Roberto da Costa (Eclipse)

The last character identifiable from The Gifted trailer is more or less an old acquaintance, albeit modified for the show. In Thunderbird‘s resistance, in fact, there’s also a Marcos Diaz, aka Eclipse, a mutant with the ability to absorb and manipulate photons (thus light and heat). Portrayed by Sean Teale, Diaz will be quite a rebellious guy, always on a war footing with the mutant-hunters. In the comics, there’s no Marcos Diaz, but Eclipse is indeed a mutant with corresponding powers, who belongs to a resistance group in a dystopian future where mutants are hunted down and nearly exterminated…and he’s an alternate version of Bobby “Sunspot” da Costa, someone we met in another dystopian future in the movie universe. Let’s see together.

Roberto da Costa was born in Rio de JaneiroBrazil, the heir of a wealthy family. When he was a teenager, it became plain that Bobby was a mutant, with the ability to absorb and manipulate light in the surroundings, gaining the appearance of a humanoid of pure darkness. This wasn’t exactly a nice historical moment for being a mutant, however, as the mutant population was growing all around the world, and humans were becoming more and more afraid of them: everywhere anti-mutant activists organised even violent manifestations against the mutant minority, and governments didn’t do anything to stop them. Things became serious during the March for Purity, a racist demonstration that ended in Washington D.C. with the lynching of Henry McCoy, a mutant lawyer and a civil rights activist. When a young girl (an alternate version of Jean Grey) manifested her powers in an explosion that destroyed Albany things excalated quickly, and the government financed the construction of the Exonims, mutant-hunting robots that started a global event known as Decimation, during which thousands of mutants were slained, or arrested. Bobby didn’t live in the United States, but more and more countries followed the American example, and started exiling, killing or arresting the mutant population, even sterilising people possessing a latent Gene X. With no place to go Bobby, as well as many other mutants, lived as fugitives, trying to hide their true nature and escaping from the Exonims…until a savior appeared: the mutant terrorist known as Magneto, allegedly the most powerful man on the planet, organised a counter-attack, freed many mutant prisoners, and used his magnetic powers to “steal” entire buildings from Manhattan and to use them to build Fortress X, a safe harbor for mutants from all around the world. Finally, Bobby knew where he could be protected, and where he could be who he really was: he travelled to Fortress X, and joined Magneto’s Mutant Resistance in his people’s last stand against the human oppressors.

Even among powerful mutants, however, Bobby da Costa was particularly skilled: he could and wanted to do more within the Resistance, instead of waiting for the moment the Avengers (a human-supremacist government-sponsored team composed of alternate versions of Captain AmericaThe PunisherHulkIron ManSpider-WomanInvisible Woman and Ghost Rider) would have won the siege and invaded Fortress X. Wishing to help, he joined Moonstar Cadre, an elite force led by Danielle Moonstar. Oddly enough, the first mission Bobby, who now called himself Eclipse, and the others received was an anti-mutant one: disturbing voices of something going wrong with the outside world had been spreading since Katherine Pryde had taken a picture of the human forces using her phasing powers to exit the Fortress, but the only thing she came back with was a blank photo, saying there was nothing outside…literally nothing. Magneto had forbidden anyone from investigating the matter, but two of his most trusted officers, Legacy (an alternate version of Rogue) and Gambit, disobeyed him and kept trying to figure out what was happening. Magneto ordered Moonstar Cadre to hunt down the two rebels and to stop them, something that the team did: it didn’t take much for the elite squad to find Legacy and Gambit, and as soon as they cornered them, Magneto himself appeared, and crushed them beneath some buildings, apparently killing them. The mission was apparently over, but a member of Cadre, (an alternate Moira Kinross) convinced Bobby and the others that Magneto was guilty of the same conspiracy he had accused Legacy and Gambit of. The team secretly followed him, and they busted him while he was liberating two “conspirators”, Katherine Pryde and Charles Xavier: cornering their own leader, Eclipse and the others accused him of treason, and Magneto confirmed that there was indeed a conspiracy to destroy Fortress X, but that he wasn’t the ringleader, as the truth was much more shocking…

Bobby da Costa is a proud and belligerant mutant, always ready to be on the frontline to protect his people against humans. As Eclipse, he can absorb solar radiations and photons from the surroundings, manipulating the resulting energy in a variety of ways, mainly heat blasts, but also flight, physical attributes’ enhancement, advanced healing and much more. Albeit he’s fiercely loyal to his general and savior Magneto, Eclipse’s loyalty lies in the mutant population, and he’s more than ready to use his remarkable power even against his mentor and protector if this was for the mutants’ safety.

