Blackgarr Boltagon, the eldest son of the former King and Queen of the Inhumans, Lord Agon and his wife, Queen Rynda. Blackgarr (or Black Bolt as he is later called) was exposed to the Terrigen Mists when he was still in his mother’s womb. As a result, he was born already possessing incredible powers. Along with enhanced strength, flight, and the ability to destabilize molecules, his powers additionally include a tremendous electron blast localized in his vocal cords.
The infant Black Bolt’s initial cry released a devastating sonic boom that nearly destroyed the birthing center. Due to the volatile and potentially destructive nature of Black Bolt’s sonic powers, he was placed in a sound-nullifying chamber and he spent much of his youth sequestered in isolation.
During his adolescence, Black Bolt’s young cousin, Medusa, would frequently visit him. Though he was unable to talk with her, Medusa gradually learned to communicate with her cousin through gestures, intuition, and body language. Over the course of her many visits, the two fell in love. Black Bolt trained with Inhuman monks so to gain greater mastery over his sonic powers. Through extreme discipline, Black Bolt learned to never unintentionally utter a sound, not even while asleep. Once this mastery was attained, Black Bolt was finally allowed release from confinement and entry into Attilan society.
Despite the hardships that Black Bolt had endured throughout his youth, his younger brother, Maximus, had grown terribly envious of him. As the elder son of Agon, Black Bolt was first in line of succession for the crown. Supremely cunning and ambitious, Maximus coveted the crown for himself and for this he hated his older brother. As part of a scheme to win the throne, Maximus entered into a pack with a group of Kree assassins disguised as emissaries. Black Bolt discovered this plot and attempted to stop the assassins with his sonic powers. He destroyed the fleeing Kree ship but it unfortunately crashed into the royal retreat, killing Black Bolt’s parents. With the death of King Agon, Black Bolt was made the new king and he named Medusa as his fiancé and the voice of the king.
[This tale has since been retconed and slightly altered, revealing that the Inhuman dignitary known as ‘The Unspeakable’ had temporarily stepped in as a stewardship king following Agon’s death. The Unspeakable’s tenure as ruler was meant to be temporary and last only until Black Bolt was ready to take the throne. Nevertheless, The Unspeakable decided not to abdicate the crown and instead attempted to rule Attilan as a tyrant. Black Bolt ultimately defeated The Unspeakable. The tyrant was imprisoned and all record of his name and acts were struck from the history of Attilan (hence the term of ‘The Unspeakable’).]
Once Black Bolt finally took the throne, one of his earlier acts as king was to free the Alpha Primates, a slave caste who had served Attilan for generations. Although it was the morally right thing to do, this decree was quite unpopular among the other Inhumans. Freedom proved a difficult concept to comprehend for the Alpha Primitives; after generations of living only to maintain the mechanical inner workings of subterranean Attilan, it was the only life they knew. The Alpha Primitives ultimately decided to continue their maintenance of Attilan, only now as a free people, sustaining an uneasy alliance with the surface dwelling Inhumans.
Along with fending off the constant schemes of his brother, Black Bolt has additionally had numerous adventures outside of Attilan. Such adventures have included battles against threats such as Kang the Conqueror, Ultron 13, Blastaar, Apocalypse, The High Evolutionary, Magneto, The Sphinx, Graviton, and Maelstrom. Although the Kree still consider The Inhumans to be unholy abominations, Black Bolt nevertheless aided the Kree hero, Captain Mar-Vell, in repelling a Skrull invasion.
With the assistance of Prince Namor and The Eternals of Olympia, Black Bolt was able to enact a plan to relocate the City of Attilan from the coast of South America to a new location in the remote mountain range of The Himalayas. This act helped to ensure Attilan’s safety from threats posed by the human world and allowed The Inhumans to continue in their desire to remain an isolated people. With the gradual breakdown of the Earth’s ozone layer and ever increasing levels of air pollution, the planet became inhospitable to The Inhumans. Having lived for generations in the secluded confines of Attilan, the Inhumans had never developed the specific antibodies needed to withstand polluted air. With the help of Reed Richards, Black Bolt relocated Attilan once more, this time to the oxygen-rich Blue Area of The Moon.
Shortly after Attilan’s relocation to the Blue Area of the Moon, Black Bolt and Medusa were official wed. Although this marriage defied the wishes of The Genetic Council, the wedding was a cause for great celebration among the citizens of Attilan. The wedding was briefly disrupted by a battle waged by a Kree warrior and a Super Skrull (two agents of their respective peoples who had been stranded on the moon following The Shi’ar’s trial of Jean Grey). With the help of The Fantastic Four, Black Bolt and the other members of the Royal Family were able to quell this battle and the two combatants were transported back to their home worlds by The Watcher.
