The Inhumans set course for the Kree’s shattered planet for a reunion with Ronan!

Hala has been visited by much tragedy over the years. Most recently, the planet became basically uninhabitable leaving only Ronan the Accuser to keep silent watch over his shattered former sphere of residence.

For many that survived Hala’s recent destruction, one group stands out amongst all others as being key in the world’s destruction: the Inhumans. Ronan certainly would count himself amongst those with that opinion.

So just imagine the awkwardness that will ensue when ROYALS #4 hits this June 21, bringing the Inhuman ruling family back to the desolate globe that formerly served as Kree homeworld. And if that might be galling enough to Ronan all on its own, wouldn’t you just know that they have come to ask for a favor?

We found writer Al Ewing hiding in the game room upstairs looking to avoid the squabbles and asked him for the latest Kree-Inhuman gossip.

Marvel.com: The connection between the Inhumans and the Kree is a long-standing “fact” of the Marvel Universe. However, there hasn’t been much of that story told. What is your take on their historic relationship? How are things between them before this issue?

Al Ewing: Things are not great. A short and simple version of the history is that Black Bolt and company came to the Kree Empire, took it over, and then later went off to pursue their own projects, leaving Ronan and Crystal in charge. Ronan resurrected a version of the Supreme Intelligence, The Supremor, who promptly declared war on the Inhumans and the Earth, whereupon Ronan quit to be with Crystal.

Unfortunately, a peace treaty between the Kree and the Inhumans required Ronan to separate from Crystal and go back into the Supremor’s service. Crystal basically agreed to that, out of a sense of duty to both races and over Ronan’s objections. And after that, Hala was destroyed and Supremor with it. And in the same incident, Ronan got cosmic powers from a magic mirror. And here we are.

So, to answer your question…the relationship isn’t all it could be.

Marvel.com: Regardless of the past, Hala is a very “hot spot” especially between the Kree and the Boltagons specifically. Why return to what is, essentially, the scene of the crime?

Al Ewing: Hala contains some buried knowledge—a piece of history pertaining to the Kree and the Inhumans both, a lost secret of Terrigen. Bringing it to the surface will let the Royals know if it’s possible for them to bring the Inhumans back to their former glory, and whether they can atone for their own crimes in the process.

Meanwhile, for Ronan, Hala is a planet-wide graveyard, a sacred place. He doesn’t like visitors at the best of times and especially not these visitors.

Marvel.com: How are dynamics changed by Maximus being present, not Black Bolt?

Al Ewing: If Black Bolt was there, he’d probably be the target of Ronan’s wrath. He’s responsible. He conquered the Kree, he chose to abandon them, and it was his diktat that tore Ronan and Crystal out of their happy place and [sent] Ronan back to serve a monster.

Maximus doesn’t figure so much on [Ronan’s] radar. He was the weaponsmith, the court jester, and the occasional traitor, but in Ronan’s eyes he’s never been the important one. So Ronan will probably leave him on the back burner and concentrate on other targets. Whether Maximus will feel the same, I don’t know. Ronan did play a big part in his parents getting killed.

Royals #4 cover by Jonboy Meyers

Marvel.com: Ronan’s connection with the Inhumans is especially complex. What is his reaction to seeing them again? How does it make Crystal feel to encounter her partner in a failed arranged union?

Al Ewing: Ronan’s not in a very good mental state when he sees them again. He’s angry, he’s sick with grief, he’s looking for someone to blame. His immediate reaction is to get hold of them for a little chat, as only a cosmic-powered Accuser of the Kree can do.

As for him and Crystal, they’ve got a lot to talk about. From Ronan’s point of view, he blames her, because it was her decision to effectively annul their marriage—a marriage that had gone from mutually-agreed convenience without any intimacy, to a full-on actual true-love connection—and he’s bound that up with a lot of other stuff he’s going through.

Crystal’s in a different place. She’s got responsibilities to the Inhumans, to her child from a previous marriage, to her home planet. There’s been just as much running from one crisis to the next for her as for him, but she’s managed to move on in a way that he hasn’t. What that means when they’re in a room together? I don’t know. I guess we’ll all find out.

