Logo image from title sequence.
|Format||Science fiction / Horror / Animation|
|Created by||Flint Dille|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Sunbow Productions
(Sony Pictures Television)
(Disney-ABC Domestic Television)
|Original channel||local syndication|
|Original run||September 21 – December 14, 1986|
Inhumanoids is an animated series and Hasbro toy property in 1986. In the tradition of other Hasbro properties such as Transformers and G.I. Joe, the show was produced by Sunbow and Marvel Productions and animated in Japan by Toei Animation. Inhumanoids tells the story of the scientist-hero group, Earth Corps, as they battle a trio of subterranean monsters called the Inhumanoids with the aid of elemental beings, the Mutores.
Inhumanoids: The Movie
The Inhumanoids series did not begin as a conventional 22-minute cartoon, but rather as a slate of six-to-seven-minute shorts that aired as part of the collective Super Sunday half-hour block alongside other Marvel/Sunbow series, Jem and the Holograms, Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines and Robotix. Although Bigfoot had only nine episodes, the other shows ran to 15 episodes, telling a complete story across their numerous installments, which were later edited together to form "movies" that were released on video. Out of the four, Jem proved to be the most popular and was eventually made into an ongoing series that lasted for 65 episodes.
The story begins with the discovery of a monstrous creature encased in an amber monolith buried in Big Sur national park, which is recovered by the government-funded Earth Corps, a geological sciences research team. The finding spurs corrupt industrialist Blackthorne Shore to clandestinely uncover a second monster buried elsewhere — a giant vine-like creature called Tendril, who attacks the amber block's public unveiling in San Francisco to release the macabre colossus trapped within, D'Compose. They rampage through city streets before fleeing into the watery darkness of the bay.
Earth Corps member Liquidator returns to Big Sur in search of further clues to the origin of these monsters, whereupon he discovers a race of sentient trees, the Redwoods, who explain that they are members of a subterranean population known as Mutores, and that their kind sealed the evil Inhumanoids Tendril and D'Compose beneath the Earth ages ago. The malevolent Inhumanoid leader, Metlar, remains imprisoned below the surface, paralyzed by the magnetic field of a Mutore duo named Magnokor.
A nocturnal assault by Tendril demolishes the Earth Corps base, prompting a chase into the depths of the Earth, but even with the help of another Mutore species, the rock-bodied Granites, they are forced to retreat back to the surface. When their budget is summarily cut by Senator Masterson — a crooked politician in Blackthorne Shore's shady pocket — they are approached by Sandra Shore, Blackthorne's sister, who has learned of her brother's sinister plot to liberate Metlar. Funded by Sandra, the team constructs new vehicles and embarks back below the Earth's surface, tracking D'Compose and Tendril to the city of the Granites, where an ensuing battle frees Metlar from Magnokor's hold. Having pilfered Earth Corps' engineering schematics via his ties to Masterson, Blackthorne joins the fray, now equipped with his own battle-suit whose magnetic powers he wields against Metlar, only to be derailed by Tendril's interference while Sandra falls victim to the mutative touch of D'Compose.
Earth Corps manages to escape and forms an alliance with the Granites. Herc accompanies them to D'Compose's domain of Skellweb while Auger and Liquidator venture into Metlar's kingdom of Infernac, and Bright convinces the Redwoods to help defend the surface world against attempts by the Inhumanoids to acquire sources of power. Herc and the Granites are able to defeat D'Compose's reanimated soldiers and restore Sandra to normal. Blackthorne pursues Auger and Liquidator to Infernac and tries to use his magnetic powers on Metlar once again but is foiled by Magnokor and taken captive by Metlar.
Acting on information forced from Blackthorne, the Inhumanoids raid a Soviet air base, stealing a handful of nuclear missiles. A seemingly repentant Blackthorne warns Earth Corps that the missiles are intended to shatter the divide between the Earth's crust and mantle, but upon travelling into the Earth to preclude this catastrophe, the team discovers that Blackthorne has set them up and that the missiles are actually meant to detonate the planet's core. Earth Corps is able to convince D'Compose to allow them access to Infernac — a deal made easier by the fact that the Inhumanoid already fears for his own survival in the face of Metlar's insane plan — and they manage to defuse enough of the missiles to thwart the explosive scheme.
Following a climactic battle, D'Compose is re-sealed in amber casing and Tendril is imprisoned by the Granites. Finally, Magnokor succeeds in neutralizing Metlar even as Blackthorne is arrested by Earth Corps. Senator Masterson provides the Earth Corps team with a new headquarters facility, but a tissue sample secured from Tendril during their first encounter with the monster has mysteriously gone missing...
Inhumanoids and Jem surpassed their fellow "Super Sunday" offerings by going on to be expanded into independent full-length shows. Jem achieved the greater success, eventually running to 65 episodes spanning several seasons, while Inhumanoids lasted only one season. In both cases, to begin the series, the introductory "movies" were cut into five separate 22-minute episodes composed of three shorts apiece. Inhumanoids was thereafter given the series subtitle, The Evil That Lies Within, a phrase which was included in the lyrics of the opening credits of the show in every episode. A further eight 22-minute episodes were then produced to yield the standard thirteen-episode TV season.
