The first trailer for Dark Phoenix raises numerous questions, about frayed friendships, newfound partnerships, and the future — and past — of Jean Grey, but of course provides few answers more than four months away from the film’s premiere. However, we do know for certain at least two things: the identities of Magneto’s two new allies.
Seen, fleetingly, late in a trailer as part of an apparent standoff with Charles Xavier and some of his X-Men, these new members of Magneto’s Brotherhood have been confirmed to IGN as Marvel Comics characters Selene, played by Kota Eberhardt, and Red Lotus, portrayed by Andrew Stehlin.
Selene, in particular, will undoubtedly be familiar to longtime X-Men fans, as she’s been a recurring foe of the mutant heroes, and their allies, since her introduction in 1983. In comic book lore, Selene is the oldest living mutant, having been worshiped as a goddess during the Roman Empire, and into the modern era in Nova Roma, a city founded in a hidden valley of the Amazon rain forest by refugees of ancient Rome. She later became the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club’s New York City chapter, bringing her into conflict with the X-Men and the young students of Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, the New Mutants.
While it’s unlikely the Selene of Dark Phoenix will be depicted as a 17,000-year-old mutant “goddess,” we can probably expect her to retain her ability to psionically drain her opponents of their lifeforce, and absorbing that energy into her own body. Frequently characterized as a “psychic vampire,” Selene can take mental control over her victims, or, if she drains their full lifeforce, leave them as little more than a pile of dust.
Debuting in 2001, Red Lotus was an ally of the X-Treme X-Men team, and the heir apparent to the Chinese Triad in Sydney, Australia. He helped to oppose longtime X-Men adversary Sebastian Shaw, and helped to infiltrate the Hellfire Club to shut down a mutant slave ring. Ironically, given his alliance in Dark Phoenix, he was nearly killed by Selene in the comics. Also known as Paul Hark, the Red Lotus of the comic books was born with enhanced physical strength and stamina, and is a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant.
Of course, we already know Magneto’s third ally in the trailer: Hank McCoy, aka Beast, played by franchise veteran Nicholas Hoult. We can safely assume he’s placed in opposition to his former teammates by the revelations of Xavier’s actions hinted at in the trailer, which may or may not lead to the destruction of Magneto’s mutant haven Genosha by Jean Grey.
Written and directed by Simon Kinberg, Dark Phoenix stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters and Jessica Chastain. The film opens Feb. 14, 2019.
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