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  1. #1
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    Default Two theories on why mutants are hated but other super powered people aren't

    Over the years a common criticism of the X-Men franchise has been how nonsensical it is for the denizens of the Marvel universe to treat mutants with prejudice whilst they are fine with other super powered characters such as the Fantastic Four.


    Here is my attempt at resolving the issue.


    Okay for starters not ALL the super powered beings of the Marvel universe are treated with open arms and not EVERYONE is prejudiced against mutants.


    The Hulk and the Thing and even Spider-Man are treated with a certain amount of mistrust if nothing else; often they’re even seen as freaks.


    If you think about it when the X-Men debuted in 1963 the Marvel universe was pretty sparsely populated. Spider-Man, the FF, the Avengers (i.e. Ant Man, Wasp, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man) and a few other characters were essentially it.


    Now the Hulk, the Thing and Spider-Man WERE treated with a certain amount of mistrust and fear, but many of the other characters were not (at least not to my knowledge).


    Most of them though were either characters who didn’t have powers (like Iron Man), used some form of science to give them their powers (Ant Man) or had powers innate to them being something from beyond this Earth (i.e. Thor who is a literal God).


    And apart from guys like that, the FF and the Avengers frankly had really good public relations. The FF were the first superhumans to really make the scene in ‘modern day’ Marvel New York and they built themselves up as celebrities. In fact in Mark Waid’s run on Fantastic Four Reed Richards admits that he purposefully built the FF up as celebs in order to avoid them being treated as freaks. For the sheer novelty alone the FF would’ve been more accepted by the general public, to say nothing of the scientific contributions or their public displays of heroism over the years.


    The Avengers were also an ‘official’ essentially government approved super hero team, which in the minds of the masses legitimised them and kind of conveyed the message that ‘They’re alright’



    Plus later on Captain America, the living legend of WWII, joined their ranks and I’m sure a lot of people in the Marvel universe adopted the attitude that if they’re good enough for Captain America they’re good enough for them too.


    But with the X-Men…they were masked individuals with very obvious super powers (not feats of technology, but literal feathered wings and huge feet) who came out of nowhere and disappeared just as suddenly. They were the unknown and a lot of people fear that.


    Then you have all the mutants not just randomly appearing in public but manifesting entirely randomly and at alarming speeds all across the world, within the very homes of the citizens of the Marvel Universe. The idea that you or your family members (including your children) could just suddenly develop (potentially dangerous and uncontrollable) super powers is an incredibly frightening one.


    If this makes any sense it’s kind of the distinction between being okay with super humans being ‘over there’, but not being okay with them being closer to home. This is besides the fear that the human race itself is at an obvious physical disadvantage compared to mutants or that mutants could essentially breed out humanity.


    So how and why normal humans might fear mutants (however misguidedly) is not hard to understand.


    Equally it is possible that this ‘lack of legitimacy’ that mutants have compared to the Avengers/FF is why so many people accept the latter but not the former. The FF arrived early on enough that they were embraced by the public and are beloved celebrities and the Avengers have government backing. Mutants though have none of these and could run around unchecked. This is probably why so many people were in favour of the various Mutant Registration acts, now that I think about it.


    There is however another explanation we could use.


    So…basically people’s problems with the X-Men/Mutants in the Marvel universe is that it makes no sense for people to be prejudiced against them but be okay with non-mutant super heroes.


    That is the gist of people’s objections right? That it makes no sense and isn’t rational?


    Well here is the thing…its prejudice…Prejudice doesn’t make sense. Prejudice isn’t rational.


    Forget any political or sentimental beliefs you hold, from a purely logical (and even biological) point of view prejudice towards people of a certain skin colour or sexual orientation makes 0 sense.


    It makes 0 sense and yes has been hypocritical over the centuries. How many stories have we heard about people who are prejudiced still liking a certain celebrity or entertainer who is black/gay/’different’. It even applies to just people they know.


    Many people are/have been racist or homophobic, and yet they make ‘exceptions’ to their prejudice. They don’t like gay people but ‘This guy is alright’



    They don’t like Asian people but ‘You’re not like those other ones!’



    And this has gone on for literally centuries.


    Just look at European history.


