Maximus Boltagon (Maximus the Mad)

Time also for the last character appearing in the pic from Inhumans, the one who’ll be the main villain of the series: Maximus the Mad, portrayed by Iwan Rheon. In the show, his real name is Maximus Boltagon, and he’s King Black Bolt‘s brother…but he’s not exactly the kindest of siblings, as he plans to overthrone Black Bolt, conspiring against him in order, according to his words, to better serve Attilan and to grant freedom to its people (thus hinting at a possible grudge against his brother’s reclusion policy). Apparently, he also tries to involve other members of the Royal Family in his rebellion, first of all Queen Medusa, but it’s unlikely he’ll succeed…at least in this. Waiting to see Rheon portray another evil bastard on the small screen, let’s take a look at the original deranged tyrant.

Maximus Boltagon was the second son of Attilan’s top geneticists, Agon and Rynda, both belonging to the Inhuman Royal Family. Maximus was exposed to the Terrigen Mist when he was still an infant, but apparently the Terrigenesis didn’t have any effect on him, as he showed no physical change nor any superhuman ability; while growing up, however, Maximus started developing powerful psionic abilities, that he chose to keep hidden from his family, preferring to pretend to be an “inert” Inhuman. Maximus didn’t grow up with his older brother Blackagar, as he possessed an uncontrollable power that made it impossible for him to live with other people, and stayed in an isolation chamber; he spent most of his childhood with his cousins Medusa, Karnak and Gorgon and, as the troublemaker he was, he often put them in troubles with adults. With time, however, he grew closer to Medusa, and started flirting with her even if she was promised to Black Bolt: when he was sixteen, at last, Black Bolt was released from the isolation chamber, and Medusa made it clear she was loyal to her bethroted only. At first, Maximus was happy as everyone else to have his brother back, and he even grew close to him…but he eventually became jealous of him, and he even tried to trick him into speaking, so that his powerful voice would have caused damage and he would have been imprisoned again. His cousins stopped him, but Maximus didn’t give up on trying quite yet. When Agon became king in place of the Unspoken, Maximus started nurturing ambitions over the throne destined to his brother as well, and he arrived to the point of making a deal with the Kree, the alien race that had created the Inhumans and always tried to regain control over them, to help them reconquer Attilan in exchange of the throne. Black Bolt, however, spotted him making a deal with a Kree officer, and he stopped his plan by destroying the alien ship with his voice: this had two results, as the ship came crashing on the Inhuman parliament, killing also Agon and Rynda, while Maximus, who stood close to Black Bolt, was driven almost to insanity by his brother’s scream, which also apparently suppressed his (hidden) mental powers. Even more resentful towards his brother than ever, Maximus swore to oppose him as long as he lived, swearing to win the throne (and Medusa’s hand) for himself.

With Black Bolt now on the throne, Maximus devoted himself to the sole purpose of overthrowing him. He started making experiments on the Alpha Primitives, a subhuman species used as servants by Inhumans, until he exposed three of them to the Terrigen Mist, transforming them into an energy creature he dubbed Trikon. The energy monster wreaked havoc in Attilan, and while Black Bolt and the others were busy with it, Maximus took many prominent Inhumans hostages; using them as leverage, he forced Black Bolt to resign the crown to him, and then exiled thim, putting to death anyone who knew about the Alpha Primitives’ uprising so that he kept the illegitimacy of his rule secret. When Gorgon returned to try and bargain the Royal Family’s return, Maximus agreed on condition: Gorgon’s parents would have remained his hostages, at least until the warrior had brought back to Attilan Medusa (whom, secretly from Gorgon, Maximus wanted to force to become his wife). As a precaution, Maximus sent one of his most trusted minions, The Seeker, after Gorgon, to monitor his progresses and to intervene if something went wrong. In the following years, Maximus ruled over Attilan with an iron fist, bringing all his deranged fantasies to reality. He also dedicated himself to a number of brilliant inventions, among which the Atmo-Gun, a device that would have wiped out the human race from Earth, so that Inhumans could inherit the planet. When The Seeker came back to Attilan telling him that Black Bolt was coming along with his cousins to reclaim the throne, Maximus prepared to activate the Atmo-Gun, but he was stopped by his brother. Not yet defeated, he activated another one of his machines, that created an unbreakable barrier made of the Negative Zone‘s energy around the city, locking all Inhumans inside. He then tried to escape with the Seeker, but they were reached by Black Bolt and Gorgon: Maximus used his reemerging mental powers to take control of his brother and use him against Gorgon, but he used his cousin to shield himself from the Seeker’s blasts, redirecting them to Maximus, hitting him in the head, knocking him out and making him even madder than before. Imprisoned, Maximus was constantly interrogated by his cousins, who tried to force him to reveal the key to destroy the barrier, but Maximus was totally mad, and apparently only interested in building toys. He eventually told that the barrier’s secret lied in his brother’s secret, so that Black Bolt understood he had to use his forbidden voice to free Attilan. When the barrier was destroyed, the Royal Family left to better explore the human world…thus leaving Attilan defenseless and ready for Maximus to retake it as soon as possible…