The series proved unusual among children's cartoons of its time by the strong narrative flow that linked episodes in sequence with continuing storylines and a suspenseful threading of subplots. Visually, the show was distinctive for its application of heavy shadow, use of split-screens, and sometimes brow-raising for its gory content, such as monstrous amputations or writhing deaths by corrosive acid, which would be hard-pressed to sneak their way into contemporary "children's hour" programming.
- 1. The Evil That Lies Within, Part 1 (aired September 21, 1986)
- 2. The Evil That Lies Within, Part 2 (aired September 28, 1986)
- 3. The Evil That Lies Within, Part 3 (aired October 5, 1986)
- 4. The Evil That Lies Within, Part 4 (aired October 12, 1986)
- 5. The Evil That Lies Within, Part 5 (aired October 19, 1986)
(See movie synopsis, above.)
- 6. Cypheroid (aired October 26, 1986)
The tissue sample previously taken from Tendril grows into a second Tendril monster but is contained soon enough thanks to Earth Corps. The creature is then seized by Senator Masterson, who orders it placed in captivity to be studied by an advanced supercomputer, Cypher. The computer ends up freeing the Inhumanoid instead, exhibiting its own acquired sentience, soon rebuilding itself into the improved Cypheroid using technology stolen from Earth Corps. The rogue A.I. then directs Tendril to free Metlar. It also arranges for Blackthorne Shore to be released from prison along with his cellmate, the diabolical Dr. Herman Manglar, who has the fatal misfortune of encountering a pool of haphazardly discarded toxic waste during their swampy escape. The pursuit takes Earth Corps underground where the Cypheroid is ultimately destroyed, but Metlar remains at large, almost annihilating Earth Corps if not for the meddling of Blackthorne.
- 7. The Surma Plan (aired December 7, 1986)
Blackthorne escapes Metlar's punishment and acquires Dr. Manglar's acid-rotted remains, employing D'Compose to resurrect them into a skeletal grotesquerie dubbed "Nightcrawler". Elsewhere, the Earth Corps team defeats the second Tendril creature, but the original manages to escape. Amid these events, Soviet forces initiate Operation: Surma, planning to flood Infernac to destroy the "primal core" in a massive explosion which will wipe out all Inhumanoids; however, the Soviets fail to realize that their plan will likely tear the planet itself asunder in the process. Earth Corps is forced to ally themselves with Metlar to protect the welfare of the planet. When Metlar double-crosses them, the team is saved by a turncoat Soviet military agent, Anatoly Kiev, who they gratefully welcome into their ranks. Kiev respectfully declines, thinking that it is better to independently continue on his quest against Infernac.
- 8. Cult of Darkness (aired November 2, 1986)
Looking to land a spicy news scoop, investigative reporter Hector Ramirez infiltrates the underground compound of a growing cult movement that has become popular among San Francisco's disaffected teens. They find more than they bargained for when the gathering turns out to be a recruiting scheme fronted by Blackthorne Shore on behalf of the Inhumanoids. D'Compose uses his powers of decay to transform the teenage crowd into rampaging zombies who proceed to terrorize the city. It's up to Earth Corps to save the zombified kids without harming them, but in their decayed marauder state, the teens are proving less than cooperative, and the would-be rescue mission goes further afoul when Herc and Auger are d'composed!
- 9. Negative Polarity (aired November 9, 1986)
Tank (Kiev) teams up with Crygen and Pyre to harness the power of a boulder of galvacite, which will make them strong enough to vanquish Metlar once and for all. However, when they storm Infernac, their enhanced magnetic powers run amuck, inducing a reversal of the core's polarity that renders Crygen and Pyre evil while changing Metlar's personality to good. The incident further initiates a chain reaction which threatens to pull Earth's deadly Van Allen belt down to the surface of the planet. Much to his own disgust, the now-altruistic Metlar brings himself to work in concert with Earth Corps to restore the natural order: they manage to reform the galvacite boulder, returning Crygen and Pyre to normal as Metlar reverts to evil and reclaims Infernac.
- 10. The Evil Eye (aired November 16, 1986)
Blackthorne and Nightcrawler unearth a cyclopean monstrosity with an insatiable appetite, the mindless Inhumanoid beast called Gagoyle, from its nesting chamber within the cavernous bowels of a radioactive volcano. Betrayed by Nightcrawler's subsequent manipulations of the monster, Blackthorne flees the scene, vowing to take revenge by releasing the most evil Inhumanoid of all...
Nightcrawler shortly pays a visit to Skellweb, setting Gagoyle to attack Metlar's realm, although without much success. Meanwhile, a former research associate from Blackthorne Shore's earlier years in archaeological study contacts Earth Corps to convey a disturbing tale regarding Shore's interest in an ancient temple located somewhere on the isle of Borneo. But Blackthorne is already one step ahead of the group and manages to intercept their venture, hijacking their plane before parachuting down into the jungle to lay claim to his dark prize...
