It seems like only yesterday — but it was really two days ago — that I was voicing concern about how Marvel’s Television Division was fast-tracking the Inhumans show. Coming to ABC in September, the first two episodes of the series will play on IMAX screens around the country to spark interest in the Royal Inhuman Family. Fans were already troubled that Scott Buck, a name familiar to anyone who watched Iron Fist on Netflix or the final “lumberjack” season of Dexter, had been named the showrunner. Couple that knowledge with a production schedule that began in March of 2017 — the show is still filming in Hawaii as of this writing — and things feel… rushed. The special effects teams only has six months or less to get Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Medusa (Serinda Swan), and the rest of the gang looking cinema-quality. My fear was that wasn’t enough time and the results would look dated compared to what audiences expect these days.
Now the first image of the Inhumans cast has been revealed by Entertainment Weekly, and it’s worse than I could have possibly imagined.
Now, keep in mind Entertainment Weekly photoshoots can be notoriously misleading as to the quality of the final product, but this is not a look that engenders confidence. If Medusa looks like she’s wearing the straightened hair of Carrot Top in still shots, how will it look in motion on an IMAX screen? If I couldn’t describe Black Bolt to a police sketch artist while looking right at him, how will such a bland-looking character be the protagonist? Why is Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor) wearing a poncho he bought on vacation to the American Southwest? How does this whole thing manage to feel like an outtake from a shuttered 1995 sitcom on TNT?
The world of the Royal Inhumans is larger-than-life. They have godlike powers and inhabit a floating city-state that travels the galaxy. They’re tailor-made for a bombastic $200 million action franchise, not whatever this slapdash-looking attempt is. Is it too late for a mulligan?