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Anissa Pierce (Thunder)

Let’s take a look at another main character from the upcoming Black Lightning tv series, and another member of Black Lightning‘s family, namely his oldest daughter, Anissa Pierce, portrayed by Nafessa Williams. In the show, Anissa will be in her late teens, a medical student who also teaches part-time in her father Jefferson‘s school, thus being the member of the family the divorced ex-superhero sees the most. From what we could see in the trailer, she’ll realise soon enough that her father’s legacy isn’t limited to the passion for teaching only, as she’s shown developing some electric powers of her own. In the comics, she studied medicine as well, and she has superpowers too, but her abilities don’t have anything to do with electricity, albeit she did chose the name Thunder as a homage to her father. Let’s see together.

Anissa Pierce was born the daughter of school teacher (later principal) Jefferson Pierce and of his wife, lawyer Lynn Pierce. Shortly after she was born her father, always the social justice warrior, decided to move back to his old neighborhood, the Suicide Slums in Metropolis, quite the opposite of a recommended environment to grow a little girl in. Anissa grew up in quite a difficult area, but her mother’s efforts especially allowed her to stay away from troubles, while on the other hand she became sensitive to social and economical issues thanks to both her parents’ commitment in fighting them. It was when she was still a kid that she realised that her father was also the superhero Black Lightning, as she spotted him going out by the dead of night. She didn’t tell anybody she already knew about it, until she started manifesting powers on her own, being able to control her body density. The first thing she thought about was to follow her father’s footsteps and to become a vigilante, but she was also a brilliant student, and both her parents advised her not to throw away a promising education to fight crime. In the meanwhile, Lynn had had a second daughter, Jennifer, and things between her and Jefferson weren’t going so well (they would have divorced soon after) so, not to add problems and worries to her parents, Anissa decided to respect their will: she would have at least waited to graduate from college before making any decision about her life as a superhero. In the meanwhile, she gave all herself to study: she attended medical school, and she turned out to be one of the best students of her year. Eventually, she graduated with highest honors and, that very night, she considered her promise kept: she tailored a costume, she bought a blonde wig, and she started a career as a crime fighter with the codename Thunder. In a few nights, Thunder impressed the public with quite some feats, making a name for herself and putting at use powers she had had years to learn how to control: a new heroine was born.

Thunder’s solo career, however, didn’t last long, and not for a bad reason: one night, while patrolling, she was approached by another masked vigilante, the archer Red Arrow, who was looking for young adventurers to follow him in his new formation of the Outsiders. Anissa was obviously quite happy to be a part of the same team her father had been fighting with years before, but she also did believe that she could learn more about how to be a superhero if she practiced with others, especially when they were veterans like Red Arrow, so she accepted his offer and became an Outsider. Thunder got along with most of her new teammates, that included Red Arrow, Nightwing, Metamorpho and Indigo, but she was constantly arguing with Grace, the super-strong bouncer she just couldn’t bear. The two, however, proved to be a marvelous team, and this eventually brought them closer, until they discovered a strong attraction one to the other, and became lovers (this didn’t mean the fighting ended, quite the opposite, especially considering that Grace’s promiscuous attitude made her new girlfriend jealous). When Black Lightning found out about his daughter’s new “field of expertise”, however, he wasn’t as happy and proud as Anissa would have hoped for, quite the opposite: he rushed into the Outsiders’ headquarters, and demanded her to quit. Believing in her own potential as a heroine, Thunder refused to obey, and father and daughter started fighting. Their argument, however, was cut short when the demonic villain Sabbac attacked, and the team moved to intercept him. Black Lightning decided to lend some help against the powerful foe, and during the following fight he had the chance to see his daughter in action, just as she saw him fighting for the first time in her life. They gained mutual respect, and after defeating Sabbac, Black Lightning couldn’t be more proud of his heroic daughter, and supported her in her choice. Now, strong with her father’s blessing, Anissa could truly be Thunder, the heroine she had always dreamt of.