- 11. Primal Passions (aired November 23, 1986)
Having long-pursued a cryptic trail from native legend and archaeological artifacts, Blackthorne Shore arrives at a gruesome temple hidden in the wilds of Borneo, within which a snake-like Inhumanoid named Slither has been imprisoned for thousands of years. Blackthrone frees the creature to carry out his bidding, beginning by knocking a patrolling army jet from the sky.
Later, during an expedition to the Earth's mantle, the members of Earth Corps are ambushed in a trap set by the Inhumanoids. In the ensuing scuffle, a miscalculation in Liquidator's chemical spray formula sends the Inhumanoids on a mad, amorous spree: D'Compose professes his undying love for an undead Sandra Shore, Tendril tries to romance a robotic movie prop, while a starry-eyed Metlar steals away to his molten abode with the Statue of Liberty in his misbegotten embrace.
- 12. The Masterson Team (aired November 30, 1986)
In a reckless PR stunt, Senator Masterson and tabloid-TV journalist Hector Remirez, together with a menagerie of inept celebrity goons, mount a live televised "journey to the center of the Earth" aboard a fleet of dirigible vehicles, promising to rescue the Statue of Liberty from Metlar's abduction. Auger and company are content to let the inevitable televised chaos unfold, instead busying themselves with the marriage of their teammate, Derek Bright, to actress Stella Blaze, a fiery redhead recently rescued from the adoring clutches of Tendril... who also decides to crash the wedding.
From his hospital bed, recovering Air Force pilot Brad Armbruster recounts how his plane was downed by the serpentine monster, Sslither, in the skies over Angkor Wat. Earth Corps consult the Redwoods for more information, learning the dark history of Sslither's dominion over the Inhumanoids before Metlar finally rebelled, managing to trap his slithery overlord within a shell of lava.
Meanwhile, predictably, Masterson's subterranean team find themselves in over their heads, first being captured by stone warriors, then being made hostage to Blackthorne's ambitions. Earth Corps forms a reluctant alliance with Nightcrawler to combat the threat of Sslither and rescue Masterson's group just as Metlar arrives to pummel his hated ancient foe, who slithers away in defeat. Lady Liberty is later returned to the surface by Metlar's own accord when he finds himself less than enamored by her incessant nagging.
- 13. Auger... For President? (aired December 14, 1986)
Three months have passed since the last Inhumanoid attack. Derek and Stella Bright are enjoying their newlywed status as a celebrity couple even as the other members of Earth Corps increasingly find themselves basking in the media spotlight — except Auger, who seems to have been overlooked by fortune's calling.
Senator Masterson's declared candidacy for the presidential race is met by a hostile public reception, prompting Blackthorne and the Inhumanoids to conspire to use intimidation tactics to terrify the other presidential contenders into withdrawing. In reaction, Auger decides to enter the race himself, challenging Masterson's undeserving political record. The Inhumanoids try to bolster Masterson's credibility with a staging of faux heroics, but when Auger wins the election regardless, he is immediately kidnapped by the enraged Inhumanoids, who invite all opponents to attempt a rescue in a final grand confrontation.
Earth Corps and a battalion dubbed Delta Force motor to Skellweb, fighting their way through a phalanx of skeletal warriors and dispensing with Langastoid mercenaries while the Redwood army overwhelms Tendril, and Granite warriors flatten Metlar's statue legion. D'Compose makes a quick exit as the Mutores and Earth defense forces finally advance to face Metlar's molten fury. Magnokor is able to magnetically subdue him, until Blackthorne intrudes with a delay that imperils Auger's life. Luckily, Tank and Sabre Jet arrive at the eleventh hour to save the day. In light of their triumph, Auger and the Earth Corps team renew their pledge to remain together to guard against danger from the Inhumanoids.
- Dr. Herman "Herc" Armstrong, code name Hooker, is the leader of Earth Corps, decisive and outspoken. His exosuit sports a powerful grappling hook mounted in an arm gauntlet, which he uses to scale vertical extremes in his spelunking adventures. He was voiced by Neil Ross.
- Dr. Derek Bright is the maverick engineer responsible for designing Earth Corps' vehicles and other high-tech equipment. Often logical to a flaw, he is an intellectual of refined taste and he has a reserved temper, always keeping a cool head in the face of danger. His gearhead tendencies are set aside when he meets the eyes of film actress Stella Blaze during a subterranean rescue mission, and the two are instantly smitten, wedding shortly thereafter.
- Dr. Edward "Auger" Auguter is the bald-headed member of the team, a distinguished archaeologist and Earth Corps' resident mechanic, constructing the team's protective exosuits and weaponry. Headstrong and easily riled, he frequently argues with Dr. Bright, and, indeed, just about anyone else. In "The Surma Plan," he even angrily hangs up on the President of the United States. His pugilistic nature extends to having apparently been an amateur boxer before joining Earth Corps — he "traded in his golden gloves for a power drill" according to a character summary short at the end of one episode. A running gag throughout the series has Auger angrily trashing TV sets by hurling his shoe at the screen whenever frustrated by objectionable news coverage; learning from experience, a latter episode depicts a large safety-net erected in front of the Earth Corps' TV set to protect its health against such ' well-heeled ' protests. Auger was voiced by Michael Bell.