    White people in the North and South of England might have fought Civil Wars and displayed prejudice against one another, but they’re united in their dislike of the French or Germans (who’re also white) and most of those predominantly white nations all agreed that, despite their racism to one another, they are all ‘superior’ to any given non-white person from Africa or Asia.


    Or heck what about Nazi Germany? This is a period of time where a disturbing amount of people subscribed to the idea of there being a superior race made of tall, muscular, blonde haired and blue eyed Aryan folk. And that was an idea many put forward by their supreme ruler who was…a short, weedy dark haired guy…


    Additionally in some countries where racism was practiced (and I believe still is in parts of the world) your standing as a citizen was measured upon just how dark or light your skin colour was. You could very obviously not be white, but if you were a black person with a comparatively paler complexion you were seen to be ‘better’ than other black people with darker skin tones.


    A very sad example of this can actually be found in the biography of the prominent African American leader Malcolm X.


    According to his biography, his mother Louise married his father Earl Little partially because Earl had a very dark complexion, a trait Louise found attractive because she herself was ashamed of her own lighter skin complexion (I think because she was born out of a white man raping her mother, but don’t quote me on that).


    Earl actually favoured his son Malcolm more than his other children precisely because Malcolm had the lightest skin complexion of all this children. Earl Little was someone who supported black pride and Pan-Africanism, which demonstrates a certain contradiction in his actions.


    How could he have black pride but favour one of his children above the others because his skin complexion was closer to a white person’s?


    Well there are probably multiple explanations, but a pretty big one is that prejudice inherently makes no sense.


    And in the case of mutants how hard is it to imagine that certain groups of people who have problems with mutants influence the government or the media and hard sell to the public the idea that ‘mutants are bad’ to the point where that idea takes root and is just commonly accepted general knowledge. Much like the assumption that back in the day Jewish people, or black people or Asian people were ‘inferior’ to white people?


    I very much believe such mentalities are taught rather than inherent. I mean many children simply don’t make a big deal about people’s race or skin colour. That’s something that kind of develops due to outside influences as they grow older.


    Additionally in most respects prejudice doesn’t really exist in the animal kingdom at all. The breed or different colourings of dogs are meaningless to those animals. A bulldog, a Labrador and a Chihuahua don’t distinguish their own breed from one another, they just see one another as fellow canines. Hell dogs see US as fellow canines, just weirdly shaped ones.


    In this way the complaints of fans or people who argue about how nonsensical it is for there to be prejudice against mutants but not other super humans is kind of redundant and stupid.


    They’re basically asking for prejudice to make sane and rational sense. Except prejudice by its very nature isn’t sane or rational, and it makes no sense whatsoever.


    For these reasons the whole prejudice against mutants (as opposed to other super humans) is not really something to get hung up over.


    And if nothing else mutants provide a good metaphor for examining the theme of prejudice. This not only provides fertile storytelling opportunities, but also is a genuinely important topic to discuss and understand.


    So what I am trying to say guys is cut the X-Men a break guys.

  2. #2
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    Actually the answer is a lot simpler than you think. People hate mutants because they were told to that is all there is to it.

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    The X-Men exist in a world where modern American Christians -- instead of radical islamists -- are terrorizing civilians and targeting minorities. Trying to understand it is a fruitless endeavor.

    As for the mutant metaphor, it's there to teach youngins some empathy....and to indulge stuffy, disconnected liberals who live in fantasy land(like me).


  4. #4
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    I'd hate to go back to the divide of Terrigen Mist but in the real world I've seen people say mutants should either literally go to hell AKA Limbo a hellish dimension or leave their family, friends, jobs, and lives behind and go into the vacuum of space with no set destination hoping some alien culture will except the mutant refugees oh or they could just die I guess all so the Inhumans could keep the ability of future generations to have superpowers. After that the why people in the Marvel Universe hates mutants but not superpowered humans no longer seems strange.

  5. #5
    Perfectly Safe Penguin ariwl1's Avatar
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    Dubbing mutants Homo Sapien Superior and declaring they would eventually replace humans in evolution probably didn't help things.

