The latest promo for The Gifted reveals the secret history of the Hellfire Club – and it’s remarkably comic-book accurate.
The Gifted has been teasing the existence of the Hellfire Club for quite some time. At first, fans thought the Hellfire Club was just another nod to the history of the X-Men. After all, the show has dropped liberal references to the X-Men and to the Brotherhood, and neither of those groups has actually appeared. The last few episodes have changed that, though, with the Hellfire Club becoming a real and dangerous threat to the Mutant Underground.
FX has just released an intriguing promo that teases the secret history of the Hellfire Club. Appropriately enough, it’s done in the style of a conspiracy theory video. And it’s both chilling and intriguing.
It’s a remarkably comic-book-accurate take. In the comics, the Hellfire Club is an ancient society that originated in London. Only the richest and most powerful families become members of the Hellfire Club; both Howard and Tony Stark have been members. But dig a little deeper, and you discover the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. This Inner Circle is essentially a criminal conspiracy to manipulate world events in order to make its members wealthy. It was gradually taken over by a group of mutants, including Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw.
It seems the Hellfire Club of The Gifted has a similar backstory – except this time round, it was infiltrated by mutants far earlier on. By the ’50s and ’60s, the Hellfire Club was sponsoring acts of mutant terrorism across the globe in order to line their pockets. Andrea and Andreas Von Strucker, the mutant terrorists collectively known as Fenris, were two of the most high-profile members. Recent episodes have confirmed that Magneto was a King in the group as well.
The Hellfire Club presumably drew too much attention and was believed to have disbanded. More likely, its Inner Circle had simply taken a less visible route to achieving their ends. The goal of the Hellfire Club seems to be to cause a war between mutants and humans. Some members, like Magneto, would have believed this would allow mutants to take their rightful place. Others would probably have only been interested in lining their own pockets. According to this conspiracy theorist, the Hellfire Club caused the terrorist attack that led to the disappearance of the X-Men and the Brotherhood.
It’s a safe assumption that the Hellfire Club is playing both sides. Again, to refer to the comics, the Hellfire Club have essentially been a group of war profiteers. They drove conflict between humans and mutants, and then reaped the benefits. Sebastian Shaw, for example, actually funded the construction of the Sentinels. It’s likely the Hellfire Club is taking a similar approach in The Gifted. That would explain the Von Struckers’ terrorist attacks as far back as the ’50s and ’60s, and provides a dangerous context for their effort to cause war between the Underground and Trask Industries. It’s actually possible that The Gifted will reveal Trask Industries is secretly owned by the Hellfire Club. Certainly, several members of the Trask family were mutants in the comics.
The Gifted has recently been renewed for a second season, and it’s clear the story is changing shape. Season 2 will see the Hellfire Club drive a wedge between different members of the Underground, forcing them to choose sides against one another. Unfortunately for our heroes, they’ll just be viewed as pawns in the Hellfire Club’s games.
The Gifted season 1 concludes with “eXtraction” and “X-roads” on Monday, January 15. Season 2 does not have a premiere date yet.
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