Maximus Boltagon is an extremely intelligent yet ambitious man, a prince whose ego makes him think to be the best possible ruler for Attilan and all Inhumans; with no loyalty but to himself, he’s ready to do anything in his power to obtain the throne, and whatever else he desires. As Maximus the Mad, he’s significantly stronger, faster, more agile and durable than any human; he possesses mild mind powers that allow him to take control of other people’s minds, with variable effects depending on his mental state, from total control while at the peak of his strength to mild influence when weak; his most remarkable and dangerous talent, however, is his genius intelligence, that allows him to create a number of lethal devices and to conceive intricate plans to outsmart his enemies. As brilliant as he may be, however, Maximus is completely mad, so he tends to act illogically, often in opposition to his own interest, thus being not only an extremely dangerous foe, but also a highly unpredictable one…

Molly Hayes (Princess Powerful)

Finally, we arrived to the last character from Runaways‘ main cast, who’s also the one who suffered the biggest changes: Molly Hernandez, portrayed by Allegra Acosta. She’ll be the youngest member of the team, characterised by an always positive attitude…but as young as she can be, she’s remarkably older than her comicbook counterpart, who’s only eleven years old. Plus, there’s no “Hernandez” in the comics, and she’s called Molly Hayes, but her name has been changed along with her ethnicity in order to include Latin Americans in the already racially diverse team. Another thing that would most likely be changed is Molly’s nature, as in the comics she’s a mutant, but Fox still has the exclusive over them, so she’ll probably become something else. There’s no sign also of her trademark impossible hats, quite a distinctive trait for the comics’ Molly. All these changes, her age especially, are quite a pity, considering how tough and hilarious the original young heroine is. Let’s meet her together.

Molly Hayes was born in Los AngelesCalifornia, the only daughter of doctor Gene Hayes and his wife, therapist Alice Hayes. She lived her first eleven years as a perfectly normal girl, with the only peculiar things in her life being her parents constantly making unspecified tests on her (unbeknownst to her, they were looking for signs of the X-Gene in her DNA, since they were both mutants), and an annual meeting her family attended to with five other families. Even among the other families’ children Molly was the youngest, and the others mostly acted as babysitters to her, never really bonding; the only ecception was Karolina Dean, the daughter of her parents’ best friends, who acted as an older sister to her. It was during one of these meetings that Molly’s life changed forever: one of the other kids, Alex Wilder, convinced the others to follow him down a secret passage, at the end of which they found their parents dressed in strange robes. Just as things were about the get really weird, Karolina took Molly away, letting the others witness what happened next: as they told the girls, their parents had killed a young woman in cold blood as part of a strange ritual. Molly refused to believe what they were saying, and so did Karolina, but the latter later met with the others at Griffin Observatory, where she was convinced to join them in running away from home and find evidence to incriminate their parents…everything while Molly was peacefully sleeping in her own bed, oblivious to everything. Knowing she was too young to sneak out of home, the other kids went to the Hayes’ place to “save” her, but their parents were already there, knowing their children were planning something. The battle that ensued awoke Molly: still sleepy, the girl looked out of her window, just in time to see her mom under attack…something that shocked her to the point of activating her mutant powers for the first time. Without thinking, Molly jumped down and reached her friends, knocking Leslie Dean out of the sky and saving Gert Yorkes in the process. Then, exhausted from the enormous amount of strength she had used, she fell asleep.

When she woke up, Molly had been taken by her friends to their newest refuge, The Hostel, an abandoned house hidden underground that now belonged to one of them, Chase Stein. When she was told what had happened, she still had doubts about her parents’ evil nature, but all her doubts faded as soon as Gert proposed they changed names, adopting monikers…something that the girl immediately interpreted as “becoming superheroes”, something that thrilled her enough to make her forget she was away from home for the first time in her life. Molly chose for herself the name “Princess Powerful“, but Chase insisted of calling her “Bruiser“…albeit he quit with it when the girl remarked her choice by punching through a wall. As an “official” mutant superhero, Molly announced she would have grown up to join the X-Men and marry Wolverine, in the meanwhile planning all her future adventures…thus making clear it was all just a game for her. Soon after, however, the group took in another runaway, Topher, who turned out to be vampire: Topher was incinerated when he tried to drink the solar-charged blood of Karolina, and died right in front of Molly’s eyes. For the first time since everything began, the girl understood being a superhero was no game, and she started crying, calling for her mom. Molly started missing her parents, and she had to be constantly reminded that they were supervillains, mainly by Alex, who explained to her and to everyone else what was written in The Abstract, the magical book he had stolen from the adults: their parents were The Pride, a sect devoted to the ancient gods Gibborim, who was harvesting soul to prepare their return to Earth. Molly wasn’t exactly interested on who her parents were and why they were doing what they were doing, but she agreed enthusiastically when Alex suggested to intercept them in the Marine Vivarium and interrupt their new sacrifice. Once on the place, Molly used her super-strength to destroy the Pride’s sacrifice container, thus freeing the souls in it, but she passed out once again due to exhaustion. When she woke up, her life was about to change drastically once again…

