That new Inhumans show is around, and it's made me think about Crystal's hair.
In the comics, its distinctive patterning is never really explained. Her sister Medusa's hair gets all the attention. She can pick things up with it! It's alive! Maybe Maximus likes to sing. But no one would talk about it because brother Black Bolt's voice gets all the attention.
But now I have theories. Not about Maximus. I'm pretty sure that he does a fair amount of singing to himself on the countless occasions wherein he's locked up in solitary confinement for being a mad hazard to Inhuman society.
But about Crystal's hair. With her elemental control, she's immensely potent. In terms of raw power, she's arguably at the top of the royal family. I'm excepting Black Bolt here because the uncontrollable destruction his vocalisations cause prevents him from utilising his mutation in most circumstances.
But Crystal's basically the Avatar
with a slightly greater focus on atomic manipulation of the elements she wields. She's also less disciplined than some of her peers, explaining the martial primacy of less innately gifted Inhumans like Gorgon and Karnak. All of this brings me to my theory. In addition to the classical quartet of earth, fire, water, and air, I wonder if hair is her fifth element. On a subconscious level she's never really explored. She seems less occupied with constant training and honing than those around her, which means that the deeper implications of her Inhuman talents may be unnoticed and inadequately developed. That might include control over the atoms of her hair in a way that could even exceed the skills of the famously coifed Medusa if Crystal gave herself the chance to delve into her potential. But she doesn't. With no knowledge of this follicular aspect to her power set, Crystal's limited to unconsciously manifesting it through the formation of oddly defined patterns of colour on her hair.
If Crystal were the Avatar, which culture would she originate from?
The Fire Nation would be the easiest fit. She could still be the lordly daughter with no real interest in the throne. She could even keep Medusa with her. They'd probably be a better team in the eyes of the rest of the world than the sisters who actually ruled the Fire Nation.
And if we want to go further, Karnak's an Air Nomad and Gorgon's of the Earth Kingdom. And if those didn't seem obvious enough, Triton would have an amazing time with the Water Tribe.