- Dr, Jonathan M. Slattery is a master chemist with the code name of "Liquidator," appropriately enough, since his exosuit features a spray cannon that allows him to discharge all manner of chemical compounds — whether dispensing an impromptu neutralizing agent to save his teammates when they stumble into a lake of acid, or whipping up a quick-freeze mixture that cements D'Composed victims in place until the light of sunrise can cure them. Around the middle of the series, he begins dating Sandra Shore.
- Sandra Shore, the only female Earth Corps member, becomes head of the Shore Foundation after her brother is exposed as a megalomaniacal criminal. Later, when Blackthorne bribes Senator Masterson to sever all funding to Earth Corps, Sandra promises to bankroll their operations on the condition that she is allowed to join the team.
- Colonel Anatoly Kiev of the Soviet Union army, a famous chess-master whose code name is Tank, led a counterstrike against the Inhumanoids when they attacked a Soviet air base not long after they were first released. Once Earth Corps imprisoned the Inhumanoids again, Kiev was hailed as a hero in Russia, with national news reports claiming that his forces had singlehandedly defeated the monsters. Consequently, he was appointed head of military procedures for a subterranean offensive titled "Operation: Surma." His KGB operative partner was all too willing to sacrifice the Earth Corps members to accomplish this ill-conceived mission, but the more noble Kiev switched sides to save Earth Corps and as a result, he prevented the planet's destruction. Promptly renounced as a traitor by the fleeing Soviet unit, Kiev was accepted as an ally of Earth Corps, who, as an expression of thanks, constructed one of their trademark "environmental suits" for him from the remains of the tank he had used to save the day. But when given the opportunity to join Earth Corps Kiev refrained from joining, preferring to operate solo in his continuing mission to defeat Infernac.
He later teamed up with Crygen and Pyre in an unsuccessful effort to rout Metlar with the power of a galvacite stone. Tank reappeared in the "final battle" against the Inhumanoids to offer his assistance to Earth Corps when Blackthorne Shore took control of Metlar and Magnokor: approaching from behind, Tank jammed his blaster into Blackthorne's back, forcing him to release his magnetic hold on the monsters.
Tank's exosuit is armed with a powerful cannon, as well as amplifying his strength enough to lift several Granites with ease.
- Brad J. Armbruster, a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, was better known to his friends and his allies by his call sign of "Sabre Jet." While flying over Angkor Wat, Armbruster's squadron was attacked by the Inhumanoid, Sslither, who had recently been freed from a nearby temple by Blackthorne Shore. Armbruster's plane crashed, but he miraculously survived and was quickly hospitalized, where it was diagnosed that he would never walk again. Earth Corps aided in his recovery by supplying him with an exosuit that allowed him to overcome the disability with newly endowed flight capabilities. Later, when Metlar captures Auger in the "final battle", Armbruster insists on joining the conflict, powering up the armor and flying into battle with his Sabre Jet call sign as his Earth Corps code name. Though Blackthorne Shore prevents the other Earth Corps members from reaching Auger in time to rescue him, Sabre Jet rockets onto the scene, snatching up Auger and saving his life with only seconds to spare.
The nature of Sabre Jet's armor is not precisely clear — visuals are inconsistent from episode to episode, but at least one piece of dialogue and one animated sequence imply that his body is so badly twisted and intertwined with the wreckage of his jet that it is not possible to extricate him, suggesting that Earth Corps may have actually rebuilt the jet into a suit around him, perhaps with cybernetic integration.
Sabre Jet's real name is the same as that of G.I. Joe fighter pilot, Ace. Whether or not they are truly intended to be the same character is unclear, but it lends credence to the idea of a shared universe between the assorted Hasbro cartoons produced by Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions as an Easter egg character. Though the character Hector Remirez all ready confirms this to be true.
Mightiest of the Inhumanoids, Metlar dwells in his fiery domain of Infernac at the Earth's core. Metlar's servants are legion, consisting of statues animated by the elemental force of the Earth. A hot-headed fountain of aggression, Metlar is able to spit balls of flaming lava, yet is not without his Achilles' heel: he is particularly susceptible to paralysis by magnetism, which therefore makes Magnokor, the magnetic Mutore, his foremost nemesis. (Ancillary material: A licensed Inhumanoids storybook, Cult of the Great Protector, suggests that Metlar may also have an aversion to water: in this tale, Earth Corps' plans to lure Metlar to a cliffside which they will then blast from underfoot, dumping him into the ocean where they foresee that he will "rust away to nothing." Although the plan fails, Earth Corps manages to hold Metlar at bay with a barrage of water cannons. The bio on the packaging of the Metlar toy suggests that this is his weakness as well.)