Attilan enjoyed a newfound era of peace and security in its new home on the moon. And yet, with this peace, the citizens of Attilan no longer felt as reliant on their king to protect them. Black Bolt and his queen remained very popular among the people, but their rule over the governance of Attilan swayed and the Genetic Council came to have more and more power and say over the affairs of The Inhumans. With this shift in power, The Genetic Council instituted laws mandating a greater adherence to the philosophy of eugenics and the practice of arranged marriages. It was at this time that Medusa announced that she was pregnant with Black Bolt’s child. This revelation quite dismayed the Genetic Council. The council was worried that the destructive potentiality of Black Bolt’s powers, coupled with the history of mental illness in his immediate family (his brother), could result in an offspring that might pose a great threat to the safety of Attilan. The council ordered that Queen Medusa terminate her pregnancy. An anguished Black Bolt struggled with what to do. He very much wanted a child, but also knew the great dangers that his powers entail. It was indeed quite possible that passing down his abilities to a son or daughter could put all of Attilan at substantial risk.
Medusa, meanwhile, was outraged by her husband’s apparent refusal to oppose the council. Utilizing Lockjaw’s teleportation abilities Medusa fled Attilan with her handmaid, Mynxi, and hid out in a remote location in the American midwest. Medusa was eventually sought out by her sister, Crystal, along with her cousins, Gorgon, Triton, and Karnak. Protected by her friends, Medusa gave birth to her child… a son whom she named Ahura. Ahura possessed powers, but not on the scale or magnitude that the council had so feared. They all returned to Attilan and Medusa eventually reconciled with Black Bolt. At an undisclosed point in time, Black Bolt had entered into a secret alliance with other leaders of the super powered community. This cabal, known as ‘The Illuminati,’ consisted of Reed Richards of The Fantastic Four, Tony Stark of The Avengers, Prince Namor, ruler of Atlantis, and Dr. Stephan Strange, Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. One of The Illuminati’s early endeavors was an incursion onto The Skrull Throne-world to dissuade the Skrulls from further hostilities toward the Earth. Unfortunately, Black Bolt and the others were temporarily captured during this mission and Skrull scientists were able to reverse engineer the biological qualities of the heroes’ super-powers – an accomplishment that would much later lead the way to a near-successful invasion of Earth.
Later, the Terrigen Crystals were stolen by Crystal’s ex-husband, Quicksilver, and the majority of these stolen crystals ended up in the hands of the United State’s Government. This led to the Silent War event, which culminated in the US Military detonating a nuclear bomb on the moon, destroying a substantial section of Attilan and killing countless Inhumans. Although the crystals had been recovered, Black Bolt’s failure to protect his people led to his stepping down from the throne and abdicating the crown to his brother, Maximus. Some time thereafter, Black Bolt was abducted by the Skrulls and replaced with a Super Skrull imposter. This imposter was ultimately discovered and killed by The Illuminati.
This occurred at the onset of the Secret Invasion event and the Skrulls attempted to conquer Attilan at the same time they invaded the Earth. Inhuman forces, led by Medusa and Crystal, fended off the Skrull invasion. Medusa then assembled a strike-force to rescue her husband. She succeeded in this and, once freed, Black Bolt used his powers to decimate the Skull armada. Having found the kingship much more difficult and taxing than he thought it would be, Maximus stepped down and asked Black Bolt to return to the throne. The devastation of the Skull Empire created a power vacuum in the cosmos, one that was quickly filled by the Shi’Ar and their new leader, the ultra-powerful mutant known as Vulcan. As Vulcan continued his conquest over an ever-expanding empire, The Kree presented themselves to The Inhumans, offering a pack to join forces in an attempt to stave off Vulcan and The Shi’ar. As part of this pack, Black Bolt was named ruler of the Kree people and his cousin, Crystal, was ceremoniously wed to Ronan the Accuser. Led by Black Bolt and an elite faction of the Inhuman Royal Guard, the Kree fought a bloody war against Vulcan and The Shi’Ar. It culminated in a massive battle where Black Bolt defeated and destroyed Vulcan yet appareled to have also perished himself.
