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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Default How much has the X-Men as a reflection of real life minorities changed overtime?

    It's true that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the X-Men with the intention of addressing the dangers of prejudice, solutions that could be implemented to combat against the misguided fear that fuels it, and how this can reflect the experiences minorities face in real life. That said, to claim that all of the writers that have written for the X-Men, from Stan Lee, to Roy Thomas, to Chris Claremont, to Scott Lobdell, to Chuck Austen, to Ed Brubaker, to Matt Fraction, and beyond have all written with the exact same approach would probably be a tad bit unrealistic, including in regards to the prejudice-addressing aspect of the X-Men. So, for those of you that feel similarly, how would you say that this aspect of the X-Men has morphed and changed with how it has been approached throughout the 55+ years of the X-Men's published existence?

  2. #2
    Mighty Member tuck frump's Avatar
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    I like how fan reaction to the resurrection protocols parallel general public desensitization to the deaths of black and brown people.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuck frump View Post
    I like how fan reaction to the resurrection protocols parallel general public desensitization to the deaths of black and brown people.
    ??? You gonna need to expand this in a way that makes this not sound nonsensical. Cause Fans are not utterly ambivalent to the situation of resurrection protocols unlike the general public is to minority death.

  4. #4
    Mighty Member tuck frump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woozie View Post
    ??? You gonna need to expand this in a way that makes this not sound nonsensical. Cause Fans are not utterly ambivalent to the situation of resurrection protocols unlike the general public is to minority death.
    Posters are arguing its utterly inconsequential that spoilers:
    Domino seemingly got flayed alive or a kid watched her mother get gunned down
    end of spoilers because they can just be brought back. Meanwhile we've had several pages worth of debate on whether or not it was ooc for Cyclops and Storm to be meanies to the nazi scientists in XMen #1 and for Kate to break the legs of those nice concentration camp guards who were only doing their jobs when they shot her in the face.

    Humans are innocent even when proved guilty and their lives are sacred and full of unfulfilled potential. Mutants dying aren't a blip on a radar. Like Hickman/Xavier said in HoX #5, "it's just how life is for these people".

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    It's true that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the X-Men with the intention of addressing the dangers of prejudice, solutions that could be implemented to combat against the misguided fear that fuels it, and how this can reflect the experiences minorities face in real life. That said, to claim that all of the writers that have written for the X-Men, from Stan Lee, to Roy Thomas, to Chris Claremont, to Scott Lobdell, to Chuck Austen, to Ed Brubaker, to Matt Fraction, and beyond have all written with the exact same approach would probably be a tad bit unrealistic, including in regards to the prejudice-addressing aspect of the X-Men. So, for those of you that feel similarly, how would you say that this aspect of the X-Men has morphed and changed with how it has been approached throughout the 55+ years of the X-Men's published existence?
    I'm not sure that this aspect has ever been taken very seriously… Comics are first and foremost about entertainment.
    At first, the fact that mutants were outcasts was less important before and depended on the type of mutation and experience the mutant had had with society. Between the mutants that could pass as "normal humans" and the ones that proveked immediate rejection, there was no common experience. There wasn't a minority per se, just diverse personal experiences that were a source of drama, and so stories to tell…
    Certainly, it has been taken more seriously recently, but the parallel is dubious as some posters have said previously: the mutants are maybe different from the norm, some of them are also intrinsically more dangerous and due to the variety of powers displayed, it would also be a nightmare for legislators and security services. There is more than a fear of the difference in the fear of mutants.
    "… something strong and soft and green,
    thrusting through the dead and petrified grayness."
    Alan Moore.

    If I offended you, be assured that it wasn't my intention. English is not my first language.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelena View Post
    I'm not sure that this aspect has ever been taken very seriously… Comics are first and foremost about entertainment.
    At first, the fact that mutants were outcasts was less important before and depended on the type of mutation and experience the mutant had had with society. Between the mutants that could pass as "normal humans" and the ones that proveked immediate rejection, there was no common experience. There wasn't a minority per se, just diverse personal experiences that were a source of drama, and so stories to tell…
    Certainly, it has been taken more seriously recently, but the parallel is dubious as some posters have said previously: the mutants are maybe different from the norm, some of them are also intrinsically more dangerous and due to the variety of powers displayed, it would also be a nightmare for legislators and security services. There is more than a fear of the difference in the fear of mutants.
    I'm definitely open to hear any constructive arguments in regards how the prejudice-addressing aspect of the X-Men hasn't been given the proper analysis and worldbuilding it has deserved, because, like you mentioned, how entertainment is prioritized fire and foremost with comics.

