Marvel is hoping to get fans of The Gifted primed and ready for this month’s return of the X-Men spinoff, with not just one but two new preview trailers that invite viewers to pick their flavor: Join the Inner Circle, or roll with the Mutant Underground.
This definitely isn’t a case of two opposing philosophies disagreeing over how to achieve the same goal. If you’re team Inner Circle, then stepping out of the shadows and forcing society to accept your gifted friends is only the beginning. Sure, the Inner Circle has a noble ideology to sell — fighting, and sacrificing, your way to equality and acceptance — but it’s hard not to be suspicious that its leaders may have been hiding a more sinister agenda.
“Some mutants still believe the failed dream of the X-Men: that we should live side by side with those who despise us,” declares slightly megalomaniacal Season 2 newcomer Reeva (Grace Byers). “And then there’s us — we will change the world.”
Side with the Mutant Underground, though, and you’re taking the stealth approach — at least as far as the non-mutant world is concerned. Mutants’ roles in society are already uncertain and problematic enough, so secrecy is both a shield and a weapon. But it’s a straightforward life for the mutants themselves, who pretty much operate by the seat of their pants.
Sure enough, Eclipse (Sean Teale) doesn’t sound quite as organized in his Mutant Underground pep talk as Reeva, his Inner Circle counterpart — but that’s kind of the point. These guys are having to figure things out as they go along, and they’re super-mistrustful of the Inner Circle’s organized power structure.
"The Inner Circle is up to something," he says. "We are out there fighting every day — losing people. But trust me — I’m done being careful."
If you’re already a fan of the show (or the comics), then the whole ideological separation Marvel’s teasing here covers some pretty familiar ground. But now that The Gifted is settled in for its second season, the comic book source material may be poised to spread new wings.
Showrunner Matt Nix recently explained how this season’s time jump will help force a meeting (or, more likely, a conflict) between a whole slew of comics-based factions that weren’t on tap in Season 1, so get ready for the whole mutant constellation to really come into its own as the new batch of episodes arrive.
Season 2 of The Gifted premieres on Fox beginning Sept. 25.