Believing Black Bolt dead, Medusa assumed rulership over The Inhumans as well as the Kree and Attilan was relocated to the new Kree homeward of Kon-Tar. Shortly thereafter, The Kree Supreme Intelligence managed to reattain lordship over The Kree Empire and The Inhumans fled from Kon-Tar. The Supreme Intelligence (or Supremor) knew of an ancient Kree prophecy that told that the creation of Inhumans would bring about an anomaly that would ultimately tear down the empire and kill Supremor. In order to prevent this prophecy from coming to fruition, Supremor dispatched warships to destroy every planet in which Terrigenic Experimentation had taken place. Only five worlds managed to evade this culling. The Inhumans from these five remaining worlds came together to form the Court of The Universal Inhumans. A newly returned Black Bolt who, as it turns out did not die in his battle with Vulcan, was named the Midnight King and ruler of the Universal Inhumans - with the four queens of the other Inhuman peoples becoming his ceremonial brides (much to Medusa’s chagrin).
Black Bolt returned Attilan to Earth and there he helped the FF defeat the Council of Alternate Universe Reed Richards, before leading a defense that repelled a Kree invasion of Earth. With The Kree finally defeated, Black Bolt dissolved the Court of The Universal Inhumans. Crystal’s marriage to Ronan was annulled and The Kree were sent away to rule over their own empire, leaving Earth and the other Inhuman planets in peace. Attilan enjoyed a short time of relative tranquility following the defeat of The Kree. Yet it was not long before a new threat emerged. Thanos the Mad Titan came to discover that he had a son sired by an unnamed Inhuman who was residing among the Inhumans of Earth. It was foretold that Thanos’ son was the one being who could succeed in destroying him and Thanos dispatched his forces to Earth to discover and kill his prodigy.
Black Bolt and his brother, Maximus, understood the extreme level of threat that Thanos posed to not just Attilan, but all of Earth. Together they devised a daring and intricate plan to save their race and their planet. Black Bolt was privy to a great secret, a hidden truth passed down from king to king since the age of Randak. And that being that the citizens of Attilan were not the only Inhumans on Earth. Over the centuries, many Inhumans had left Attilan to create their own colonies all over the planet and the Inhuman genetic loading had become ingrained into a significant portion of the earth’s population. Black Bolt and Maximus came up with a means of triggering the Inhuman gene throughout the population, causing a mass Terrigenesis that would create hundreds of new Inhumans and provide Earth with a new wave of super powered beings to defend mankind against the oncoming threat. All of Attilan was evacuated. The citizens were sent through the Door of Elldrac and transported to safety. Thanos arrived on Attilan to find it deserted save for Black Bolt. The two battled and when Black Bolt appeared to have been defeated, he released a massive sonic screen that destroyed Attilan and trigger a Terrigebnic Bomb. This bomb released a billowing cloud of Terrine Mists. (all this is a rather condensed summery of the Infinity Event, made slightly less complicated of the sake of readability).
The Terrigen Cloud crept over the planets surface. It had no effect on regular humans; those human with the Inhuman gene, however, were encased in a cocoon-like shell and emerged transformed into Inhumans. Among those who were transformed by the Terrine Cloud was young Thane, the secret son of Thanos. Terrigenesis bestowed onto Thane tremendous abilities, powers that he ultimately used to defeat his father and put an end to Thanos’ threat to Earth. Attilan had been destroyed and its remnants fell onto the island of Manhattan, with the majority splashing down into the Hudson Bay. Black Bolt was once again believed dead and Medusa took the throne, overseeing the creation of New Attilan. All NuHumans, those Inhumans who had been created by the Terrine Cloud, were welcome on New Attilan and Medusa was tasked with providing for these new citizens of Attilan while also searching out those were sent to places unknown via the Door of Elldrac. All the while, Medusa was left to believe that her husband and her son, Ahura, had perished in the fall of Attilan. His battle with Thanos, and the massive sonic attack that triggered the Terrine Bomb had left Black Bolt depleted and weakened. Maximus seized this opportunity to use his telepathic powers to take control of Black Bolt’s will. Black Bolt had previously been able to resist his brother’s psychic abilities, but in this weakened state, he fell under Maximus’ sway. (there’s a bit of a disparity on how these events are told in the pages of ‘Inhuman’ and how it’s told in the pages of New Avengers; and once again this is truncated summery for the purposes of clarity). Black Bolt was ultimately able to break free of his brother’s control with the assistance of the NuHuman known as Nur. He returned to New Attilan in time to help repel an invasion by the Agents of The Ennilux Corporation. Queen Medusa felt great ambivalence over the discovery that her husband was still alive. Though she was happy to see him again, she felt betrayed that he had stayed away so long, leaving her to create and govern New Attilan all on her own. She stated that her husband no longer had a place ruling at her side.
