Art by Billy Tan.
|First appearance||X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2 (February 2006)|
|Created by||Ed Brubaker (writer)|
Pete Woods (artist)
|Alter ego||Armando Muñoz|
Fictional character biography
Early life and Krakoa
After birth, Darwin's powers of self-protection and continuous circumstantial evolution made his mother hate him. The Afro-Hispanic boy was found by scientists who experimented on him, bringing him to the attention of the public. He was found by Moira MacTaggert and recruited as one of her "fosters". He was in the first team, along with Kid Vulcan, Petra, and Sway to attempt to rescue the X-Men from Krakoa.
While Petra and Sway were killed by Krakoa, Darwin and Vulcan were swallowed in the earth by a combination of Sway and Petra's dying powers. Darwin absorbed the remains of the two girls and then converted himself into energy to fuse together with Vulcan. This gave Vulcan the powers of Darwin, Petra, and Sway. Rachel Summers managed to expel Darwin's presence from Vulcan, who then took off for space. While dealing with the shocking revelations of the truth about Krakoa and Vulcan, Beast found out that Darwin was in fact still alive. He was brought back to the Institute, where Beast determined Darwin was now a being of pure energy. While not conscious, he was shown to still have brain activity and was still alive, located at the X-Mansion. Once separated from Vulcan, Darwin's abilities caused him to develop a physical form once more.
The Rise and Fall of The Shi'ar Empire
When the Uncanny X-Men team (including Warpath, Havok, Polaris, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, and Professor Xavier) left to go hunt down Vulcan and stop him from destroying the Shi'ar, it was revealed that the Professor brought Darwin with them with hope that his friendship with Vulcan would help. When Shi'ar agents abducted Professor X, Darwin followed, and secretly jumped onto their spacecraft as it fled.
After successfully rescuing Xavier from his captors, Darwin was well on his way to freedom when D'Ken was revealed to be alive and well. Recaptured by the Imperium guards, Darwin failed in his attempt of rescuing his mentor and reluctantly accepted Vulcan's offer of becoming best man at his and Deathbird's wedding.
Though obviously against the union, Darwin attended the wedding—albeit in shackles—and was caught in the crossfire when the X-Men and Starjammers attacked. Fearing his great day to be completely ruined by the interference, Vulcan trapped Xavier within the M'Kraan Crystal. Naturally fearing for his mentor's safety, Darwin followed Xavier into the depths of the crystal, and rescued him. He was taken to the X-Men's space ship with Professor X and Lilandra Neramani sent the ship on its way back to Earth.
World War Hulk
During the World War Hulk storyline, Darwin was one of the X-Men who heeded the call for help when Hulk came to the X-Mansion. While fighting the Hulk, he evolved in order to gain the ability to absorb gamma radiation. Darwin attempted to absorb gamma radiation from the Hulk only to find that the Hulk's gamma radiation supply was far more than he could drain. His body then determined the best way to confront the Hulk was to not confront the Hulk at all and Darwin gained teleportation powers and promptly teleported himself out of the Hulk's path of destruction: a distance of roughly three states away.
Sometime after Messiah Complex, Darwin goes in search of Professor Xavier because he wants to help him. He encounters Longshot, who tries to lead him to the Professor by using his powers. Longshot, however is unsure if his powers have been working correctly and tests them out on a group of people which turn on Darwin and attack. After a brief fight, Darwin manages to get away and the crowd turns on Longshot. Afterward, Longshot meets back up with Darwin and they are attacked by Jazinda and She-Hulk who are trailing after Longshot, who is really a Skrull named Nogor. Darwin also develops a crush on Monet.
Meanwhile, Darwin's father hires X-Factor Investigations to help him find Darwin, supposedly because he feels bad for walking out on him and his mother when he was younger.
After Darwin is reunited with his father, he is betrayed by him and sold out to operatives of an organization known as the Karma Project, who are experimenting on living human beings, only for their attempts to duplicate Darwin's hyper-evolution to fail when the duplicate Darwins' DNA proves incapable of handling his powers.
He is eventually recruited into the team by Siryn after she tells him that with X-Factor, he won't have to deal with the massive threats the X-Men routinely deal with. After Monet is possessed by the villainous Cortex and attacks Lenore, a young woman in the team's care, Darwin bravely fights her off. In the midst of the massive battle, Darwin is accidentally crushed by a Sentinel that had been blasted out of the sky by Siryn. Emerging unharmed from the debris, Darwin cynically mocks her earlier speech about not having to worry about this sort of thing with X-Factor.
Several months later, the team relocates to New York City in order to take advantage of high paying metahuman cases. Darwin is present when the team is hired by Valeria Richards and Franklin Richards, and claims to be intimidated by Valeria's intellect. Darwin seems to still harbor feelings for Monet, becoming angry when Multiple Man tells the team that they may not be able to help her find her kidnapped father.