Anissa Pierce is a young woman with strenght and determination, but also with patience and respect, a heroine born who however waited years to be what she wanted to just to keep a promise to her parents. As Thunder, she possesses the ability to increase her body mass without increasing her volume, thus augmenting her density and becoming extremely durable, able to withstand bullets, and also superhumanly strong; she can become so heavy and dense that she creates shockwaves just by stomping on the ground, and her medical skills come in handy also on the battlefield. Intelligent but not exactly sociable, she has quite a talent in reading people, but the same can’t be said for relating to them; being socially awkward, however, doesn’t prevent her from being a true heroine, always on the first line to protect her family, her friends, and of course her girlfriend Grace.

John Proudstar (Thunderbird)

Apparently, the upcoming tv series The Gifted will import many characters from the Exiles comics series, including Blink, who we already know. The leader of the mutant resistance that helps the Struckers, in fact, will be Thunderbird, portrayed by Blair Redford. Strong and determined, Thunderbird will lead his team through an era of chrisis for mutants, but nothing more is known so far about his origins or relationship with the other protagonists. We met his brother Warpath in the movies, but if this will be referenced to remains to be seen. Anyway, let’s take a look at one of the shortest-lived X-Men ever, who wields the doubtful privilege of being a character who became much more popular once dead than he was when he was alive.

John Proudstar was born in Camp VerdeArizona, in the Apache reservation. The son of Neal and Maria Proudstar, he was very proud of his people’s legacy, and he proved since he was a teenager to be more than willing to embrace the responsibilities that came from being the heir of a tribe of honorable warriors. He also taught his younger brother James what it meant to be a true Apache, but he soon realised that he couldn’t be what he wanted as long as he lived in the reservation, where everybody seemed to be complacent with a life of confinement and isolation. Wanting something more from his life, he escaped from the reservation and, lying on his age, entered the United States Marines, wanting to embrace the warrior’s life he dreamt of. He left on a two-years duty to the Vietnam War, where he distinguished himself as a war hero: a corporal with many medals, he still was dissatisfied with the life he was living, as fighting as a soldier was little more than being a mercenary to him. While coming back to the States, his helicopter was caught in a thunderstorm, and it was hit by lightning, crashing in the Caribbean Sea; the pilot was injured, so John took him out of the cabin and tried to bring him ashore, but he simply wasn’t strong enough, and believed to be about to drown. In that moment, another lightning illuminated the sky, a bolt shaped like a huge bird: the storm ended abruptly, and John knew he had found his totem, the sacred animal of his people and its protector deity, the Thunderbird. Proudstar and the pilot were saved, and he came back to the reservation…where he resumed his old, tiring and depressing life. One day, overwhelmed by boredom, John spotted a little girl charged by a wild buffalo: without thinking about it, he reached the huge beast, and wrestled it to the ground, showing an unnatural strenght. He and the tribe believed that this was a sign of the Thunderbird’s blessing: he surely was the champion of the Apaches of old, meant to be his people’s protector.

When John’s father died, Maria and James were all he had left of his family, but a doctor, Edwin Martynec, diagnosed the woman with a terminal cancer. Proudstar was obviously saddened by the news, but a friend of his, reporter Michael Whitecloud, informed him that something was amiss with Martynec’s studies. The two decided to investigate, and John’s adventurous brother, James, secretly followed them, hidden on the pickup: once in the doctor’s lab, Proudstar discovered that Martynec was faking diagnosis in order to use his patients as guinea pigs for his genetic experiments. Exposed, Martynec showed the Proudstars and Whitecloud the progresses of his own research, and transformed into a werewolf-like creature, trying to kill the intruders: with his new powers, John was able to fight the beast to a stallmate allowing his brother and his friend to escape. Also the mad doctor escaped, but not before blowing his entire lab up to hide his illegal genetic experiments. Once home, John and James had Maria undergo other tests, and they found out she was perfectly healty. From there on, life in the reservation was pretty much the same as ever, although John was called to solve little emergencies from time to time, such as raging bulls or wild animals escaped from some fair, as well as accidents with machines and cars: protecting his people like this was far below what he could actually do. Finally, one day a man on a wheelchair arrived to Camp Verde, and introduced himself as Professor Charles Xavier: a telepath himself, Xavier revealed to Proudstar the true nature of his powers, and identified him as a mutant. He also asked him to join his team of adventurers, the X-Men, as the original one was missing, abducted by the living island Krakoa. Albeit reluctant to join a white man’s team, John agreed at least to help Xavier save his pupils, but when the Professor tailored a costume for him and nicknamed him Thunderbird, he realised this was the heroic destiny he was meant to embrace. Finally he had found his place in the Apaches’ glorious legacy.