Some millennia past (in backstory revealed in episode 12), Metlar overthrew his former master, Sslither, and led the Inhumanoids against the Mutores in a war that raged across the planet. The Mutores were finally able to contain the Inhumanoids, imprisoning Metlar within a magnetic field at Granite City. Following their unearthing in the 20th century, Tendril and D'Compose made Metlar's liberation their first priority as they staged an attack to force his release.
In the midst of a battle with Earth Corps (episodes 4 & 5), Metlar was briefly reined by the magnetic manipulations of Blackthorne Shore's armour. Metlar later extracts information from Shore about humanity's most fearsome power, nuclear energy, stealing missiles from a Soviet military base in a failed bid to detonate the Earth's core. Afterwards, Metlar is once again trapped within Magnokor's magnetic field at Granite City.
Afterwards (episodes 6 & 7), an A.I. computer affects the release of both Metlar and the imprisoned Blackthorne Shore. Metlar turns his wrath on Shore, who just barely manages to escape. Metlar is then forced to ally himself with Earth Corps in order to defend Infernac against a retaliatory Soviet strike, which would have destroyed the planet had it not been averted.
Shortly after (episode 11 & 12), Metlar's mind was affected by a chemical love potion inadvertently brewed by Earth Corps, which saw the enamored monster elope with the Statue of Liberty. Animated to life by Metlar's elemental lava, Lady Liberty unfortunately turned out to be a less-than-ideal woman, affecting a coarse New York accent and an even coarser penchant for complaint. After trouncing the reawakened Sslither in hand-to-hand combat, Metlar returns the Liberty statue to the surface to rid himself of her relentless carping.
Then (episode 13), Metlar sets aside animosities with his erstwhile partners-in-crime as they plot to arrange Senator Masterson's win in the upcoming presidential election. Victory seems assured until an argumentative Auger impulsively decides to run against Masterson, with Auger narrowly winning. In retaliation, Metlar captures Auger and prepares to immolate him in the fires of the primal core even while summoning all of his foes to engage in one final battle. Yet again, Blackthorne tips his hand by seizing control of Metlar with his magnetic powers, only to be stopped by Tank. Sabre Jet manages to save Auger, and although everyone makes it out alive, Metlar and the other Inhumanoids remain at large. Metlar's voice was done by Ed Gilbert, who also voiced the Decepticon Blitzwing on The Transformers and General Hawk on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
D'Compose is simply an undead Inhumanoid, possessing flesh-corrupting talents and heliophobic weaknesses akin to those of a vampire. His unique appearance is marked by a dinosaur-like head and an exposed chest cavity whose gated ribcage can swing open to jail his prey. With the mere touch of his decrepit claw, D'Compose can turn his victims into frightening undead monstrosities (usually enlarging human victims to a gigantic size in the process) and they revert to normal only when exposed to daylight (known to the nonhumans in the series as "whiteburn"). He resides in the subterranean kingdom of Skellweb, where he commands a massive undead army. Skellweb appears to be close enough to the surface that Earth Corps is able to drill through its upper confines on two occasions to allow sunlight to penetrate. D'Compose was voiced by Chris Latta, also known for providing the cartoon voices of the Decepticon Starscream on The Transformers and Cobra Commander on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (although unlike the latter characters, D'Compose is, usually, loyal to his leader). Chris also voiced Tendril (see below).
Tendril is an H. P. Lovecraft-influenced character resembling Cthulhu. A slimy hybridization somewhere between a mollusk and a walking mass of seaweed, he can regenerate his vine-like limbs — large enough pieces will even grow into new Tendril monsters — and he is able to alter his size at will. More berserker brawn than brain, intelligence is not this creature's strong suit, he exercises a slurred screeching in his speech, and is clumsy and flailing in his movement, and has less-than astute powers of observation.
This reptilian behemoth was locked in hibernation within an Indonesian temple until it was finally liberated by the machinations of Blackthorne Shore. Holding sway over both serpents and an army of unnamed monsters (similar to giant humans with animal heads and sometimes bat wings) and able to spit deadly electrical blasts, Sslither was the ancient ruler of the Inhumanoids, relentlessly slave-driving Metlar to construct the pyramids and other ancient monuments in bitter servitude. Metlar eventually overthrew his oppressor and imprisoned him in stone. Partnering with Blackthorne, Sslither tries to settle the score against Metlar but finds himself outnumbered by too many foes, quickly tiring of the battle and abandoning Blackthorne's charge.
A brutish blue-skinned biped with a transparent stomach whose singular desire is to feed, the origins of this cyclops creature are somewhat obscure. The Gagoyle was discovered by Nightcrawler and Blackthorne Shore, who learned of the creature through ancient scriptures that directed them to a volcanic cave. There, dangerously high radiation levels served to incubate a cluster of Gagoyle eggs. The first hatchling would prove to be the strongest of the brood as it thoughtlessly proceeded to devour its nested siblings. The voracious beast soon fell under the command of Nightcrawler, who tried to use it to force Metlar's hand on the bargaining table. Metlar toppled the Gagoyle into a molten chasm where it is believed to have perished.