Marvel.com: This marks the first full issue with Thony Silas on art. What does he bring to the book?

Al Ewing: Thony’s got a good style for these issues—shadowy, a little sinister in places. Plus he does great things with [previous artist Jonboy Meyers’] character designs for the book. I really enjoyed his work on issue #3, and he came up with a layout suggestion for a particular bit in #4 that I’m kicking myself a little for not thinking of [first]. It’s going to be nice to see out this first arc with him.

Marvel.com: Why is this a cannot miss capture in the evolving relationship of the Inhumans to the larger Marvel U?

Al Ewing: There’s a thing readers should understand with this book: we’re not doing business in the normal way. There will be no tie-ins until we get back to Earth. We’re self-contained, telling our own story, beholden to nobody, and we’re on a trip out to the far reaches of Marvel Space, and we’re going to come back changed, and carrying something very special with us.

And then we’re going to see what the other two books have been doing, and what they’re bringing to the party. And we’ll see what happens when we put it all together and shake it around a little.

Maybe it’ll turn to gold. Maybe it’ll explode. I honestly have no idea, but I do know that it’s not the job of the Inhumans to ever be predictable. So…I guess we’ll all find out together.

Al Ewing and Thony Silas reunite Ronan with ROYALS in issue #4 on June 21!

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Al Ewing talks about the recently revealed truth behind ‘Black Bolt’!

Never one to stand on ceremony, Mad Maximus saw a problem and decided to solve it. The dilemma? His brother, the near sainted Black Bolt had gone too far and not for the first time.

So, as revealed in ROYALS #2, Maximus seized the moment and impersonated his sibling as the Royal Family launched itself into space.

With the real Black Bolt trapped in some remote location, the family seems stuck with Maximus amongst them. However, what if he really did make the right decision for the good of the Inhumans? In advance of May 17’s ROYALS #3, Ewing helpfully dropped in on us to present the case for Maximus seizing his brother’s identity at an even earlier date.

Joins the Illuminati

“Yeah, this was just your basic autocratic stuff,” Ewing comments. “Just a king, chilling out with his fellow kings, deciding the fate of the rest of the planet, nothing to see there.”

“The world had to actually be ending before T’Challa got involved with that, but Black Bolt was there from the get-go,” he elaborates. “And he didn’t consult the Inhumans, either. How can we trust the king not to sell Attilan down the river to the super-celebrities? Why is he talking to known jerk Professor Charles Xavier before consulting his own Queen? It’s not a good look. If Maximus had swapped places with him, the Illuminati would have been dancing to Attilan’s tune, not vice versa.”

Declares war on the United States over the crystals used in Terrigen Mist

“Well, getting the crystals back from the U.S. government was a priority for the Inhumans, but the way Black Bolt went about it wasn’t exactly ideal,” argues the writer. “A lot of humans and Inhumans died, Gorgon was mutated for a while, and while Maximus was able to use the situation to his advantage, who can say he wouldn’t have done even better if he’d been in charge? He might have gone about it in a less obvious way. Or he might have built a giant ray gun that didn’t work properly, because [sometimes] he rolls that way too.”

Overthrowing the Kree government and seizing power for himself

“It’s not much of a spoiler that there are people who don’t remember this move fondly,” Ewing reveals. “Ronan is out there, remembering every detail of how he put his trust in the Inhumans—indeed, he put all his weight and power in Kree society behind their new regime—and then they just left without warning the moment Black Bolt decided they had better things to do. And after that, of course, Hala was blown to pieces and everyone on Hala died.”

“And now Ronan’s about to come face to face with the Royals as their quest takes them to the dead planet,” he continues. “Looking at it that way, maybe Maximus was wrong to swap places with Black Bolt; it might have been better to let his older brother face the music…”

The release of Terrigen Mists across the Earth that started IvX and forcibly changed many people’s lives without their consent

“Well, Maximus actually helped with that one,” admits Ewing. “And he’d probably have done the same thing himself. But the important thing is that it was Black Bolt’s idea, which means Maximus is completely blameless and it’s entirely right that Black Bolt is being shot off to a space prison in his place.”

