|“||It's days like today that remind us we're up against people that don't think of us as human. And they will point to our differences. But the simple fact is this: We love like they do. We die like they do. We grieve like they do. We share that today. Sonya will not be forgotten. And I promise we will find justice for her.||”|
Mutants (also known as Homo Superior) are individuals born with what is commonly referred to as the X-Gene, which grants them superhuman abilities and/or unusual physical characteristics.
History[edit | edit source]
Mutants have generally been an oppressed and feared minority, varying somewhat by country. They were among the many groups oppressed under the apartheid government in South Africa.
In the United States of America, mutant factions known as the X-Men and the Brotherhood developed: the X-Men striving to promote co-existence between humans and mutants, and the Brotherhood openly using force to protect mutant rights, or even outright promoting mutant supremacy.
Four years prior to the series, anti-mutant sentiment drastically increased in the United States due to a disastrous incident at a mutant rights march, when an energy blast went off and killed thousands of innocent civilians (both humans and mutants). The disaster became known as the "July 15th" incident after the date on which it occurred, often referred to as "7/15" for short (paralleling how the September 11th, 2001 attacks are commonly referred to as "9/11"). The incident sparked of widespread anti-mutant riots, and retaliatory pro-mutant riots in reaction to those. For a time, there was chaos in the streets, with mutants fighting humans and super-powered mutants fighting each other (good mutants trying to restrain the bad ones, but the crossfire still causing massive property damage).
Due to the 7/15 incident new, harsh anti-mutant laws were rapidly introduced. Shortly afterwards, both the X-Men and the Brotherhood disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Operating under the amended Patriot Act, Sentinel Services was given the constitutional power to arrest any mutant they saw as a potential threat, regardless of prior civil liberties. Humans generally saw this anti-mutant crackdown as restoring order.
Right before the X-Men disappeared, one of their last acts was to set up the Mutant Underground, an "Underground Railroad" for mutants, consisting of a network of safehouses in independent cells across the country. The X-Men selected Thunderbird to lead the Mutant Underground, which he built up along with Polaris, gradually joined by other mutants such as Eclipse and Sage.
Physiology[edit | edit source]
Mutants[edit | edit source]
Mutants are distinguished from humans by the presence of the X-Gene, which grants mutants extraordinary superhuman powers and abilities. The X-Gene has also been known to cause physical changes varying between mutants. They can have wildly varying biologies depending on the nature of their mutation. While some may show no changes to their appearance, others have exhibited such changes to their skin or eyes. In Clarice Fong's case, better known as Blink, her eyes are a bright shade of green.
Mutation[edit | edit source]
Mutation is caused by the X-Gene in the mutants' DNA. For most people, mutations normally manifest themselves during puberty, often as a result of a stressful or traumatic event. This is the case for Andy Strucker, although, some mutants possess an active X-Gene from birth. Like all genetic traits, the X-Gene can remain dormant and skip generations causing human parents to produce mutant children. According to Thunderbird, while most mutant first access their abilities through strong emotions such as fear, pain, or anger, this is an unreliable means to controlling them. The difficulty that so many mutants face when attempting to control their abilities is that they fail to tap into something positive.
Social Status[edit | edit source]
The social status of mutants varies from one country to the next based on local laws, and on the more subtle level of discrimination can vary from one community to the next in the same country. Generally, they are treated as a feared and ostracized fringe minority in most countries. Mutants were badly oppressed in South Africa during the apartheid era (along with other human groups). The United States used to at least officially extend mutants full rights as citizens, but in the anti-mutant crackdown after the 7/15 incident it has become quite restrictive, to the point that Mexico is considered to have more loose mutant laws.
In the United States, mutants have very often been disenfranchised in a variety of ways. Basic employment discrimination is a major factor faced by many mutants. Most mutants' powers activate when they reach puberty, leading many to become runaways and street children (frequently thrown out and disowned by their own families). Before long, mutant runaways often turn to theft and crime to survive, or are easily victimized themselves. On a day-to-day level, it is also often difficult for mutants to obtain health care from hospitals: given that they have "the ultimate pre-existing condition", health insurance companies can easily refuse to cover them (mutants' diverse biology often makes it expensive to treat them, but insurance companies don't want to pay out for them even when it isn't).
