Marvel’s Black Bolt, Explained

Marvel’s Black Bolt, Explained
Image: Marvel Comics

Before we get stuck in, obviously you should watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness if you want to avoid Marvel-adjacent spoilers. This is the only warning you’ll get.

Kotaku AU Spoiler Warning

Who the heck is Black Bolt? Well, he’s a hero that appears ever so briefly in Doctor Strange 2, along with a slew of other cameoing heroes.

But of the heroes that were presented as part of the “Illuminati“, we didn’t really know who Black Bolt was. Sure, you might know if you watched the quickly cancelled Inhumans Marvel show, where Black Bolt showed up as a main character (played by the same Anson Mount, too!) but what does the king of Inhumans mean to the MCU?

That’s what we’re going to get to the bottom of.

Who the heck is Black Bolt?

Real name Blackagar Boltagon (not a joke), Black Bolt is the king of the Inhumans in the current Marvel comics canon.

As an aside, the Inhumans are a group of people in the Marvel comics universe that were given powers after a catastrophic event, however, this hasn’t happened in the MCU yet.

Black Bolt is the king of this group of people that are defined by their special abilities. Realistically, they’re kind of just mutants from the X-Men with a different lens.

Anyway, Boltagon is a pretty smart geneticist, having worked on the terrigen mist and the terrigen bomb that caused people to become Inhumans in the comics.

Part of a royal family of Inhumans, Black Bolt is one of the mightiest heroes Marvel has written so far, with the ability to destroy buildings with his voice alone. Because of this, he tends to keep his mouth shut, as too great a force from the hero could result in people getting hurt (he can still use sign language). The fork on his head helps him keep things under control.

He can also channel his energy through punches and can fly, with his powers made possible through the concept of energy manipulation (you know, ’cause science). He’s also super strong and super fast.

black bolt
Black Bolt. Image: Marvel

To be fair, it’s kind of weird that we haven’t gotten more Black Bolt in the MCU, considering that he appears in Secret Wars, World War Hulk and Secret Invasion (all fairly popular Marvel comics runs).

That being said, it’s tough to say whether he’d fit in well with the current gang of weirdos or not, considering he’s largely a mix between Captain America and Iron Man without much of the personality. Though he’s a strong hero, he’s not exactly the most entertaining presence.

But wait… Isn’t the Inhumans show canon? It’s kind of up-in-the-air, considering it wasn’t all that well received. Time will tell.

doctor strange 2 cameos
Black Bolt as he appeared in Inhumans (the show). Image: ABC

Does this mean we’ll get Inhumans in the MCU?

One of the more prominent Inhumans that we’ll get to see in the MCU is Ms. Marvel, however, as explained by my colleague Justin Carter:

In the comics, Kamala is an Inhuman, one of many who discovered her powers after the Inhuman king Black Bolt set off a terrigen bomb during the “Infinity” comic event. But that was during Marvel Comics’ attempt to turn the Inhumans into basically the X-Men, an attempt that ended… Not well.

The story of Ms. Marvel seems to be going in a direction separate from the Inhumans series, covering her powers with a bracelet instead of a terrigen bomb. We don’t know for sure if this is true, but at the moment you’ve got to say it’s pretty likely that Marvel will shelve the Inhumans for now (this includes the Inhumans city of Attilan).

So, for the moment, it seems like the MCU is keeping the Inhumans storyline in the cupboard for now. Besides, now that Disney owns the rights to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, the Inhumans are likely not a priority.


Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas now. While you’re here, why not check out all the other sci-fi, horror and fantasy films coming our way this year.