Every super hero with a super ability is welcomed into society. Mankind sees Superman’s abilities as a force for good in the world. Batman was a little scary before the people of Gotham understood him, but he is the protector of the city.
But, in the X-Men world, mutants are treated as second-class citizens, despite their super abilities.
Is it because X-Men have free will? Superman often saves Metropolis because it’s his duty. Batman protects Gotham because he wants to save it from the kinds of criminals that murdered his parents.
Do X-Men have any duty?
X-Men are often compared to minority groups as though X-Men are outcast because they’re minorities. The bigotry held against them is what unites them. But X-Men have clearly superior abilities compared to normal humans – abilities that could be used for good.
The conflict between mutants and normal humans is often compared to real-world conflicts experienced by minority groups in America such as African Americans, Jews, atheists, Communists, the LGBT community, etc. It has been remarked that attitudes towards mutants do not make sense in the context of the Marvel Universe, since non-mutants with similar powers are rarely regarded with fear.1
Are we really to believe that X-Men are not accepted by humanity simply because they’re mutants? Humanity wouldn’t put aside any bigotry once it saw the benefit of mutant powers, similar to the way they highly regard Superman and Batman’s powers?
Which world is more realistic, the world of Batman and Superman, or the world of X-Men?
One of the unique aspects of the X-Men universe is that it is a three-layer cake: layer one, the action and hype; layer two, the soap opera (my child!); and layer three, the underlying message about the world we live in. Like all high-quality fictions, X-Men is a comment on reality, more specifically on prejudice and being different. And that third layer is what has made the franchise such a long-lasting success while other comics have come and gone.
Jen pointed me to this where do I start page about X-Men.
…comics are complicated. This feels like trying to get the complete chronology of Days of our Lives.
I still need to read it, but for now I’m just gonna watch the movies.
I don’t watch superhero movies much, but I watched that X-Men: First Class movie, which tells the origin story behind Professor X and Magneto. Really nerdy stuff. Then I started looking around for X-Men comics and recommendations.
Did you know that there are nearly 5 billion X-Men comics? It’s a fact.
So if you wanted to read those where do you start? The beginning from the 1960s? It might not be so practical to do that and read all 5 billion comics.
X-Men: First Class reminded me of how much I loved the saturday morning X-Men cartoons from the 90s that aired on Fox. When I was a kid this was about super-mutants with their mutant super powers and the battle between good and evil. But watching the origin stories made me think of the obvious: this isn’t really about mutants, it’s about being an outcast. X-Men is about not being accepted into general society and having to create your own community in which you are accepted.
I guess that’s why nerds love X-Men.
Also, lasers and costumes.