Welcome to another installment of Get to Know the Inhuman Royal Family! This week, if it pleases my fellow geeks (well, even if it doesn’t, honestly, this is the one I have ready), I’ll introduce you to Triton.
Real name: Unknown
Aliases: Triton, Prisoner 423-1X
Relatives: Karnak (brother, he’s up next), Black Bolt, Maximus, Medusa, Crystal, Gorgon (cousins)
Affiliations: Inhuman Royal Family, Royal Guard, Security Force, Shi’ar Army Elite Corps, Namor’s Deep 6, Scout
Powers: Aquatic mutations (scales, webbed feet, dorsal fin), usual Inhuman enhancements, able to withstand extreme water pressure, altered blood circulation allows Triton to survive freezing temperatures, able to breath underwater indefinitely, vision more sensitive in green spectrum (under water)
Weaknesses: Can’t survive out of water >5 minutes without adaptive devices
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #45 (December 1965)
Creators: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Like most Inhumans, Triton was born with enhanced strength, endurance, etc., and was exposed to the Terrigen Mist at the ripe old age of one. You’d think the makers of such rules would have maybe learned something from having established a scenario in which the son of their most prominent geneticists had to be raised in a soundproof bubble; you’d be wrong and Triton, after Terrigenesis, lost the ability to breathe air and was relegated to a lonely childhood in a special shore alcove. His mother, one of the ubiquitous comic book Scientists, eventually designed a breathing apparatus, which allowed him to venture forth into Attilan proper (Maximus, apparently an a*&%$# but not a complete dick, later refined and miniaturized said apparatus).
At eighteen, Triton became a scout for his people, monitoring human traffic in the vicinity of Attilan in hopes of protecting the colony from discovery. It was after Triton’s capture by human sailors that Black Bolt became concerned enough about the Inhumans’ safety that he picked the city up and shunted it to the Himalayas and then to the Blue Area of the Moon.
Unfortunately for Triton, neither the secondary nor tertiary settlement locations was even remotely close to water, which severely limited Triton’s ability to go… well… anywhere, really, though there are apparently water tunnels under the surface of the moon for him to explore (what? How do you know there aren’t? Have you seen the Blue Area of the Moon? No? I didn’t think so). Triton would occasionally enlist everyone’s favorite slobbery Inhuman, Lockjaw, to teleport him to Earth so he could swim in the ocean and hang out with his BFF Namor. Triton apparently confided to Black Panther and Storm that the visits simply weren’t the same as living in the Earth’s oceans, making Triton pretty much the only Inhuman who doesn’t totally hate this blue and green marble of ours and we who live upon it. Hooray!
As to Triton’s involvement in the Inhuman Royal Family’s intrigue: he has typically sided with Black Bolt against Maximus despite the fact Maximus spent some of his imprisonment, as aforementioned, making improvements to Triton’s breathing apparatus and also designing a system that pumped saline into Triton’s blood stream (presumably as an ocean analog), which allowed him to enjoy waterless walkabouts more easily. Though I can’t say I disagree with Triton’s positive given Maximus’ propensity for power-mongering, kidnapping, and lying.
After being freed from the Negative Zone, the Inhuman Council of Elders split the Royal Family up and Triton went on some solo expeditions. During this period, he was quite busy saving Reed Richards, escorting Medusa when she left Attilan to escape the Elder’s dictate that she terminate her pregnancy, battling mutant sea life created by toxic waste, and doing some more of the hanging with Namor (I would watch that sitcom, btw).
During the Kree-Skrull war, Triton helped rescue Black Bolt, thus saving the plot line from the ubiquitous “replaced by a Skrull” retcon.