Originally Published: May 23, 2011, on Comicvine.com

I readily admit that I am one of the people that are waving their torch and pitchfork at the X-Men: First Class movie for its very liberal changes to what many of us see as the comic canon. I understand this is supposed to be a different universe and I know that movies are going to have to make changes to try to appeal to a larger audience, but mostly everything I’ve seen so far has me grinding my teeth when I go to bed at night. One change that I can live with though is the addition of Darwin to this team.

What makes Darwin compelling is his unique power in that it is not done by conscious thought, but instead as a “Reactive evolution or adaptation”. If Darwin is falling from a tremendous height, his body may turn to rubber to avoid injury, or if found in deep space, he may no longer need oxygen to breathe. But, with no way to control his power, Darwin often finds himself at the whim of his body and does not always evolve abilities that make him terribly useful to the team as he just finds a way to survive. The most notable example of this came up when the Hulk attacked the Xavier Institute in World War Hulk. When Darwin went to attack the Hulk, Darwin developed the ability to siphon off gamma energy. When the Hulk started producing more energy than even Darwin could handle though, his body felt the best defense would be to teleport him away from the battle.

Darwin was created by Ed Brubaker and Pete Woods and introduced back in 2006’s six-issue Deadly Genesis mini-series that explained how some of the original X-Men’s memories of their fateful battle with Krakoa, a living island that feeds on mutant energies and trapped the original X-Men when they went to investigate it, were falsely planted by Professor Xavier and that in reality a second smaller ground of X-Men were used by Professor X to save the originals. Unfortunately, in the ensuing battle against Krakoa, of the four new X-Men Xavier sent, only Vulcan, the younger brother of Cyclops and Havok, and Darwin were able to survive. Darwin showed some of the lengths his powers would go to though by converting himself into pure energy that Vulcan absorbed and carried with him for years until Rachel Summers finally freed him. And due to this strong link to the original X-Men, I can live with him being a part of this origins movie.

The big question though is how big a role will he play in the movie. How will he be introduced to the team? It’s not like we’re going to see him take on Krakoa after all. In the comics, he is originally found by scientists who experimented on him before being rescued by Moira MacTaggert and brought into the fold to join the “Missing X-Men”, so will it be something as simple as being found by a Cerebro scan or will there actually be some flesh to his back story in the movie?

Also, I spent much of my Sunday morning digging for the single still you see at the beginning of this article that shows Darwin, played by Edi Gathegi, dunking his head in a fish tank in order to grow gills and demonstrate his power. With many of the commercials and trailers out there, we’ve never seen Darwin for more than a few seconds total between all of them and he isn’t even on the movie poster! Is this because his power is too unpredictable and therefore Xavier keeps him behind most of the time until he can control it? Or is it that maybe a highlight of the movie will actually be seeing Darwin in action and Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox actually don’t want to giveaway ALL the surprises of the movie, including how Darwin may solve some of the problems put before him?

Well, I know Darwin is one character I’m going to be looking to keep on eye out for, but what do you folks think? How much of Darwin will we actually see in the X-Men: First Class movie? How effective will his powers be as a part of the team? What weird adaptations might we look forward to? Let us know what you think with comments below!

Advertisements