The “Inhuman Touch” of Too Many Jokes on Guardians Of The Galaxy


Since Fox still holds the movie rights to the X-Men and the word “mutant,” it seems that the Inhumans have become Marvel’s golden children. They have been front and center in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the current Civil War II, and Infinity brought a new generation of Inhumans to the world. Now, the Guardians of the Galaxy meet the Inhumans again, meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Episode 21, “Inhuman Touch.”

Black Bolt

Picking up from where I thought this season ended, the hunt is on for the Cosmic Seed again, which Star-Lord knows is now on Earth. His starship driving and his impertinence to tell his companions where he’s going has placed the Milano in a debris field, and at its center they find Black Bolt… about to speak…


Black Bolt is one of those I call “playground characters,” ones whispered about in awe in the schoolyard as a kid, sorta like that renegade Green Lantern with a yellow power ring or that evil Justice League from Earth-Three. Not only is Black Bolt the king of the Inhumans, but he’s super-strong and can fly – and you know why he doesn’t talk? If he does, he’ll destroy everything. Yep, Jack Kirby is a genius and the real Golden Age is ten.

The Inhuman Comedy Hour

Black Bolt was just protecting the Milano from the debris and welcoming them. Once again, Star-Lord went behind his comrades’ backs and arranged a meeting with the Inhumans to discuss the Cosmic Seed. Surprisingly it doesn’t faze the Guardians. Maybe they’ve gotten used to secrets, like Gamora last time for instance.

Stop changing classic Kirby designs... or face the wrath of Medusa!
Stop changing classic Kirby designs… or face the wrath of Medusa!

The Inhumans are played as jokes, and like Rocket, Groot, and Drax, they are one=note jokes. Karnak, for example, is seeking the weakness in things. And I cringed at Quill hitting on Crystal. It gets old very quickly. Another thing that bothered me is the new designs of Karnak and Gorgon. Why would anyone change Kirby? Really, it doesn’t get better than the King; why alter perfection?

Maximus and the Madness

When last the Guardians encountered the Inhumans, Royal black sheep Maximus the Mad seemed to know a thing or two about where the Cosmic Seed was located. Star-Lord wants to question him. Finally Black Bolt allows it. After being warned repeatedly not to give anything to the prisoner, stupid Star-Lord gives him a pencil, and Maximus uses it to mind control all the Inhumans in the floating space city Attilan. Smooth move, Ex-Lax. And yes, just a pencil. Keep that in mind if you ever need to escape the Inhumans or the Kree…

Again? Really??
Again? Really??

Like many other Guardians of the Galaxy episodes, this is less a plot point and more an excuse to have our team fight the Inhumans. A good battle eats up time, saves on jokes, and keeps the writers from doing more than is necessary. Conveniently it seems the Guardians are only fighting the Royal Family even though the whole city is controlled by Maximus. Lucky for them.


In an attempt to have a plot this time out, Maximus has turned Attilan’s defenses into a space cannon and aimed it at the nearest inhabited planet seeking to turn terrigenesis into terripocalypse (I bet whoever thought of that line is mighty proud of themselves; hey, it is pretty clever). The Guardians and the Inhumans must work together to stop Maxi before it’s too late.

...I remember this being a lot more fun...
…I remember this being a lot more fun…

This series used to be clever, winking and playing with comics continuity while entertaining the kids too. It could be smart, deep, sometimes touching. Now it’s just all jokes and catering to younger viewers. Even the interesting animation effects and classic rock are gone. The episode title references a 1980s Rick Springfield tune, which we don’t even hear…


Maximus gives up what the Guardians were after, the location of the Cosmic Seed. As we’ve known for a couple episodes, and perhaps the showrunners have forgotten, but Star-Lord has known too – the Seed is on Earth. The Guardians act as if they’ve never been there, and Star-Lord hasn’t been there since he was a kid. Wait, what?


Yeah, I guess none of the animated adventures before this series occurred, or as I’ve theorized before, the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series happens in its own continuity or is a dream or something. So many things just don’t fit…

Next: Welcome Back!


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