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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