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Featured DVD Review: Marvel Knights: InHumans

April 21st, 2013

Marvel Knights: InHumans - Buy from Amazon

Marvel Knights: InHumans is the latest Motion Comic coming out from the label. Marvel Knights has had a really good track record with Motion Comics; however, InHumans is not one of the better known brands in the Marvel Universe. Is this a good introduction for those who are not familiar with the franchise? Will those who like Motion Comics want to check it out?

The Movie

The InHumans are a team of superheros with a rather long and complicated backstory that involves alien wars and genetic experimentation. Long story short, they are a race of genetically superior humans that undergo a coming-of-age ritual that causes them to take on unique genetic makeups and unique special powers. They are in essence a race of mutants. The leader of these InHumans is Black Bolt, who is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe. He can also destroy mountains with a mere whisper, so he is unable to speak. The last time he spoke, he accidentally killed his parents. His brother, Maximus the Mad, is determined to overthrow his rule and take over the city of Attilan. His wife, Medusa; his cousins, Crystal, Karnak, Gorgon, and Triton, as well as his pet, Lockjaw, are all introduced in the first episode.

We are also introduced to a younger generation of inhumans in the second episode. They are about to undergo Terrigenesis, which will bring out their unique genetic structure making them a sub-species of one. Through genetic diversity comes equality, or at least that's what the leaders of Attilan claim. During the Terrigenesis, Tonaja becomes a flier, which is a very rare occurrence. Nahrees is able to manipulate electricity, which is another rare mutation. Not everyone is so lucky. Dewoz is seemingly depowered. Because he lacks power, he is sent to live with the Alpha Primitives, a breed of inhumans. Black Bolt and the other leaders think he's there as an ambassador. However, he's just like any other Alpha Primitive, part of the slave caste within Attilan society. While underground, his superpower begin to manifest, while Maximus the Mad begins to communicate with him and convinces him to be part of his grand plan.

The final major plot thread involves the humans. With Attilan showing up, there's a lot of concern among the Americans, Russians, etc. about the InHumans and their motives. While the human factions try to understand the Attilan, and figure out what each other knows, Maximus the Mad begins the next stage of his plan and reaches out to a human ally, but at this point we run into spoilers.

The storyarc told in InHumans is excellent. It's a complex story that has more shades of gray than in many live action movies. Clearly Maximus the Mad is a bad guy, and so are those who start war for profits, but the InHumans are not without fault. Their treatment of the Alpha Primitives is deplorable and their motto of, "From diversity comes equality" is clearly not followed, even among those with powers. It is not quite as good as The Astonishing X-Men run was, but it is certainly worth checking out. Additionally, the animation and especially the voice acting is great. They went with lesser known talent instead of star power and that turned out to be a wise choice.

On a side note, there are twelve episodes, each of which is about twelve minutes long. Unfortunately, that includes the opening and closing credits, which are combined about a minute and a half for each episode. That's way too much. If you hit the play-all button, there should be one opening and one closing, that's it. You can skip them, but you shouldn't have to do it so many times in just two hours.

The Extras

The (In)Human Experience is a featurette that looks at the history of the InHumans and how how they were created and relaunched. It is the only extra on the DVD, but it runs nearly 30 minutes long and it is very in-depth.

The Verdict

Marvel Knights: InHumans continues the line's incredible success rate in Motion Comic releases. Even the weakest among them are worth checking out and this DVD is easily worth picking up, assuming you like motion comics. If you've already decided you don't like the format, I don't think this one will change your mind. The Astonishing X-Men might change your mind, on the other hand.

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