    It's also interesting how, like you say, it's taken more seriously now than how it was then. I'm reminded of a common comparison I've seen with the X-Men, which is Doom Patrol, whom I recall were treated as outcasts, less because out of accusations of human enslavement, evolutionary replacement, and world domination, and more so because they were just simply seen as weird freaks that were recognized as having the potential to hurt someone with their powers.

    That's definitely a more down to earth, less intense sort of scenario than then stuff that eventually went on with "protecting a world that fears and hates them," because before cases like X-Tinction Agenda, Operation: Zero Tolerance, and the Genosha genocide happened, the X-Men simply had taglines like "the strangest superheroes of all" or "the most unusual teenagers of all time." The days when in addition to being insulted by mobs and encountering the Sentinels, they also encountered Frankenstein robots and mutant pharaohs, which I think more or less added a layer of fun to the X-Men too.

    Also, regarding the point of how some of them are also intrinsically more dangerous, and that it's not just simply about a prejudicial fear of mutants being different, you reminded me of X-Men #14, in which Cyclops' optic beam blasts through the windshield of a car he was riding in after his glasses fall off.

    Last edited by Electricmastro; 11-07-2019 at 02:40 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    I'm definitely open to hear any constructive arguments in regards how the prejudice-addressing aspect of the X-Men hasn't been given the proper analysis and worldbuilding it has deserved, because, like you mentioned, how entertainment is prioritized fire and foremost with comics.
    There was a wide range of reaction of the non-mutants towards the mutants, back then depending on the story, the relationship between them wasn't always the subject then as it is always the case now. The mutants have not always been an identified group too. There were also more stories about interpersonal relationships, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    It's also interesting how, like you say, it's taken more seriously now than how it was then. I'm reminded of a common comparison I've seen with the X-Men, which is Doom Patrol, whom I recall were treated as outcasts, less because out of accusations of human enslavement, evolutionary replacement, and world domination, and more so because they were just simply seen as weird freaks that were recognized as having the potential to hurt someone with their powers.

    That's definitely a more down to earth, less intense sort of scenario than then stuff that eventually went on with "protecting a world that fears and hates them," because before cases like X-Tinction Agenda, Operation: Zero Tolerance, and the Genosha genocide happened, the X-Men simply had taglines like "the strangest superheroes of all" or "the most unusual teenagers of all time." The days when in addition to being insulted by mobs and encountering the Sentinels, they also encountered Frankenstein robots and mutant pharaohs, which I think more or less added a layer of fun to the X-Men too.
    More than "seriously", I would say obsessional. True, things have come to a point that it is impossible to ignore that the relationship between the two sub-species is very degraded. A lot of buildings have been destroyed during fightings and surely the human don't care anymore who are the "good mutants" and "bad mutants". Stories have been less about marvel and more about "dark" and gloomy… A sterile repetition of massacre and vengeance.
    On paper, I'm not again a country for mutants… this way, they could have end this scheme and create a new balance of power, and so stories that are more varied and interesting.
    Alas, Hickman has done it in so a artificial way with well-known characters so different… and he still likes the conflict between mutants and non-mutants. I suppose war has an appeal with its permanent tension. Nevertheless, during wars, there is a lack of nuance that is completely uninteresting: people are either for you or against you. Allies or enemies. Boring stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    Also, regarding the point of how some of them are also intrinsically more dangerous, and that it's not just simply about a prejudicial fear of mutants being different, you reminded me of X-Men #14, in which Cyclops' optic beam blasts through the windshield of a car he was riding in after his glasses fall off.
    I wouldn't certainly go after a man with "death-dealing eyes" and I don't think many people in real life would have done it.
    "… something strong and soft and green,
    thrusting through the dead and petrified grayness."
    Alan Moore.

    If I offended you, be assured that it wasn't my intention. English is not my first language.

  8. #8
    Fantastic Member pkingdom's Avatar
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    I think the X-men have suffered because the aspect of them being used as a stand in for minorities has been overused, to the point that being an embattled minority group has been all they have been/done for the last 10-15 years.