Black Bolt could have tried to explain that he had been held prisoner by his brother, but instead chose to simply concede to his wife’s wishes. He bowed down to her as his queen and flew off to places unknown. Black Bolt’s ongoing adventures are set to be told in the upcoming series, ‘Uncanny Inhumans.’ The fate of his son, Ahura, and whether or not he and Medusa will ever reconcile are sure to be told in the pages this new book (scheduled to launch today :0).
There’s not much to dislike about Inhuman Special. It’s got Spider-Man, the Inhumans, the NuHumans, a classic hero-turned-villain, and a pretty heavy hitting storyline. Another one of Marvel’s famous three-part specials, this story continues from Amazing Spider-Man and continues in All-New Captain America, and focuses on a huge conflict in New Attilan, which sits just outside of New York City.
For those that haven’t been keeping up, a while back, Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans, in order to bring his people into a new age, set off a Terrigen mist bomb that gave powers to a ton of people (including Ms. Marvel, the blind guy from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Toro) who didn’t know they had Inhuman ancestors (sound familiar?). Everyone besides him and his crazy brother thought it was a bad idea because it disfigured a bunch of people who didn’t ask for it and created a ton of conflict, but it turns out it also messed up a whole race of people.
Enter Red Raven, a golden age hero who used to team up with Captain America and the rest of the Invaders. He retired, lived, loved, and raised a family with some distant relatives of the Inhumans, but all of that changed when the Terrigen Bomb hit. That society, because of its unique genetic variation, got totally destroyed by the mists, and Red Raven is out for revenge/justice.
The best stories, I think, are ones where the villains’ interests are just as valid as the heroes’. Red Raven has a legitimate right to be upset by what happened, and the list of problems that Black Bolt has caused keeps getting longer. This flub, though, isn’t something that’s easily forgotten or resolved. Tensions continue to built and Black Bolt and the Inhumans are soon going to have to face the consequences of the mistakes they’ve made. With the Inhumans taking such a big role in the Marvel Cinematic I have a feeling that we’ll be feeling the effects of this storyline’s inevitable climax for a long time to come.
Warning: There be spoilers on the horizon. Turn back if ye be faint of heart.
Agents of SHIELD is tragically on break for Thanksgiving. As sad as this news is, though, it does give us a moment to sit down, take a breath, and take in all of the awesome things that happened in that episode. We’ve had progress on the Skye story arc, witnessed the return of Evil Ward, and found answers about the weird code Coulson and Garrett were obsessed with. And that’s on top of the introduction of Mockingbird, the ongoing FitzSimmons drama, and Hydra’s latest attempt at world domination.
And on top of that, the show’s been hinting things. Interesting things. Game-changing things. Things about the characters we thought we knew. There are a lot of theories going around in the wake of the last episode, and I figured I’d give my thoughts. So much to talk about, so little time..
Who is the Doctor?
“If you kill him, Skye will never–”
“THAT’S NOT HER NAME!”
So far, we only know Skye’s dad as ‘the Doctor’, but we don’t have to know his name to know what his motivations are. We know that he wants his wife avenged, Coulson and Whitehall dead, and Skye at his side. We also know that he has powers that we haven’t seen and that he’s, well… a doctor.
Oh, yeah, and he’s also crazy.
Just like Skye, the show is being very coy with his name. He’s been in several episodes so far, and we don’t even have the first syllable. The show has even spotlighted this a little on the Skye front, drawing attention every few episodes to the fact that 'Skye’ isn’t really her name. There are a few potential reasons the writers might have to leave this important piece of information out, but one in particular stands out: we would recognize it if we heard it.
Remember in The Dark Knight RIses, when we find out at the end that Batman’s plucky young sidekick has 'Robin’ as a middle name? Same principle applies here. We probably know him from the source material, but the writers think that telling us who it is will spoil some kind of plot twist. Of course, it could just be bad writing, but that’s not nearly as fun, is it?
Several candidates for his identity have been put forth, but there are only two that I think are very likely. Those two are Maximus the Mad and Mr. Hyde.
