August 21st, 2017 is Eclipse Day. The moon is about to pass in front of the sun, plunging the US into a rare total eclipse. But for Fox, Eclipse Day means something very different. The network's currently building up anticipation for their next X-Men spinoff TV series, The Gifted, and one of the characters happens to have a rather appropriate codename for this special day: Eclipse.
Logically, then, this was the perfect time for Fox to release a whole new promotional 'mutant case file' on Sean Teale's Eclipse...
What Do We Learn About Eclipse?
Fans have been pretty confident that Eclipse is essentially a reimagined version of the X-Man Sunspot, who's set to be played by Henry Zaga in next year's New Mutants movie. Fortunately, this 'mutant case file' suggests he's actually a very different character.
Eclipse's powers sound fascinating. It seems as though he can manipulate photons with his hands, giving him the ability to project blinding light or shoot lasers. In a tragic twist, though, Eclipse burns everything he touches. He has literally no control over this aspect of his power, and that seems to give Eclipse something of a solitary life.
It's exciting to see The Gifted explore this kind of uncontrollable power-set. It's a trope that the comics have used to superb effect on so many occasions, most notably with Rogue, whose power allows her to absorb the abilities, memories, and even consciousness of anyone she touches. Conceptually, Eclipse seems to be similar to Rogue; unable to touch others because of powers that make him a danger to everyone around him.
The #XMen have often served as a metaphor for the battle against prejudice and bigotry, but uncontrollable mutants like Eclipse have always added an intriguing layer of complexity to that argument. After all, these mutants really are a risk. Imagine if Eclipse loses his temper, and throws a punch? You'd be burned alive.
The Relationship With Polaris
Fans will also be amused to see hints of a relationship between Eclipse and Polaris. Again, it all seems like a reinvention of Rogue; in the comics, everybody's favorite Southern Belle has long had a relationship with Magneto. Not only do the two share sexual chemistry (which is weird, when you remember that Magneto was a child in the '40s), but Magneto can use his power to counter Rogue's. In other words, Magneto was one of the few guys who Rogue could actually kiss until she eventually gained control of her abilities. And let's just say they ultimately went a lot further than kissing!
The flirtatious banter between Eclipse and Emma Dumont's Polaris, not to mention the clear physical attraction between the two, suggests we'll see this kind of relationship again. We can presume that Polaris's own abilities — her mastery of magnetism — allow her to control Eclipse's. Sure, it's a bit of a stretch given how magnetism has a negligible impact on the propagation of light, but since when have comics — or comic-book-inspired TV shows — been scientifically accurate?
It's a promising teaser, and it's sure to generate even more excitement for a series that fans are already eager to see. No doubt, Eclipse's reckless character will be tested to the limit in The Gifted. After all, as he says in this teaser, "We're getting picked off, one by one... When do we fight?"
The answer, Eclipse, will likely be on October 2nd, when The Gifted premieres on Fox.