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Old 08-18-2013, 12:57 PM   #26
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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Which is part of why the MCU is awesome: no overblown antimutant paranoia.

Anyway, as for the issue of "mutants as other", the problem I've always had with it is that mutants have *no* common origin or culture. It seems far more likely that mutants would end up falling into existing cultural/ethnic categories, at least initially. You won't have white bigots and black bigots holding hands and singing "lynch all the mutants" songs. You'd have white bigots hating those dirty black mutants, and black bigots hating those evil white mutants. And so on and so forth.

The "mutants will replace us!" paranoia is at least comprehensible, if nonsensical ( its like worrying that you will be replaced by. . . your children ).
Avengers are government sponsored licened heroes with known identities.

X-Men are dangerous, unknown, rogue people with uncontrollable powers.

Not to mention the difference in cultural identiies

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Old 08-18-2013, 06:52 PM   #27
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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Both in movies and comics the super heroes are often perceived by the population and even by their enemies as "freaks". Sometimes they´re treated like if they had some serious contagious disease. Don´t you think this is exactly the opposite of what would probably happen in reality?

I mean, if tomorrow the real world discovered someone with powers(or even without) that were able to fight crime by his own hands, do you really think everyone would be referring to him as "freak" in a disdainful way? I honestly believe that if Batman, the X-Men, Superman or Spider-Man existed, they would be idolized by population in general. I find it much more likely that they would be seen as gods than seen as freaks that need to be marginalized.

I honestly don´t know why in comics, movies and cartoons, this idea of them being freaks is repeated over and over again. It really doesn´t make that much sense. They´re superior beings and can do what any person would like to be able to do. There´s no reason for them to be seen as inferior and discriminated.

"Freak, freak, freak, freak, freak, freak". Enough already. Do something different.
Batman: You think people would generally like the idea of some nujtob playing Halloween dress up going out and taking the law into his own hands? Sure he hasn't killed anyone...yet. Do you think civil rights groups would like someone choosing who to punish and commit assault, battery, torture, and possibly even kidnapping with? Do you think they'd like the idea of their elected government officials hiding behind a weirdo who has no accountability?

Look at this way: Have you seen HBO's "real superheroes" documentary? Pretty weird. Imagine that, except they were actually succeeding at affecting change.

X-Men: A group of different people who are not only superpowered, but represent a change in culture? A group of people who genetically are different that your children could "turn" into?

Have you not seen how people react to differences of sexuality, even in their own families, or matters of race, religion and gender? Now you want to say that they may be blue, furry or have the ability to kill you with retractable claws and eye lasers?

Spider-Man: Read what I said about the above two and combine them.

Superman: A single man who is more powerful than a nuclear weapon and is basically omnipotent. Terrifying. Especially for powerful governments who are now essentially powerless to this thing that could wipe out their countries, if it so chose.

That in a nutshell is why it is a very honest reaction.

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Old 08-18-2013, 06:55 PM   #28
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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Avengers are government sponsored licened heroes with known identities.
Which is why I don't think we'll ever see the Civil War in the MCU....no one has a secret ID

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Old 08-18-2013, 11:34 PM   #29
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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Which is part of why the MCU is awesome: no overblown antimutant paranoia.

Anyway, as for the issue of "mutants as other", the problem I've always had with it is that mutants have *no* common origin or culture. It seems far more likely that mutants would end up falling into existing cultural/ethnic categories, at least initially. You won't have white bigots and black bigots holding hands and singing "lynch all the mutants" songs. You'd have white bigots hating those dirty black mutants, and black bigots hating those evil white mutants. And so on and so forth.

The "mutants will replace us!" paranoia is at least comprehensible, if nonsensical ( its like worrying that you will be replaced by. . . your children ).

Here I disagree in that fear of mutants has nothing to do with a shared culture or ethnicity and everything to do with the fact that they have dangerous powers that people find threatening. Mutants aren't our children, they are potentially our replacements in evolutionary terms. Were mutants to follow the same path as previous newly-evolved primate species, they would eventually supplant humanity altogether, just as humans superseded Neanderthals.


The prospect of eventual human extinction, which is the goal of some very powerful mutants, coupled with the fact that so many of them possess powers that threaten harm to others, perfectly explains why anti-mutant hysteria might take hold in society. While most mutants tried to blend in and live normal lives (at least until Bendis slaughtered 99% of them), Magneto and some others have repeatedly tried to wipe out humanity. Others have caused death and destruction as well. Most people would naturally react negatively to a group like that.

