There has been some complaining done by a segment of fandom since the announcement of the Inhumans TV series. Most of the anger is aimed at Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, (The man in charge of all their movies) who seemed to have little interest in the Inhumans as characters and postponed their planned film indefinitely. Now the Inhumans are under the control of Jeph Loeb (the man in charge of Marvel’s television properties) who answers directly to Isaac Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel. (Feige answers directly to Disney, not Perlmutter who Feige reportedly does not get along with.) Behind-the-scenes politics was blamed for the cancellation of the Inhumans big screen project and the move to the small screen. But is the move a bad thing? No, it’s not. It’s a good thing.
Looking at long mythology and the large amount of characters included in the Inhumans, TV is a much better medium for them. If you look at Super Hero films with large casts—such as the X-Men films, for instance—it becomes obvious that the writers don’t know how to (or don’t want to) give sufficient screen time all the characters. There are always good characters who get shoved to the side and end up with little to do, while the main stars (guys like Wolverine and Iron Man) gets to dominate the two-hour run time. It’s the biggest flaw with super hero teams on film.
TV, on the other hand, does not have the problem of being limited to two hours. The first season will be eight episodes, so that gives them eight hours to explore the cast, instead of just two. Therefore, everyone can have their moments to shine. There are so many good characters among the ranks of the Inhumans—King Black Bolt, whose voice can shatter mountains; taciturn martial arts master Karnak; Queen Medusa with the moving hair; scaly amphibian Triton; coven hooved Gorgon; young elemental Crystal; Insane Maximus; even their teleporting pet Lockjaw—that it would be a shame if any of them were ignored. The series format can prevent that from happening.
Black Bolt will obviously be the star of the show and is actually the only character confirmed for the series so far. From what little we know, the show will follow a younger Black Bolt vying for the throne against rivals and other obstacles trying to keep him from his destiny. If Marvel does this right, this show could be the Game of Thrones of the combine Marvel Cinematic/TV/Netflix universe. It could combine royal intrigue, action and FX, with a large cast of unusual characters and a unique setting.
Some might worry that the budget of a TV show will limit the SFX, making them either cheap looking or just few and far between. However, TV FX have come a long way recently, and the fact that the Inhumans series will only have an eight-episode season (instead of 22, like Agents of SHIELD) will allow the FX of each episode to be superior to the average episode of a show like Flash or Legends of Tomorrow or Agents of SHIELD.
Speaking of Agents of SHIELD, there may not be as direct a connection to the Inhumans show as some might be expecting. Seeing as the last two years of Agents of SHIELD have been devoted to introducing the Inhumans (not the royal family) to the MCU/TV universe, you may assume that there will be a lot of cross-over, but since Inhumans will revolve around a young Black Bolt, it may take place years earlier than Agents of SHIELD. If that’s the case, an appearance by Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) may be more likely than an appearance by Quake (Chloe Bennet). However, Hive—the villain from last year’s Agents of SHIELD story arc—or a young Calvin Zabo/Mr. Hyde could potentially play a role in the Inhumans series somehow. The Kree could also possibly fit into the storyline. The expanded screen time that the series format provides will allow these characters to appear and have the time to make an impact. In a film, they’d probably be shoehorned in for a few minutes at most. (Possibly future seasons, if there are any, could include a time jump, allowing the Inhuman royal family to meet with Agent Coulson and the other SHIELD agents, but that’s just speculation.)
All things considered, it’s probably the best thing that could have happened to the Inhumans that they were kicked off the MCU schedule by Feige and were placed into a format that allowed more possibilities for characterization, mythology and good long-term storytelling than you would get in an Inhumans film, which probably wouldn’t come out until sometime after 2021. Let’s hope that ABC’s Inhumans series will be Marvel’s Game of Thrones and have a long, popular run on television.