John Proudstar is a proud member of the Apache tribe, nostalgic of the glorious past of his people but also fiercely committed to reviving it; altruistic and selfless, he’s however constantly angry over the injustice the Apaches have to live with on a daily basis, and embittered and mistrustful towards any white man (especially the ones in charge, as Cyclops realised almost immediately). As Thunderbird, he possesses superhuman strength, durability and stamina, which united to his military training make him quite a superb combatant; also his senses are enhanced, and he’s a skilled tracker. An outcast all his life, Thunderbird knows he’s destined to a higher calling, and he’s ready to do anything in his power to prove to the world he’s the blessed champion of his people’s gods.

Lynn Stewart

There’s still another upcoming tv series that debuted with a pretty cool trailer, and this time it comes from DC Comics: Black Lightning, revolving around a retired superhero forced to don the suit again to protect his family…and it’s his family we got a first look at with the trailer, starting from his wife, Lynn Pierce, portrayed by Christine Adams. In the trailer, we see her during a flashback assisting her husband, who’s bleeding to death in a bathtub, thus giving quite an idea on why she’s his ex-wife in present day. We don’t know much on how she’ll factor in her ex-husband’s present life, but it’s unlikely she’ll react with a positive attitude to her daughters’ transformation. Just like in the comics.

Born Lynn Stewart, this woman’s life has been rewritten many times depending on the continuity, facing some major changes from Earth-One to New Earth, but also within New Earth itself (in the first version, she was a young teacher who met Jefferson Pierce as a colleague, and who divorced him when they had no kids together). Since she was meant to be John Stewart‘s sister, she was most likely born in DetroitMichigan, but she moved from her homecity to study Law. In college she met Jefferson Pierce, an English Literature student who dreamt of becoming a teacher: despite coming from the Suicide Slums, the worst, most ill-famed block in Metropolis, Jeff was charismatic, inspiring, gifted with both a wonderful athletic body and a magnetic personality…Lynn couldn’t help but falling in love with him. The two became a couple, and they got married soon after. The couple moved depending on where Jeff was called, and since he overhauled five-six schools in a matter of a few years, they moved quite a lot, thus making it difficult for Lynn to start a proper career as a lawyer. She was however intensely involved in her husband’s social missions, and she gladly shared his life…albeit, obviously, with time this started to become a burden. In their first years together, however, everything was good, and they had their first daughter, Anissa. Soon, however, the Pierces’ life changed, as the nightmares came: Jeff felt guilty for abandoning the Suicide Slums, and he couldn’t sleep well at night…but when he had a nightmare, his body released electric energy, thus putting Lynn in danger. This was the beginning of the end for their marriage.

These emerging powers deeply changed Jefferson: he threw himself into work to try to wear himself out and not think about it, and he stopped to have sex with Lynn, fearing to electrocute her in the process. For Lynn this was extremely difficult, and it was even more so when Jeff was convinced that the only way he could get rid of his problems was to come back to the Suicide Slums and to operate there: for Lynn, this meant she would have raised her daughter in a violent ghetto. Jeff changed houses with his sister Constance, so that she could raise her teenager sons away from the ghetto and from their father, a mobster from The 100 gang, while Lynn was forced to live with her mother-in-law Leona, who used to live with her daughter. The positive side of it was that Lynn immediately found a job in a Metropolis firm, while Jeff became the new principle of Garfield High, replacing one who had hanged himself in the school. The very first day they arrived, some teenagers stole their moving boxes, quite a welcoming gift. When, some months later, a mysterious vigilante started fighting The 100 and the other street gangs, it took little time for Lynn to guess it was her husband behind the man’s hood: she didn’t tell him she knew, but she spent every night worried and afraid, fearing that he never came back. Summing to this, she found an incredibly corrupt legal system in Metropolis, and she started to work hard to clean it. This brought her quite a number of death threats, but this didn’t stop her from incriminating one of The 100’s pet judges…even if the gang eventually framed her for corruption. Tired of the system, she helped Peter Gambi tailor a new costume for her husband, and she was indirectly responsible for the birth of the Black Lightning. The corruption case grew so much that FBI had to move her away as part of Witness Protection Program, and when she left she was expecting her second daughter, Jennifer. It was clear, however, that she wouldn’t have been able to stand this kind of life for much longer…