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Old 08-19-2013, 03:34 AM   #30
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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Some great posts here.

The reason the freaks thing has been so prevalent in comics is it's relatable. I would be frightened that some person on the street could open his mouth and disintigrate me.

One thing i'm missing from modern CBMs is too many people knowing the secret identity.

Stark has told the world.
Peter told Gwen and Cap Stacy found out.
Cap runs around in public without his helmet
Thor doesn't have Donald Blake
X-Men don't hide their identies.
Superman can easily be seen as Clark, Lois found out who he was easily, the cops outside the Kent farm saw him hug Ma Kent and basically know his name.
Rachel figures out who Batman is almost right away, as does Carol Ferris.
Wait, what? Was this in an animated movie?

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Old 08-19-2013, 05:45 AM   #31
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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Wait, what? Was this in an animated movie?
We Green Lantern fans only wish that Martin Campbell monstrosity was an animated movie.










ETA: Rachel Dawes knew that Bruce was Batman in Batman Begins. To be honest, both of those situations made perfect sense. A stupid domino mask would never fool someone's girlfriend. That was one of the few things GL got right. Rachel recognized Bruce because she'd known him since childhood. His voice, mannerisms and even MO gave him away, so it wasn't implausible that she recognized him in the end.


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Old 08-19-2013, 06:34 AM   #32
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

It's unfortunately human nature to fear the unusual, especially those who are seen as potentially being able to harm others.

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Old 08-19-2013, 09:15 AM   #33
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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Here I disagree in that fear of mutants has nothing to do with a shared culture or ethnicity and everything to do with the fact that they have dangerous powers that people find threatening. Mutants aren't our children, they are potentially our replacements in evolutionary terms. Were mutants to follow the same path as previous newly-evolved primate species, they would eventually supplant humanity altogether, just as humans superseded Neanderthals.


The prospect of eventual human extinction, which is the goal of some very powerful mutants, coupled with the fact that so many of them possess powers that threaten harm to others, perfectly explains why anti-mutant hysteria might take hold in society. While most mutants tried to blend in and live normal lives (at least until Bendis slaughtered 99% of them), Magneto and some others have repeatedly tried to wipe out humanity. Others have caused death and destruction as well. Most people would naturally react negatively to a group like that.
I'm sorry, but you miss the point: yes, they *are* our children. Every mutant child has human parents ( or in some vanishingly rare as-yet cases, grandparents ). They are only as culturally "other" as their parents choose to make them. . . and with no existing reference frame for "othering" them. There is literally no existing groundwork for people choosing to decree that their children are not actually their children, but some monstrous inhuman other.

Which is why I maintain that, no, it makes little sense for mutants to automatically be treated as some single unified instant minority by the common culture, in the way it always has been portrayed. Distrusted by the government because of reasons of power, sure, but being distrusted by the government is hardly the reason for universal cultural ostracism. Quite the opposite: you'd expect being mistreated by "The Man" would draw instant partisans in support from numerous quarters.

The rest is, still, complete nonsense even if it is likely to be believed. Mutants are only automatically replacing humans in the sense that each generation eventually ages and dies and is replaced by the next. This is *not* "extinction", this is life as it has always been. It only becomes a tragedy in the mind's eye if you choose to define mutants as the Other, but as I've already said, that makes no sense on the face of it.

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Old 08-19-2013, 09:52 AM   #34
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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I'm sorry, but you miss the point: yes, they *are* our children. Every mutant child has human parents ( or in some vanishingly rare as-yet cases, grandparents ). They are only as culturally "other" as their parents choose to make them. . . and with no existing reference frame for "othering" them. There is literally no existing groundwork for people choosing to decree that their children are not actually their children, but some monstrous inhuman other.

Which is why I maintain that, no, it makes little sense for mutants to automatically be treated as some single unified instant minority by the common culture, in the way it always has been portrayed. Distrusted by the government because of reasons of power, sure, but being distrusted by the government is hardly the reason for universal cultural ostracism. Quite the opposite: you'd expect being mistreated by "The Man" would draw instant partisans in support from numerous quarters.