Mutores are elemental beings who long ago cast the evil Inhumanoids into subterranean confinement, presently lending assistance to Earth Corps when the monsters resurface.
- Redwoods are arboreal beings that can disguise themselves as tree stumps or, just as suddenly, branch to towering heights. Having a lifespan of centuries has earned them a shrewd demeanor, and they frequently prove themselves an invaluable source of knowledge that is available for the asking. Their representatives are the tribe's leader, Redlen, and a junior sapling called Redsun.
- Granites are stalwart rock-warrior beings who live underground. They can disassemble their bouldered bodies to camouflage themselves as innocuous piles of stone, and by a similar token can reform themselves if they become dismembered by impact. Their leader is named Granok; other Granites of distinction include the cantankerous General Granitary, and a council member named Granahue who reveals himself to be a cowardly opportunist.
- Magnokor, whose body resembles hardened lava, is unique among the Mutores for his singular ability to split into two polarized halves: Crygen, an icy blue hulk who is calm and rational, and Pyre ("Pyrus" in the Inhumanoids comic series), whose scarlet coloration is matched by an antagonistic disposition. The polarized duo can affect a fierce control over magnetic fields, making them the only friendly force capable of containing Metlar. They hold to this responsibility in deadly earnest: when Earth Corps tries to persuade them that Metlar's help is needed to stop the Surma Plan, Crygen and Pyre refuse to release him and must be physically impeded.
- Blackthorne Shore
In his past career as an archaeologist, Blackthorne Shore stumbled upon many uncanny artifacts which set him on the path that would come to govern his life — a quest for power and control of the Inhumanoids. In younger years, his search in the jungles of Borneo for an Inhumanoid temple cost him an eye — lost to a native's blowpipe dart — and he returned to America, where he and his sister, Sandra, ran their family's corporation, the Shore Foundation.
His dark obsession was renewed with Earth Corps' discovery of an Inhumanoid monster entombed in amber: Blackthorne soon traces ancient documents in his possession to locate Tendril, who in turn liberates D'Compose. Blackthorne then instructs the crooked Senator Masterson to eliminate Earth Corps' funding and turn over the blueprints for their technology, using that knowledge to construct a suit of magnetic armour. He shadows Earth Corps into the subterranean depths, where he targets his armour's power against Metlar, vying to leash the savage Inhumanoid with magnetic force to make him obey his command. His vain pretensions are quashed by Magnokor, and Blackthorne's end seems imminent until he entices Metlar's interest with information about nuclear weapons, which the Inhumanoids then act on. Thankfully, Earth Corps is able to defuse the missiles and halt Metlar's plan, bringing Blackthorne into custody.
Blackthorne is sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison, sharing a cell with criminal scientist Dr. Herman Manglar. However, the intelligent computer, Cypheroid, having allied itself with the Inhumanoids, soon arranges Blackthorne's escape. Donning a redesigned magnetic suit, Blackthorne once more foolishly gambles to control Metlar, scarcely managing to slip away when the furious Inhumanoid turns on him.
In later dealings, Blackthorne salvages the remains of Dr. Manglar to create a ghastly accomplice in Nightcrawler, adopts the guise of "Brother Druid" to gather an underground cult for D'Compose's servicing, and after evading further prosecution because of a favor from Masterson, is able to release two more Inhumanoids — Gagoyle and Sslither.
Blackthorne then schemes with the Inhumanoids during the presidential race, endeavoring to ensure Senator Masterson's victory for his own power-hungry purposes. When the unravelled plan incites Auger's kidnapping and a final terrible battle between Earth and the Inhumanoids, Blackthorne lies in waiting to take advantage of the closing calamity: just as Magnokor captures Metlar in his magnetic hold once again, Blackthorne turns his armour on the three of them, taking control of their movements and pitting them all against Earth Corps. Before any real damage can be done, however, Earth Corps ally Tank takes the villain by surprise from behind and forces him to desist. Though Auger is rescued, both the Inhumanoids and Blackthorne remain at large.
Nightcrawler was formerly known as Dr. Herman Manglar, a geneticist sentenced to imprisonment in the Glades Penitentiary for engineering monstrous creatures in his laboratory. Sharing a cell with Blackthorne Shore, Manglar was able to escape when the sentient computer, Cypheroid, engineered Blackthorne's liberation. Unfortunately, while fleeing through the swamp waters, Manglar took a misstep and met his horrific demise in a pool of illegally-dumped toxic sludge. Later, Blackthorne recovers his decayed remains and enlists the morbid touch of D'Compose to reanimate Manglar in the twisted, monstrous body of Nightcrawler [originally named Toxoid].
