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  1. #1
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    Default Am i the only person who agrees with Havok’s “M Word” sentiment?

    Some people feel like Alex Summer’s speech in Uncanny X-Men was backwards and even All New X Men took a shot at it with Kitty Pryde telling the young X Men she wants people to know she is a mutant and that it isn’t derogatory. While I do think the wording of Alex’s speech is a little off I agree with him. He should be forced to be seen only as a mutant. He’s a human being. All mutants are humans at the end of the day and calling them mutants separates them. Even then I don’t think his beliefs are any worse than what Morgan Freeman said a while ago about race. I mean I don’t think it is wrong for a mutant to identify as a mutant but it also defeats Xavier’s dream of mutants integrating with humans. Like even later on in All New X Men I think Scarlet Witch said that they don’t have mutant problems or human problems. Just problems period.

  2. #2
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    You have to look a little bit outside the story though. It's true that in-universe, it doesn't really make sense to talk of mutants as a "people" because they have nothing in common except a gene that gives them superpowers (though in real life, of course, there are a lot of groups that are defined on a flimsier basis than that).

    But millions of readers identify with the X-Men because they're a metaphor for the idea that

    a) you can be the target of prejudice for reasons that make absolutely no sense (like getting picked on for having super powers even as people with non-mutant powers are treated fine), and
    b) the thing that makes you the target of prejudice isn't a weakness, something to be ashamed of, but something that makes you special.

    So when Havok made the speech about mutants not being a separate people, he's right, but the writer and editor should have known that people would react that way, because he's not just saying that about mutants, he's saying that about the real people who identify with mutants. That was a point that Bendis made by having Kitty reply to Alex's speech: being Jewish doesn't actually make you different from any other person in any way, but that doesn't mean people wouldn't get mad at a Jewish celebrity saying not to call him Jewish. And when people read X-Men comics they're reading mutants as allegories for whatever makes them different in real life.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member cranger's Avatar
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    There might be some optic issues with Alex here, but the books themselves have often portrayed lots of mutants having many different opinions on just what being a mutant means and having very different outlooks on life in general, that there isn't really a need to agree or disagree with him. It just is what it is.

    My impression is people had a problem with the appearance that the book coming out after the X-Men bent the knee to the Avengers which was supposed to be the humans and mutants working together in "unity" came off as more trying to convert everything to the Avengers point of view.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurkle View Post
    You have to look a little bit outside the story though. It's true that in-universe, it doesn't really make sense to talk of mutants as a "people" because they have nothing in common except a gene that gives them superpowers (though in real life, of course, there are a lot of groups that are defined on a flimsier basis than that).

    But millions of readers identify with the X-Men because they're a metaphor for the idea that

    a) you can be the target of prejudice for reasons that make absolutely no sense (like getting picked on for having super powers even as people with non-mutant powers are treated fine), and
    b) the thing that makes you the target of prejudice isn't a weakness, something to be ashamed of, but something that makes you special.

    So when Havok made the speech about mutants not being a separate people, he's right, but the writer and editor should have known that people would react that way, because he's not just saying that about mutants, he's saying that about the real people who identify with mutants. That was a point that Bendis made by having Kitty reply to Alex's speech: being Jewish doesn't actually make you different from any other person in any way, but that doesn't mean people wouldn't get mad at a Jewish celebrity saying not to call him Jewish. And when people read X-Men comics they're reading mutants as allegories for whatever makes them different in real life.
    Except Jewish is a religion. You can choose to be jewish or not. Kitty could easily decide to be Christian or atheist or buddhist or whatever (And she cant even argue she’s ethnically jewish because she is specifically an Ashkenazi jewish). Regardless I know jewish people who wouldn’t appreciate their jewish heritage being brought up for no reason (example they mentioned they got a gift during hanukkah and a person goes “wait you’re a jew?”). Like it’s fine to let people know about your heritage or beliefs or whatever in certain contexts but to just go around saying “hello friend we are mutants. love us” well then you’re straight up mormons. Like is the X Men purpose to show they’re just humans or to show they’re above humans?

    And yeah there are plenty of people of minorities who don’t want to be remembered or defined by their skin color or sexuality. So while Kitty has a point Alex has just as fair a point. He just wants to be a superhero and help as many people as he can, not just limiting himself to a certain group of people. Like nobody thinks of Captain America as solely a human or Thor as solely as Asgardian why should the X-Men be different? Because it’s their branding? You can be proud of your heritage or beliefs or whatever but not let it define you

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Ferro's Avatar
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    the thing is havok is a very very priveledged member of a community he has never really represented before, a community that's very diverse on it's range of experiences, many mutants HAVE come together in communities like the morlocks or in now dead communities like m town and genosha, both destroyed by two seperate genocides.

    the concept of a mutant community wasnt nonexistant it was just constantly destroyed, and havok pretty much wants to speak for all mutants and claim himself as alex, because truly that's the only thing that seperates him from the type of priveledge captain america and the avengers enjoy is his pesky mutant status.


    The book tries to sell the idea mutants aren't a sub-culture when thats blantantly untrue and has the worst possible mutant to speak about it.