The rest is, still, complete nonsense even if it is likely to be believed. Mutants are only automatically replacing humans in the sense that each generation eventually ages and dies and is replaced by the next. This is *not* "extinction", this is life as it has always been. It only becomes a tragedy in the mind's eye if you choose to define mutants as the Other, but as I've already said, that makes no sense on the face of it.
People reject and revile their own biological children all the time. They do it for a variety of reasons: sexual orientation, behavior, lifestyle decisions, religious beliefs (or lack thereof), disagreements, etc. I've known a few people whose parents kicked them out and disowned them the instant they came out as gay or lesbian. In fact, a significant percentage of homeless youth in America were evicted from their homes by their parents because of their sexuality. (LGBT kids comprise only 5% of the youth population, but they are up to 40% of the homeless youth in the US.) Plenty of children are abandoned at all stages of life by parents who can't care for them or refuse to do so. Some parents actually murder their own children for whatever sick reason. So where you've come up with this idea that parents won't reject their own offspring baffles me.

With some parents in the real world turning on their children because they are LGBT or for other reasons, one can readily assume that some would also turn on mutant children. Like sexual orientation, mutation is an immutable characteristic, one that the children cannot ever set aside. Like Bobby Drake's parents in X2, there would be some families who were frightened of their own kids and reject them as soon as the mutation manifested. Some families would accept and love mutant children, of course, but the prospect of rejection is quite a real and relevant factor.

Beyond that, the communities in which mutants lived would probably tend to react with panic and hostility. You may be too young to remember it, but in the 1980s, when AIDS first became a major public health issue, many communities around the US turned viciously on children who contracted the disease. Ignorance and hysteria metastasized into campaigns to ostracize AIDS victims, keep them out of school and sometimes drive their families out of their communities. It was organized harassment fueled by fear of a new, deadly disease that no one understood at the time. Politicians and religious leaders joined in as well, at times encouraging the fear. It's not hard to imagine something similar and perhaps infinitely worse happening to mutant children.

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Old 08-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #35
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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We Green Lantern fans only wish that Martin Campbell monstrosity was an animated movie.










ETA: Rachel Dawes knew that Bruce was Batman in Batman Begins. To be honest, both of those situations made perfect sense. A stupid domino mask would never fool someone's girlfriend. That was one of the few things GL got right. Rachel recognized Bruce because she'd known him since childhood. His voice, mannerisms and even MO gave him away, so it wasn't implausible that she recognized him in the end.
Rachel didnt recognize Bruce in Batman...his voice was changed...what mannerisms and MO...because Bruce as a child ran around fighting crime?
Rachel didn't know Bruce was Batman until he recited her phrase back to him.

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Old 08-19-2013, 05:53 PM   #36
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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because people tend to despise those who are different
Precisely. People have throughout history been known to hate that which they don't understand - those of a different racial background, those of a different social class, those who are LGBT. When hatred in real life ends, then hatred in comic books will end. But, as long as there are people with hatred in their hearts there will continue to be people with hatred in their hearts in comics.

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Old 08-20-2013, 05:03 AM   #37
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

Stopping hatred in real life is a pipe dream. It will NEVER end. Hating someone because of their skin colour or religion or personal life is wrong but I believe hating someone because they are an A-hole makes perfect sense.

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Old 08-20-2013, 05:33 PM   #38
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

/\ Meant hatred in the sense I was speaking of it in.

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Old 08-20-2013, 05:38 PM   #39
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

I'll just say that the "freak" thing - aka fearing the unknown - makes all the sense possible to be made.

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Old 08-26-2013, 05:07 PM   #40
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

people always assume that we would be up in arms about a superman like character walking among us. when really, i think both MoS and the X-men tell the story perfectly. if we met these guys in real life, a whole lot of hate would be aimed towards them. mainly out of fear. all that's required is a spark of hatred and ignorance.

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Old 09-15-2013, 09:56 PM   #41
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

Not every hero HAS to be a freak, but some have that as a running theme. You could make a Spider-Man movie without it, but I bet it'd be pretty lousy.


There's plenty of other angles that work better than the "societal outcast" one, though. And to be fair, this did not apply to Cap Am, Thor or Ironman, and those were pretty succesful. It wasn't in Green Lantern and it was pretty gfujfhng. I haven't seen MOS or Amazing Spiderman, so I can't judge there. The Superhero can be a God, he can represent the law, he can embody sacrifice.

