Wednesday, March 1, 2017

MARVEL'S INHUMANS Casts Serinda Swan as Medusa

Long live the Queen.

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

Medusa is described in the article as "Black Bolt’s most trusted advisor, a fiercely resilient warrior who has the ability to move and control her hair the way most people use their hands and fingers."

Swan, 32, is a Canadian actress probably best known as the DC Comics superhero Zatanna on the WB/CW series Smallville.  She also appeared as Siren #2 in the film Tron: Legacy and as Aphrodite in the movie Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Her other television appearances include episodes of The Tomorrow People, Chicago Fire, Graceland, Hawaii Five-O, Breakout Kings, Supernatural, Psych, and Exes and Ohs.

Marvel TV head and executive producer Jeph Loeb remarked, "Serinda empowers Medusa’s regal glory and still maintains a relatability that synced perfectly with the character.  She is nothing short of wonderful."

Showrunner Scott Buck added, "Serinda Swan brings a regal elegance, as well as a sense of great inner strength and fierce determination, to the role of Medusa.  I couldn’t be happier to have her as our Queen of Attilan."

Created in 1965 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Bolt first appeared in Fantastic Four (vol.1) #36 as Medusalith Amaquelin Boltagon, the older sister of Crystal (who later became the wife of the Avenger Quicksilver).  Considered a member of Attilan's Royal Family, Medusa's parents chose to expose her to the Terrigen Mists when she was a child, giving her control of her long red hair as if it were countless thin appendages growing from her head. During her adolescent years, Medusa would often visit her distant cousin Black Bolt during his confinement, and she learned to communicate with him through body language. During the course of these visits, the two fell in love and became engaged.  She attended Black Bolt's release from his isolation cell at the age of eighteen, and witnessed the first confrontation between Black Bolt and his insane brother Maximus the Mad.  Maximus also claimed to be in love with Medusa, and has made frequent attempts to usurp both the throne of Attilan as well as his brother's bride-to-be.  It was in Maximus' first successful attempt to take the throne that Medusa was knocked off a sky-sled by the Trikon and afflicted with amnesia.  She left Attilan, and wandered Europe as a thief.

While wandering through Europe, she came to the attention of The Wizard, who was seeking a worthy female to become the fourth member of his new quartet, the Frightful Four, who became nemeses of the Fantastic Four.  The red-haired villainess performed superbly in the Frightful Four's first battle with the Fantastic Four and after a few more encounters, she was pursued by Gorgon on behalf of Maximus.  It was some time before the disastrous effects of worldly pollution on the Inhumans was known, but eventually Medusa regained her senses and joined forces with the Fantastic Four.  She was reunited with Black Bolt, who had been searching for her, and returned to Attilan.  However, she became trapped in Atillan by the "negative zone" barrier created by Maximus.  She was eventually freed from the barrier by Black Bolt, and left the Great Refuge to visit the outside world as an adventurer.  The Fantastic Four became friends and allies and aided the Inhumans on several occasions, such as during the frequent power struggles between Black Bolt and the deranged Maximus.

Medusa has joined the Fantastic Four as a team member for brief periods of time.  She became a temporary replacement for Susan Richards, known as the Invisible Girl at the time, while she was on leave caring for her comatose son Franklin Richards.  Through her relations with the Fantastic Four, Medusa and Black Bolt have sought to achieve an understanding and peace between the races of Earth and Attilan.  Nevertheless, the Inhumans have been forced to relocate their home of Attilan several times due to unwarranted human hostility.

Medusa and Black Bolt were married and Medusa was made queen, becoming both royal consort and royal interpreter.  When Medusa became pregnant, Attilan's Genetics Council argued that the pregnancy should be terminated due to the possibility of the child inheriting Maximus' insanity coupled with Black Bolt's immense and destructive power.  Medusa defied the Council and fled to Earth to avoid the compulsory abortion and live anonymously in the desert until the child was born, a son named Ahura.  Black Bolt reconciled with Medusa and the pair returned to Attilan and turned their infant son over to the Genetics Council.  Following these events, Ahura was not mentioned or seen in the Marvel Universe for several years.  

During the Realm of Kings storyline, Medusa ended up taking control of the Inhumans following Black Bolt's death.  She took her husband's place in the Illuminati when Iron Man reassembled the team in response to the Hood's attempts to acquire the Infinity Gemsalthough in the end, Steve Rogers took custody of Black Bolt's gem at the conclusion of the crisis.  Recently, during the Civil War II storyline, Medusa and Crystal introduced the Inhuman Ulysses to Captain Marvel, War Machine, and Black Panther.  Medusa later caught Iron Man infiltrating New Attilan to claim Ulysses and failed to reason with him. After Iron Man defeated Medusa, Crystal, and Karnak and made off with Ulysses, Medusa led some Inhumans to Stark Tower to confront Iron Man, which led the Avengers, the Ultimates, S.H.I.E.L.D., and other superheroes to intervene.  Medusa was present when Ulysses projected his latest vision of a rampaging Hulk standing over the corpses of the superheroes.

This will be the first time the character will appear in live-action, although she has been in several animated projects, including Fantastic Four (1978), Spider-Man (1981, voiced by B.J. Ward), Fantastic Four (1994, voiced by Iona Morris), Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Ultimate Spider-Man (voiced by Mary Faber and Rose McGowan), and Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy (voiced by Catherine Taber).

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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