The obscure and scattered origins of FOX and Marvel’s The Gifted
Christmas comes early this year with The Gifted. X-Men enthusiasts have waited for a long time for a series that can do justice to their favorite comics of the Marvel universe.
Most will fondly remember the cartoon series from their childhood which The Gifted cleverly reminds them of with a familiar ringtone. As fans grew older they wanted a show that brought more maturity and depth to cherished characters and storylines. A few might remember being disappointed by the attempt to bring Generation X to the small screen in 1996. Fortunately, that total failure didn’t kill the first X-Men movie that our patience was rewarded with three years later.
Themes, characters, and plots from a variety of X titles is molded together in a new universe that has the potential to please both fans and new initiates. Some of the pieces that come together in The Gifted can be pretty obscure. They come from different titles, alternate timelines, and stories hidden deep in the vaults of comic history. We’re here to break down where it all comes from and what could lie ahead.
The green haired Lorna Dane first appeared in The X-Men #49 way back in 1968. She is most recognizable from her status as a leader of the group X-Factor and her longtime on-again-off-again romance with Alex Summers, who goes by the code name Havok and is the brother of Cyclops.
Her powers of magnetic field manipulation are inherited from her biological father – the infamous Magneto, though she is unaware of the connection. Lorna struggles with her mental health in the comics, and it looks like we may see that in The Gifted, where we find her paired with Marcos.
Perhaps because of his upcoming appearance in The New Mutants, the character of Roberto daCosta has been renamed Marcos Diaz for The Gifted. The name Eclipse comes from his appearance in an alternate earth from the Age of X storyline, rather than his usual code name, Sunspot.
Readers of titles such as The New Mutants and X-Force will recognize Marcos’ hotheaded attitude, solar powered abilities, and his history of a tragic accident in Rio de Janeiro. New twists to his story come to us in The Gifted through his link to a South American drug cartel, and an ex-girlfriend who won’t let go.
John Proudstar is a rare sight for comic readers due to his early death in Giant-Size X-Men #1. Occasionally he pops up in alternate reality storylines. Thunderbird reappeared with his similarly powered brother Warpath in Exiles and X-Necrosha along with Blink.
In The Gifted we see the Apache Nation ex-Marine in a leadership role and entangled in an awkward situation with newcomer Clarice and his ex-girlfriend Dreamer. Things are further complicated by the reappearance of his presumed dead friend, Pulse, who is being used against his own kind.
Another rare vision is Clarice Fong. The teleporting mutant first briefly appeared in the Phalanx Covanant. She later reappeared in the Age of Apocalypse parallel universe. Her uniquely colored elfin features, and new confidence caught the attention of readers but she vanished with the alternate reality. Eventually she had a role to play in more stories and her own four-book miniseries.
Clarice’s looks have been made more subtle for The Gifted, but that may change as her powers grow. Her traumatic struggles with her uncontrolled powers, seem to alter her appearance. It might not be long before the fan favorite has pointy ears and more pink face tattoos.
The most drastic change from their comic origins is probably found in the Strucker family. Originally, the two children were twin offspring of the nefarious Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker. They were named Andreas and Andrea, and they were affluent, incestuous, white supremacist villains who could only use their powerful energy blasts when in physical contact with one another.
The Strucker family have been given a more modern and less repulsive story in The Gifted, which separates them almost entirely from their comic counterparts. Lauren and Andy have different powers, though they can use them in tandem to greater effect. The eldest, Lauren, is showing fewer signs of any malicious use of her ability so far. Andy is getting some much needed guidance from his father, but the kid has some serious rage to work through.
For X-universe efficianados, more familiar faces grace The Gifted, and there is sure to be more to come. Characters such as Shatter and Dreamer, who can be found with the subterranean dwelling Morlocks in the X-Men comics, are among the show’s group of mutant freedom fighters.
The tattoo on Pulse’s arm and the presence of Roderick Campbell take viewers a step closer toward the classic dystopian timeline of Days of Future Past, which means things could get a lot worse for our heroes, and opens the door to more fan favorites from our cherished pages.
There’s only one way to find out who’s still to come in this strange universe, and that’s to make mine Marvel.
Image Credits: Fox, Marvel