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Has Marvel forgot the purpose of the X-Men?

kainedamo

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So I first got into superheroes when I watched cartoons as a kid. The X-Men cartoon rocked. Cable, Bishop, the Sentinels, Wolverine, Storm, the theme tune, the colourful costumes - everything about that show was so damn cool. And the storylines. The storylines revolved mostly around how horrible bigotry can be. Some episodes were damn well bleak and depressing, with the vision of the future where mutants are hunted down by giant emotionless robots. I started getting into the comics, and they were cool too.

But over the last few years, they've lost something for me. House Of M was the last good X-Men story I've read. The X-Men these days doesn't seem to deal with bigotry and prejudice that much anymore. Uncanny X-Men - they've been in space, boring the crap out of me. Joss Whedon's X-Men - God knows what he's been doing, but that book sucked while I was reading it. It dealt with a mutant cure at the start, but didn't really go anywhere with it, then this alien guy comes into it, then the Danger Room becomes self aware (didn't Cerebro become self aware and try to kill the X-Men? Yeah, real original Joss!).

So I mean, where are the gritty, bleak, depressing storylines about the struggle against oppression? To me, the X-Men were these rightous freedom fighters in a world that hates and fears them. Marvel's higher ups seem to have forgotten all about that.

And then came the SHRA. What did the X-Men do? They took a neutral stance! Here is an act which is identical to the Mutant Registration act, worse even! And they take a neutral stance!! I liked the stuff about M Day, with the sentinals sort of "gaurding" the X-Men and stuff. But the X-Men, quite frankly, are behaving like cowards these days.

And another thing. The fans. The SHRA comes along, and all of a sudden you have all these fans justifying the act. Has the X-Men taught you people nothing??

You know something? I think the Marvel higher ups are too afraid of political contraversy. I think they're too afraid of the conservitive fanbase turning against them 'cause the X-Men are a pretty strong metaphor for the acceptance of homosexuals.

The X-Men need to get more political. I want storylines about lonely, mutant kids whose parents can't stand to look at them, so they turn to Xavier. I don't want storylines that last years about the X-Men falling out with Xavier, and Xavier being all evil and stuff.

As a kid, and for the first few years as a comic book reader, I was never a fan of the Avengers. They didn't appeal to me at all. But over the last couple of years, they've definately appealed to me. Do you know why? They seem more like a rag tag group of rebels fighting against oppression than what the X-Men are. The New Avengers are the new X-Men!!
 
Yeah, I don't get why people EVER thought that the SHRA was justifiable. But anyway, the X-Men have strayed off course slightly, I'll agree. But I don't read much Mainstream anymore, so I really don't know.
 
So I mean, where are the gritty, bleak, depressing storylines about the struggle against oppression?
Hopefully not returning; there's been enough "gritty, bleak, depressing" in the X-Men.
The X-Men need to get more political. I want storylines about lonely, mutant kids whose parents can't stand to look at them, so they turn to Xavier.
They've done that story a thousand times.

Generally speaking, people who talk about the X-Men as historically all about mutants/humans seem off to me; I've got the first Claremont Omnibus on my shelf, and I can tell you that there's precious little there that has anything to do with mutants as a metaphor. And this is the start of the X-Men's creative "Golden Age." Most of the really big X-Men stories that people remember don't have anything to do with the metaphor, with "Dark Phoenix Saga" as the most obvious example. The current Uncanny story deals with the Shi'ar element of the X-mythos, which has been a critical part of X-stories since Claremont took over the book in 1976. I too was won over by the X-Men animated series, and there's plenty there that doesn't deal with the metaphor; the whole third season is dedicated to Shi'ar stuff, for example. No writer has ever ignored the X-Men strictly as superheroes.

In terms of the SHRA, the X-Men being neutral makes sense in that they were already registered under the O*N*E (there's only around 190 mutants left, anyway).

