In the X-Men: Days Of Future Past trailer, which we’ve broken down here, you will spot lots of familiar mutant faces from both Bryan Singer’s original X-Men series and Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. But in addition to all these already-beloved mutants there are four new additions to the franchise. So who are these guys, and what can they do? Here’s a quick primer.
Played by: Omar Sy
In the comics, Lucas Bishop comes from an alternate future, a time where Sentinels rule the world and Australia’s been devastated by a nuclear attack. Bishop’s family escaped Oz just in time, and he grew up in a concentration camp before joining Xavier’s Security Enforcers, where he tracked down mutant criminals. It was in pursuit of one of these, a guy named Fitzroy, that he originally came back in time to the modern-day, main X-timeline and met the X-Men, heroes his grandmother had told him about. His granny had cool role models.
Bishop’s mutation allows him to absorb virtually any form of energy, store it for use and release it as blasts of “biokinetic” energy. Like Jack Reacher, he always knows exactly what time it is, and also like Reacher he’s physically big and imposing. Notable features include a tattooed 'M' for 'Mutant' above his right eye, which you can see has been carried over here, and he has also had a massive prosthetic arm on occasion. You don’t want to mess, in other words.
It makes sense that, in the film, they ditch the alternate timeline and time-travel stuff and just introduce Bishop in a post-apocalyptic future very similar to the one where he grew up. While Bishop has been an X-Men antagonist at times, we’re guessing he’s on the side of the angels here, and also that – as one of the more popular characters of the ‘90s era – he will get to unwrap some whoop-ass and spread it liberally around any Sentinels that threaten.
Played by: Adan Canto
Roberto “Sunspot” Da Costa is a rich Brazilian kid whose mutant powers first appeared in the middle of a heated adolescent football game when a rival player dabbled in racist abuse. Terrified by his powers, everyone but his girlfriend Juliana ran away – and then she later sacrificed her life to save him when mutant-haters lured him into a trap. Bobby, heartbroken, agreed to join Professor X’s New Mutants to start a new life, away from prejudice and people who die all the time. If that was his hope, we’re not sure he read the prospectus properly.
Sunspot can absorb solar energy, which gives him super-strength and near (but not total) invulnerability. When he ‘powers up’, his skin turns matt black and his eyes glow white, which is a pretty groovy look. After he was abducted (a regular occurrence with this guy) and experimented upon horribly (less regular, thankfully), his powers expanded so that nowadays he can also project solar energy in blasts and even fly.
We’re guessing that Sunspot will have a broad range of powers in the film, since that would explain why he’s still alive in a future where so many mutants are not. That said, we predict he will have a very small role here, since he’s been a member of the New Mutants and X-Force but rarely the X-Men proper.
Played by: Booboo Stewart
In one of the earliest comic-book outings for the X-Men, a Native American called John Proudstar, who went by Thunderbird, was tragically killed. Warpath is his brother, James, who initially blamed the X-Men for his death and adopted the same name on a mission of vengeance. Once convinced that the X-lot were innocent, he went in peace – only to soon find himself the only survivor from his Apache reservation following a massacre. That’s when he took the name Warpath and went on the same.
Initially a member of X-Force, Warpath joined the X-Men proper after he kept his powers during the Decimation event (long story: most mutants lost their powers though). And what powers those are! He is super-strong, super-agile, nearly invulnerable, has super-senses and can fly. He probably even keeps a tidy sock drawer; he’s that capable.
As with Sunspot, we’re guessing that Warpath will have a relatively limited role in this film, but it would make sense that someone this strong (his powers dwarf those of his deceased brother) might have survived the Sentinels to help launch the desperate gamble of sending Wolverine back in time. And yes, that is the kid from Twilight’s wolf pack (aka Seth) who’s playing him.
Played by: Fan Bingbing
Clarice “Blink” Ferguson has a complicated backstory, in that there are two versions of her in different Marvel timelines. In one, nightmarish timeline called the Age of Apocalypse, she was raised by Wolverine's ol' sparring partner Sabretooth (of all people) and has a relatively firm grip on her powers. In the other, main timeline, she’s traumatised, a little flaky and prone to accidentally shredding things that she tries to teleport. Montgomery Scott, in other words, she ain’t.
Blink’s powers centre on teleportation: she can move both herself and large groups of people or objects. Again, that explains how she might have survived so far in the world of the Sentinels (maybe she shredded the distardly robots), and possibly also how the future X-Men got to an inhospitable, mountainous-looking temple. In the comics she has lilac skin, purple hair, pointed ears and solid green eyes to go with those diamond birthmarks on her face. They’ve toned it down onscreen for some reason; can’t imagine why.
One of China’s bigger actresses, Fan Bingbing should help the film in the increasingly important Chinese market. This isn’t even her first time in a Marvel movie; she also played Dr Wu’s assistant Wu Jiaqi in Iron Man 3. So perhaps we should expect her to appear in a few scenes of the international cut, with more screentime for the Chinese market.