Edi Gathegi in 'X-Men: First Class'

“The character cannot be killed.”

Mutate This

'X-Men: First Class' star knows how to fix his outrageous death in the MCU

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Remember when Kevin Bacon destroyed the most powerful mutant in the X-Men? Actor Edi Gathegi, who played Darwin in X-Men: First Class, remembers. And although he doesn’t take the death personally, he does think it’s about time Darwin appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“They didn’t take advantage of everything that character has to offer,” Gathegi tells Inverse.”

While catching up with Gathegi about on his role as Dev Ayesa in For All Mankind Season 3, we couldn’t help but ask about this infamous Marvel moment. His response may surprise you.

As a refresher, the sinister Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) shows up in 2011’s First Class to recruit some neophyte X-Men to his cause. Darwin pretends to defect for a hot second in order to give Havok (Lucas Till) a chance to take out Shaw with a fireball, but Shaw captures the blast and drops it down Darwin’s mouth, making the supposedly invincible mutant explode after about 180 seconds of screentime.

It’s a ridiculous demise, and for years fans have complained about it, calling it possibly one of the worst and most needless superhero deaths ever. Gathegi agrees.

“Sure, the character dies in the comics,” he admits. “He disintegrates fighting the Hulk. But because he’s so powerful, he transports himself into space and then he regenerates and comes back.”

The very silly death of Darwin.


Gathegi is referencing a plot from 2007’s World War Hulk where Darwin evolved to absorb gamma radiation but then, after realizing his plan wasn’t going to work, evolved the ability to teleport instead. As his name implies, that’s his shtick; he evolves to match whatever situation is thrown at him.

“The character cannot be killed,” Gathegi says. “I just thought it was a missed opportunity not to utilize him more.”

It’s been 11 years since First Class came out, and Gathegi makes it clear that he’s not constantly thinking about X-Men. But while he has “no more emotional attachment to it,” he’s happy to talk about the film and brainstorm ways Darwin could come back.

So, what if Marvel made it up to him and used the multiverse to introduce a different version of Darwin?

“I think that’s a good idea,” Gathegi says. “Or, rather, let me rephrase that. I think that would be a good idea.”

For All Mankind Season 3 airs its final episodes on August 5 and 12. Look for our full conversation with Edi Gathegi on Friday.

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