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Meet the Mutants: Your guide to the characters of X-Men First Class

  • Ryan Duncan Editor
  • 2011 31 May
Meet the Mutants: Your guide to the characters of <i>X-Men First Class</i>

If there is one thing the Marvel Universe has in abundance, its mutants. With such large character pool to draw from, each X-Men film has seen its share of fans crossing their fingers and hoping their favorite hero would appear on screen. If you're not a regular to the world of X though, the frequent roster changes can get confusing pretty quickly. To help with this, here is a list of character profiles for the upcoming film X-Men: First Class.           

The X-Men
Before they had a jet, a mansion, or black uniforms, the X-Men were just a group of kids with strange powers, until the soon-to-be Professor X brought them together. Meet the students of X-Men: First Class.

Professor X
AKA: Charles Xavier
The mentor and father-figure of the X-men is introduced in First Class as a young man with big dreams for the world, as well as two working legs and a full head of hair. After spending years wondering if there were others like him, Charles finally encounters other mutants and begins teaching them to use their abilities to benefit mankind.  A powerful telepath who can read others thoughts, Charles is the first to realize that the future of the world may rest in his hands and the hands of his students.
*To view a movie clip of Professor X, click here

About the actor: James McAvoy is probably most recognized for his role as Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. He also took leading roles in 2008's Penelope and Wanted.      

AKA: Erik Lehnsherr
Before he was Magneto, Erik Lehnsherr was a small boy who saw his family destroyed in the Nazi concentration camps. It was in those horrific conditions that he discovered his ability control metal, now he seeks to use that power to exact revenge on those who wronged him. Along the way, he forms a friendship with Charles Xavier, a friendship that is quickly tested by their conflicting philosophies and opinions of humanity.
*To view a movie clip of Magneto, click here   
About the actor: Michael Fassbender's first breakthrough role came in the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks production, Band of Brothers. He later made his big screen debut in 300, a film adaption of Frank Miller's popular graphic novel. 


AKA: Raven Darkholme
Anyone familiar with the previous X-Men movies will recognize Mystique as the shape-shifting villain capable of assuming anyone's form. Like Magneto, First Class will introduce Mystique when she was much younger (and more clothed) and reveal the events that transformed her from a young girl into one of the X-men's most dangerous adversaries.
*To view the Mystique character trailer, click here

About the actor: In 2011, Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the critically acclaimed film Winter's Bone. Lawrence also appears in The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson, and was recently cast as the lead role in a big screen adaption of The Hunger Games.

AKA: Hank McCoy
Before he was blue and furry, Hank McCoy was just your average super-nerd with abnormally large feet. After meeting Charles and the others, he opted to join their team by lending them his brains and brawn, though not without ulterior motives. Hank is determined to find a cure for the mutant gene, and believes he may be on the verge of success. You can guess how well that works out.
*To view the Beast character trailer, click here

About the actor: Nicholas Hoult is best known for his portrayal of Marcus Brewer in the 2002 film About A Boy and his role as Tony Stonem in the British television series Skins. Hoult also scored a role in 2010's Clash of the Titans which starred Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, and Ralph Fiennes.           

AKA: Alex Summers
The lost brother of Scott Summers, the X-Men's future Cyclops, Alex shares his brother's destructive capabilities by generating red energy from his body. Due to the violent nature of his powers, Alex became somewhat withdrawn, preferring to keep others at a distance. However, with Xavier's help he slowly learns to control his abilities, becoming one of the group's core members.
*To view the Havok character trailer, click here     

About the actor: Lucas Till had a leading role in Battle: Los Angeles and portrayed a young Johnny Cash in the Oscar winning film Walk the Line. Some of Till's early work includes starring opposite to Jackie Chan in The Spy Next Door and Miley Cyrus in Hanna Montana: The Movie.  