Due to mutants often facing job discrimination, they often take whatever employment they can get, often low-paying or dangerous jobs most humans don't want to do. A disproportionately high number have historically served in the United States military since the second half of the 20th century. The US military does not officially discriminate against mutant recruits, instead happy to have the manpower to devote to various foreign wars such as in Afghanistan (where, for example, Thunderbird served several tours of duty).
There is a somewhat significant divide among mutants between those who can physically pass for human, and those whose physical mutations are so drastic that they cannot. Mutants who cannot pass for human can't hide their nature, making them overt targets for discrimination. Even if not directly targeted for attacks, mutants who can't pass for human usually can't find work, and thus it is fairly common for them to become homeless runaways that steal to survive. Blink and Shatter are prime examples of this, while Thunderbird, Sage, and Dreamer can easily pass for human. These differences are on a spectrum, and thus some mutants who look nearly human often slightly alter their appearance to pass: case in point, Polaris naturally has bright green hair, but dyes it black so as not to draw suspicion in public. While a lot of mutants can pass as human, some do display slight mutative differences, i.e. Eclipse appears human, but if he bleeds, his blood gives off a blinding, white-hot glow.
Reactions to the mutant phenomenon by religious groups have been mixed (somewhat paralleling religious reactions to slavery in the antebellum period). Some deride mutants as unnatural, but conversely, many religious groups embrace the principle that they are dedicated to helping all people, human or mutant. Thus for the Atlanta cell of the Mutant Underground, many of their safe-houses are sympathetic churches across the South. According to Senator Montez's aides, national polls indicate that 30% of Evangelical Christians consider God's message to apply to humans only, not mutants. However, a plurality of the electorate still feel that humans and mutants should be treated equally (a "plurality" meaning the largest group but less than 50%, with the difference apparently made up by the undecided). 
Notable Mutants[edit | edit source]
|Andy Strucker||Andy is a mutant with the ability to create destructive telekinetic fields. His powers manifested at a school dance while being bullied by several classmates. This forced him and his family to go on the run. This led them to the Mutant Underground. However, Andy later switched allegiances, joining the Hellfire Club.||Destructive Telekinetic Fields: Appears to impact matter and cause various levels of destruction
The Fenris Force: A collective power he shares with his sister.
|Lauren Strucker||Lauren is a mutant with the ability of pushing molecules together, which manifests as constructs usually in the form of Shields. She discovered her abilities several years ago, and kept it hidden from her family in fear of imprisonment. When her brother Andy's powers violently manifested, she and her family were forced to seek refuge with the Mutant Underground. There, Lauren learned to embrace her mutant nature.||Molecular Manipulation
The Fenris Force: A collective power she shares with her brother.
|Marcos Diaz/Eclipse||Eclipse is one of the leaders of the Mutant Underground, who helps persecuted mutants evade Sentinel Services. Before joining the Underground, he was a involved with the Cartel, but left due to the violent nature of the business. Since then, he has dedicated himself to protecting his family and helping those in need.||Absorption and Manipulation of Photons
Laser Beam Projection
|Clarice Fong/Blink||Blink spent a vast majority of her life on the run or in detention centers. She escaped a detention center and was later rescued by members of the Mutant Underground. Initially, Blink lacked control of her abilities. It wasn't until joining the Underground that she learned basic control with help from John, whom she also forged a relationship with.||Portal Creation||Alive|
|Lorna Dane/Polaris||Polaris is the daughter of Magneto, whom she inherited her abilities from. She was one of the leaders of the Mutant Underground until she left to join the Hellfire Club. While her mission remains the same, her allegiances do not. Polaris believes in a world where mutants are free to live without worry of persecution. She hopes to accomplish this by any means necessary, means that the Underground don't necessary agree with.||Electromagnetic Control
Magnetic Force Generation
|John Proudstar/Thunderbird||Thunderbird is one of the leaders of the Mutant Underground with tracking experience, and an Apache and military background. He was personally chose by the X-Men to lead the Atlanta station. Despite this, John often finds himself questioning his leadership and whether or not the X-Men made the right decision in choosing him.||Physical Invulnerability