Molly Hayes is an enthusiastic and naive girl, happy to be a superhero and proud to be a mutant, but often quite unaware of the deep implications of what’s happening around her. As Princess Powerful, she has quite a formidable strength, that makes her capable of impossible deeds such as ripping Cloak‘s mantle from him (a feat that not even a god can achieve), and she’s also nearly invulnerable, as she emerged unscathed even from hits coming from the godly Wrecking Crew; all this power, however, fatigues her, and she deeply falls asleep immediately after using her immense strength. Quite short-tempered (as Wolverine, PunisherBeast and other heroes she’s beaten the crap out of have realised) but with a heart of gold, Molly is the Runaways‘ super-powerful mascotte, a girl who’s growing into a sensitive and careful girl, always ready to give a (super-strong) hand to her friends.

Karnak Mander-Azur

Next character from Inhumans is one of the most popular ones, who even received his own comicbook series recently: Karnak Mander-Azur, portrayed by Ken Leung. A philosopher at heart, Karnak is described as quite pessimistic but extremely intelligent, Black Bolt‘s cousin and his closest advisor, able to see the fault in everything and to formulate a plan in any kind of situation. He also has quite a dry and droll sense of humour. His appearance somehow resembles his comics’ one, albeit he doesn’t show the same kind of garments the original version has (not that they would have looked particularly good in live action, actually). Well, let’s take a look at one of the most fascinating Inhumans around, who distinguishes himself for not having any superpower, being more dangerous than most of his peers nevertheless.

Karnak Mander-Azur was born in Attilan, the secret city of the Inhumans, the heirs of the genetic experiments left behind by the Kree. The son of philosopher Mander and biologist Azur, Karnak lived his early life as every other Inhuman, and he was supposed to undergo Terrigenesis and be transformed as all the others as a teenager, but his older brother, Triton, when exposed to the Terrigen Mist, became an amphibian creature incapable of living outside water. Fearing that Karnak would have undergo a similar transformation, Mander and Azur begged the Genetic Council to spare their second born from the transformation, and the Council agreed on one condition: that the boy was sent to the Tower of Wisdom, the religious seminary held by the same order his father belonged to, where he would have been trained in the Inhuman philosophy and in the order’s secret martial art. Karnak spent his entire youth training, and was allowed to exit the Tower only when he was eighteen years old: by that time, the extreme discipline of the seminary had taught him many things, and he could now instinctively perceive the weak point of everything, from a solid wall to a philosophical idea. He reunited with his brother Triton and with his cousins GorgonMedusa and Maximus shortly before his older cousin, the heir to the throne Black Bolt, was allowed to come out of his confinement. As soon as he did, Karnak put his wisdom and his tactical ability to his future king’s service, and followed him as one of his most trusted advisors. Usually accompanied by Gorgon, Karnak stayed by Black Bolt’s side when he became the youngest king known in Attilan, and during the first chrisis of his government, which had him forced to move the entire population (and city) of Attilan to the Himalayas, looking for a safer place for his people. Karnak also fought by his king’s side when Maximus, driven by his ambition, organised a rebellion among the Alpha Primitives to seize the throne, also creating the powerful Trikon to help him in the task: Karnak and the other members of the Royal Family lost the battle, and were exiled on Earth.

Even before planning a way to take the throne back from his brother, Black Bolt wanted to find his bethroted Medusa, who had been missing since the battle: Karnak and the others dedicated all their energies to find her across the globe, finally locating her in New York City, in the United States of America where, amnesiac, she had become a supervillain. While waiting in their refuge for Gorgon to return with Medusa, Karnak was the first one to meet Johnny Storm, an alleged Inhuman Princess Crystal had found in the city: to introduce himself, Karnak knocked him out with a single move. Gorgon returned just in time to see Johnny wake up, but he recognised him as an enemy he had fought before: a battle ensued, and soon the young man was reached by his teammates, the Fantastic Four. In the following battle, Karnak distinguished himself by holding his own against the super-strong Thing, but he had to abandon the battlefield when his brother Triton was kidnapped by a minion of Maximus, The Seeker, in the chaos of the battle. Black Bolt took the entire Royal Family back to Attilan, where he single-handedly defeated Maximus and took the crown from his head. Karnak aided him by taking care of the Alpha Primitives, but he could do nothing to prevent Maximus from activating one of his inventions, that created an indestructible barrier around Attilan, trapping the Inhumans inside. Karnak, whose specialty was to find weak points of everything, became obsessed with destroying the barrier, but the only thing he achieved was to nearly destroy his hands in the attempt. Finally, Gorgon managed to convince his cousin to stop injuring himself and to help him crack Maximus’ resistence, forcing him to reveal how to remove the barrier: if breaking the barrier proved to be impossible, breaking Maximus and forcing him to confess turned out to be easier…but the deranged usurper only said something about Black Bolt being forced to “reveal his secret”. The solution, in fact, was in the king’s forbidden (and secret) power, his extremely destructive voice: Black Bolt used it on the barrier, shattering it…and Attilan in the process. While most of the Inhumans stayed home to rebuild the city, Karnak and the Royal Family explored the outside world to better understand it: a task in which Karnak’s ability would have proven essential…

