Thursday, March 2, 2017

MARVEL'S INHUMANS Casts Ken Leung as Karnak

I don't see a flaw with this casting.

Marvel has revealed that the upcoming ABC television series Marvel's Inhumans has cast Ken Leung as the Inhumans' martial arts master, Karnak.  The 8-episode series will explore the never-before-told epic adventure of the Inhuman royal family.  Leung joins Anson Mount (Black Bolt), Serinda Swan (Medusa) and Iwan Rheon (Maximus the Mad) in the series.

Karnak is described in the announcement as "Black Bolt’s cousin and closest advisor.  His gift is an ability to see the fault in all things – people, plans, structures, everything.  He’s Black Bolt’s most ardent supporter and strategist and is often seen as the royal family’s planner and philosopher."

Leung, 47, is best known as Miles Straume on the ABC series LOST and recently appeared as Admiral Statura in the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  His other film appearances include X-Men: The Last Stand (as Kid Omega), Red Dragon, Saw, Saw V, Vanilla Sky, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Rush Hour.  He's also appeared on episodes of The Night Shift, Zero Hour, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, The Sopranos, Oz, and Law & Order.

Executive Producer Jeph Loeb remarked, "Ken brings both a wisdom and a power to the role that no one else could match.  His Karnak will be awesome."

Executive Producer and showrunner Scott Buck added, "Ken Leung has a great natural intelligence that reads clearly and will add depth and complexity to the very complicated character of Karnak."

Created in 1965 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Karnak first appeared in Fantastic Four (vol.1) #45 as Karnak Mander-Azur, the brother of Triton and the cousin of Black Bolt, who was never exposed to the mutagenic Terrigen Mists so he never developed additional powers. Triton's Terrigenesis was so extreme that his parents, Mander and Azur, begged that Karnak not have to endure the procedure.  Instead, he was sent to a monastery, where he became a martial artist who can find the weakness in anything and then use his training and strength to exploit it.

In his comics debut, Karnak first appeared as a member of the Inhumans when he attempted to retrieve his cousin and queen, Medusa from the outside world and take her back to Attilan.  This led him into conflict with the Fantastic Four, the first humans he met, who were harboring Medusa after rescuing her from the villainous Frightful Four.  Karnak battled Maximus alongside the Inhuman Royal Family, and became trapped in Maximus' "negative zone" barrier around the Great Refuge.  He was freed from the "negative zone" barrier along with the rest of the Inhumans by the Fantastic Four and left the Great Refuge with the Royal Family to visit the outside world.  He teamed with the Thing, Human Torch, and Black Panther against the Psycho-Man, and aided the Inhuman Royal Family in defeating Maximus' next attempt to overthrow the Great Refuge.

Following Attilan's destruction during the Infinity storyline, Karnak went on a rampage in New York at the start of the Inhumanity storyline, and was stopped and imprisoned by the Avengers.  After warning Medusa to forget what she knew in order to prepare for a coming cataclysm, Karnak commited suicide by leaping out of one of the windows in Avengers Tower.  Karnak wound up in a strange afterlife that he believed to be Hell, but he and an ally he met there successfully found a door out while holding off strange creatures.  Karnak used his ability to see the weakness in things to open the door, and found himself bursting out of the NuHuman Lineage's chest in the real world, killing Lineage in the process.  He realized that what he thought was Hell was inside Lineage, as Karnak is one of his ancestors. Karnak told Medusa he knew that she has been an outstanding queen in his absence and rejoined her council.

This will be the first time the character will appear in live-action, although he has been in several animated projects, including Fantastic Four (1978, voiced by John Stephenson), Fantastic Four (1994, voiced by Clyde Kusatsu), Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (voiced by Fred Tatasciore), Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy.

The first two episodes of Inhumans will first debut in IMAX theaters on September 4, 2017, followed by the ABC television series two weeks later.

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