Where Marvel has undeniably fumbled is the whole Decimation thing; whatever stories might have come from it, it's a straightjacket for writers, and it absolutely does undercut the X-Men's whole mission, which is as representatives of the next phase of Human evolution. If they aren't that, they're really just another curious little offshoot of humanity, like the Inhumans.
 
Granted, some of the best storylines of X-Men lore have had little or nothing to do with the mutant metaphor.

But still, whenever I read an X-Men comic these days, I feel like they have no overall purpose.

This is what I would do to fix the X-Men. Number one, cut down the number of X-Men titles into two main titles. People can't keep up with three completely seperate teams, each time with favourites. So I'd cut it down to Uncanny and Astonishing. I'd probably make Uncanny the main book again. Brudabaker is fine where he is on Uncanny, but his space storyline just plane sucks. I hope his work picks up to match the height of his other books. As for Astonishing, I'm not sure what writer I'd put on it. Someone fairly high profile, anyway. Actually, now that I think about it, Greg Pak would be perfect. In fact, he could probably write both books. I'd also make the teams interchangable. What annoys me is that I don't want to buy 3 different books to read about my favourite X-Men when they could all be in the same book - just at different times.

CaptainCanada makes a good point. Because there are so few mutants, its like the X-Men have no real purpose anymore. They don't matter in the world. So what I'd do is, sooner or later, I'd have the mutant numbers rise again. Nothing drastic, just one or two here and there. On the one hand, mutants like the X-Men would be happy that their race isn't extinct. On the other hand, the parents of these new mutants would be furious, because they thought they'd never have to worry about this kind of thing anymore. Maybe this is what Marvel intends to do anyway. I read somewhere that they wanted mutants to be a real minority again. Before House of M, there were definately too many mutants. So, once new mutants start springing up, SHIELD probably tries to pick them up under the SHRA. The X-Men could take a less neutral stance, and save these mutants from the SHRA.
 
I was actually thinking the x-books are the best they've been in a while...
 
I don't know...I couldn't even read you whole post....I powered through it and toughed it out wen you said House of M was good. Then when you said Uncanny (The best X-book out) was boring you...what you think the X-men don't belong in Space? The X-men have been spacing it for some time....Hell Havok and Cyke's Dad is a Space Pirate.

Anyway I trid to keep reading after that but eventually lost interest.
 
I don't know...I couldn't even read you whole post....I powered through it and toughed it out wen you said House of M was good. Then when you said Uncanny (The best X-book out) was boring you...what you think the X-men don't belong in Space? The X-men have been spacing it for some time....Hell Havok and Cyke's Dad is a Space Pirate.

Anyway I trid to keep reading after that but eventually lost interest.

It's not that I think the X-Men don't belong in space. Nothing against space stories. It's that this particular story is boring the ever loving crap out of me. The only thing even slightly interesting is Rachel's story. As for what's his face... Cable Eye. I feel like it's been done before. Too many shades of X-Man, and the Phoenix. Only less interesting.
 
Maybe this is what Marvel intends to do anyway. I read somewhere that they wanted mutants to be a real minority again. Before House of M, there were definately too many mutants. So, once new mutants start springing up, SHIELD probably tries to pick them up under the SHRA. The X-Men could take a less neutral stance, and save these mutants from the SHRA.
X-Men Annual #1 revealed that Wanda erased the X-gene in everyone but the 198 mutants who survived (now down a few because of New X-Men); the only new mutants possible now are the children of existing ones.
 
You know something? I think the Marvel higher ups are too afraid of political contraversy. I think they're too afraid of the conservitive fanbase turning against them 'cause the X-Men are a pretty strong metaphor for the acceptance of homosexuals.

Are we talking about the same Marvel here?!:confused: And, no matter what the former X-Men director says, X-Men is about feeling different than other people. It was about those feeling you get when you're a teenager but amplified a thousandfold. Later on it was seen as a statement of what MINORITIES go through, it doesn't matter what kind of minority it is. Dude, Civil War is full of political commentary; I don't know what your deal is with saying Marvel is afraid of political controversy.