Karnak Mander-Azur is a wise and highly intelligent man, a philosopher used to examine everything and everyone in the deepest way possible, always analyzing and understanding the slightest details of anything. As an Inhuman, he’s stronger, faster, more agile and more durable than any human, but he doesn’t possess additional superhuman abilities; his unique style, however, allows him to sense the weak point in anything, so that he’s able to destroy even stone pillars with a single strike; this nearly extrasensory ability extends to ideas, philosophies and reasonings, making him an unbeatable tactician; he’s also Attilan’s best martial artist, capable of besting accomplished fighters such as Black Widow or Fantomex. Often (rightfully) considered the most dangerous Inhuman in the Royal Family, Karnak is loyal to his king only, and he puts all his remarkable talents and his vast knowledge and wisdom to Black Bolt’s service, having renounced to any personal interest or ambition during his training.

Chase Stein (Talkback)

Almost at the end of the main characters from the Runaways cast, this time we see one of the two boys in the group (quite outnumbered, our guys): Chase Stein, portrayed by Gregg Sulkin. Older than the others, Chase is described as a highschool lacrosse player who likes to give of himself the false image of the dumb athlete, but who’s actually quite a brilliant engineer…not that this comes as a surprise, considering that his parents are quite the stereotypical mad scientists. In the comics, he’s changed his role quite often in the team, and he also acted solo for a time, so it’s quite hard to find a fitting label for him…but of course, whe can look at his story together.

Chase Stein was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of two inventors, Victor and Janet Stein, who had made a fortune with a tool capable of removing stickers from CDs. As a kid, Chase was constantly scared by Marcus Roston, a criminal from L.A. whom he knew as Uncle Eli, a man who even entered his room by night as a threat to his parents, who had cut all ties with him. The uncle he liked the most was actually the true one, Hunter, Victor’s brother, who however fought with Chase’s father any time he dropped by. All his life, Chase had been pushed by his parents, Victor especially, to follow their footsteps and become interested in science, but he always liked sports more, and he became quite a skilled athlete…something that his father didn’t like the least, and he often beat him even without a reason (albeit most of the times it was because of the many Cs he received at school). Quite understandably, the only thing Chase really wanted to do was to disappear and never come back, and that’s the main reason he asked for a white van for his sixteenth birthdat: an anonymous vehicle that could have led him anywhere. Unfortunately, immediately after receiving the van, Chase accidentally ran over Uncle Hunter, who had just finished arguing with Victor: scared, he let his parents do the cover-up, sure that he had just killed his uncle (Hunter actually survived, but the Steins didn’t tell him, knowing they now had a way to control him). Still trying to put a distance between himself and his parents, Chase started looking for a “secret place” just for himself, and reading on one of his father’s books about a “missing mansion” built by a crazy actor in the 1920s, he tracked the supposed location of the house, and found it underground, where it had sunk during a earthquake: renaming the mansion “The Hostel“, Chase started to use it as his secret refuge. Every year since he was a kid, Chase attended along with his parents to an annual meeting of six wealthy families, Steins included, and he came to know the other families’ children, whom he befriended, despite being the oldest of the group. During one of these meetings one of the other kis, Alex Wilder, convinced Chase and some of the others to follow him into a secret passage: peeking from the end of it, they witnessed their parents murdering a young girl during some kind of ritual. Apparently, his father was even meaner that he thought.