AKA: Sean Cassidy
While this goofy red-head may be inept at flirting; he still shows his worth in the ranks of First Class. Banshee's powerful lungs, throat, and vocal chords allow him to produce a sonic scream capable of shattering glass. While good for stunning enemies, his powerful voice can also be used as a type of radar and, with the help of certain equipment, even allows him to fly. Like his teammates, it's only through Xavier's patient tutelage that his full potential is realized.
*To view the Banshee character trailer, click here    
About the actor: Caleb Landry Jones has appeared in many major films including No Country for Old Men and The Social Network. He has also had recurring roles in the television series Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights.      

AKA: Angel Salvadore
Angel Salvadore is a young dancer who possesses a beautiful set of dragonfly wings. Don't get too close though, as she can also shoot acid projectiles from her mouth. Early trailers have depicted her meeting Charles and Eric who politely offer her a job "that doesn't involve taking your clothes off". Whether she shares her employer's faith in humanity remains to be seen.  

About the actor: Zoe Kravitz is the daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet. Kravitz made her acting debut in 2007's No Reservations which starred Catherine Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart.      

AKA: Armando Munoz
As his name suggests, Darwin's power has to do with evolution. His mutation allows him to alter his body to suite his environment, growing gills when under water or gaining night vision when the sun goes down. He is among the first mutants recruited to join the X-Men, but soon finds himself at a crossroads between Charles Xavier's dream of mutant prosperity and Sebastian Shaw's goal of world domination.       

About the actor: Edi Gathegi had a notable recurring role as Dr. Cole in the FOX medical drama House, and also portrayed the vampire Laurent in the films Twilight, and New Moon. His other acting credentials include Gone Baby Gone, directed by Ben Affleck, and Crank with Jason Statham.

The Hellfire Club
Facing off against the X-Men in the new movie is The Hellfire Club, a group of socially elite mutants bent on world domination. The Clubs leader, Sebastian Shaw hopes to start a war among humanity that will end with mutants inheriting the earth. Below are the clubs members.    

Black King

AKA: Sebastian Shaw
The lead villain of X-Men: First Class, Sebastian Shaw was a Nazi collaborator whose early studies on mutation destroyed the life of young Erik Lehnsherr. Now, as leader of the Hellfire Club, Shaw hopes to use the escalating tension of the Cold War to his advantage and sets off a chain of events that put the entire world in jeopardy. As a mutant, Shaw has the power to absorb kinetic energy and re-channel it, using it to create explosions or grant him super strength. Recent trailers have also shown him donning a particular helmet that fans of the X-series will find all too familiar.
*To view a clip of Sebastian Shaw, click here

About the actor: Veteran actor Kevin Bacon has been the star of numerous films and the recipient of many acting awards. Some of his most notable films are Footloose, where he played the dance-loving Ren McCormack, and Apollo 13, for which he won a Screen Actors Guild Award.   

White Queen

AKA: Emma Frost
Shaw's right hand woman and femme fatale of the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost is a powerful telepath whose psychic abilities rival those of Charles Xavier. When looks and mind games aren't enough though, her skin can take on a diamond-like form that makes her practically indestructible. As cold and calculating as her name suggests, the White Queen is one mutant you do not want as your enemy.
*To view a clip of Emma Frost, click here       

About the actor: January Jones is a versatile actress with numerous appearances in film and television alike. Some of her most prominent roles have included AMC's Mad Men and the film thriller Unknown where she starred alongside Liam Neeson.

AKA: Janos Quested
One of Shaw's lieutenants, Riptide's mutation allows him to spin his body incredibly fast. While not the most menacing of abilities, the whirlwinds he creates can decimate buildings and toss human beings around like ragdolls. He is frequently seen working alongside Azazel.

About the actor: Alex Gonzalez studied acting at the Juan Carlos Corazza International Academy. After several roles in Hispanic film, he made his American debut in Gus Van Sant's Milk.  

AKA: None
The knife-wielding Azazel can move about by teleporting from one place to another. If his appearance reminds viewers of another pointy-tailed mutant that's no coincidence, as Marvel comics pegged him as the father of future X-Man Nightcrawler. Unfortunately for the First Class, heroism seems to have skipped his generation.    

About the actor: Jason Flemyng is an English actor, whose film work includes Snatch, Stardust, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the latter which earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination.    

*This article first published 6/1/2011
* Source for artcile include official website and