Causing the accidental death of his parents and his brother’s traumatic brain injury through the use of his sonic voice

“And this is the big one,” insists the writer. “As we’ll see in issue #3, there was a little more going on that day than we’ve seen before; we’re going to be getting deep into the secrets of the family Boltagon, the secret origin of Maximus the Mad, and why exactly Maximus betrayed the Inhumans to the Kree that time—which was why Black Bolt used his super-voice in the first place. It’s all going to come out and once you know the full story, maybe you’ll agree with Maximus that he was right all along to do what he did. Or maybe he’ll be scarier than ever.”

Sit down with the family Boltagon for some quality time in ROYALS #3, available May 17 from Al Ewing and Jonboy Meyers!

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Al Ewing outlines the challenges that will change the Inhumans forever!

The Royals will be putting the jet planes, the islands, and the tigers behind them this April because they have decided to leave the world and its treats behind for the indifferent vacuum of space. Motivated by a sense of exploration and a need to find their roots, this collection of the Inhuman ruling class—and Marvel Boy—will depart terra firma for parts unknown.

It will, however, not be any easy task. Challenges await them in the cosmos and within their ranks. Difficulties that may derail them long before they even reach their first planet.

Writer Al Ewing took time off from reviewing his star charts to give us some insight on this team as we eagerly await ROYALS #1.

Marvel.com: To start, the first time we spoke about this series launch, artist Jonboy Meyers had just been assigned. Now the book is nearly arriving on shelves and you’ve worked with Meyers for a bit, how has the collaboration been? What about his work has helped you realize the tone you were seeking for the book?

Al Ewing: I like Jonboy’s stuff a lot; he’s got a lot of energy to his art that really spills off the page and gives the scenes a lot of extra crackle. He’s influenced the book in a lot of ways—for one, during the original design phase he provided a whole bunch of variant outfits for each character, and I think we’re going to end up using most of them—at least as starting points.

He keeps doing it, too. I just got some great art back with a couple of Royals in some very spiffy-looking space suits, fighting Chitauri on the hull of a speeding spaceship as it hurtles past Pluto. Also, that’s happening, we’re doing that.

Marvel.com: What about Marvel Boy’s skills or natural talents makes him the right man to act as the navigator for the Royals?

Al Ewing: He’s loaded down with natural and unnatural talent. He’s got all those cockroach genes, for a start, and his personal weapons system plugs right into the Royals’ spaceship in a way I think readers will enjoy. And also, he’s the guy who knows where they’re going and what they’re going for, heading to Hala for a secret only he knows about.

Wait, only he? No, there might be another crew member who has an understanding of it—and it’s not who we think it is.

Marvel.com: In this launching of their journey, staying away from spoilers as best as you can/want to, what are some of the immediate obstacles the Royals may encounter?

Al Ewing: Death lays a bony paw on one of the team pretty much immediately. Is this the same team member who won’t come back? Who can say? It’s all riddles from me at this point.

In terms of something we can be a bit more certain about in an interview context, I mentioned Chitauri earlier. We’re not so much tying-in with Secret Empire as glancing off it at an angle—Medusa and company fly face first into the oncoming Chitauri wave as it heads for Earth. How they get out of that one is going to be one of the big Marvel moments people remember—I’m pretty confident about that—and from there, we leap right into a look into Black Bolt’s past and the uncomfortable secret he’s been keeping. So all kinds of shenanigans.

Marvel.com: Briefly, if you would, please run down each team member and their motivations for going into space and opinion about taking the journey?

Al Ewing: This is going to be super brief, so hold onto your hat.

Black Bolt’s got a secret.

Medusa’s out of options.

Gorgon needs to fight.

Crystal has her duty.

Flint is looking.

Swain is finding.

And Marvel Boy is doing it all for his oldest friend.