    The X-men have had the longstanding problem of 'embodying' minorities while not actually representing them. Like using language and images of the Civil Rights movement while having black mutants that could be counted on one hand. Throwing 'Mutant Pride' events while having almost no gay representation, and barely using them anyway. And the metaphor falls apart when you factor in superpowers. Being afraid and hating people just because they are black/gay/whatever is stupid and irrational. Being afraid of mutants because they can mind control the world and rewrite reality is at least rational. Now that's no excuse for lynching people who can make things glow or look like a lizard. But at this point, even the 'good' mutants have caused a ton of collateral damage and have been doing more and more questionable things in the name of survival that its not hard to see why the public wouldn't care about the distinction.

    I think its a weakness to their ability to embody minorities that mutants can vary so wildly. They're kind of used as a one-size-fits-all stand in for minority groups, but when mutants run the gamut from 'looks totally average' to 'brain in a jar' and 'weird Cronenburg alien monster' and 'horrifying disembodied eldritch abomination' it kind of muddies things
    Last edited by pkingdom; 11-07-2019 at 07:23 PM.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Crimz's Avatar
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    Admirable in the 60s, but no longer necessary. They're their own thing and they don't need to represent minorities. The X-Men aren't a very good representation for all the nuance and ranges that different people go through. They are their own fictional thing and I think that should be the outlook from now on. We have characters to story of real life prejudices and don't need a fictional race to show it. We can now tell authentic stories about prejudice with actual minority characters.
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  10. #10
    Fantastic Member Kitty&Piotr<3's Avatar
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    These days, it's trying to tell black people to start their own country on a magic island, but we lack the requisite economic product to demand respect/fear/reverence for our potential sovereignty.

  11. #11
    BANNED PsychoEFrost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimz View Post
    Admirable in the 60s, but no longer necessary. They're their own thing and they don't need to represent minorities. The X-Men aren't a very good representation for all the nuance and ranges that different people go through. They are their own fictional thing and I think that should be the outlook from now on. We have characters to story of real life prejudices and don't need a fictional race to show it. We can now tell authentic stories about prejudice with actual minority characters.
    How many people know who Wolverine is? Now how many people know who Matthew Shepherd was?

    Exactly. Stories that help minorities feel more comfortable should still be embraced, especially since while rights have progressed, they have slowed recently and we're seeing a backlash from extremist groups that see equality as a zero-sum game. The X-Men were never a 1-to-1 comparison to real life, but anything that helps people feel less marginalized is good.

  12. #12
    Mighty Member LordUltimus's Avatar
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    It's hard to say for me, given that angry internet comments are the only insight I have to how accurately mutants reflect minorities. That said, "mutants united" seems kind of ironic to me, considering that we have TERF's against trans-women and black people using "Uncle Tom" towards black cops. Not saying that they don't have reasons, but I am saying that intelligence leads to diverse opinions, which is why on the other side of the political spectrum we have boomers fighting against Google. And hey, there are black people who don't care for Black Panther and women who don't care for Wonder Woman; this is a tricky business, and that's not without the whole "what's more important: killing Nazis, or changing minds" debates.

    On a more minor note, I did find the comment about "schools are a failed human institution" in New Mutants as something entirely America centric, so I guess you could say that the X-Men, in spite of being international, are typically filtered through American writers, meaning we apply an American viewpoint on minorities towards the entire planet for better or for worse.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Crimz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoEFrost View Post
    How many people know who Wolverine is? Now how many people know who Matthew Shepherd was?

    Exactly. Stories that help minorities feel more comfortable should still be embraced, especially since while rights have progressed, they have slowed recently and we're seeing a backlash from extremist groups that see equality as a zero-sum game. The X-Men were never a 1-to-1 comparison to real life, but anything that helps people feel less marginalized is good.
    Stories that tell me that things will never get better and you always lose are not great representation. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be a marginalized group, just that their plight is fictional, and that should be embraced. It's no longer the 60s and you can use actual minority characters (some are X-Men) that can tell a more true to life story about prejudice. My problem is when they try and make the mutant metaphor like the real world. It makes no sense and is often handled poorly.
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  14. #14
    Mighty Member tuck frump's Avatar
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    People complaining that they dont want theXMen as a metaphor for minorities are a good metaphor for people who don't want to read about minorities. So good job, XBooks.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member BroHomo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuck frump View Post
    People complaining that they dont want theXMen as a metaphor for minorities are a good metaphor for people who don't want to read about minorities. So good job, XBooks.
    Lol soooo true
    GrindrStone(D)

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