|Esme Frost||Esme is a member of the Hellfire Club along with her two sisters. She is able to read the thoughts of people who are close to her and is even able to put thoughts and images into their heads. She has a hive mind connection with her sisters, and like the Underground, she seeks the freedom of mutant kind, though at a much deadlier cost when necessary, something that the Underground is opposed to.||Telepathy
|Phoebe Frost||Phoebe is a member of the Hellfire Club along with her two sisters. She is able to read the thoughts of people who are close to her and is even able to put thoughts and images into their heads. She has a hive mind connection with her sisters, and like the Underground, she seeks the freedom of mutant kind, though at a much deadlier cost when necessary, something that the Underground is opposed to.||Telepathy
|Sophie Frost||Sophie is a member of the Hellfire Club along with her two sisters. She is able to read the thoughts of people who are close to her and is even able to put thoughts and images into their heads. She has a hive mind connection with her sisters, and like the Underground, she seeks the freedom of mutant kind, though at a much deadlier cost when necessary, something that the Underground is opposed to.||Telepathy
|Sage||Sage was a member of the Mutant Underground until she left to join the Hellfire Club. She is a mutant whose brain functions similarly to a computer giving her higher intelligence, an inhuman level of analysis and computational skills and an advanced memory. It is this way of thinking that led to her defection from the Underground. Sage is a creature of logic, and so she believes in results and what she sees before her, such as the Frost Sisters and Polaris stopping Trask and the Hound program.||Cyberpathy
|Dreamer||Dreamer is a former refugee and a former member of the Mutant Underground. She was a mutant with the ability to manipulate, remove and/or implant memories. Unfortunately, after she was captured by Sentinel Services and transferred to Trask labs, she was killed by Dr. Roderick Campbell. During her time at the station, Dreamer bonded with many there, especially Lorna, her best friend, and Johnny, her boyfriend.||Memory Manipulation||Deceased|
|Shatter||Shatter is a member of the Mutant Underground though little is known of him beyond his ability to crystallize objects||Crystalline Skin and objects||Deceased|
|Fade||Fade is a former member of the Mutant Underground who runs a bar that acts as a safehouse for mutants. He later joined the Hellfire Club. He has the ability to make himself and anything he's touching invisible at will.||Invisibility and Cloaking||Deceased|
|Bulk||Bulk is a former member of the Mutant Underground. Following the destruction of the Atlanta station, Bulk switched allegiances and joined the Hellfire Club along with Polaris, Andy, Sage and Fade.||Superhuman Strength||Alive|
|Pulse||Pulse is a former member of the Mutant Underground who had been presumed dead for years. He was captured by Sentinel Services and turned into a human weapon. He can produce an energy pulse that disrupts electronics and mutant powers within a two block radius.||Disruptive Pulses
Mutant Ability Nullification
|Trader||Trader is a member of the Mutant Underground with the ability to cloud the retinal input of onlookers to camouflage himself and appear almost invisible. His ability is ineffective on electronics and cameras.||Visual Cloaking and Invisibility||Alive|
|Wes||Wes is a mutant from off the streets that used his powers to steal but is now a member of the Mutant Underground. He is able to create illusions of whatever he wants people to see through window like mirages of any size. While at the Atlanta station, Wes developed a relationship with Lauren Strucker.||Image Manipulation||Alive|
|Naya||Naya is a refugee who was brought into the Mutant Underground after Sentinel Services raided her previous home. She had initially started training with Polaris to master her abilities, but that came to an end when Polaris left the Underground to join the Hellfire Club.||Water Manipulation||Alive|
|Skyler||Skyler was a homeless teenager living under I-85 in Atlanta with other mutant kids. He was using his powers to find food. When Sentinel Services came after them, he fled to the Mutant Underground Headquarters. Like Naya, he also started training with Polaris to master his abilities.||Repulsion||Alive|
|Aide||Little is known of Aide, though at some point he was captured and turned into a Hound by Dr. Roderick Campbell and Trask Industries. Because of this, he is shown to be almost emotionless and expressively apathetic, even when carrying out Campbell's most gruesome of requests.||Biological Manipulation||Alive|
|Andrea Von Strucker||Andrea was a member of the Hellfire Club. She, along with her brother Andreas, were a mutant terrorist duo known as Fenris (the Wolf). They committed dozens of terrorist attacks together, which killed many innocent people. One of these was the "Plac Zamkowy Incident" in Warsaw, which left 238 dead, and over 400 injured.||Molecular Manipulation
The Fenris Force: A collective power she shares with her twin brother.
