X-Men's 'The Gifted' Scraps Wolverine, Teases Other Mutants

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Fox

Fox's X-Men spin-off series The Gifted premiered on Monday night, surprising Marvel fans with an hour of action-packed TV that teased connections to the famous comics.

If you haven't kept up X-Men, but you like the general idea of superpowered kids, The Gifted might be for you. And, if you're a hardcore Marvel nerd, Fox's super-family drama sprinkles a few hints toward your favorite characters in the premiere.

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A family on the run is a welcome change to the X-Men universe, which usually pits its teen heroes against an evil force, alone. Fox

The Gifted seems to be in line with FX's Legion and 20th Century Fox's Logan, all distant cousins of Bryan Singer's bloated X-Men blockbusters, but with the fat trimmed and an auteur's unique eye on each of them. (Singer actually directs The Gifted pilot.) We've met ordinary Americans Reed and Caitlin Strucker (True Blood 's Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker) and their gifted children, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Andy (Percy Hynes), and they're joined by a gaggle of young mutants with superhero-sounding names.

The main concept keeping The Gifted separate from the X-Men movies is the absence of, well, the X-Men. For whatever reason, the Strucker family hasn't been approached by Professor X, Wolverine or Storm, who typically track down young mutants and welcome them to X's school. The Gifted gets this trope out of the way by introducing the Mutant Underground, which Fox's X-Men universe has hinted at existing just before the X-Men went dark on our world. Fans still aren't sure whether their favorite superheroes have simply slipped off the grid in the world of The Gifted, or if they're being picked off by the government as dialogue in Logan described. If the latter is true, these Gifted kids need to stay away from soft drinks heavy in corn syrup—Logan described poisoning corn syrup with anti-mutant agents as part of the government's plan to wipe their kind from the earth.

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Jamie Chung as the mutant Blink in "The Gifted" Fox

As for how The Gifted will handle its place in the X-Men timeline going forward, well, no one but the team at Fox is entirely sure how things will go. Logan gave viewers just enough information about a long-ago mutant extinction to guide us into its central drama, and Legion used its lovely production design to put its events in a timeless vacuum.

The Gifted has already placed a few openings in its story for possible X-Men mentions or cameos. "Mutants on the run" is a very popular trope in stories set in this universe, and it could end up introducing any number of familiar mutant clans, including the Morlocks or New Mutants. There's no telling whether those ideas will come to fruition, but it's certainly fun to think about.

On the other hand, Polaris (Emma Dumont), the raven-haired mutant who works for the Underground, has already been revealed as Magneto's daughter. Don't get too excited for a Michael Fassbender appearance though—Magneto gets around in the comics, big time, and his kids in different realities include both versions of Quicksilver (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron and by Evan Peters in the X-Men films), one version of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen in the MCU), and a litter of mutants including Magnus, Plague, and Zaladane. When X-Men stories want to connect their drama to familiar characters without having to commit to another storyline, they tend to just make one of the kids Magneto's and call it a day.

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Polaris, Magneto's daughter, in Fox's "The Gifted" Fox

The Gifted airs Monday nights on Fox.

X-Men's 'The Gifted' Scraps Wolverine, Teases Other Mutants | Culture