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X-Verse

The Gifted – S01E01

The FX show Legion was Fox’s first foray with the TV world with it’s X-men franchise.  There was rumors for a bit of a show called Hellfire that would be set in the 60s or 70s or something and center around the Hellfire Club, seen in X-men First Class.  Something like that, whatever it was, that show never came to fruition.  Legion had a short but pretty good run, though being on FX it was allowed a lot more liberty with it’s plot than a show on broadcast network television.  The Gifted lands on Fox, in prime time.  It centers on the lives of a bunch of lesser known mutants in a time without the X-men.  They call themselves the Mutant Underground.

So touching a bit on continuity and the X-men.  The movies have never been super coherent with their connections, and there’s the whole split timeline thing which complicates everything further.  The X-men and the Brotherhood of Mutants are both mentioned, but both are mentioned as being gone, disappeared.  There is mention about a time in the past where mutants were fighting each other, these days they all seem to just be living underground in hiding.  The film Logan made mention of one possible explanation for why the X-men have vanished, though it’s never really stated in the show, it’s not super important, I suppose but it helps explain them away.

Instead we get a bunch of random other mutants, some more famous than others, but none particularly notable in any real meaningful way.  The show starts off with the Mutant Underground rescuing Blink from some police.  Blink, is the only character that’s been in any of the movies (in any notable way), she was in the future sequences of Days of Future’s Past.  She makes little portals.  She is rescued by Thunderbird, a strong Native American mutant who seems to also posses some enhanced sight and hearing for tracking people.  Way to play up stereotypes there I suppose.  With that power set he sort of gets to fill the Wolverine role I suppose, without all the metal claws and angst.    There is a new Mutant for the show named Eclipse, he has the power to control light.  Finally in this initial batch is Polaris.

Polaris is probably the most notable character from the show.  Some possible mild spoilers here, think, spoilers like David’s parent in Legion level spoilers.  in the comics, Polaris is one of Magneto’s three children, the other two being Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  Her powers seem to manifest on the show with electrical control, but she essentially has the same basic power set as her father.  Now, will this ever come up on the show?  Maybe, vaguely, probably not.  Legion gave only the briefest of nods to David’s father very late in the game, literally so fast you could blink and miss it.

Polaris is taken captive during the rescue of Blink by the police.

The other half of this show centers on the Strucker family.  The father is the leader of a group who tracks down and captures mutants, meanwhile his son discovers he has mutant powers, which prompts his daughter to reveal she also has abilities, though she has been hiding it for a bit.  Her power seems to be creating little force fields, his power isn’t quite known, he has no real control over it and it seems to just cause the world around him to go crazy, so it’s probably some kind of telekinesis.

There is some vague theory going around that these two are a re-imagining of Fenris, a pair of mutant twins in the comics who were the children of Baron Von Strucker who is the leader of Hydra.  There’s a few issues with this theory, though they could be a very heavy re-imagining.  Firstly, Marvel, by which I mean, the MCU, pretty much owns Hydra.  I’m kind of surprised that the show was even allowed to use the name Strucker, but I suppose you probably can’t trademark a name like that.  In Age of Ultron, the slot of Strucker’s twin “miracles” was basically given to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  They weren’t Strucker’s kids, but they are twins, and had been experimented on by Hydra.  Also, for what it’s worth, Mr Strucker here really really doesn’t seem like he’s secretly leading a decades old secret Nazi Cult hell bent on controlling the world.

After being exposed the Strucker family seeks out The Mutant underground for help, they meed up but are ambushed by Sentinel Services.  You might remember Sentinels also from Days of Future’s Past.  In the movie they were giant humanoid robots, and their creation was central tot he plot of that film.  It seems in this timeline, though they aren’t using giant robots, they are still in service hunting Mutants only now they use smaller drone sized robots of various types.  After some tense running, everyone except the father, Reed Strucker, escape through a portal created by Blink.

So, any good?  Yeah, it was pretty good.  The special effects were well done, the characters were all pretty decent.  The basic run and hide plot is a little overdone but that can be forgiven, not everything needs to be ground breaking.  I look forward to next week.