The final trailer for Fox’s Deadpool 2 dropped earlier this morning, and with it came our first clear look at Deadpool’s X-Force. Along with Terry Crews’ Bedlam and Zazie Beetz’s Domino, the teaser offers a good look at a character that’s been in the background of earlier trailers: Lewis Tan’s Shatterstar, the man rocking fabulously long red hair and a star tattoo on his left eye.
Like most of the new mutants in the film, Shatterstar is probably not familiar to audiences who aren’t a deep into X-Men canon. He first showed up in 1991’s New Mutants #99 (by Fabien Nicieza and Rob Liefeld) as Gaveedra Seven, a genetically altered humanoid from the planet Mojoworld, though he also hails from a century into the future. Created to be a slave by the tyrant king Mojo, Shatterstar was genetically engineered as a human gladiator and fought for his king’s various television programs – think American Gladiator with actual killing. Because death was so common and pervasive in his life, he learned about honor and pride in being a warrior over the course of his numerous battles. Eventually, he escaped Mojo’s rule and joined the rebel force known as the Cadre Alliance as a freedom fighter.
During his time with the Alliance, Shatterstar was sent back in time to Earth in order to gain help from the X-Men. However, he wound up arriving at the time that Cable was reorganizing the splinter X-Men group known as X-Force, and thus missed meeting the X-Men proper. Cable, Domino and the New Mutants team all fought him at first, but Shatterstar was eventually able to successfully plead his case for help and became one of the founding members of the new X-Force.
It’s here that things took a turn for the strange, which is, frankly, nothing new for an X-Men character.
While he was in the present day, Shatterstar came to have memories of the life of a man named Benjamin Russell, someone he’d most certainly wouldn’t know considering he’s from another planet, not to mention form the future. After a fight with the Mojo of the present day left him with a serious injury, he and fellow X-Force members Longshot, Cable and Siryn were taken to a mental institution in Vermont. One of the patients there was a mutant named Benjamin Russell, who looked like Shatterstar, had no living relatives, and had conveniently been in a coma since his powers emerged. Longshot was able to transfer Shatterstar’s soul into Ben’s body, making Ben look like Shatterstar in the process, and they merged into one being. For the first time in his life, being one with Ben made him feel “whole” — and it wasn’t explained why until 2013.
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