Lynn Stewart Pierce is a strong and focused woman, more than able to support her husband in his battles, and to lead her own in the meanwhile (everything while taking care of the family and running the house). Honest to a fault and a capable lawyer, she’s just as dangerous for criminals as her vigilante husband is. Despite she loves Jefferson dearly, however, there’s just as much as a woman can bear for her man, and even if she’s ready to take any risk for him, when her daughters are the ones risking their lives she has no doubt on whom she has to protect first.

Lockjaw

Snippets from the upcoming trailer for Inhumans gave us a look at another main character, albeit this one is even weirder than the previous ones: Lockjaw, the Royal Family‘s giant bulldog. In the trailer, we see him teleporting Black Bolt in the middle of a huge street, and later disappearing along with him: that’s his main power, as he surely is a loyal companion to the Inhumans, but also their means of transportation, as he can instantly teleport everywhere in the world. He is one of the most iconic characters from the comic series, and it would have been a pity not to see him in the show…but the fact that he’s here in flesh and bones (and CGI), with this kind of rendering, is pleasantly surprising nevertheless. Let’s take a look at this overgrown puppy.

Lockjaw’s origins are quite a mystery: born in Attilan, he was part of the Inhuman race, an offshoot of humanity genetically engineered by the Krees to obtain superhuman abilities when exposed to the Terrigen Mists; problem is, no species other than humans had been experimented on by the Krees, so for years it was believed that Lockjaw was actually a human being, transformed by Terrigenesis into a giant, teleporting dog. This hypotesis was never proved, and since he was a puppy Lockjaw was a loyal companion to the House of Agon, so there was nobody who ever saw him as a human…but the fact remains that he possessed teleportation powers that didn’t come from Terrigenesis. Anyway, he was trained to be the loyal companion and protector of the Royal Family, and he bonded particularly with Crystal, the youngest (future) princess. When, after years of confinement due to his unstable powers, the future king Black Bolt finally entered public life, Lockjaw was introduced to him as well, and he became just as loyal to him as he was to Crystal, always accompanying him wherever the prince wanted him to. As soon as Black Bolt became king, Lockjaw’s teleportation powers were used to take the new ruler to the Himalayas, where a new home for the Inhumans was found. Years later, the king’s brother Maximus the Mad started a rebellion with the Alpha Primitives, and he created an invincible energy creature, the Trikon, to seize the throne; nobody from the Inhuman family was able to defeat the indestructible creature, and eventually it was Lockjaw who got rid of it by using his teleporting powers to bring the Trikon to the Negative Zone, an alternate dimension born from antimatter instead of positive matter. When he came back, however, Maximus had obtained the crown from Black Bolt, and he had become the new king: as the Royal Family was exiled, Lockjaw followed them on Earth, where his powers were used by Black Bolt, Gorgon and the others in their search for Medusa, lost somewhere on the globe.