Working from chemicals purloined by the mutated minions of Blackthorne's phony "Brother Druid" cult, Nightcrawler's first assignment is to apply his scientific skills toward creating a formula to protect D'Compose against the sun's burning rays. Although Nightcrawler claimed to have succeeded in his task, and indeed was unaffected by sunlight on later occasions, he and Blackthorne are arrested by Earth Corps before D'Compose tests the formula to painfully discover that it is ineffective. Blackthorne manages to buy a pardon for himself and Nightcrawler, but when D'Compose attacks their court hearing seeking retribution for the formula's failure, they realize that they will need a new Inhumanoid ally for their own protection.
Once the two villains secure the beastly Gagoyle from its nesting grounds and have tamed it to some degree, Nightcrawler turns on Blackthorne, hurling him into Gagoyle's feeding pit to coerce a promise of subservience from him. Blackthorne flees during a clash with the Redwoods. Nightcrawler subsequently takes Gagoyle to strong-arm a surrender from D'Compose, but Metlar refuses to comply and Gagoyle is destroyed in their fight. Blackthorne soon makes his return with the powerful Inhumanoid, Sslither, under his control, whose threat presses Nightcrawler into forging an alliance with Earth Corps. Thereafter struck by an electrical bolt from Sslither, Nightcrawler flees the battle.
Three months later, Nightcrawler teams with Blackthorne and the Inhumanoids as they set aside their differences in order to sabotage the presidential election: Nightcrawler is seen tainting a lake with hazardous waste that consumes the boat, and nearly the life, of one of the opposing candidates.
- Senator Masterson
A corrupt politician kept on Blackthorne Shore's moneyed leash, Masterson is introduced by first name alternately as "Charles", "Theodore" and "Wilfred" in different episodes. At Blackthorne's request, he eliminates Earth Corps' government financing and delivers the blueprints disclosing their exosuit technology to Blackthorne's hand, also arranging a full legal pardon to later excuse Blackthorne and Nightcrawler from criminal prosecution.
Despite an anemic record in public service, Masterson announces his intention to run for the office of president in a press conference on Liberty Island. When Metlar arrives to make off with the Statue of Liberty, Masterson tries to exploit the situation by arranging a televised rescue effort to boost his political currency — but he ends up requiring rescue himself, later stealing credit when the Statue is voluntarily returned.
Asked to define his electoral platform for the benefit of the viewing audience during a televised debate, Masterson weasels with dialogue clumsily borrowed from his two political adversaries only to embarrass himself by making an oxymoronic self-description as "both a conservative liberal and a liberal conservative," exposing himself to easy mockery. Afterwards, Masterson is approached by Blackthorne Shore and the Inhumanoids, who suspend their personal feuding as they plot to manipulate the election in Masterson's favor. Victory slips from his grasp, however, when Auger of Earth Corps decides to run against him, defeating Masterson by a close margin.
- Hector Ramirez
Hector Ramirez is the Marvel/Sunbow universe's parody of Geraldo Rivera, and has, in his illustrious career, encountered G.I. Joe, Jem and the Holograms and possibly the Transformers. His shared presence on Inhumanoids tacitly links the four animated series in a fanon universe (as with a pseudonymous appearance by Cobra Commander in an episode of The Transformers and the establishment of Transformers ally Marissa Faireborn as the daughter of Flint and Lady Jaye). He was, however, easily most prominent in his reporting stints on the Inhumanoids, although he is not regarded as a popular public figure and is hated by Auger of Earth Corps more than most (the majority of Auger's "shoe-through-the-television" incidents occur when Ramirez appears on the screen).
As host of the TV magazine show, "Twenty Questions," Ramirez delivers crassly sensationalizing reports on emerging Inhumanoid activities. In one episode, he probes a suspect underground cult to find its members — and himself — subjected to mind-control gas before being mutated by D'Compose into an undead army, proceeding to assault his TV station. Restored to normalcy by the intervention of Earth Corps, Ramirez is keen to remain on the scene as an observer but reconsiders when awarded with threats of physical violence from Auger.
Ramirez makes further appearances reporting on the disasters caused by the inversion of Earth's magnetic field and in coverage of Senator Masterson's presidential press conference. He takes a camera crew into the Earth to accompany the Masterson Team in their expedition to recover the Statue of Liberty, but three months later, Hector found his program yanked from the air due to low ratings. Professing that he could "do junk as well as the next guy," Hector tries to grab some camera time by shoving aside a field reporter during live coverage of Auger's abduction and reporting on the situation himself.
This race of strange mollusk creatures dwells in abundance in a city beneath the Earth, demonstrating a culture of commerce and a special fondness (bordering on addiction) for junk food from the surface world. It is unclear if the Langastoids are Inhumanoids, Mutores, or some other breed of lifeform. Earth Corps first discovers their crude civilization during events surrounding the inversion of Earth's magnetic field, when they are captured by Langastoid guards and put up for sale on the city auction block along with their gear, eventually making a getaway on bizarre slug-like steeds with help from Tank.
