Warning: Spoilers Ahead For Inhumans Season 1.
Inhumans Season 1 has come to end – will it be back? It’s already been a long journey to get these characters onto the screen, but Inhumans finally made it to ABC this year, and wrapped up their first season on Friday night. “…And Finally, Black Bolt” saw Maximus (Iwan Rheon) come to the end of his reign on Attilan, as the city itself was destroyed (with him still in it) and the citizens were able to be evacuated to Earth with their Royal Family. It was a surprising end to the series, and one which is sure to impact the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a huge number of new Inhumans are now living on the planet.
But where does the show itself go from here? Inhumans could easily exist as a standalone series; there was no major cliffhanger ending, and should the stranded people of Attilan simply start to pop up occasionally in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., that wouldn’t necessarily be an issue. While a second season exploring how the Inhumans deal with a new life on Earth would be interesting, it’s certainly not necessary to complete the story – especially given the cultural backlash afainst it. So what does the future hold for the Inhumans?
Inhumans Suffered From Low Ratings And Bad Reviews
At first glance, it seems that the outlook is not good for a second season of Inhumans. From the get-go, it has been plagued with issues. First up, the gamble that Marvel took by releasing the first two episodes as an IMAX event didn’t pay off; box office sales weren’t too bad, but the critical response to seeing some of these low-budget special effects on an IMAX screen was absolutely brutal.
When Inhumans then got to the small screen, the negative hype certainly seemed to affect the ratings. The season started off with semi-decent numbers, similar to those of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4. However, the numbers failed to pick up as time went on. Inhumans hit a series low by its fifth episode, and the finale saw only a very small uptick (from 0.4 to 0.5), with just under 2 million viewers. This makes it one of ABC’s least-watched shows, and definitely seems to point to a cancellation in the works.
Is The Marvel Name Enough To Save Inhumans?
Of course, poor reviews and ratings might still be overcome by the plans that Marvel has for this franchise. Inhumans was originally intended for the big screen, and will definitely have an impact on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., at the very least, so there are likely to be other plans in the works for the Attilan Royal Family and the MCU. Showrunner Scott Buck has also revealed that he has plans for the next two seasons of Inhumans, at least, so while it may seem that the first season worked as a standalone project, there are bigger plans for the franchise.
We know that franchise can beat out poor ratings. Disney has also already saved Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from cancellation, so it would have the pull to do the same for Inhumans should the studio want (or need) to.
We Haven’t Seen The Last Of The Royal Family
At the moment, there has been no official word from Marvel/Disney or ABC on the fate of Inhumans, so we’ll have to wait and see what they decide to do with Marvel’s big flop. They may well attempt to salvage it with a second season on Earth; and given that many of the biggest complaints about Inhumans were Attilan-based (costumes, sets, bad CGI hair…), an Earth-bound season may be able to revive interest. Even if ABC gives Inhumans the axe, though, this won’t be the last that we see of these characters. Some of them are sure to pop up in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., at the very least, and there may even be a cameo or a reference in the larger MCU (although the difference in structure between the film and TV studios may hamper that.
Inhumans certainly wasn’t the success that Marvel wanted it to be, but there is no doubt that they aren’t 100% finished with these characters yet.