Finally, Gorgon tracked Medusa in New York City, in the United States of America, and Lockjaw soon brought there the entire family, waiting for Gorgon to return. Crystal, in the meanwhile, had found a man she liked and she believed to be an Inhuman too, Johnny Storm…when Gorgon came back, however, he recognised him as a member of the Fantastic Four, a group he had fought before, and started another battle. When a minion of Maximus, The Seeker, abducted Triton, Black Bolt ordered Lockjaw to bring them all back to Attilan, something that he did. In the following battle, not only Black Bolt freed Triton, but he also claimed back his crown from the usurper Maximus…who retaliated by creating an impenetrable dimensional barrier around the city. None of the attempts from the Royal Family managed to even crack the barrier, despite Karnak coordinated the efforts…but Lockjaw’s powers allowed them to travel through dimensions as well, so he wasn’t bound by it. Looking for help, Lockjaw teleported himself outside the barrier (apparently, he wasn’t able to take anyone along), searching for a way to help his masters still in Attilan. He travelled the world for a while, until he was found by Johnny Storm, who recognised him (difficult not to), and asked him to teleport him to Attilan, as he wanted to see his beloved Crystal again. Lockjaw, however, couldn’t pass the barrier with “passengers”, and everytime he tried, he brought Johnny and his friend Wyatt Wingfoot to weird dimensions and realities (whether he did it “bouncing” on the barrier or exploring the multiverse in search of a way to destroy it is debatable). He even assisted both Johnny and Wyatt in a battle with the Mad Thinker and the resurrected Human Torch android, later resuming his search…until Johnny finally gave up, and left. Black Bolt managed to destroy the barrier (and half of Attilan) with his voice, so Lockjaw could reunite with his family: this time, he wouldn’t have let them go so easily.

Lockjaw is a good-hearted and tender dog, not particularly intelligent, but fiercely loyal to his masters, especially to Crystal. As an Inhuman dog (or a dog-shaped Inhuman?), he’s far stronger and more durable than any regular dog, he can dig through ferro-concrete with his claws, and his jaws are strong enough to break steel; his main power, however, is his teleporting ability, powerful enough to allow him and whoever he carries as a “passenger” not only everywhere in space, crossing even cosmic distances, but even across dimensions, slipping through the multiverse; his senses are so keen that he can smell anyone even across realities and dimensions, making him the ultimate tracking dog. The most loyal friend and companion the Royal Family will ever have, Lockjaw is also extremely useful as a “living vehicle”…as long as one can stand the outstanding amount of saliva he leaves as a sign of his affection.

Lorna Sally Dane (Polaris)

Another upcoming tv series released the first trailer, and the hype just keeps growing: we’re speaking of The Gifted, directed by Bryan Singer and set in the X-Men‘s universe (albeit in a different timeline, apparently). The series will follow some original characters, the Strucker Family, who will become fugitives as their children turn out to be mutants, hunted down by the government. The family will run into a group of mutant resistance which includes many known faces from the comics, starting with Polaris, portrayed by Emma Dumont. In the trailer, we can see her using her magnetic powers on cops, and struggling to control her rage, thus maybe hinting at the personality problems that have been haunting her in the comics. She seems to be lacking her trademark green hair, but Singer promised to have her don her usual look, so we’ll just have to wait and see…as usual, spending time to take a look at the original Mistress of Magnetism, long awaited to be seen in flesh and blood after her name appeared on William Stryker‘s list in X2: X-Men United.

Lorna Sally Dane was born somewhere in California, the daughter of a pilot named Arnold and of his wife Suzanna. This, however, turned out not to be exactly true, as the woman had had an affair with a handsome stranger, and Lorna was her lover’s daughter. Arnold found this out when the girl was still a kid, and he chose to confront his wife about it while the three of them were travelling on his private plane. The two adults started fighting over the matter, but little Lorna didn’t understand anything of what they were saying, she only wanted them to stop arguing: in panic as her parents kept yelling at each other, the girl unconsciously emitted a strong magnetic pulse, that fried the plane’s circuits and made it crash on the ground. In the following explosion, both Arnold and Suzanna died, and Lorna emerged from the wrecks, protected by a force field, with her hair turned green: she was a mutant, just like her biological father…whom she had also inherited her magnetic powers from. Lorna’s father, having perceived the magnetic pulse, arrived on the scene: he was none others than the mutant terrorist Magneto, and he was investigating the incident with his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Upon finding the girl, Magneto realised she was still too young to embrace the life he offered her, and he also believed she wasn’t ready for the enormous power she wielded: he ordered one of his followers, Mastermind, to use his abilities to rewrite Lorna’s memories, so that she believed that her parents had died in a normal plane crash, and that she forgot everything about her powers. Completely unaware of her true nature and origins, Lorna was adopted by Arnold’s sister and by her husband, the Danes, who rose her as if she was their own; with time, she eventually forgot her parents. Feeling different from the other kids because of her hair, Lorna started dying them brown, and she grew up convinced she was a regular human; Mastermind’s powers, besides blocking her memory, also prevented the girl’s mind from accessing the area of the brain that activated her powers, so that her abilities remained latent until she reached her twenties. When she was twenty, in fact, the Danes told her she had been adopted from her mother’s deceased brother, something that resulted in a great emotional stress. Soon after, Lorna found herself mysteriously compelled to travel to San Francisco, following an impulse that actually originated from the evil telepath Mesmero, who was summoning all latent mutants in reach.

