesson, as well as an unexpected real life surprise that was pleasant. Apologies for the lettering being tiny, but the size I work in can be a problem on that level at times. My favorite part of the art is the Prime Minister to Queen Medusa of the Inhumans. I think she came out both pretty and exotic…like a politician in a sci-fi film.

Excelsior!

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