The Gifted will explore its connection with the X-Men films when Polaris (Emma Dumont) learns about her lineage as the daughter of one of the most powerful and controversial mutants ever - Magneto. The new FOX TV series officially premiered last week and was largely well-received by critics. Coupled with solid viewer ratings, that is a good sign for the remaining episodes in the show's debut season.
The character of Polaris has a long storied history in the world of X-Men comic books. Created by Arnold Drake and Jim Steranko, and introduced in 1968’s X-Men #49, she was one of the first X-Men to join the original five. As powerful as she is, what makes her all the more interesting and relatable is her struggle to cope with her mental illness. With such a rich mythology to mine from, many are obviously very happy to see her come to life on the small screen via The Gifted.
During The Gifted panel at New York Comic-Con 2017, Dumont addressed fans' query about whether Polaris is going to find out that she is the daughter of Magneto or not - and if she does, how that kind of bombshell will affect her character arc moving forward:
"Polaris has heard rumours about who her father is and she’s heard...it’s this very powerful mutant, but then she’s heard that some people may consider him a villain, and that he’s not a good guy, but that he’s done some great things, but maybe they weren’t great, and he has very specific views, and he’s very black and white, and no one should challenge him, and he’s very stubborn. And she’s like, 'oh wait, that’s how I am. Maybe he is my dad. Am I a bad guy? I don’t know.'
She definitely...Magneto is her father, and she will find out about it soon enough."
While the cast and crew of The Gifted continue to be forthcoming about the show's connections to the larger X-Men, it remains to be seen how significant Polaris' lineage will actually be in the series' overall story. Magneto, of course, is a staple in the ongoing X-Men movie franchise and since the show is connected to the film series, albeit in a somewhat loose sense, it is interesting to know how he will factor into events on the FOX TV series. As of now, however, this tiny but potentially narrative-changing detail is of secondary concern on the series, but showrunner Matt Nix has indicated that the show will further explore Polaris and Magneto's familial connection down the line.
In the meantime, while The Gifted is still getting started, the show can establish Polaris as a character on her own, devoid of the looming fact that she is Magneto's daughter. The last thing we want is for her narrative arc to be solely hinged on her lineage, without giving her the opportunity to fulfill her potential as a player in her own right. The premiere episode only hinted at her impressive abilities and it will be great to see her further grow and carve her own path (free of references to Magneto) over the episodes to come.
The Gifted continues tonight with 'rX' on FOX.