Why Inhumans could cause big problems for Marvel

Marvel Studios has built a reputation for taking risks that pay off big time. While they've seen movies like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy become huge hits, we're worried they may have gone too far. As Marvel is about to enter its third phase of movies, it's hard not to be worried about The Inhumans. It's scheduled to come out in 2019, and it could be the downfall of the studio. Think that's impossible? Here's why Inhumans could cause big problems for Marvel.

No Recognizable Characters

No one knows who the Inhumans are. Sure, no one knew who the Guardians of the Galaxy were, but they were easier to understand. A talking tree and a gun-crazy raccoon sound super interesting. A secluded group of people who get their powers from ancient gas is a little harder to digest. The problem with Inhumans isn't just that the characters aren't recognizable, they're also not immediately interesting. The main character, Black Bolt, doesn't even talk. It's going to look like Marvel ran out of characters. People won't trust less recognizable Marvel properties, like Ant-Man, anymore. Once Marvel loses that trust, they'll end up in the same spot DC is. People will only go see movies starring their most popular characters, which leads to constant reboots. Is that really what we need?

Too Connected To Agents Of SHIELD

Marvel's already started planting seeds for Inhumans, which would be a good sign if they weren't doing so in Agents of SHIELD. Most fans of the movies don't watch that show, so they have no idea this is even happening. As far as they know, The Inhumans could be about anything that, well, isn't human. It could be a movie about super powered cats, which technically fits the title's description. At some point, Marvel's going to have to break it to fans that to understand this movie, they have to go watch multiple seasons of a mediocre TV show. It's like the studio's giving its fans a homework assignment. Sure, this is great news for all four fans of Agents of SHIELD, but everyone else is more likely to just skip this movie. The tagline for this thing might as well be "the epic conclusion to a decent but also flawed TV show that you never watched!" It's going to make things feel too complicated. And if there's one thing movie audiences can't handle, it's complexity.

It's Just An X-Men Replacement

Marvel has made it pretty obvious that Inhumans is just their fill-in for X-Men. Over the last couple of years, the company has slowly reshaped the Inhumans comic book story to become eerily similar to that of the mutants. And of course, Marvel doesn't own the film rights to the mutants, and hasn't since the late-1990s. The concept for both properties has become "random people develop random powers and are disliked by society." Unfortunately for Marvel, people like X-Men for all the awesome characters, most obviously Wolverine. If the pitch for Inhumans feels like "X-Men minus anyone that you care about," then who's going to see that movie? This will just prove to Fox (which owns the X-Men film rights) that there's no reason to ever consider selling or trading the rights back to Marvel. All an Inhumans movie can aspire to be is a commercial for Fox's X-Men movies, which can actually feature all of the characters fans care about. Okay, so it's pretty much only Wolverine, but still, that's pretty good.

It's After Infinity War

The timing of Inhumans is just terrible. Marvel's whole selling point is that everything is eventually leading up to something epic. That would be Avengers: Infinity War, which should be the conclusion to the studio's Phase 3. Instead, the plan is to end everything with some risky movie that has a weird concept that most people can skip. Come on, Marvel, always end on a high note! That's Show Biz 101! Did Marvel forget how to plan its line up? This would be like a magician pulling off her most amazing magic trick, getting a standing ovation, and then closing out the show by doing "there's something behind your ear." It's just awkward and weird and leaves everyone with an odd aftertaste. Inhumans comes across as a "oh, by the way" movie. The first movie Marvel releases after Infinity War is essentially going to be Marvel saying "now that we did that, this is all we've got left."

They Can't Even Hold Onto A Comic

The silliest thing about Marvel's recent Inhumans push is that this franchise has never been that successful. Marvel has a huge catalogue of great characters to choose from, so why not start using the ones that can actually carry a series? Pushing the Inhumans shows that Marvel's forgotten how to make smart decisions. Look at it this way: there is going to be an Inhumans movie before there is a Hulk movie starring Mark Ruffalo. How does that make any sense? Ruffalo has made the character super popular at the theaters, and there's consistently been a Hulk comic since Stan Lee's time at Marvel. Based on Inhumans in the comics, their movie is guaranteed to have 100 percent less smashing than a Hulk film would. Sure, some stuff will probably get broken in The Inhumans, but that's just not as good as smashing. Smashing means more fun, so is Marvel trying to tell their fans to expect less fun?

It'll Be Their First Loss To DC

As of now, Inhumans is scheduled to come in 2019. While there are a couple of other high profile comic book movies coming out that same year, DC's Shazam is also scheduled for release. Like Inhumans, DC is taking a chance on one of their more obscure properties, so it's fair to compare the two films. While Marvel has yet to reveal any casting info for Inhumans, DC has already confirmed that Shazam will star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. So, DC wins this round. Sometimes, all it takes is one bad loss to change the entire game. DC will look like it still has a fresh and interesting universe—that also has the Rock running around. Marvel won't be able to compete, and fans could jump ship. Phase 4 will be cancelled, all because Marvel couldn't smell what the Rock's been cooking.