    So he's pretty much claiming mutants have no sense of unity, wich is completly wrong, AND bends over backwards to make the woman responsible for the destruction whatever mutant culture was left after genosha, to be the righteous, moral and "logical" to a point of being condescending over the petty, arrogant and rash mutants that have the nerve to still hate her for the atrocities she commited.

    that's why many x-men fans were upset, because it felt like a toxic take from an outsider that clearly had no passion for it's themes dragging it trough the mud and using a book that was supposed to be about unity to spout criticism to one side and one side only while the avengers remain logical, optimistic, heroic and wise, but now have to deal with the pesky mutants.
    Last edited by Ferro; 09-23-2020 at 03:46 PM.

  6. #6
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    It didn't help that Remender was so rattled by the online criticism that he used Wanda, of all characters, as his mouthpiece to make a speech about how mutants aren't a race (something she would be an idiot to say to other mutants, post-HoM, even if she thought it), and then he couldn't let it go so he had Wasp do an internal monologue a few months later about how poor Alex had been criticized and taken out of context just because he tried to speak out for unity. He seemed to be getting defensive and worse, acting like no reasonable person could disagree with that speech.

    The editor should have just made him move on or try to do some damage control (e.g. having a character argue with what Alex said instead of letting Bendis do it over in X-Men), but unfortunately Tom Brevoort's belief that "angry fans buy more comics" seems to have led him astray here.

  7. #7
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    Havok's speech is problematic when set in the context of mutants as metaphor for BIPOC or Queer people. Uncanny Avengers was definitely leveraging that metaphor.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by H-E-D View Post
    Havok's speech is problematic when set in the context of mutants as metaphor for BIPOC or Queer people. Uncanny Avengers was definitely leveraging that metaphor.
    The thing is LGBT or colored people will and are always going to be viewed as human beings and as such are protected by most first world countries in terms of rights. Mutants on the other hand are argued to be non humans and as such aren’t protected so by saying they’re mutants they’re only enforcing the belief that mutants are not humans. Plus mutant is rarely ever used as a positive even in the marvel universe.

  9. #9
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    The statement might have seemed more complex and less controversial coming from someone like Nightcrawler, who is *visibly* a mutant, and has a strong history of both deeply philosophical thinking, and working with or on mutant teams. With his history of being X-Men adjacent, working for the government on teams like X-Factor, and being an Aryan poster-boy who looks like what every Proud Boy wishes he looked like, Havoc is darn close to the last person to be making such statements.

    There are a ton of interesting choices that could have been made. Having a former Morlock like Callisto make that statement, for instance, would take it in one direction, sort of a cry from the void, 'We're people, too, and you slaughter us like animals.' From a group of mutants that had suffered greatly identifying as mutants, and benefitted not a whole hell of a lot from Xavier's crew, it'd be a potent message, trying to 'reclaim' the humanity that they feel like they'd been denied. But, no, pretty boy (and empty head / stuffed suit) Havoc.

    Any potential thinky complexity to the message subverted by a tainted messenger, dripping in 'I never really had to suffer for my mutant-dom anyway, so what's the big deal?' priveledge, IMO.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dboi2001 View Post
    Some people feel like Alex Summer’s speech in Uncanny X-Men was backwards and even All New X Men took a shot at it with Kitty Pryde telling the young X Men she wants people to know she is a mutant and that it isn’t derogatory. While I do think the wording of Alex’s speech is a little off I agree with him. He should be forced to be seen only as a mutant. He’s a human being. All mutants are humans at the end of the day and calling them mutants separates them. Even then I don’t think his beliefs are any worse than what Morgan Freeman said a while ago about race. I mean I don’t think it is wrong for a mutant to identify as a mutant but it also defeats Xavier’s dream of mutants integrating with humans. Like even later on in All New X Men I think Scarlet Witch said that they don’t have mutant problems or human problems. Just problems period.
    The wording was maybe a bit off (there aren't too many people who literally insist on not being identified by a label), but the general sentiment you're describing that people are individuals and not bonded by an identity is a pretty mainstream-held opinion and not that controversial.

    The idea that it's somehow radical or a minority opinion maybe comes from corporate propaganda and the noise generated by social media.
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 09-23-2020 at 06:45 PM.

  11. #11
    Fantastic Member Chainsaw Vigilante's Avatar
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    No, but I don't think you'll get a lot of people that agree here given the current racial division rhetoric that abounds in social media and media at this point in time, compounded with a younger posting base here (and so more social media influenced) and the most vocal on social media (including message boards) being people that are fine with critical race theory and modern gender theory and the like. I'm not saying people posting here aren't good people or even that the majority wouldn't agree with Havok, just that it's easy to get caught up in a thought virus and often speaking against it people are looked down upon or attacked It's easy to get caught up in these things, especially if you say feel like you have been looked down upon for certain traits in your own life so you start to empathize with others who may have as well (both in reality and fiction, hence many fans of the mutant side of Marvel), but that initial empathy can easily turn into something negative, and so Havok rejecting what made him unique in a bid to try to find commonality in both non-powered humans and their offshoots like mutants feels like a betrayal to some people when it really is not.