Also: we’re going deep into alchemical territory. I’m doing a lot of research on a lot of pretty esoteric stuff, and everything I find makes more connections.

Al Ewing and Jonboy Meyers’ ROYALS #1 heads your way on April 5, with issue #2 nipping at its heels on April 19!

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Al Ewing runs down the regal cast of his new comic!

In the upcoming ROYALS #1 on April 5, we’ll see the Inhuman royal family embarking on an epic journey, along with Marvel Boy, to save their people. They’ll travel through galaxies and dimensions, maybe even changing the course of Inhuman destiny.

With stakes this high, what does each of these characters bring to the table? We sat down with writer Al Ewing, who gave us a little background on each member of the family.

MEDUSA
“The Queen of the Inhumans, with living, super-strong hair that she can control and direct to perform some frankly astonishing feats,” recaps Ewing. “But the end of IvX will take a toll on her, and she’ll go through some more changes from the very first issue of ROYALS. Will she still be the same person—and the same leader—on the other side?

BLACK BOLT
“[He] is the ex-King, and Medusa’s husband—a marriage now somewhat on the rocks,” the writer cautions. “Black Bolt’s powers complicate matters; the slightest sound out of his mouth, whether a shout, a quiet word or even a cough, could level mountains. Also complicating things: his mad brother Maximus, the constant thorn in the Inhumans’ sides. What secret do the brothers share—and where will it lead Black Bolt?”

CRYSTAL
“Medusa’s sister and second-in-command; one of the more powerful Inhumans, with a measure of control over all four of the classical elements, earth, air, fire and water,” lists Ewing. “She has also displayed a powerful talent for diplomacy, which could serve the Royals well on their travels. Except that they’ll first stop on the dead world Hala, overseen by her ex-husband, cosmic powerhouse Ronan the Accuser. They’ve got bad blood and lost love between them, and it won’t end well.”

Royals #1 cover by Jonboy Meyers

GORGON
“[He] has served as a faithful man-at-arms for both Medusa and Black Bolt since his youth—and with his hooves that can shatter concrete and cause earthquakes with every stomp, he has done his job well,” the writer affirms. “But he’s getting older, and recent injuries have left him unable to use his gift—and some days, even move—without severe pain. But as a widower with an estranged daughter and a son in a coma—after he failed them both—he has become used to hiding the pain he feels.”

 

SWAIN

“Swain is one of the ‘NuHumans,’ an Inhuman bloodline that spread out among the human world, until the release of the Terrigen mists into the atmosphere triggered their Inhuman genes,” explains Ewing. “In Swain’s case, she gained a subtle control over the emotions of people around her. She hates her power, as she can never feel sure of any relationship—except with her literally emotionless girlfriend, Ash. But she also serves as the Inhumans’ top pilot, and a staunch royalist, making her the perfect choice to fly the Royals to the stars.

FLINT
“Flint’s life has been full of trauma: his adopted family were of a branch of Inhumanity that couldn’t survive contact with Terrigen, and they died en masse after the Terrigen cloud passed, leaving him as the only survivor, with power over rock and stone,” the writer recounts. “After that, he tracked down his biological family in a far-flung Inhuman colony, only to find he couldn’t belong. Flint is searching for something he can’t fully articulate, something that drives him into deep space—something that might make him the most powerful Inhuman of all.”

MARVEL BOY
“A Kree from an alternate universe of peace and plenty, who strayed into our reality, whereupon our reality shot him down and murdered his friends and family,” sums up Ewing. “Blessed with insect-gene enhancements and alien weaponry, Noh-Varr has tried to find his place with the heroes of our world before, but has always failed them, and himself; now he’s taking the Inhumans on a quest into space to find the secrets of their people, and his motives aren’t entirely selfless. Will he fail himself again?”

Attend the coronation in ROYALS #1 by Al Ewing and Jonboy Meyers, coming April 5!

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Take a behind-the-scenes look at the next step for the Inhumans!