Together, the kids decided to run away from home and to collect evidence against their parents, starting from their respective houses. In his own, Chase found the inventions his parents didn’t put on the market, some lethal high-tech weapons that challenged the laws of physics: he took two along, the X-Ray Specs, goggles that increased his vision, and the Fistigons, weaponized gauntlets capable of shooting a variety of projectiles. The others found something as well, and after the group narrowly escaped their parents, they all took shelter in The Hostel, their elected headquarters. Following Gert Yorkes‘ advice, Chase chose a new moniker to adopt in order to distance himself from his parents, and he started calling himself Talkback, quite a representative name, given to him by Gert herself. In the meanwhile, Alex was deciphering a book he had stolen from Gert Yorkes’s parents, a volume called The Abstract in which every information about their parents was recorded: it turned out the adults formed a group called The Pride, and that they had accepted to serve ancient deities known as Gibborim in exchange for six places in the heaven the monsters promised. Apparently, Alex had been pivotal in Pride’s history, as it had been his accidental conception that convinced the six families to conceive a child each to leave the new world to. This, however, didn’t change the fact that they were criminals, and Chase remained as determined as the others to bring them to justice. Being the only one with a driver licence, Chase transported the whole group on his unregistered white van, but instead of becoming some sort of “big brother” figure to them, his impossible character led him to fight a lot with the other Runaways, with Gert in particular. This tension, however, soon turned out to be something else: when Alex finally led a direct attack to The Pride in the place they would have popped out next for their Ritual of Blood, the Marine Vivarium, Chase nearly sacrificed his life protecting his friends from security golems, and he almost drowned. Gert saved him by performing CPR on him, but when the boy was reanimated, he shared a passionate kiss with the girl: from that moment, they became a couple. During the following battle with The Pride, Chase was defeated, and he entrusted his goggles and Fistigons to Alex, being unable to continue the fight. Unfortunately, Alex was a traitor who wanted to sacrifice them all but Nico Minoru: only the Gibborim’s untimely arrival saved the kids, while Alex and the Pride lost their lives. Captain America arrived just in time to save the kids, and he placed them in foster care…but Chase gave the agents a false address (the one he used to receive porn magazines), claiming it was his aunt’s, immediately disappearing from radars: no adult would have ever controlled him again.

Chase Stein is a smart but uncaring young man, a reckless and provocative guy who always has something to say about everyone. As Talkback, he’s a skilled athlete who possesses quite some equipment: the X-Ray Specs allow him to see through walls and even mountains (also clothes…), his Fistigons are extremely powerful gloves that can act as flamethrowers, electricity discharegers, missile launchers and much more, while his Footstigons allow him to fly at high speed; he’s also an expert pilot of the Leapfrog, an experimental amphibian vehicle built by his parents, and after Gert died, he inherited from her a psychic connection with Old Lace, her pet deinonychus, whom he can now control. Rebellious by nature and quite unnerving with his constant provocations, Chase is actually extremely insecure, a stubborn kid who’s afraid of finding himself alone in the world despite his thirst to be free…quite a living paradox, whose only steady point is his fierce loyalty to his friends.

Gorgon Petragon

Time for another character from the upcoming Inhumans, always a member of the Royal Family: Gorgon Petragon, the big guy in a poncho on the far left of the picture. Portrayed by Eme Ikwuakor, Gorgon is described as a life-lover who likes to live the moment, without much planning or thinking. He’s the cousin of Black Bolt and also the leader of Attilan‘s military, in this at least mirroring his comicbook counterpart. As for the rest, no hooves are clearly visible, and this would mark quite a major departure from the source, and the character suffered the umpteenth race swap, being Caucasian (sort of) in the comics. Anyway, let’s just wait and see, as always. In the meanwhile, let’s take a look at the original Gorgon.

Gorgon Petragon was born in Attilan, home of the Inhumans (a group of people genetically experimented on by the Kree): the son of architect Korath and archivist Milena, he was a heir of the House of Agon, the ruling family of Attilan, since Korath was brother to the king. As most Inhumans, Gorgon was allowed to undergo the Terrigenesis as a teenager, a rite of passage during which he would have been exposed to the Terrigen Mist that would have awakened his mutant genes and transformed him: as a result, he gained a superior strength, but his feet were transformed into hooves, giving him the ability to create quakes by stomping them on the ground, but also making his appearance quite intimidating, resembling a satyr. Gorgon grew up along with his cousins Karnak, Maximus and Medusa, and he finally met his older cousin Black Bolt, the future king, when he was nineteen, as he was allowed to leave the isolation chamber he had been locked in because of his uncontrollable power. With a strong sense of duty and loyalty, Gorgon immediately bonded with Black Bolt, and became one of his closest friends and most trusted allies. When his cousin finally became king, Gorgon was appointed by him to be his personal bodyguard (a nearly useless task, considering the power that Black Bolt held) and to train the new recruits who underwent the Terrigenesis, young and inexpert Inhumans who weren’t always capable of controlling their newly acquired abilities. He helped Black Bolt and Karnak in organizing the great exodus when Attilan was moved from the Pacific Ocean to the Himalayas, and he obviously participated to the battle that saw Black Bolt and the ones loyal to him (thus including Gorgon) against the usurper Maximus and his army of Alpha Primitives. During the battle, which was eventually lost by the Royal Family, Medusa was hurt and crash-landed somewhere on Earth: with the entire Royal Family exiled, Gorgon stayed back in Attilan to make sure that his parents were alright (actually, his father had already been killed by the Seeker, a minion of Maximus), and also begged the new king to allow his family’s return. Maximus agreed to Gorgon’s request, but on the condition that they brought back Medusa as well: fearing for his mother’s sake, Gorgon accepted the conditions, and started his search. He found Medusa in Paris, France, but the Inhuman future queen was amnesiac and didn’t recognize him, escaping from him after a brief fight.