The X-Men need to get more political. I want storylines about lonely, mutant kids whose parents can't stand to look at them, so they turn to Xavier. I don't want storylines that last years about the X-Men falling out with Xavier, and Xavier being all evil and stuff.

Have you been reading Academy X/New X-Men? They've done the kinds of stories you want recently and are still going at it. I don't know if you've ever stopped buying X-Men throughout the years (I haven't stopped since 1990, I just don't publicize it:p) but I'm glad that they do other stories besides the "woe is me, we're mutants and oppressed" because it gets kinda old after a while and a change of pace is always welcome.
 
And then came the SHRA. What did the X-Men do? They took a neutral stance! Here is an act which is identical to the Mutant Registration act, worse even! And they take a neutral stance!! I liked the stuff about M Day, with the sentinals sort of "gaurding" the X-Men and stuff. But the X-Men, quite frankly, are behaving like cowards these days.

And another thing. The fans. The SHRA comes along, and all of a sudden you have all these fans justifying the act. Has the X-Men taught you people nothing??

You know something? I think the Marvel higher ups are too afraid of political contraversy. I think they're too afraid of the conservitive fanbase turning against them 'cause the X-Men are a pretty strong metaphor for the acceptance of homosexuals.

Usually through strong thought, if you were to ask me. Unless of course you actually have a better alternative.

And Marvel isn't afraid of political controversy. If they were, they wouldn't hire Millar for anything.

Yeah, I don't get why people EVER thought that the SHRA was justifiable. But anyway, the X-Men have strayed off course slightly, I'll agree. But I don't read much Mainstream anymore, so I really don't know.

Once again, through thinking outside of their own perception most of the time.

Example: Personally, I do not like the registration, as it takes away that rush hero feeling of just doing whatever you want, whenever you want.

Logically: The SHRA makes sense, and is a far better way to save lives, while being capable of regulating the quality of heros, and legally punishable if things go wrong.

It's not that I think the X-Men don't belong in space. Nothing against space stories. It's that this particular story is boring the ever loving crap out of me. The only thing even slightly interesting is Rachel's story. As for what's his face... Cable Eye. I feel like it's been done before. Too many shades of X-Man, and the Phoenix. Only less interesting.

I don't like Rachel, that's why I don't like this space story. But that's just me.
 
But over the last few years, they've lost something for me. House Of M was the last good X-Men story I've read. The X-Men these days doesn't seem to deal with bigotry and prejudice that much anymore. Uncanny X-Men - they've been in space, boring the crap out of me. Joss Whedon's X-Men - God knows what he's been doing, but that book sucked while I was reading it. It dealt with a mutant cure at the start, but didn't really go anywhere with it, then this alien guy comes into it, then the Danger Room becomes self aware (didn't Cerebro become self aware and try to kill the X-Men? Yeah, real original Joss!).
House of M was an okay story and it was more of a Marvel Universe story than an X-Men story. Not only that Whedon's Astonishing X-Men and Brubaker's Uncanny X-Men are freaking awesome. You should read further issues where they go more into Ord and the Breakworld and Whedon will most likely pick up on the cure before his run is over.

And then came the SHRA. What did the X-Men do? They took a neutral stance! Here is an act which is identical to the Mutant Registration act, worse even! And they take a neutral stance!! I liked the stuff about M Day, with the sentinals sort of "gaurding" the X-Men and stuff. But the X-Men, quite frankly, are behaving like cowards these days.

And another thing. The fans. The SHRA comes along, and all of a sudden you have all these fans justifying the act. Has the X-Men taught you people nothing??
The X-Men took a neutral stance because they were morally opposed to the Superhuman Registration Act yet they did not want to fight the US Government. They are trying to prove that mutants aren't a threat to society and there were Sentinels right on the grounds of the Insitute with almost every mutant on Earth there. Take a guess what would happen if the X-Men went rogue fighting the SHRA? The Sentinels (which are more powerful than before) would start attacking everyone wiping out the entire mutant race. Also, the X-Men, are trying to portray a positive image to the government and the people. If they fought against the SHRA, a huge negative image would have been created by both the government and the people they are trying to save.

