The MCU has become synonymous with exciting character cameos in its projects, but one particularly brutal appearance from the Inhumans show makes way more sense after a reveal about Marvel’s TV shows. While character cameos were something of a novelty in the early days of the MCU, they’ve become unexpected, and seldom few Marvel movies or TV shows don’t at least briefly feature a familiar face from another corner of the shared universe. However, while these cameos are almost always fun nods to beloved characters, a new reveal from behind the scenes at Marvel Studios reveals that there may be a bit of malice behind at least one crossover.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness features several cameos as Strange comes face to face with a group of heroes called The Illuminati. Seemingly their reality’s equivalent of The Avengers, the group includes previously established characters like Professor X from Fox’s X-Men movies, Captain Carter as seen in What If…?, and Anson Mount reprising his role as Black Bolt from Inhumans. Unfortunately, they all meet a quick, grizzly end, and there seems to be a surprising reason for it.
Marvel Studios Has Been Actively Blocking Inhumans References
It’s no secret that Marvel’s 2017 Inhumans TV series was a huge critical flop. The show’s single season suffered from poor writing and strange character decisions, and after the show’s eight episodes aired, there’s been nary a mention of the powerful group of superhumans. While it’s always made sense that the MCU would want to distance itself from such a poorly received series – especially after the MCU’s TV shows migrated to Disney+ and gained much closer ties with the film division – a new reveal shows just how intentional and thorough the anti-Inhumans sentiment is behind the scenes at Marvel.
The recently released book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios reveals how Marvel Studios higher-ups have actively laid out guidelines for MCU movies to avoid association with the failed Inhumans TV show. Specifically, when Eternals was in development, the movie’s creators “were instructed that none of it could take place Hawaii” because “The studio didn’t want any risk that audiences might be reminded of the Inhumans.” With a significant portion of the Inhumans show taking place in Hawaii, it seems even revisiting the state is too close of an association for comfort.
Marvel Studios Distaste For The Inhumans Show Makes A Multiverse Of Madness Cameo Way Better
If Marvel Studios is so determined to keep Inhumans out of audiences’ minds, it seems strange, then, that Anson Mount’s Black Bolt is a featured member of The Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. However, considering Black Bolt’s fate at the hands of Scarlet Witch, the inclusion almost becomes comical. While every member of the Illuminati suffers a painful death, Black Bolt’s is particularly graphic and disturbing. If the powers that be at Marvel Studios really dislike Inhumans as much as the recent report indicates, brutally killing off their king – even a variant – may have been a not-so-subtle nail in the coffin of their MCU legacy.
Will The Inhumans Ever Return To The MCU?
Anything is possible, especially with the MCU deep in its exploration of the Multiverse Saga, but at this point, it seems unlikely that the Inhumans will get another major project with Marvel Studios anytime soon. The show’s failure to garner an audience and lingering negative reputation are certainly part of that, but the MCU’s upcoming major team is another. It appears that the X-Men will finally get a movie in the MCU Phase 7, and there may simply be too many similarities between them and the Inhumans for both to prosper in the franchise.
Both are misunderstood and mistreated groups that operate as a sort of splinter society, and both feature characters who gain powers (both often at puberty) that manifest seemingly randomly whether the host wants them or not. Especially if the MCU adapts the X-Men’s more modern place in the Marvel Universe, Krakoa and Attilan may cover too much similar ground. While the Inhumans may have been a placeholder for Marvel Studios while Fox owned the right to the X-Men, Disney/Marvel now owns it all, so it’s very possible that Inhumans will remain an unfortunate low-point for characters who deserve better.
Key Release Dates
Captain America: Brave New World
Marvel’s Fantastic Four
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
Avengers: Secret Wars
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