With the recent trailer debut of Inhumans, Marvel is set to have another show that comic fans can tune into. When the Inhumans were created, they were a relatively obscure race, but in recent years they have been pushed into the spotlight. The most prominent member is the king of the Inhumans, Black Bolt. So, what are his powers and what makes him one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe?
Black Bolt, real name, Blackagar Boltagon, first appeared in 1965’s Fantastic Four #45. His debut established him as leader of the Inhuman Royal Family, which consisted of Medusa, Crystal, Maximus the Mad and several others. Born to King Agon and Queen Rynda, Black Bolt was exposed to the Terrigen Mist and gained the ability to manipulate electrons. This manifested in his voice, forcing him to never speak.
Black Bolt’s electron-harnessing power is linked to the speech centre of his brain, giving him a destructive voice. At full strength, his scream is powerful enough to destroy planets. It’s damaged powerful beings like Thanos, Vulcan and Hulk in the past. Even a whisper can cause severe damage to a battleship. As a result, he’s trained himself rigorously to remain silent. The fork-line antenna worn on his forehead allows him to control his power.
Black Bolt can also channel his powers inward to increase his strength. By focusing it through his arms, he can unleash concussive blasts. The ultimate version of this is referred to as his Master Blow, which leaves him vulnerable after he’s used it.
The Silent King’s traditional role is to serve as a protector of his people, but that’s changed over the years. During the Infinity storyline, Black Bolt came into conflict with Thanos because he refused to give him a tribute of young Inhumans. Black Bolt discovered Thanos was using the tribute as a ruse to find and kill his Inhuman-descendant son. The two of them fought in Attilan and Black Bolt unleashed a scream that tore down Attilan and activated a Terrigen Bomb that spread the Mists across Earth.
This set of a chain of events that led to Black Bolt’s fall from grace in the eyes of his people. The Mists proved fatal to mutants, leading to a war between the X-Men and Inhumans. Medusa separated from her husband and Black Bolt was exiled from Attilan. He set up a night club called the Quiet Room, a neutral zone for metahumans.
No matter if he’s a king or night club owner, Black Bolt is a proud figure with a noble heritage. Only time will tell if he’s done justice in the Inhumans TV series.