During a battle with Hela, Darwin adapts to her touch by becoming a death god himself, but has trouble coping with the after-effect of the god-like abilities that were granted to him. He decides to leave the team to adjust and find himself.
On his return to X-Factor in the story arc "Breaking Points", Darwin has been plagued with voices in his head after touching Hela and assuming the form of Hela. These voices reveal to him the possible apocalypse that will be incurred by Rahne's wolf son Tier. He takes it upon himself to kill the wolf, but is met with resistance from Tier and his guardian Werewolf by Night. Despite several attempts to subdue Tier, he is met by Rictor who tries to stop Darwin from killing the child by throwing Darwin off the top of the cliff using his newly regained earthquake-inducing powers. Darwin doesn't die, the result of his evolutionary powers kicking in, but continues the hunt following Rahne's son from another dimension.
Dawn of X
Darwin, along with Wolverine (Laura Kinney) and Synch, were tasked by the X-Men to infiltrate a Children of the Vault base inside a Master Mold as only they have the powers to adapt to the changes needed to infiltrate the base security. Darwin was selected because his powers has the capability to evaluate the atemporal environment and the Children themselves. The X-Men created a diversion to ensure that the three would be able to enter undetected, to which they succeeded. However, unbeknownst to those who were left outside the Vault, the three were immediately classified as unidentified subjects.
Due to the time flowing differently inside the Vault, they have been gone from the physical world for three months and five days but they have been inside for five hundred and thirty-seven years. No one has ever heard from them since.
Powers and abilities
Darwin has the power of "reactive evolution"; i.e., his body automatically adapts to any situation or environment he is placed in, allowing him to survive possibly anything; the exact nature and limits of his powers have not been revealed.
Examples of his powers include: gaining night-vision after a few seconds in the dark; functional gills after being submerged in water; fire-proof skin after being exposed to flame; increasing his own intelligence; converting his body into pure energy; no longer requiring oxygen after being sucked into space; morphing into a sponge when shot at with a weapon designed to destroy the subject's nervous system; and acquiring comprehension of the Shi'ar language merely by looking at written samples. His power may concern itself with more efficient methods of survival than Darwin himself might choose; for example, instead of continually increasing Darwin's powers when taking punishment from the Hulk, his body simply teleported him away from the fight.
His power can also work when dealing with non-immediately-life-threatening situations, such as rendering it impossible for Darwin to get drunk by allowing his body to process alcohol faster than humans would normally.
In other media
- Darwin has a cameo appearance in the Wolverine and the X-Men episode "Future X", escaping the Sentinel compound with the X-Men in the future.
- Darwin appears in X-Men: First Class, portrayed by Edi Gathegi, making the character Kenyan-American rather than Afro-Hispanic. He demonstrated abilities such as growing gills when underwater and developing armor plating to withstand physical beatings. Professor X and Magneto first encounter him as a taxi cab driver. He takes a somewhat fatherly and protective role with the other mutants, except with Alex Summers. In a short conflict between Xavier's mutants and the Hellfire Club, Sebastian Shaw forces an energy blast, from Alex, down his throat, causing him to internally explode. Based on the fact that he does not rematerialize, nor does he make another appearance in the series, it can be assumed that he perished. Darwin's death has been met with derision from fans and critics due to many feeling that his powers should have made him immune to Shaw's energy blast, combined with the fact that his death was an example of the "black guy dies first" trope.
- : Welcome to UXN - For the Fans, by the Fans : Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
- World War Hulk: X-Men #3
- X-Factor vol. 3 #35-38
- David, Peter. X-Factor vol. 3 #45-50, Marvel Comics
- David, Peter. X-Factor vol. 3 #200 Marvel Comics
- David, Peter. X-Factor vol. 3 #213 Marvel Comics
- David, Peter. X-Factor vol. 3 #242 Marvel Comics
- Hickman, Jonathan. House of X #1-6 Marvel Comics
- Hickman, Jonathan. X-Men #5 Marvel Comics
- Fleming, Mike (July 27, 2010). "'X-Men: First Class' Drafts Twilight Vampire Edi Gathegi To Play Biracial Mutant Darwin". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- Edi Gathegi Discusses His X-Men: First Class Character and the Difference Between X-Men and Twilight Fans Archived 2012-06-20 at the Wayback Machine
- Campbell, Christopher (June 7, 2011). "Who Else is Upset About the Death in "X-Men: First Class"?". Indie Wire. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
- Monique (April 4, 2018). "Darwin shouldn't have died in "X-Men: First Class": An angry retrospective". Color Web Magazine. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
- Smallwood, Karl (March 7, 2019). "That time Fox killed off Marvel's most powerful mutant". Fact Fiend. Retrieved September 3, 2020.