After years of searching, Gorgon finally found Medusa again in New York City, in the United States of America, where she had become a supervillain in the Frightful Four. He tried to apprehend her, but she asked her former enemies, the Fantastic Four, for help: Gorgon assaulted the Baxter Building, and later followed the Human Torch, who was with Medusa, to Devil’s Lake. Here, the battle between the three of them awakened the android Dragon Man, who instinctively tried to protect Medusa, attacking both Gorgon and the Torch: when the monster created enough havoc to distract the Fantastic Four, Gorgon took Medusa and escaped to a secret refuge, where he also reunited with the rest of the Royal Family. Finally, Medusa’s memories returned upon seeing her younger sister Crystal…but soon the Fantastic Four reached them, and another battle ensued. Black Bolt interrupted the fight and took back his entire family to Attilan, where Maximus revealed to Gorgon that he had sent him after Medusa in order to claim her as his bride; in response to this, Black Bolt confronted his brother and his minions and claimed the crown back; Maximus, however, activated an impenetrable barrier all around the city, thus blocking all the Inhumans inside Attilan. Black Bolt and Gorgon started to pursue both Maximus and the Seeker through the city’s alleys, until Maximus took control of Black Bolt with his mental powers, forcing him to attack his cousin: Gorgon, thanks to his combat expertise, managed to turn the situation in his favour when he used Black Bolt as a shield, deflecting the blast that the Seeker had shot him to Maximus’ head, thus depowering him and making him even more insane than before. Then, he finally confronted the man who had killed his father, and slew him in combat making an entire cave collapse on him. With the Seeker dead and Maximus arrested, Gorgon joined the rest of his family to face the most pressing matter ahead: the barrier that was blocking them all in Attilan. He himself tried to destroy the barrier more than once with his hooves and weapons, and assisted Karnak in looking for a weakness in it, but all attempts failed. Finally, Black Bolt managed to destroy it with his impossibly powerful voice, but as Gorgon would have soon learned, this meant that the Inhumans were now vulnerable to threats from the outside…

Gorgon Petragon is a proud and fierce Inhuman, a warrior born whose loyalty lies in his king and family. Quite impulsive and hardheaded, Gorgon is not exactly a tactician, and often lets his rage take the best of him. As an Inhuman, he possesses enhanced strength, agility, speed, reflexes, durability and stamina, as well as an accelerated healing factor; when he stomps his hooves on the ground, he causes powerful seismic waves, and he deals massive damage even by simply kicking something (or someone); after S.H.I.E.L.D. forced him to a Secondary Terrigenesis, Gorgon has become more feral in appearance, gaining even claws and fangs, but also more powerful, now having a strength far exceeding the one of a regular Inhuman; he’s also a superb hand-to-hand combatant, among the finest Inhuman fighters. Quite a force of nature, Gorgon is a tough-as-nails soldier and a trustworthy ally, a royal whose loyalty is never to be doubted.

Gertrude Yorkes (Arsenic)

Next main character in Runaways is Gertrude “Gert” Yorkes, the purple-haired girl on the left side of the picture. Portrayed by Ariela Barer, Gert is described as a social justice warrior, a feminist and a punk, quite a committed teenager. As all the others, she discovers that her parents are supervillains, and goes on the run to escape their legacy and collect evidence against them. The main question spreading among the comicbook readers is: will the show’s budget be enough to allow Gert’s unforgettable companion to make an appearance as well? This wouldn’t normally represent a problem, but said companion is a genetically engineered dinosaur, so things may be a little harder than usual. Anyway, hoping to see both Gert and her Deinonychus in good shape, let’s meet the original(s).

Gertrude Stein was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of wealthy antique dealers Dale and Stacey Yorkes. Since she was little more than a baby, Gert showed an unusual intellect, that brought along quite a sharp character; distrustful by nature, she became convinced that parents always lie to their children, and grew with the deep certainty that all adults were evil (something that would have come in handy years later). Every year, the Yorkes met with five other families for a big charity event, something that Gert didn’t like the least; despite this, however, she managed to become friends with the other families’ kids, and when she was fifteen years old one of the other girls, Nico Minoru, made her a gift, a purple skarf. Gert liked the color so much that she dyed her hair the same way, something that became another reason of conflict with her parents. The main reason of enmity between her and her parents, however, remained the mysterious disappearance of Orwell, her pet potbelly pig, that Gert was sure her parents had killed. Growing up, she kept a distance from everyone but Nico, as not everybody could understand her sharp and sarcastic humour. Finally, the time came for another annual meeting, and Gert put up quite a fight not to follow Dale and Stacey, until she finally was forced to. This reluctant decision proved to be one of the most important in her life, as while the “grown-ups” were busy with their business, one of the other kids, Alex Wilder, convinced Gert and most of the others to follow him in a secret passage he had just discovered. What they saw on the other side changed their lives forever: all their parents were gathered together, celebrating some strange ritual during which they murdered a young girl in cold blood. Of all the witnesses, Gert was the less shocked: after all, she had always known that her parents were villains to begin with. What happened next was just the obvious consequence, according to Gert: after trying to convince Karolina Dean and Molly Hayes of what they had seen, the kids decided to collect evidence against their parents and to run away from home, looking for a way to bring them down. First, however, they decided to raid each one’s houses to look for something incriminating…and when they arrived to the Yorkes’ place, the surprise was even greater than expected.

