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Who Is Danielle Moonstar? Breaking Down THE NEW MUTANTS’ Latest Addition

Who Is Danielle Moonstar? Breaking Down THE NEW MUTANTS’ Latest Addition

After years of rumors, the very first X-Men spinoff comic, The New Mutants is set to go in front of the cameras later this year. And after an exhaustive casting search, the final member of the team has been cast.

Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that actress Blu Hunt has been signed to play Danielle Moonstar, a.k.a. Mirage in The New Mutants. The rest of team will include Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin/Magik, Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane, Charlie Heaton as Sam Guthrie/Cannonball, Henry Zaga as Roberto da Costa/Sunspot, and Rosario Dawson as Dr. Cecilia Reyes.

Hunt is largely unknown, but she has recently portrayed the Hollow on The CW’s vampire series, The Originals.

Blu Hunt The Originals

Landing this role is going to be a big deal for Hunt, because Dani Moonstar isn’t a supporting character; she’s the lead. Dani is arguably the most important character in the entire story, even though she’s currently not well known among non-comics fans.

So who is Dani Moonstar? She is a Native American from the Cheyenne tribe who possesses a limited version of telepathy and empathy. Specifically, she is able to create illusions that draw upon the fears and desires of nearly anyone she uses her powers on. That’s why her codename is Mirage. She was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Bob McLeod in 1982 as one of the founding members of the New Mutants, and she went on to become the leader of the team.

New Mutants GN Cover

As originally conceived, Dani and her teammates were meant to be the next generation of X-Men. This was Marvel’s first attempt to expand the X-Men franchise into a second ongoing title, and Dani starred in the series for almost its entire run. Unlike the film, the New Mutants were initially mentored by Professor Charles Xavier and later by Magneto. Dani had left the team by the time that Cable took over as their mentor.

Director Josh Boone has indicated that The New Mutants film will be a horror story, and it’s rumored that it will heavily draw upon the Demon Bear storyline that revolved around Dani in the comics. The Demon Bear was a supernatural entity that haunted Dani most of her life and was apparently responsible for the death of her parents. Essentially, the Demon Bear was a manifestation of fear and it attempted to possess Dani’s body after nearly crippling her.

The Demon Bear

Years after the Demon Bear was defeated, Dani and her teammates were stranded in Asgard by the machinations of Loki and the Enchantress. Dani came upon a winged horse that was trapped and wounded before saving its life and bonding with it. She named the horse Brightwind, and their bond inadvertently meant that Dani had been chosen to become a Valkyrie. That gave Dani the ability to see premonitions of death. Several years later, that connection also made Dani vulnerable to a plot by Hela to control the Valkryie.

Although Dani left the New Mutants to stay in Asgard, she eventually rejoined the team when it was known as X-Force. She went on to become one of the leads of Marvel’s Fearless Defenders, and she was even briefly featured in Avengers: The Initiative as an instructor for new heroes. While Dani has primarily been used as a mentor character in recent years, she has also headlined revivals of The New Mutants series alongside her previous teammates. More recently, she used her abilities to predict death to help her find mutants infected by the Inhumans’ terrigen mists and bring them to safety.

Fearless Defenders

If The New Mutants film goes on to become a hit, then it could significantly raise the profile of Dani and her team within the Marvel Universe. There isn’t currently a New Mutants comic, but if we know Marvel, that’s going to change before the film comes out on April 13, 2018.

Are you excited to see Dani Moonstar on the big screen? Let us know in the comment section below!

Images: Marvel Comics/The CW

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