|Andreas Von Strucker||Andreas was a member of the Hellfire Club. He and his sister Andrea were a mutant terrorist duo known as Fenris (the Wolf). They committed dozens of terrorist attacks together, killing many innocent people in the process. One of these was the "Plac Zamkowy Incident" in Warsaw, which left 238 dead, and over 400 injured.||Destructive Telekinetic Fields
The Fenris Force: A collective power he shares with his twin sister.
|Chloe Tan||Chloe Tan was a mutant who lived in a trailer park outside of Jasper, GA until she was captured by Sentinel Services, and transferred to Trask labs, where they turned her into a Hound before sending her out to infiltrate the Mutant Underground.||Super Speed
|Evangeline Whedon||Evangeline is a mutant lawyer with ties to the X-Men. She initially recruited Polaris to help lead the Mutant Underground station in Atlanta along with Thunderbird. Evangeline has also displayed the ability to transform her arm into resembling that of a dragon, with red scales and black talons.||Transformation||Deceased|
|Otto Strucker||Otto was a mutant who kept his true nature hidden for decades, from everyone he knew, including his wife Ellen and son Reed. He is the son of Andreas Von Strucker and nephew of Andrea Von Strucker, the terrorist duo known as Fenris. After running away from home, Otto went on to work for Trask Industries in hopes of suppressing the X-Gene.||Energy Projection||Deceased|
|Pedro||Pedro is a member of the Mutant Underground with the ability to evoke fear. His ability essentially acted as a defense for the station, warding off anyone who came too close. However, his powers do have limitations. If someone has already experienced their greatest fear, or can can overcome their fear, Pedro's ability can be thwarted.||Fear Projection||Alive|
|William||William is a mutant billionaire who was recruited to help rebuild the Hellfire Club. He seems to display some kind of ability that allows him to turn solid objects into diamond. This ability certainly comes in handy when funding the club's activities.||Unknown||Deceased|
|Reeva Payge||Reeva is one of the most powerful mutants still standing since 7/15. She is a member of the Hellfire Club with the ability to generate a high note from her vocal cords that directly affects the brain's neurochemistry. Reeva seeks to one day see the uprising of mutants as she doesn't believe they should live side-by-side with humans, the very same people who despise them, nor does she believe in cowering in the shadows.||Sonic Destabilization||Deceased|
|Erg||Little is known of Erg beyond the fact that he is the leader of an underground community of mutants known as the Morlocks, who live within the sewers and tunnels beneath the city due to having mutations that render them unable to pass as normal humans.||Energy Manipulation||Alive|
|Cristina||Cristina is one of mutants who rescue by Lauren and Clarice when Sentinel Service attacks her home at Liberty Park Apartments with many mutants and killed her parents. However, she got separated from Jazmine so John help her by track her sister, and Cristina current is searching for Jazmine.||Telekinesis||Alive|
Factions[edit | edit source]
Enemies[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- "Mutie" is considered a derogatory term towards mutants. The politically correct alternative is "person of genetic difference" .
References[edit | edit source]
- Nix, Matt (writer) & Wiseman, Len (director) (October 9, 2017). "rX". The Gifted. Season 1. Episode 2. FOX.
- Nix, Matt (writer) & Singer, Bryan (director) (October 2, 2017). "eXposed". The Gifted. Season 1. Episode 1. FOX.
- Horowitz, Michael (writer) & Peters, Scott (director) (January 15, 2018). "eXtraction". The Gifted. Season 1. Episode 12. FOX.