New Characters You’ll See in X-Men: First Class

    June 3, 2011 at 6:00 am

    xmen first class headerX-Men: First Class opens in theaters today, and superhero-addicted moviegoers are chomping at the bit to see their favorite X-Men characters before they were the X-Men. The movie takes place in the 60’s, so all the old, standard X-Men characters will be there: Professor Xavier, Magneto, Beast, and Mystique are all key characters in the mix. But audiences will also be introduced to a new (or rather, old) collection of X-Men characters that have never graced the silver screen before. That’s why we thought it might be helpful to give you an advanced introduction to some of the new characters you’ll meet in X-Men: First Class.

    Emma Frost

    Played by January Jones

    Emma Frost is an extremely dangerous X-Men villain who later became one of the team’s most valuable allies. However, in the movie you’ll see it the other way around. She has psychic mutant powers, and also inherited the ability to turn her entire body into a diamond. If you saw Wolverine, you got a little dose of Emma Frost toward the end of the movie, when Emma utilized her diamond transformation powers to deflect bullets, allowing some mutant prisoners to escape. In comic books, she was also depicted as a super-intelligent business woman, managing a company that rivaled Stark Industries in its power and ingenuity. According to a general consensus of comic book writers, Emma’s powers cancel each other out so she can’t utilize her psychic abilities when she’s in diamond form. Some versions of Emma also include a flaw in her diamond shell (which might be located right between her eyes), and a well-placed diamond bullet will cause her entire body to shatter, killing her instantly. Looking at the comparison picture above, you might be thinking that January Jones wasn’t the best choice for the role, but what she lacks in the boob department she more than makes up for in the “being a real person” department.


    Played by Zoe Kravitz

    xmen first class angel zoe kravitzRemember when you first saw Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, and you thought to yourself “oh, man. It’s so awesome how Jeff Goldblum is gradually turning into a disgusting insect. I just wish he was a super hot girl turning into an insect instead!” Well, you’re wish is granted. Angel is a young girl who’s mutant power is that she’s basically part insect. She has veined wings protruding from her back that allow her to fly (obviously), and she can also wiggle them around really fast to make a deafening hypersonic noise. But that’s not all! She got the cool, sexy parts of a fly, too. She has to eat like a fly, meaning she has to spit nasty disgusting acidic goo on her food to dissolve it before she can digest it. She also gives birth by laying eggs, and five days later a bunch of tiny, slimy, disgusting fly children emerge (see the nasty picture above). In the comic books, she’s mentored by Emma Frost, who takes Angel under her wing and shows her the ropes at Xavier’s mutant academy.

    Sebastian Shaw

    Played by Kevin Bacon

    xmen first class kevin bacon sebastian shawIf you just said to yourself, “What?! Kevin Bacon is in this movie?!”, then join the club. Nobody seems to know that Kevin Bacon is in X-Men: First Class, but he his. Not only is he in the movie, but he plays a kind of important character in Sebastian Shaw, a brilliant scientist and the leader of the Hellfire Club, a secret society that’s trying to conquer the world. Shaw collects awesome mutants, turns them into villains, and then unleashes them on society. When the X-Men come along, Shaw finds a new nemesis in Professor Xavier and the two mutant teams pretty much make each other’s lives a living hell. Harsh words are exchanged, and team members are traded. Emma Frost starts out as a member of the X-Men, then joins Shaw’s Hellfire Club, then eventually crosses back over to join the X-Men again, and Angel begins her superhero career as a member of the X-Men, then joins with Shaw’s Hellfire Club later. Shaw poses as an anti-mutant activist much of the time, but he’s actually a mutant himself. He has the ability to absorb kinetic energy and transpose it into superhuman strength and speed, and in the early days (when X-Men: First Class takes place), he was a formidable foe for the X-Men and Magneto alike.


    Played by Jason Flemyng

    xmen first class azazel flemyngRemember Nightcrawler from the second X-Men movie? The blue dude who lived in the church and could teleport, leaving a little black dust cloud? Azazel is Nightcrawler’s father. He’s a immortal demon who was banished to a brimstone dimension during biblical times, but he managed to find a way out. He’s been around since the beginning of time, he can teleport all over the place, and he shoots energy from his hands. While it’s probably not covered in X-Men: First Class, Azazel is kind of an interdimensional pimp. When he was locked up in the brimstone dimension, he could only manage to escape for short periods of time. Azazel decided to use that time to come to our dimension and have sex with as many women as possible. Eventually, he was able to use the energy from his twenty or so children to open a portal from the brimstone dimension that allowed him to permanently escape. Oh, and did we mention that he can shapeshift also? Interesting fact: in the comic book history, Mystique is Nightcrawler’s mother.


