Karnak is one of my favorite characters. I have always appreciated the spiritual aspect his brought to the comics. Comics and the eastern philosophies always inspired me and influenced me. The idea of a cracked tea cup is still beautiful and useful always offers hope. A flaw can be beautiful. Some people think my love of superheroes and comics is a flaw. I believe that comics lead me to become an artist. If that is a flaw then so be it - I cherish this flaw.
“In everything there hides a Flaw…It matters not the size of the structure, nor the material from which it is made. Everything has an imperfection that can be traced to one single point and exploited.” - Karnak*
The Inhumans are a Cree mutated race of humans living in the ancient hidden city of Attilan. At an early age an Inhuman child will be exposed to the Terrigan Mist and in turn mutate into a new being with a specific gift. Karnak and his brother Triton are part of the royal family of Attilan. When Triton was exposed to the Terrigan Mist he mutated into a being that can live in water. He is the only Inhuman to have this gift and thus lives alone. So when it was Karnak’s turn his parents begged and pleaded for their son to be freed from the exposure of the mist. Instead Karnak was sent to a Tibetan Monastery and learned the Martial Arts. Karnak can see or experience the flaw in anything – physical spiritual or emotional. Each member of the Inhuman Royal Family is unique in their gifts. Karnak is the only Inhuman not to be exposed thus making him unique. His uniqueness is a flaw in the Inhuman experience.
How is a flaw a gift? Many Eastern Philosophies believe that everything has a flaw and it is the flaw that is most beautiful. The flaw in the teacup makes the cup beautiful and unique. Flaws are what we work on in life. We may have flat feet and so can’t race on foot but those of us with flat feet are normally fast cyclers. We may not dance well but we can play the music or even select the best music for a dinner party. Is a flaw a hindrance or a gift it is how you look at the flaw.
First Appearance: Fantastic Four vol. 1, #45 (Dec 1965)
Creators: Stan Lee (plot), and Jack Kirby (art).
* Inhumans #1,”Sonic Youth”, November 1998, Marvel Comics