Mesmero wasn’t the only one who had found her, however: also Professor X, with Cerebro, had identified her as a mutant, and had sent his X-Men to retrieve her. Lorna was intercepted by Iceman, who broke her trance by making her slip on ice, and introduced her to the other X-Men, informing her of her true nature. Still in shock, Lorna was soon captured by the Demi-Men, Mesmero’s minions, and brought to their master, who activated the woman’s latent powers with his device. As soon as Lorna manifested magnetic powers, Mesmero proved to be impressed, and he even called her the “Queen of Mutants“, but the X-Men soon arrived, wanting to “save” her. Also Magneto arrived, revealing to be the one who had ordered Lorna’s abduction, and that he was the girl’s true father. Lorna couldn’t fight her father, and she let the X-Men nearly be defeated, but Iceman returned with the evidence that both of her parents had died years before in a plane crash: believing Magneto was lying to her, Lorna fought him, and she eventually bested him…revealing “Magneto” to be actually and android double. After that adventure, she chose to follow the X-Men to their school, where Professor X would have helped her to control her powers. During her stay at Westchester, she finally reverted to her true hair color and, while rejecting Iceman’s advances, she started a relationship with Havok instead, whom she had met when he had saved her from a group of Sentinels. When the time came for her to join the X-Men, she tried the supername Magnetrix, but she quickly dropped it as she didn’t like it at all, and she adopted “Polaris” instead. Neither Polaris nor Havok had full mastership over their highly destructive powers, so they were assigned only easy missions, until she helped the team repel an alien invasion from the Z’Nox. After that, she joined the team in a mission in the Savage Land, where she finally met the true Magneto…who, much to her disappointment, didn’t even know who she was. Polaris came back to the base just in time to be kidnapped by the Secret Empire and used as a power source for their deadly machines, but she was freed when Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Captain America and Falcon defeated the villains. Tired of being a “second rate” X-Man, Polaris left the team wih Havok, and moved to Nevada to complete her Master’s Degree in geophysics. Here, however, she met the Hulk, who mistook her for his former lover Jarella and got angry in seeing her with Havok: barely escaping the fight, the two mutants came back to Westchester again to aid their team in an emergency, as Professor X had detected the most powerful mutant ever…that mission, however, would have changed Lorna forever.

Lorna Dane is a strong-willed and determined young woman, a loyal friend and an idealist who dedicates all her life to fight for the peaceful cohabitation of humans and mutants…unfortunately, she’s also subjected to depression and mental illness, and her frail mind often brings her to mental outbursts that put her and the ones around her in danger. As Polaris, she’s an Alpha-Level mutant with the power to manipulate Earth‘s magnetic field itself: she can fly, she can create force-fields, she can manipulate any kind of metal and magnetic field, and she can even revert the planet’s polarity, but the full extent of her powers is yet to be seen, as she can potentially match her father’s ones, but her mental issues always prevent her from reaching her full potential. A fierce warrior and a dedicated peace-builder, Polaris always tries to restrain herself from using her powers to the fullest, wanting to protect her friends from the monster she knows far too well she can become.

Phineas Mason (The Tinkerer)

The latest batch of photos from Spider-Man: Homecoming gave us a look at another villain from the movie, and quite a pivotal one: The Tinkerer, portrayed by Michael Chernus. In the film, Phineas Mason is a genius engineer who works for Adrian Toomes: whatever tool the latter provides, being it from the Chitauri army or from the Dark Elves, he is able to reverse-engineer it to make it even more powerful and to assemble it with other weapons and machines. He’s the one who provides Shocker with his gauntlets by modifying Crossbones‘ ones, and he also gives Montana and other gangsters advanced guns based on Chitauri tech. This version of Tinkerer is considerably younger than the comics’ one, but his role is pretty much the same, albeit the original is much more independent in his business. Let’s see together.