    Played by Alex Gonzalez

    Riptide’s portrayal in X-Men: First Class is a blatant example of how sometimes Hollywood has to simplify the comic world. His back story is complex, and his portrayal in the film is a little twisted from his portrayal in comic books. Let’s start at the beginning: remember Gambit? Well, Gambit used to be a bad guy who worked for a very powerful, very brilliant, and very elusive villain called Mister Sinister. Mister Sinister is kind of a super villain mastermind. He does a lot of putting people together and splicing genes so he can access mutant powers and stuff like that. Anyway, Gambit discovered Riptide and got him together with some other evil mutants who just destroyed things for a while. In the comic books, Riptide has the ability to spin his body super-fast, creating whirlwinds, tornadoes, and even hurricanes. He can also generate calcium growths that stick out of his skin, basically like spikes made of bone. When Riptide gets spinning and then shoots a body full of bone spikes at you, you’re pretty much toast. In the film, however, Riptide only has the ability to create whirlwinds with his hands. Kind of lame by comparison, but that decision probably cut millions of dollars out of the special effects budget.


    Played by Caleb Landry Jones

    xmen first class banshee caleb landry jones

    Banshee is a superhero who has the ability to scream really, really loud; so loud that he can break objects and people to bits, make buildings collapse, and cause earthquakes and stuff like that. Oh, and he can also fly. The general rule of Marvel Superheroes is: if their power is kind of crappy, they also have the ability to fly. It’s an easy way to balance everything out. In the comics, Banshee is Irish and this is pretty crucial to his origin story and his character. Banshee’s wife was killed by the IRA, and he spent a long time fighting the Irish criminal elements. His Irish brother is one of his most dangerous foes, and a decent amount of his back story relies on his Irish origins. However, he was Americanized for X-Men: First Class, so you’ll probably recognize him as the little kid who screams really loud and doesn’t ever mention The Troubles. Not even once!


    Played by Lucas Till

    xmen first class lucas till havokHavok is a superhero and an extremely powerful member of the X-Men. His real name is Alex Summers, and he’s the brother of Scott Summers, aka Cyclops (but this is before Cyclops joined up with the X-Men). Havok has a similar power to his brother, Cyclops, in that he possesses the ability to shoot extremely powerful plasma blasts. The only difference is that they don’t shoot out of his eyes, they shoot out of his chest. Also, they’re way more powerful than Cyclops’ eye lasers. The only problem is that Alex Havok has a lot of trouble controlling his plasma bursts, so whenever he gets mad he just ends up blowing the crap out of everything around him. Luckily, with some training and guidance from Professor X, Havok was eventually able to gain some control over his powers. This one’s a pretty simple story, so don’t expect the movie to stray too far from the comic book version as far as Havok is concerned.


    Played by Edi Gathegi

    x-men-first-class-darwin-Edi-GathegiDarwin is a super interesting character, and a great addition to the X-Men. While the exact limits of Darwin’s powers have never really been specified, he can do pretty much anything. His super power is identified as “reactive evolution”. Basically, that means that his body instantly evolves to ensure his own survival. If you throw him in water, he’ll instantly develop gills. If you light him on fire, he’ll instantly develop flesh that’s impervious to heat. If you launch him into outer space, he’ll instantly evolve to a state where he doesn’t need oxygen to survive. He’s virtually least, he should be. This is the kind of character they were stretching to invent when Darwin was created in 2006. Expect a lot of awesome special effects from this character during the film, and a lot of your friends asking “why couldn’t they just get Darwin to handle everything for them?” after the movie. To be fair, it’s a great question.


    1. Jeff Voss says:

      I was a Cub Scout to, way back in the 70’s! lol I remember the pine derby so well. Between my Dad and that, I loved racing! Street racing. Your Bio brought back that ancient memory. Anyway, I love your site. Thanks man!

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