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Old 09-18-2013, 06:07 AM   #42
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

A lot of the posts above are downright fascist. It is in human nature to love & be awed as well, if the hate the different as a recurring theme seems old it's because it is. Unfortunately comics have their origin in war propaganda, and are industrial-military complex wet dreams.

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Old 09-18-2013, 06:12 AM   #43
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

I think the insults would be way worse than freak, but Freak is kid friendly, so they use that.

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Old 09-18-2013, 06:27 PM   #44
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

Hmmm when you account things such as slavery based on race, the Holocaust and other racial/cultural differences that have caused much hate over the history of mankind...I think it's safe to say a lot of people would be afraid of 'superbeings'

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Old 09-18-2013, 06:34 PM   #45
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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Hmmm when you account things such as slavery based on race, the Holocaust and other racial/cultural differences that have caused much hate over the history of mankind...I think it's safe to say a lot of people would be afraid of 'superbeings'
shut up you freak

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Old 09-18-2013, 08:04 PM   #46
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

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Hmmm when you account things such as slavery based on race, the Holocaust and other racial/cultural differences that have caused much hate over the history of mankind...I think it's safe to say a lot of people would be afraid of 'superbeings'
a few millenia is not humanity span, all human history we-they decided was important is centered around pyramidal structure civilization. Also, non monotheistic religions would see them as incarnations of divinities, l'occident n'est pas le monde.

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Old 09-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #47
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

Increasingly, I think my problem with the cliched "superhumans as freaks" is the idea of them all being lumped together. There's a lot of fear and hatred in human nature, but I suspect that absent some explicit and compelling reason for society to view superhumans as one single group ( say, they are all aliens )? You are much more likely to have everybody distinguish between "their" superhumans and "those guys" superhumans.

Or basically, the white racist and black racist are not going to hold hands and unite in killing the mutant. The white racist is going to condemn black mutants as "monsters" while holding up white mutants as "a clear sign of Aryan superiority", while the black racist will do the same thing in reverse.

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Old 09-18-2013, 10:16 PM   #48
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Increasingly, I think my problem with the cliched "superhumans as freaks" is the idea of them all being lumped together. There's a lot of fear and hatred in human nature, but I suspect that absent some explicit and compelling reason for society to view superhumans as one single group ( say, they are all aliens )? You are much more likely to have everybody distinguish between "their" superhumans and "those guys" superhumans.

Or basically, the white racist and black racist are not going to hold hands and unite in killing the mutant. The white racist is going to condemn black mutants as "monsters" while holding up white mutants as "a clear sign of Aryan superiority", while the black racist will do the same thing in reverse.
You realize just 60 years ago we had things as unimportant as water fountains designated for 'Whites' or 'Blacks'. It's very believable that all of these new strange kind that wear bright costumes and show extraordinary powers would all be thrown together just as all blacks were thrown together as 'unclean'.

And yes not everyone agrees they are all freaks, but not everyone agreed with slavery and segregation but the MAJORITY did and its perfectly believable that the majority of people would feel this way towards super beings.

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Old 09-19-2013, 04:51 PM   #49
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You realize just 60 years ago we had things as unimportant as water fountains designated for 'Whites' or 'Blacks'. It's very believable that all of these new strange kind that wear bright costumes and show extraordinary powers would all be thrown together just as all blacks were thrown together as 'unclean'.

And yes not everyone agrees they are all freaks, but not everyone agreed with slavery and segregation but the MAJORITY did and its perfectly believable that the majority of people would feel this way towards super beings.
Again, you completely miss the point. The problem isn't that people aren't fearful and hateful, the problem is portraying them as viewing mutants as a *single* group. IMO, its far more likely that, when looking at a white mutant or a black mutant? Its the "white" or "black" that would dominate any relevant bigotry, not the "mutant" bit.

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Old 09-20-2013, 06:08 PM   #50
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Default Re: The whole "freak" thing is getting old and makes no sense

Whenever I read this topic title,I'm reminded of the early 90's where every SH in live action was portrayed as having some kind of psychotic issue.Batman 89 really kicked off the trend,with Darkman following soon after and so on.(Even an episode of The Flash series dealt with it)

I'm frankly glad not to see the psychoanalyzing trend continue in CBM,but it was an interesting period to look back on.

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