Today, we got our first look at the royal family of Marvel’s upcoming Inhumans TV series. We saw Black Bolt grimacing without his mask, Maximus looking suspiciously like Ramsay Bolton, and of course, we saw Queen Medusa. Wearing what looks like a Party City wig. Marvel, what the fuck is going on?
Like all Inhumans who go through the terrigenesis, Medusa is known for having distinctive, and at times destructive powers. Her husband Black Bolt’s voice is able to obliterate cities, her sister Crystal is able to control the classical elements, and the queen herself has a head of luxurious, indestructible, prehensile hair. It sounds rather silly, but as anyone who’s ever seen Medusa fight in the comics knows, she can mess you up real bad with just a flip of that red mane.
Which is what makes this first photograph of her so...odd. Look at it. I mean really look at it:
While I’m sure that Serinda Swan’s a talented actress, this wig they’ve plopped on her head is a disgrace to the Inhuman royal blood. It’s dead straight, got barely any volume to it, and doesn’t seem at all like the kind of hair that might strangle you to death.
Obviously, if Inhumans planned to give Medusa even a modicum of the kind of powers her hair has in the comics, it would require a a fair amount of CGI. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, though, Inhumans show runner Scott Buck emphasized that the show wasn’t planning on spending all that much money to bring the Inhumans’ powers to life. Even more worrying, Buck’s admitted that the Inhumans team has had trouble animating Medusa’s hair.
It is very difficult. Even now, it’s still a process. It takes quite a long time in post to make that effect work. We have some of the best visual effects people available working on our show. We still haven’t seen the final version of it; it’s very much a work in process.
That’s... fine. I get it. The Inhumans are a difficult set of characters to translate to the screen! But if you are going to do a good Medusa, the least a team’s costume designer and makeup leads can do is to get her an epic (and appropriate) wig.
Of the many things that were wrong with Bryan Singer’s original X-Men movie, the most egregious, by far, was Halle Berry’s Storm wig. Aside from being sheet white, it bore no resemblance at all to what Storm’s hair traditionally looks like—either a big, bold Delta Burke cumulus or an edgy punk rock mohawk. Thankfully, X3: The Last Stand and X-Men: Apocalypse eventually got Storm’s hair right, but Inhumans doesn’t have the luxury of being a part of a multi-year franchise to get the look of one of its leads right.
Medusa’s an incredibly complex, intelligent and powerful character in a world surrounded by people who smash things rather than think critically. But she’s also her hair. It’s a part of her damned name. So please, pray that when Inhumans hits IMAX theaters later this year, someone gets her a badass press and curl or at least some Inhuman volumizing shampoo.