The Inhumans plan on searching the stars to find the true origins of their species in the pages of ROYALS. The series by writer Al Ewing and artist Jonboy Meyers launches out of the franchise tone-setting INHUMANS PRIME and will focus on members of the ruling family including Medusa, Black Bolt, Gorgon, Crystal, Flint, and Swain venturing out for answers beginning April 5.

With the fresh new start in the stars will also come new designs thanks to Meyers including a re-working of the alternate-dimension Marvel Boy who will guide the Inhumans on their journey. We talked with Meyers about his reworking of classic looks, partnering with Ewing and setting the Royal Family on a new track.

Marvel.com: When you set about re-working the overall look of an entire group like the Inhumans, what were some of the most important elements you wanted to include in that process?

Jonboy Meyers: For me it was important to try to “rebrand” them a bit; with the Inhumans Vs. X-Men stuff I think it was important to make ROYALS look like a fresh start. With the family heading into space, for me they really leave that super hero part of their lives there on Earth. It’s more “Mad Max in Space”-centered so I really wanted their look to reflect that this is something different, especially to readers when they read the book; this is not a super hero style book—it’s totally something else.

Marvel.com: Did any of the designs give you more trouble than others?

Jonboy Meyers: I think Medusa was the toughest. How do you do something that feels regal but different? Initially I must have done something like 12 different versions of her super hero look and then reading Al Ewing’s premise, a light clicked on and it read that this is not your spandex-and-capes book. So it freed me up to do something more space-based. But I wanted their look to reflect a “Uniform Inhuman Language,” but each character having their own color or style to it—but all of their new looks live in the same design family.

Marvel.com: You’ve also got Marvel Boy popping up. How was it reworking his look and how does he, as an outsider, carry himself differently than the Inhumans he’s surrounded by?

Jonboy Meyers: He was a fun one. Initially I was hoping we would get Quicksilver to join the family. In the 80’s he was such a big part of the Royal Family, but Noh-Varr was a great fit. I wanted his look to feel a bit more rebellious and youthful, but a bit arrogant since, at his core, Noh-Varr is a free thinker and moves to the beat of his own drum. But there’s a nod to his Kree lineage in his design, especially his space/battle armor with the fin on top.

I think it’s nice to remind readers who this character harkens back to: the late great Mar-Vell. Throughout this book I get the feeling Noh-Varr knows a lot more about what’s going on than he’s letting on and I would not be surprised if he had his own agenda about going into space. After all it was his idea for them to leave…

Marvel.com: An interesting aspect of the Inhumans, especially the ones in ROYALS, is that they’re not just a family but also leaders. Does that come into play when you’re drawing them?

Jonboy Meyers: I think there is a clear line of hierarchy with Medusa still calling the shots, but this is very much a family to me and not so much a team. So how they interact will reflect that, with Medusa always out in front; I think there’s a subtext in the art on how you layout the page and how you position characters that tells the reader indirectly who’s the “Leader” or what roles characters play.

Marvel.com: Part of the fun of ROYALS comes from the fact that these great characters are traveling through space searching for their own history. That’s some real world-building type stuff. Do you enjoy getting into that kind of nitty gritty when it comes to designs?

Jonboy Meyers: I do, though team books are a ton of work just with the large cast, but world-building and making cool designs that help fill out the world is pure fun. I think for me it’s important to try to do something that hasn’t been done—like the new ship design they’re flying around in, to how the tech looks or how the alien worlds around them look.

Marvel.com: Al’s really making a name for himself with books that bring in all kinds of amazing ideas and get wildly weird. How has it been working with him so far?

Jonboy Meyers: Al’s script is very well done and he’s making me fall in love with these characters. He’s super easy going, communicative and very supportive in letting me do my thing art-wise. Al’s voice is very unique and I think the story he’s writing will redefine who the Inhumans are and what they’re about. This is very much about family and the lengths a family will go through to protect and help one another. You’re going to see a lot of fun stuff coming up for sure. So buckle up—this rocket ship is taking off!

Hitch a ride with ROYALS #1 by Al Ewing and Jonboy Meyers, available April 5!

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