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    Spidercide :
    Well here is the thing…its prejudice…Prejudice doesn’t make sense. Prejudice isn’t rational.
    That's only part of the story. This is not so simple. People usually can rationalize their actions.
    White people in the North and South of England might have fought Civil Wars and displayed prejudice against one another, but they’re united in their dislike of the French or Germans (who’re also white) and most of those predominantly white nations all agreed that, despite their racism to one another, they are all ‘superior’ to any given non-white person from Africa or Asia.
    1 - Wars and other forms od rivalry - it is really hard to not hate people who try to kill You. Any country can used as example there. Countries from Africa or Asia.
    2 - people from Africa and Asia are all 'superior' to other groups
    Additionally in some countries where racism was practiced (and I believe still is in parts of the world)
    almost everywhere using Your logic
    And in the case of mutants how hard is it to imagine that certain groups of people who have problems with mutants influence the government or the media and hard sell to the public the idea that ‘mutants are bad’ to the point where that idea takes root and is just commonly accepted general knowledge. Much like the assumption that back in the day Jewish people, or black people or Asian people were ‘inferior’ to white people?
    Very probable - especially because even in first issue mutants were attacking people. This situation is very similar to todays Europe and terrorists attacks there.
    and let's not forget that white people had better technology than black/asian people then - maybe that was something similar to white or black pride?
    I believe that people should be able to think how they want. As long as we have equal rights then it is ok.
    Additionally in most respects prejudice doesn’t really exist in the animal kingdom at all. The breed or different colourings of dogs are meaningless to those animals. A bulldog, a Labrador and a Chihuahua don’t distinguish their own breed from one another, they just see one another as fellow canines. Hell dogs see US as fellow canines, just weirdly shaped ones.
    The alpha male and female are at the top, and then there are the second-highest ranking and so on until one reaches the bottom rank, which gets bullied and attacked, and gets the worst of food resources, are not likely to be involved or selected in mating and even in successful matings, are more likely to lose their offspring. discrimination?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegan Daddy View Post
    The X-Men exist in a world where modern American Christians -- instead of radical islamists -- are terrorizing civilians and targeting minorities.
    Most terrorist crimes in America are committed by modern American Christians. The only reason it isn't apparent is because the media is reluctant to call it "terrorist crimes" and instead sticks to stuff like "lone wolf", "hate crime" etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzzled View Post
    Most terrorist crimes in America are committed by modern American Christians. The only reason it isn't apparent is because the media is reluctant to call it "terrorist crimes" and instead sticks to stuff like "lone wolf", "hate crime" etc.
    not by Islamists?
    last time checked data from US police... white was responsible for majority of crimes because they are the biggest group. but black people were responsible for more crimes per person.

  9. #9
    Mighty Member Kal-El Summers's Avatar
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    Islamic terrorists are the relative new kids on the block when it comes to the US. The KKK and sundry other white supremacist hate groups racked up quite the body count before 9/11 happened.

    Also, black Americans generally don't do the whole terrorist thing. Plus, look at Confuzzled's post again because it explains why American Christians haven't been associated with the word "terrorist" as closely as people who practice Islam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kal-El Summers View Post
    Islamic terrorists are the relative new kids on the block when it comes to the US. The KKK and sundry other white supremacist hate groups racked up quite the body count before 9/11 happened.
    ok

    Also, black Americans generally don't do the whole terrorist thing.
    yeah true. they prefer other crimes.
    Plus, look at Confuzzled's post again because it explains why American Christians haven't been associated with the word "terrorist" as closely as people who practice Islam.
    ok but in europe there is a different situation. media try to not use world islamist after terrorists attacks right? (ok this is true only in some countries)
    other are not attacked by terrorists for example

  11. #11
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    The problem with using real-world examples when referring to the racism (mutantism?Alexism?) is that it's an imperfect allegory and as such no real world explanation will ever truly work. The X-men will virtually always be the heroes "fighting for a world that hates and fears them" because that's been their shtick since day one. It's the sun that the X-men world revolves around, sadly its as simple as that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seaturkey View Post
    The problem with using real-world examples when referring to the racism (mutantism?Alexism?) is that it's an imperfect allegory and as such no real world explanation will ever truly work. The X-men will virtually always be the heroes "fighting for a world that hates and fears them" because that's been their shtick since day one. It's the sun that the X-men world revolves around, sadly its as simple as that.
    but stories can give explanation why world hate them or not.
    and right now in comics - X-men have many ex-evil guys in their ranks. X-men had extinction team wre 7 out of 9 members were known as villains. We had Gambit in Gold. Rogue was a terrorist. and there is many evil mutants - Apocalypse for example.