While exploring her parents’ basement, Gert inadvertently activated a holographic last will with a registered message: Dale and Stacey revealed that they were actually time travellers from the 87th Century, and that they wanted to leave their daughter a special weapon to protect herself. The weapon turned out to be a dinosaur from the future, a genetically engineered velociraptor (actually a deinonychus) that instinctively formed a psychic bond with Gert. The girl tried to leave the (female) dinosaur behind, but she followed her, and eventually saved both her and Molly during a first battle against the kids’ parents, who had come to take them back. The group took shelter in a place owned by Chase Stein, one of them, and there Gert had the idea to change their names and to adopt monikers, a first step to distance themselves from their parents’ legacy. Gert named herself Arsenic, chosing for her new pet, the dinosaur, the name Old Lace, a homage to the old play Arsenic and Old Lace. Her bond with the deinonychus became stronger with time, and eventually the two of them were inseparable, with Gert finding an unexpectedly tender friend, a reliable protector and a lethal ally in the dinosaur. Unfortunately, the same thing couldn’t be said for the human members of the team, as Gert’s distrustful and suspicious nature put her at odds with most of them, especially Chase, who became her favourite verbal punching ball. This actually hid a secret attraction between the two, and after Chase risked to drown, Gert reanimated him, sharing a passionate kiss with him immediately after. From that moment, the two became a couple…even if this didn’t quell Gert’s attitude at all. When Karolina tried to have a new friend of her, Topher, join the group, Gert plainly opposed the idea, not trusting the stranger…and she proved to be right, as the boy was actually a vampire, who brought along his friends to have an easy banquet on the runaways. Luckily, the meal wasn’t easy at all, and the vampires were destroyed. Gert, however, was distrustful pretty much with everybody outside the group, and she even spoke against Cloak and Dagger, two superheroes and former runaways themselves who offered their help to the group. She didn’t trust even her own teammates, and when Alex convinced the others to follow their parents to the site of the next ritual, the Marine Vivarium, Gert said it loud and clear that she believed it was a bad idea…and facts proved her right even this time, as Alex turned out to be a mole who had betrayed them all from the first time. The battle ended in the runaways’ favour as Alex and the entire Pride were consumed by the Gibborim, the ancient deities they were serving. The Avengers, however, disbanded the juvenile group, and while Old Lace was taken to a secret facility, Gert was entrusted to a foster family. Once she had learnt to live without adults, however, Gert wasn’t willing to come back to her old ways ever again, and not much time later, she joined forces with Chase to free Old Lace and become a trio of vigilantes…

Gertrude Yorkes is an intelligent and cultured young woman, with a sarcastic spirit and a caustic humour; always distrustful and suspicious, she doesn’t let anybody come close to her, with only a few exceptions, one of them being a dinosaur. As Arsenic, she shares a psychic and empathic bond with the deinonychus Old Lace, being able to command her with a simple thought and sharing with her emotions and feelings, physical pain included. Quite a tough cookie to deal with, Gert is a rebellious punk always in conflict with the entire world, a girl who deeply and truly hates any adult, who protects herself from the world with a badass attitude and who trusts nobody as a principle…with the few ones she actually likes, however, she’s the most loyal of friends and a fierce defender, always on the first line to protect the people she loves.

Crystalia Amaquelin (Crystal)

Next character in the Inhumans main cast is the other female one, Crystal, portrayed by Isabelle Cornish. Described as “naive and curious”, Crystal will be the princess of the Royal Family, sister to Queen Medusa and eager to explore the world outside Attilan. This particular trait marks a similarity between the live action version and the comics one, as originally Crystal is the one who pushes the more to force the Inhumans to blend in with other people, and who’s always represented a bridge between Attilan and the outside world with her friendships, romances and occasional membership in several superhero teams, Avengers included. Unfortunately, due to the usual copyrights conflict, we won’t see Crystal interact with the hero who’s been her main love interest for much of her early publication history…but we can find their story here nevertheless.