Phineas Mason was born and raised in New York City; not much is known about his early life, apart from the fact that he had a wife, Deborah Watts, and that the two of them had a son, Rick Mason. Phineas was particularly gifted when it came to mechanisms of any kind, and he ran a repair shop, Phineas’ Fix-It. He spent his entire life in his shop, and when his wife died and his son left home, he started feeling lonely with all his clogs and engines. One day, he ran into a Doombot, one of the advanced robots Doctor Doom used as decoys and footsoldiers: this one had been damaged in a battle with a future Squirrel Girl, and was in a pretty bad shape. Phineas took the android in, and used his remarkable skills to repair it. At first, Phineas used the Doombot as a simple assistant, learning much from him about robotic engineering and advanced technology; with time, however, the android increased his self-awareness thanks to the relationship with his savior, and became sentient. Phineas built for him a membrane that could look as human skin, and applied it to the Doombot so that he could look human; he also named him Vincent Doonan, who became his friend and, somewhat, his “adopted son”. In those years, however, the city was starting to be crowded with superheroes and supervillains, a category that Mason came to despise: according to him, they were all reckless and irresponsible kids who had too much power and put everybody at risk. He shared this grudge with Vincent, who supported him for a while…at least until Mason, sick and tired of the increasing number of hero-wannabes, decided to step in and put a stop to what he saw as a menace, ironically becoming a supervillain himself with the name of the “Terrible Tinkerer“. Vincent left him, but Mason was too far too gone with his obsession: instead of changing his mind and coming back to his senses, he built another android, Toy, to replace Vincent and not to feel alone in his crusade. He had but one gift, and he would have shared it with the world…to erase superheroes from the face of the planet.

Albeit old, Mason still was a formidable engineer and a genius inventor, and he debuted on the black market to repair villains’ tools and to create new ones for beginners. At first, of course, the Tinkerer had to finance his new activity, so he started placing bugs in the radios he repaired for politicians and officials, to blackmail them later. Spider-Man eventually found him and tried to stop him, but Mason escaped on a “flying saucer” of his own invention, leaving behind a mask resembling his face to confuse the hero and make him think he was an alien. Spider-Man was ready to intercept him as soon as he came back to business, but this time he unleashed Toy on the hero, ganing time enough to escape. He started accepting jobs from criminals who wanted high-tech weaponry, starting with Quentin Beck, a former stuntman and special effects wizard he built a suit for, helping him become the villainous Mysterio. His skills also made him able to reverse-engineer already existing weapons, and he also accepted a job from the Kingpin, who hired him to retrieve the destroyed Spider-Mobile, to fix it and to use it against its former owner, Spider-Man. He also built a mechanical tail to help Mac Gargan become the lethal Scorpion, and also a rocket-skateboard to allow petty thief Robert Farrell exact his vengeance against Spider-Man as the Rocket Racer. Short time after, as a sign of impartiality, he also aided Jackson Weele in making it even with Farrell by building him a weird vehicle to become the Big Wheel. He made a name helping a number of renowned criminals by repairing their equipment or by building them new one: Black Cat, Hammerhead, Owl, Jack O’Lantern, the BeetleJester, Constrictor, the Grim Reaper, Grizzly, Whirlwind, Stilt-Man, Diamondback, Blizzard, they were all his clients…but such a fame included risks: once, Killer Shriek tried to use his new gauntlets to kill Mason and avoid to pay him, but the Tinkerer activated a failsafe that electrocuted the Shriek and immobilised him. Mason released him only when he finally paid what was due: with a job like this, he obviously was well-prepared to face difficult clients.

Phineas Mason is a brilliant yet malicious man, obsessed with annihilating the “irresponsible” and “dangerous” kids that the superheroes, according to him, are. As the Tinkerer, he’s an extremely brilliant inventor, a genius engineer who masters a number of scientific fields and who’s perfectly able to understand even the work of absolute geniuses like Doctor Doom or Mister Fantastic and to intervene on it to reverese-engineer it. Just as dangerous as he is intelligent, the Tinkerer provides the villains with deadly tech to make sure they use it against the heroes’ plague, but it’s more than likely that, eliminated a threat, he’ll focus on the remaining superhumans…at least, provided that his depressing loneliness doesn’t make him lose his mind first.