The Gifted is Fox’s second adaptation bringing the X-Men universe to live action TV. Legion was very well made – visually terrific, clever and stylish, but it wasn’t too X-Men-centric. The Gifted? Though doubtlessly a more conventional take on Marvel’s merry mutants, The Gifted could be the X-Men show fans have been waiting patiently for since at least the mid-90s.
As if to prove it, the show hasn’t even aired yet and it already promises to be rammed with familiar names and faces. If you want to get up to speed on who (and what) The Gifted are, here’s everything you need to know about the characters who have already been announced.
Stephen Moyer as Reed Strucker Amy Acker as Caitlin Strucker Natalie Alyn Lind as Lauren Strucker Percy Hynes White as Andy Strucker
The Struckers are original characters who have never appeared in X-Men comics before, though their surname may be familiar – they share it with Baron Strucker, the Hydra leader who the Avengers defeated during the opening scenes of Avengers: Age Of Ultron. This might be a red herring, but it’s also worth noting that within Marvel comics’ continuity Baron Strucker’s children – Andreas and Andrea – were mutants. As mutant characters, it’s possible Andrea and Andreas are co-owned by Marvel/Fox (the same way Quicksilver is) and so could potentially appear in the show somehow. It could be intentional, it could be a coincidence, or it could be a holdover from a time when plans for the series were different. Whatever the trust, it’s at least notable that – of all possible surnames – these original characters ended up sharing one with some prominent Marvel villains. In any case, the Strucker siblings originally appeared in Uncanny X-Men #194 so maybe check that out.
Jamie Chung as Clarice Fong (Blink)
Blink is a mutant with the ability to teleport who previously appeared on screen in the future timeline of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, portrayed by Fan Bingbing. Luckily, since that timeline was eliminated, Fox has yet again sidestepped any major continuity concerns. Lucky. Blink herself is an interesting case study of a character. Originally introduced in Uncanny X-Men #317, she died soon after – but was revived for an alternate universe storyline (Age Of Apocalypse) that ran soon after. It was this version of the character that became popular, and who once headlined a series known as the Exiles, which saw a team of alternate-universe X-Men travelling to different realities. No word on whether this version will be from an alternate reality yet, but in all fairness, given the way Fox treats continuity… how would we tell?
Emma Dumont as Lorna Dane (Polaris)
Polaris was an early addition to the X-Men, appearing as one of two new members in the latter half of the comic’s initial run. Her first appearance was Uncanny X-Men #49, and she joined the team in X-Men #60. For some time it was suggested that she was the biological daughter of Magneto, though it was eventually confirmed that she wasn’t, and then later confirmed that she was, which just goes to show you can’t trust anything. Lorna’s powers are similar to Magneto, though not necessarily as strong, in that she has the ability to manipulate magnetism. Again, it seems unlikely that her powers resembling Magneto’s will go completely unremarked-upon in The Gifted, and her potential familial connection to both Magneto and Quicksilver may be explored in some capacity.
Blair Redford as John Proudstar (Thunderbird)
Thunderbird is perhaps the least well-known of the second generation of X-Men, not least because he died on the team’s second mission. A member of the Apache tribe with super-strength and enhanced reflexes, he first appeared in Giant Size X-Men #1, and died in Uncanny X-Men #95. In The Gifted, John is the leader of the mutant underground and therefore quite important to the safety and success of the Struckers, so you can virtually guarantee he’ll be dying fairly quickly himself. Interestingly, his younger brother, James Proudstar is the mutant superhero Warpath and also appeared in the future timeline of X-Men: Days Of Future Past played by Booboo Stewart. We wouldn’t be surprised if he too showed up in the series in some capacity.
Jermaine Rivers as Shatter Elena Satine as Dreamer
In the comics, Shatter and Dreamer (called ‘Beautiful Dreamer’) are members of the Morlocks, a race of subterranean mutants too disfigured by their powers to pass as human. Shatter is made of super-hard crystal and first appeared in Morlocks #1. Dreamer first appeared in Power Pack #12 and can alter the memories of people using the ‘dream smoke’ she emits. It’s unclear whether they’ll be Morlocks in the TV series or simply members of the mutant underground.
Garret Dillahunt as Roderick Campbell
In The Gifted, Roderick Campbell is researcher recruited by Sentinel Services, presumably to help track down other mutants. He shares his name with Rory Campbell, a scientist who first appeared in Excalibur #72 and was destined to become the mutant hunted Ahab. In the comics, a version of Ahab came from the future attempting to recapture the time-lost Rachel Summers, who he had once turned into a mindless mutant-hunting Hound. Ahab has no powers of his own, though he does have cybernetic enhancements including robot limbs, so watch out for any injuries to the extremities on The Gifted…
Also appearing in the series are Sean Teale as Marcos Diaz (Eclipse) and Jace Turner, both of whom appear to be original characters. We’ll of course be watching The Gifted, and we’ll surely let you know if/when any more characters from the comics show up, and where you can find out more about them.
The Gifted starts Sunday 8th October at 9pm on FOX