Crystalia Amaquelin was born in Attilan, the secret city of Inhumans, from nutritionists Quelin and Ambur. The Inhumans, an off-shoot of humanity created millennia before by a group of Kree, allowed their people to be exposed to the Terrigen Mist and to obtain the special abilities deriving from Terrigenesis only after a period of formation, but like her older sister Medusalith, Crystalia was exposed to the Mist when she was still a child, and she gained the remarkable power of controlling the four classic elements, earth, air, water and fire. Crystalia, or Crystal for short, used to hang out with her older sister and her cousins Gorgon, Karnak and Maximus, but because of the age difference they mostly acted as a babysitter to her. Another inseparable companion of hers was her pet dog, the huge Lockjaw, a teleporting guardian that accompanied her wherever she went. When she was eight years old, she met for the first time her older cousin, Black Bolt, Medusa’s bethroted and her future brother-in-law, who had been isolated from the rest of Inhumans because of his uncontrollable power. Not much time after that first meeting, barely a year, the young Black Bolt was forced to accept the crown of king, as his parents, the current rulers, died during an accident caused by Maximus, whose ambition knew no limit. It was because of Maximus that a war erupted within Attilan, forcing the Royal Family to battle the prince, his army of Alpha Primitives and his newest creation, the powerful Trikon: during the following conflict, Medusa crash-landed somwhere in Asia, and the Royal Family lost the war, being exiled by Maximus, the new king. Crystal spent the following years with her cousins, growing up in a world that was alien to her and trying to locate her sister, who suffered from amnesia and couldn’t return to them. Luckily enough, Lockjaw stayed with her, so Crystal and the others could reach any place on Earth they wanted in no time, accelerating the search. Unlike her relatives, however, Crystal was fascinated by everything she saw, and growing up out of Attilan made her extremely receptive to the outside world’s uses and costumes. Finally, the Inhumans located Medusa in the United States of America, in New York City.

One night, while patrolling the area to try and find Medusa, Crystal met a man who was literally on fire: he was Johnny Storm, the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four. Between the two it was love at first sight, and they spent much time together. Crystal even mistook Johnny for an Inhuman because of his powers. When she tried to introduce him to her family, however, something unexpected happened: Gorgon had already battled the Fantastic Four before, and believed that the Human Torch wanted to harm Crystal. The two started fighting again, with the rest of the FF coming to Johnny’s aid, and Black Bolt coming in Gorgon’s favour. Medusa, however, had been found, so Black Bolt interrupted the fight making Lockjaw transport the Royal Family back to Attilan, where he claimed the crown back from Maximus; the Fantastic Four arrived on the scene, having understood the Inhumans were no enemies, but Crystal couldn’t do anything but watch as the deranged Maximus activated an impenetrable energy barrier that divided Attilan from the outside world, seemingly forever. With her blocked on one side of the barrier and her beloved Johnny on the other, Crystal was heartbroken, and not even the joy of having her big sister back with her could do anything to heal her love labours. Black Bolt, moved by her feelings, dedicated all his energies to breaking the barrier, and involved every capable mind in Attilan to do so, but apparently none of his or Karnak’s ideas gave any result. Finally, Maximus revealed that the barrier’s weakness lied in his brother’s voice, and Black Bolt found himself forced to use his forbidden power to free his people: Crystal and the others hid below the city, while the king spoke for the first time in years, shattering the barrier…and decimating the city. The Council decreed that the Royal Family had to stay away from Attilan as long as it was rebuilt to his former splendor, so Crystal faced yet another exile…but this time it was one she accepted with joy, as she could join her beloved Johnny once again. Thanks to Lockjaw, she arrived at the Baxter Building just in time to save the Fantastic Four from Sandman, finally able to fall into Johnny’s arms once again. Now, Crystal was where she belonged, not with her people, but with the man she loved.

Crystalia Amaquelin is an intelligent and dedicated young woman, a princess who knows her responsibilities and her duty to her people, but who’s also fascinated by everything belonging to the world outside Attilan. Often in disagreement with her sister Medusa, she nevertheless respects her and her family, and is ready to sacrifice her own happiness and interests for the sake of her people (such as when she agreed to marry the Kree Ronan to ensure peace between their two peoples). As Crystal, she possesses the Inhuman ability to control air, water, fire and earth, with a lot of variations coming from experience that make her extremely resourceful (i.e. aerokinesis allows her to fly and create “wind walls” as force fields, hydrokinesis allows her to manipulate ice and vapor as well, geokinesis makes her able to manipulate also metals, pyrokinesis allows her to control temperature); she’s also learnt to mix the elements for new abilities to emerge, and she’s now able to control electricity as well, and even to manipulate matter on an atomic level; she’s also stronger, faster and more durable than a regular human. Truly the child of two worlds, Crystal inherits the best of both, acting as a joining link between two peoples and two races: the perfect Inhuman ambassador for the human world.