Maximus, the exiled brother of King Black Bolt, is being suggested because of all the Inhumans theories buzzing around (more on that below). And i have to say, it kind of fits. The show has definitely played up the Doctor’s insanity, and emphasis had been put on the fact that he has a broken family. Like Max, an Inhumn exile, the Doctor works for the most part alone, and the last episode showed him putting his own life and someone else’s in danger just to 'look his enemy in the eye’. Playing with lives (even his own) just to toy with his enemies is something Maximus loves to do. That’s why he’s called Maximus the Mad, not Maximus the Sane or Maximus the Reasonable Gentleman.
But there are some problems with this one. He might have super strength, but most of the danger Maximus poses comes from his greatest power: mind control. He can take over the minds of his enemies and force them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t. And there are plenty of times where that would have come in handy for the Doctor. Why would you manipulate people with promises of power when you can just command them to do something? Satisfying his vengeance-boner for Coulson and Whitehall would be so much easier.
As compelling as the Maximus theory is, I don’t think that’s the answer. I think our crazy Doctor is none other than Hyde.
I know what you’re thinking: 'That looks nothing like the guy in the show.’ That’s true. The hulking abomination that is Mr. Hyde lacks Kyle Maclachlan’s haunting good looks. Where are his chiseled features? his brooding frown? His striking brown eyes?
But Hyde only looks like that half the time. When he’s not on a murderous rampage, he’s the perfectly average, dangerously insane practitioner of medicine known as Calvin Zabo. The muscles come from the Hyde Formula, a knockoff of Captain America’s super serum. If Zabo gets pissed, he can just chug the Hyde Formula and start dismantling things.
We know the Doctor is capable of wiping out entire villages and teams of Hydra bodyguards, but we’ve never seen him do it. We just know the final product is extremely violent and gory. Maximus is too clean for that sort of thing, but Hyde? Brutish rampages are his thing.
But there are a ton of violent, rampaging villains in the Marvel Universe. And a surprising number of them have medical degrees. Why is Hyde special? Because Hyde has a daughter.
Skye is an orphan, recruited into SHIELD very recently. Despite her youth, she’s very high up in the organization and very close to the DIrector. Oh, and she has superpowers.
Now, meet Daisy Johnson.
Daisy is an orphan, recruited into SHIELD very recently. Despite her youth, she’s very high up in the organization and very close to the Director. Oh, and she has superpowers.
The similarities between these two run deep, as I just pointed out. All you need to do is replace Coulson with Nick Fury, take away the rad computer skills, and splice in a bit of badass, and Skye becomes the spitting image of Agent Johnson. And one of the biggest connections between the two: both have a psychotic, superpowered father as a dad. Yes, Daisy’s dear old pa is Mr. Hyde.
Nobody fits the glove better, and as I mentioned before, the show loves pointing out that we don’t know Skye’s name. Either they really, really want to keep us guessing on this tiny piece of trivia, or they know we’ll recognize the name.
And now, archaeology!
One of the major plot points we’ve run into in the last few episodes revolves around the markings Coulson has been drawing all season. Turns out, they actually represent a map of a hidden city. That doesn’t exactly narrow it down, though; Marvel loves hidden cities. But I have some ideas.
We know that it has some connection to the alien from Season 1, and legends about the city describe 'blue angels descending from the heavens to conquer the world’. That perfectly describes the Inhuman origin story. In the comics, the Kree came to Earth thousands of years ago looking for weapons to use in the Kree/Skrull War. They experimented on the humans, giving them powers, and ultimately left them to safeguard Earth in the name of the glorious Kree Empire. That means it’s probably got something to do with the Inhumans, and we all know where they live: Attilan, the floating city-state ruled by Black Bolt and Medusa.
But that isn’t our only option, and I’d be pretty surprised if they introduced Attilan this soon. A floating city would cost a lot of money to bring to life on our TVs. But there’s nothing stopping it from being Orollan.
Orollan was introduced in the recent Inhuman series. It’s another Inhuman city, but this one is rooted firmly to the ground (like savages). It’s led by Lash, an Inhuman that enjoys the finer things in life, like vaporizing things.
The people of Orollan don’t like Attilan, and they follow a strict Social Darwinist creed. Any regular human that steps inside will probably be killed. Unless nobody lives in Orollan anymore. For all we know, in this version of Orollan the inhabitants died centuries ago. Maybe they had a plague or something.
Or maybe it’s not Orollan at all, and it’s just the ruins of an old Kree colony or some other Inhuman city. Or it could be Atlantis. But given the clear Kree connection, I’m thinking Orollan is our best bet.
Do you have your own theories, or think mine suck? Please feel free to add your own ideas or rip me a new one by commenting below!