Also, the Superhuman Registrationn Act is different than the Mutant Registration Act. The MRA required every mutant to register. The SHRA requires superheroes and those closely involved with the superhero community (like John Jameson and Jessica Jones) to register. People are born mutants. People choose to become superheroes and become close to the superhero community. BIG DIFFERENCE.

You know something? I think the Marvel higher ups are too afraid of political contraversy. I think they're too afraid of the conservitive fanbase turning against them 'cause the X-Men are a pretty strong metaphor for the acceptance of homosexuals.
BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Trust me, Marvel doesn't give a damn about the "conservative fanbase."

The X-Men need to get more political. I want storylines about lonely, mutant kids whose parents can't stand to look at them, so they turn to Xavier. I don't want storylines that last years about the X-Men falling out with Xavier, and Xavier being all evil and stuff.
I too would like to see the X-Men become more political. It's why I think that Mark Millar would be perfect for handling the main X-Men title (whatever one will have Cyclops, Emma Frost, Wolverine and Beast)

As a kid, and for the first few years as a comic book reader, I was never a fan of the Avengers. They didn't appeal to me at all. But over the last couple of years, they've definately appealed to me. Do you know why? They seem more like a rag tag group of rebels fighting against oppression than what the X-Men are. The New Avengers are the new X-Men!!
New Avengers blows. Mighty Avengers rule :o
 
X-Men Annual #1 revealed that Wanda erased the X-gene in everyone but the 198 mutants who survived (now down a few because of New X-Men); the only new mutants possible now are the children of existing ones.
And therein, I believe, lies the fault...not enough mutants.
 
I was actually wondering why they didn't do more during the SHRA. I agree it was bogus, and I am still pissed about what they did to Cap and Spidey. But I feel that maybe they should have done more during this crisis. But it would have been all for naught.
 
X-Men Annual #1 revealed that Wanda erased the X-gene in everyone but the 198 mutants who survived (now down a few because of New X-Men); the only new mutants possible now are the children of existing ones.

I heard that Mr. Sinister was planning on repowering the mutant race, perhaps that will solve the problem.
 
Well he needs his test subjects... I just wish they'd stop killing off the same characters over and over. Jean's died what 3 times now? And she'll be coming back for more. I think Kitty and beast are the only ones who haven't died yet. :p
 
I hate Racheal.....but I am loving the Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire
 
Short answer? Yes.

Long answer, I'd say they've forgotten it ever since Grant Morrison left. And I'd say, in the wake of House of M, they'd left an environment that's completely incompatible and ill-equipped to deal with the purpose of the X-Men. 198 members? That's not a minority culture, that's a movie set.

I honestly don't even blame the X-writers for not really tackling any social X-issues in the wake of M-Day.
 
I was actually wondering why they didn't do more during the SHRA. I agree it was bogus, and I am still pissed about what they did to Cap and Spidey. But I feel that maybe they should have done more during this crisis. But it would have been all for naught.

1. The X-Men are under the control of Cyclops and Emma Frost, not Professor X.

2. Cyclops wants to gain the favor of the U.S. Government and fighting the SHRA would have made the U.S. Government very angry at the X-Men.

3. Cyclops wants to gain the favor of the general public which fears mutants and now superheroes due to the events of Stamford. The general public overwhelmingly supported the SHRA. The X-Men would not gain the general public's favor and trust if they fought the SHRA.

4. The X-Men were morally opposed the SHRA because it is reminiscent of the MRA, hence why they decided to not fight for it with the Superhuman Task Force. The only mutant that did so was Bishop.

5. There were Sentinels right on the grounds of the Xavier Institute. The vast majority of mutants now live on the grounds of the Xavier Institute, it basically became a mutant reservation due to the events of M-Day. Take a guess what would happen if the X-Men decided to fight against the SHRA.

