The Gifted is a new X-Men-adjacent show on Fox, which I will explain momentarily, and it’s pretty awesome. It’s almost too bad for Marvel that The Inhumans release around the same time, because it’s not even a contest as to which is better.
The first question with most comic book adaptations nowadays is what does it connect to. The short answer so far for The Gifted is, nothing really. It exists in an alternate universe where “something” has happened that has caused both the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to disappear. The rest of the mutants are just trying to stay alive, with the government actively hunting down any mutant that uses their powers and “threatens public safety”. More than any property since X-Men: The Animated Series, they truly show a world where mutants are hated and feared.
The Gifted follows Reed and Kate Strucker, and their mutant children Andy and Lauren. After an event that outs Andy and Lauren as mutants (Lauren knew and had been hiding her abilities), the family has to go on the run. A major complicating factor is the fact that Reed is a prosecutor that focuses on mutant cases. That doesn’t exactly make him a trusted figure in the mutant community.
They have a great set of actors, save maybe for the young man playing Andy (Percy Hynes White). However, he’s got time to grow into the role. Stephen Moyer (late of True Blood) and Amy Acker (Angel, Person of Interest) are very good as the parents, expertly showing the stress and conflict of people who had been comfortable in a life, now thrust into something very different. The mutants are solid so far, with a mix of new characters for the show and familiar faces from the comics. This includes Emma Dumont as Lorna Dane/Polaris, Jamie Chung as Clarice Ferguson/Blink, and Blair Redford as John Proudstar/Thunderbird.
Like I said, not sold on Andy but there’s time to grow. Lorna’s story leans heavily on prison cliches but I’m still interested to see what happens.
Where We Go From Here
The next episode has already aired, and continues the solid presentation of this version of the X-Men universe. They’ve nailed ‘hated and feared’ much better than the movies, and The Gifted should continue being more accessible than Legion. I’m all in.