    I mean technically all these human offshoots are actually just humans with an activated x-gene or whatnot (way back in the day there was even a story about it where the Sentinels tried to extinguish the sun once they realized every human had the x-gene in them (it was just latent in the vast majority), and division in this front never leads to anything good.

    It's like the Tower of Babylon story where the result divided the human race into little competing groups and in the end created more negativity than anything else. All these human offshoots always being at odds with one another in comics now is tiring to me. Maybe Remender didn't write his story in the best way but I think his (and in return Havok's) sentiment was in the right place, unity amongst the peoples of the Earth by embracing the one thing they have in common instead of what makes them different (not different as individuals since individuality is not a problem it's what makes you you, but as groups where the problem of ego not only persists but is enhanced by others with the same issue grouping together).

  12. #12
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    I thought it didn't make sense considering the supposed premise in universe. Cap asks Havok to lead a team who's main purpose is to show that mutants and humans can work together and the first thing Alex does in public is tell people he doesn't want to be called a mutant. It's like if you organize an interfaith picnic, then when everyone gets there, you say you don't want to talk about religion.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferro View Post
    the thing is havok is a very very priveledged member of a community he has never really represented before, a community that's very diverse on it's range of experiences, many mutants HAVE come together in communities like the morlocks or in now dead communities like m town and genosha, both destroyed by two seperate genocides.

    the concept of a mutant community wasnt nonexistant it was just constantly destroyed, and havok pretty much wants to speak for all mutants and claim himself as alex, because truly that's the only thing that seperates him from the type of priveledge captain america and the avengers enjoy is his pesky mutant status.


    The book tries to sell the idea mutants aren't a sub-culture when thats blantantly untrue and has the worst possible mutant to speak about it.

    So he's pretty much claiming mutants have no sense of unity, wich is completly wrong, AND bends over backwards to make the woman responsible for the destruction whatever mutant culture was left after genosha, to be the righteous, moral and "logical" to a point of being condescending over the petty, arrogant and rash mutants that have the nerve to still hate her for the atrocities she commited.

    that's why many x-men fans were upset, because it felt like a toxic take from an outsider that clearly had no passion for it's themes dragging it trough the mud and using a book that was supposed to be about unity to spout criticism to one side and one side only while the avengers remain logical, optimistic, heroic and wise, but now have to deal with the pesky mutants.
    Can we just be real for second and put aside the fantasy? A person with dwarfism living in India does not have the same issues as a person living with dwarfism in England. They have nothing in common but being short. And yeah people with dwarfism do talk about the struggle of being short together online and in social media but they don’t move into an island nation and become the land of dwarfs. I chose this because I hate the racial analogy of mutants. They are not a race they are genetic predisposition. And the fact that we can’t even talk about disability or ableism in comics is sad because we stuck with a race analogy so dated Deadpool 2 made fun of it. The X-men are a broken franchise because even now with their biggest changes in years it’s still rehashing the same story beats from 20 years ago

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    I thought it didn't make sense considering the supposed premise in universe. Cap asks Havok to lead a team who's main purpose is to show that mutants and humans can work together and the first thing Alex does in public is tell people he doesn't want to be called a mutant. It's like if you organize an interfaith picnic, then when everyone gets there, you say you don't want to talk about religion.
    I think it was more of an extent that mutants and humans aren’t so different and shouldn’t be treated differently. And if he was only brought on to be a token then that’d be kinda messed up. Like imagine Cap telling Luke Cage they want him on the Avengers because he’s Black. Alex isn’t saying he isn’t a mutant but that he doesn’t want to be defined by a label which many people do hold to that

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member BroHomo's Avatar
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    Loooota Questions sorry dude
    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantor View Post
    Can we just be real for second and put aside the fantasy? A person with dwarfism living in India does not have the same issues as a person living with dwarfism in England. They have nothing in common but being short. And yeah people with dwarfism do talk about the struggle of being short together online and in social media but they don’t move into an island nation and become the land of dwarfs.
    Do you not think they would?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantor View Post
    I chose this because I hate the racial analogy of mutants. They are not a race they are genetic predisposition.
    How come? lol What do you think 'race' is but a genetic predisposition?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantor View Post
    And the fact that we can’t even talk about disability or ableism in comics is sad because we stuck with a race analogy so dated Deadpool 2 made fun of it.
    Why can you not talk about? And if Deadpool 2 is making fun of it Id say its not thaaat dated lol but what joke are you referring to ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantor View Post
    The X-men are a broken franchise because even now with their biggest changes in years it’s still rehashing the same story beats from 20 years ago
    In what way? What are other franchises doing differently
    Quote Originally Posted by Dboi2001 View Post
    I think it was more of an extent that mutants and humans aren’t so different and shouldn’t be treated differently. And if he was only brought on to be a token then that’d be kinda messed up. Like imagine Cap telling Luke Cage they want him on the Avengers because he’s Black. Alex isn’t saying he isn’t a mutant but that he doesn’t want to be defined by a label which many people do hold to that
    WHy would grown up care what people label him?
    GrindrStone(D)

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