In their next subterranean encounter, Earth Corps was greeted more peacefully by Langastoid farmers claiming to need help against attacks on their city by Tendril, but this proves to be a deception orchestrated by the Inhumanoids, who have bribed their Langastoid lackeys with the promise of surface food. During Metlar's final stand, Tendril relies on the same fattening ploy to buy the Langastoids' allegiance in battle, but they are quickly distracted by a payload of junk food strategically dumped to occupy their attention while Earth Corps takes the fight to Metlar's doorstep.
- George Landisburg
This Hollywood movie director first crosses paths with the Inhumanoids while filming "Primal Passions", a schlock romance/horror movie based on the monsters' exploits: Tendril bursts onto the set, disoriented by a mind-altering "love potion" of Earth Corps' accidental design, and falls madly in love with the animatronic duplicate of himself which is piloted by actress Stella Blaze. When Tendril disappears into the Earth with the mechanical object of his affection, Landisburg is more concerned with retrieving the robotic prop than with retrieving his absentee actress! Landisburg was later a member of the incompetent "Masterson Team" sent to recover the Statue of Liberty. Some months further on, he was busily directing a TV promo for Congressman Gary Lung 's presidential campaign, whose production was cut short by an unscheduled cameo from Nightcrawler and D'Compose. His name is a conflation of those of real-life directors George Lucas, John Landis, and Steven Spielberg.
- Charles Adler - George Landisburg (Primal Passions)
- Michael Bell - Auger, Blackthorne Shore
- William Callaway - Jonathan M. Slattery, Nightcrawler
- Dick Gautier - Magnakor/Pyre/Crygen, Senator Masterson (Cypheroid), George Landisburg (The Masterson Team & Auger... For President?)
- Ed Gilbert - Metlar, Senator Masterson
- Chris Latta - D'Compose, Tendril, Granahue
- Neil Ross - Herc Armstrong, Tank, Ssslither, Sabre Jet, Hector Ramirez
- Richard Sanders - Derek Bright
- Stanley Ralph Ross - Redlen, Redsun
- Susan Silo - Sandra Shore
- John Stephenson - Granok, General Granitary
A series of action figures based on the cartoon were produced by Hasbro in 1986. The scientist figures each had an action power and all figures had "glow in the light" features. Metlar, Tendril and D'Compose were 14" figures and are the most sought after.
The original series of Mutors had a variety of toy figures: Redlen (dark redwood), Redsun (light redwood), Redwood Race (grey redwood), Granok (grey granite) and Granite Race (beige granite).
A second series of Inhumanoids figures was in the works at the time of the line's cancellation. The only character confirmed to reach the prototype stage by an ex-Hasbro employee was Ssslither (although the animated designs of Tank, Sabre Jet, Nightcrawler and Blackthorne's second suit all strongly indicate that they were based on intended toys). A set of these prototype figures was said to have been sold on Ebay in the early 1990s, but there are no pictures or collectors stepping forward to confirm which other characters made it to the prototype stage. Additionally, Ebay did not exist in the early 1990s, thus throwing this claim into doubt.
Marvel Comics produced a short-lived Inhumanoids comic book under its Star Comics imprint in 1987, adapting the storyline of "The Evil That Lies Within". The series ended after only 4 issues and left readers with the cliffhanger of Metlar's escape from captivity and Sandra Shore's transformation into an undead minion of D'Compose.
In 2009 Kevin Smith was rumored to be writing a reboot for the Inhumanoids comic series, with George Pratt doing art. In 2010 Smith announced via Facebook that he was in fact not penning a script for Inhumanoids, but stated "It was a killer series back in the day, [it's] a shame it didn't last longer, had some really gruesome shit that I wouldn't mind tackling someday." Nothing has been mentioned since, though it may be a possibility eventually.
Rhino released two DVDs for the series, covering nine out of the thirteen episodes. The first, Inhumanoids: Evil That Lies Within, was released on April 10, 2001 and contains the five-part The Evil That Lies Within movie. The second, Inhumanoids: Volumes 3 & 4, was released on October 9, 2001. It contains the episodes Cypheroid, The Surma Plan, Cult of Darkness and Negative Polarity (episodes 6-9).
Episodes 10-13 never got an official DVD release in America thus far and the Rhino releases are now out of print. A re-release may be possible in the future.
Metrodome Distribution released a 2-disc collection of the entire series on June 6, 2005. Disc one contains the five parts of The Evil That Lies Within. Disc two contains the remaining eight episodes. Both discs have a TV spot and toy packaging gallery, as well as PDF versions of the episodes' scripts as a DVD-ROM feature. The episodes are presented in the PAL video standard, converted from NTSC original masters.
- Inhumanoids (the series) at the Internet Movie Database
- Inhumanoids at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Inhumanoids at TV.com
- Inhumanoids (the movie) at the Internet Movie Database
- Listing for Inhumanoids comics at Mile High Comics.com
- The Inhumanoids Archive
- duke nostalgia's inhumanoids page
- action figure archives inhumanoids page
- an old sears catalog scan
- DVD Times review
- Interview with Series Writer Flint Dille at 10 minutes from Hell
Notes and references
- Wizard Magazine. "From Clerks to Creeps". Wizard Magazine, August 18, 2009.