    That;s true that people shouldn't hate all mutants because some of them are bad. Yet we shouldn't forget that many mutants were evil or is evil.

  13. #13
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    There was a Superman comic from 1999 where Maggi Sawyer explained why she was more afraid of people who were born metahumans than she was of Superman. Basically, as an alien Superman was unique. But the people who were born metahumans would continue to grow and 'threatened' to replace normal humans. What use is a regular cop when you can have an entire force of superpowered beings replace her?

    That's what I think the issue is for mutants in the Marvel U. The Fantastic 4 are the result of accidents. Thor isn't human to begin with. Captain America is a government experiment. But mutants claim to be the next step in human evolution. The claim both implies that they are better than humans, and that there will soon be no humans and only mutants.

  14. #14
    Incredible Member veriaqa's Avatar
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    You overthinking it. There are no explanations for this problem. That's why X-men work better in universe where they are the only superhuman around.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xelossik View Post
    Spidercide :

    That's only part of the story. This is not so simple. People usually can rationalize their actions.

    1 - Wars and other forms od rivalry - it is really hard to not hate people who try to kill You. Any country can used as example there. Countries from Africa or Asia.
    2 - people from Africa and Asia are all 'superior' to other groups

    almost everywhere using Your logic

    Very probable - especially because even in first issue mutants were attacking people. This situation is very similar to todays Europe and terrorists attacks there.
    and let's not forget that white people had better technology than black/asian people then - maybe that was something similar to white or black pride?
    I believe that people should be able to think how they want. As long as we have equal rights then it is ok.

    The alpha male and female are at the top, and then there are the second-highest ranking and so on until one reaches the bottom rank, which gets bullied and attacked, and gets the worst of food resources, are not likely to be involved or selected in mating and even in successful matings, are more likely to lose their offspring. discrimination?
    One can rationalize prejudice but not objectivly so.

    English people with white skin displayed immense prejudice to Scottish and Irish people who also have white skin in ways that went beyond being at war with them.

    African and Asian people aren't 'superior' to other groups. There is no such thing as superior groups.

    You cut off the rest of my sentence disengenuously. I wasn't referring to racism in general but was specifying instances where value is placed on like gradings of skin colour. E.g. two poc would be treated differently because of how comparatively light or dark their skin is to one another.

    The people of the Marvel universe have seen numerous examples of NON-Mutant super villains attacking various people and places as well and those predate X-Men #1. So why are super villains who aren't mutants treated as merely criminals but those with the X-gene are treated even worse?

    I wasn't referring to hierarchy in animal social structures but prejudice more along lines of racism or homophobia. A wolf with a lighter shade of fur will not hate one with a darker shade merely because it has a darker shade.

    Quote Originally Posted by seaturkey View Post
    The problem with using real-world examples when referring to the racism (mutantism?Alexism?) is that it's an imperfect allegory and as such no real world explanation will ever truly work. The X-men will virtually always be the heroes "fighting for a world that hates and fears them" because that's been their shtick since day one. It's the sun that the X-men world revolves around, sadly its as simple as that.
    Yeah that's the real world reason.

    I was providing a potential in-universe explanation. You didn't comment upon how well it holds up one way or the other.

    The thread isn't really about asking people in general WHY there is a double standard in the Marvel unvierse so much as it is about thoughts on the specific theories presented that try to explain it.

    Quote Originally Posted by seaturkey View Post
    The problem with using real-world examples when referring to the racism (mutantism?Alexism?) is that it's an imperfect allegory and as such no real world explanation will ever truly work. The X-men will virtually always be the heroes "fighting for a world that hates and fears them" because that's been their shtick since day one. It's the sun that the X-men world revolves around, sadly its as simple as that.
    Yeah that's the real world reason.

    I was providing a potential in-universe explanation. You didn't comment upon how well it holds up one way or the other.

    The thread isn't really about asking people in general WHY there is a double standard in the Marvel unvierse so much as it is about thoughts on the specific theories presented that try to explain it.

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