Two interesting items of note came out of this week’s episode of Marvel’s Inhumans, “Something Inhuman This Way Comes”. (And by the by, what a dopey name for an episode.)
The first was the relationship between Karnak and Gorgon. The way they played off each other – sometimes in a complimentary way, sometimes with a sarcastic edge that took bites out of each other with respect to their abilities – was a welcome diversion. It gave insight into both characters. Where Karnak is more methodical (often tending to over-thinking a situation) Gorgon is more the free spirit, prone to spontaneity. Of course both these mannerism aren’t lost on each other and the two seem to revel in chiding the other about their respective traits.
The cool thing about these exchanges is the light it’s shedding on both Inhumans. Karnak got the opportunity to reflect on a few different personal perspectives, doubt being a big item on his agenda. Big old dopey Gorgon gave Karnak a little schooling on his pensiveness: “Don’t be so hard on yourself. A little doubt is good for you” Gorgon suggested to him while he was in one of his moods. Karnak took Gorgon’s words to task, opening up to the fact he doesn’t always need to be the borderline jerk he usually comes off being most of the time. Who would have figured Gorgon, with his propensity for improvisation, could get Karnak’s wheels turning?
On the flip side, Karnak’s bent is to point out things in his signature style, i.e. as a sarcastic jerkface. And he appears to enjoy sticking it to Gorgon when the opportunity arises. Case in point was Gorgon’s rather childish glee at commandeering the faded American flag he found on the moon at one of the Unites States’ landing sites. Whereas Gorgon saw the coolness of a souvenir gained, Karnak brought him to the light of reason in that the act could jeopardize the Inhumans’ status on the moon, a concept Gorgon probably wouldn’t have ever realized.
So the consequences of the actions by the other – be they physical or mental – offers a neat little symbiosis between the two. Sarcasm and sniping not withstanding, both benefit from the interaction. Bonus: It’s a nice little bit of character study.
The other item catching my attention was an out-of-left-field comparison which came to mind during a scene with Maximus back at Attilan.
I got to thinking about the ruling system in place; the Royals, living on the high and mighty, and the caste commoners, with nary a special ability, relegated to commonplace tasks of the kingdom. Not exactly the best of living conditions, granted. It’s just the luck of the draw (or the fickle infusing of the Terrigen mists more so) determining the “haves” from the “have nots.”
So, the comparison? That of the timeless Dr. Seuss classic “The Sneetches”. Remember it from your youth?
As the tale goes and in a nutshell, some Sneetches have stars on their bellies and tend to favor their own. Other Sneetches lack belly stars and are unabashedly treated as inferior by those who have them, regardless of the fact there is no difference between the two other than their adornments. The story was intended as a satire of discrimination and was terrifically effective at bringing to light the pointlessness of prejudice.
Of course, the analogies in Seuss’ tale are in abundance throughout Attilan.
Granted: There is a specific difference between the “haves” and the “have nots” within the Inhuman pecking order. The “haves” possess a bevy of superhuman abilities ranging from flying to physical manipulation and everything in between; the caste members of the society are mere mortals, endowed with exactly zero otherworldly gifts. Still, the theme of “The Sneetches” is easily mimicked in Inhumans.
And when you come right down to it, outside Maximus’ proclivity to want to kill off his enemies, he’s not such a bad guy. He’s a strange Sylvester McMonkey McBean, the so called “Fix-It-Up Chappie” in the Sneetch story. The tale’s symbolism and metaphors are abundantly evident.
It would be nice if the writing Powers That Be would cover a little more history on the two societies. Yes, those Inhuman abilities are handy to those who have them. But are those folks any different deep down from those who lack special powers? It showcases the upper crust in Attilan as petty and self-serving. And it doesn’t shed the best light on Black Bolt and his rule by any means. No wonder Maximus has orchestrated a coup.
So maybe, truly, he’s not the villain he’s made out to be by those closest to him. Again, outside of his murderous bent. (Though that bent is a big elephant in the room to maneuver.)
It was these little tidbits I thought of while watching the fifth chapter of the show. They seemed to make the story not only more engaging but a better overall 60 minutes than we’ve seen previously.
Marvel’s Inhumans airs Fridays at 9:00 PM on ABC.
What do you think of Marvel’s Inhumans? Is Maximus the bad guy? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.