Fox recently announced that the casting of acclaimed character actor Garret Dillahunt as a new character on their upcoming TV series, The Gifted. His character is called Roderick Campbell and is described as “Professorial, intense and intimidating,” with “a morally dubious mission yet to be revealed.”
Of course, in the comic books, we know who Roderick Campbell is destined to become – the villainous mutant-hunting cyborg known as Ahab! Ahab is best known for his connection to Rachel Summers, daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey from an alternate timeline. Read on to learn more about Ahab and how his existence on The Gifted might lead to the introduction of Rachel Summers!
We first met Rachel Summers during the classic X-Men storyline, “Days of Future Past.” We did not know much about her besides her first name and the fact that she was the one who sent Kate Pryde’s consciousness back in time to take over her younger self, Kitty Pryde, back in the past so that the X-Men could help her to prevent the murder of Senator Kelly (which, in turn, would have turned him into a martyr and led to the creation of a program where Sentinels would begin to hunt down mutants, leading to the dystopic future that Kate and Rachel came from, where most mutants were killed or placed into concentration camps. Kate seemingly succeeded in her mission and that was intended to be the end of the story, but Chris Claremont is not one to just a story by, so he instead revealed that the past that Kate was sent to was an alternate past and thus Rachel’s future was not changed. Later on, Rachel herself was transported to that alternate past, which is when we learned that she was the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey. The problem, of course, is that at this point in time, Jean Grey was thought to be dead, Cyclops was married to Madelyne Pryor and he had just had a baby son (Rachel was the first-born in her timeline). This through Rachel for one heck of a loop.
During her time here, which also saw her bond with the Phoenix Force in the absence of Jean Grey, we learned more about Rachel’s past. You see, before she ended up in the mutant concentration camp where she met Kate Pryde, Colossus, Wolverine and the other surviving X-Men, she had actually been transformed into a “hound.” A hound was a mutant who was captured, brainwashed and transformed into essentially a dog for the anti-mutant forces to use to hunt down other mutants. It was, as you might imagine, a horrific experience.
As it turned out, Rachel ended up in the concentration camp because she ultimately turned on her trainer and scarred him, which ended up with her thrown into the camps. In 1990, Chris Claremont, Walter Simonson and Louise Simonson wrote “Days of Future Present,” a sequel to “Days of Future Past” which reunited Rachel with her boyfriend from the past, Franklin Richards, who was able to travel back in time himself (due to his strong abilities). However, when Franklin traveled to the past, the anti-mutant forces (now cognizant that people might be willing to use time-travel to thwart their present) sent an agent to stop him. That agent? The cyborg Ahab, the very same man who had turned Rachel into a hound in the first place!!
He showed off his abilities when he transformed Scott Summers and Sue Richards into hounds!
Ahab’s attack forced the Fantastic Four to team up with X-Factor, the New Mutants (who had just found a new leader in the militaristic Cable) and a few members of the X-Men (they were just in the midst of putting themselves back together as a team). During one of the battles with Ahab, there was a peculiar moment where Cable and Ahab seemed to recognize themselves in each other…
This led to a whole pile of speculation that Cable was, in fact, destined to eventually become Ahab. Of course, that was not at all the intent, as Claremont (who wrote the story) had no special insight into who Cable was going to be. It was just a bit of a red herring.
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