6. Because of M-Day, the mutants just aren't up for a fight with the U.S. Government. Some of the most powerful and prominent mutants such as Professor X and Magneto are depowered. Their status is still in question causing some confusion of what will happen in their future. With about 200 mutants left compared to a an military of 1,000,000+ soldiers with S.H.I.E.L.D. and O*N*E supporting them, the mutants have no chance against the government either.
 
Yeah, I agree.

the X-Men didn't participate apparently because they were already registered. After house of M, most of the mutants were gone and the remaining were forced to register by the Government.
When I heard this I got upset.
The whole point of X-Men was for them to fight against this stuff. The stood them being denied the rights and privilages that normal citizens get. They loosely represented anyone who wanted acceptance and had been misstreated. It was a metaphore for bigotry and racism. And now they just let it happen. I think the writer could have found a way or them to get off the Mansion grounds and join the fight. But in Civil War the X-Men were sort of lame ducks.

And now the mutants are registered and their dying out too, sounds like Marvel is trying to turn the future in to the future of Marvel "The End" stories.
In those it is mentioned several times that the mutant race had died out.

I don't think it is because Marvel is spineless and affraid of controversy.
Civil War is a is meant to be a sort of 911: a massive dissaster that cuases the deaths of an incredibly large number of people including children, a government trying to take away right of the the people (SHRA = the Patriot Act), a war, the public following the Pro side, a group of Americans seen as un-American, and a side having control that most people don't like (Tony Stark = George W. Bush).

So I don't think that it is them being affraid to be political. But I don't know what it is. The only thing I can think of is that the writer said having the X-Men on one side (most likely the Anti side) would make the fight too one sided.
I think the X-Men should have been in on the front line with Captain America. (if they were worried about the number, the mutants are mostly gone because of House of M. So it would only be a little more than a handfull. Maybe 20 at the most.)

But still I don't know why Marvel is slowly making the X-Men unnimportant, maybe its because they ran out of story ideas.
 
Amen, brother!!

With the SHRA, and real-world events like the Patriot Act and (more importantly) Military comissions act, etc, X-Men should be more relevant than ever.

They should have been supporting captain America...and he should have become their leader. (Whoooa?!)

So, in my ideal "Civil War", the X-Men gain Cap and Spider-man, INvisible Woman, etc, while the "Avengers" become a huge team under SHIELD.
 
The world is so politically correct right now that the mutant metaphor is getting less and less relevant.

Anyway, I think when Stan Lee created the X-Men in the 60s, I don't think his initial idea was about creating a metaphor for social prejudice. He just wanted to relieve himself from the burden of explaining the origin of each superhero/supervillain's power, whenever he creates one.

Back then, everything was black and white in the comic books that it's just about the bad guys versus the good guys. I don't even think that the dichotomy of Xavier's idealism and Magneto's realism were already there.

The social prejudice only became a key issue (I think) when the readers got more mature and Marvel needs to add some depth to its storylines.

However, being a politically correct world that we are right now, the issue is slightly losing relevance. The X-Men needs to represent something else.

As to what issue that would be, I have no idea, but I think Marvel did a good job of providing a different issue when it published God Loves Man Kills. The graphic novel was no longer about social prejudice but religious prejudice instead.
 
never mind the X-MEN i think marvels starting to forget the purpose of SUPER-HEROES in general
if super -villians are obsolete by the same token so are super-HEROES writers are so used to tv superheroes fighting non powered criminals they forget how to make good superhero stories:ninja:
 
I think the X-Men are still rellavent. There is still prejudice and bigotry out there, people hating others for no reason.
The X-Men can still tackle these issues.
I just think maybe they need to tackle it in a slightly different or new way. I mean when they first came out the idea of people different from humans was new and sort of scary. But after so many years maybe they need to change their appoache somehow. I am not sure how.
 
Here comes Shadowboxing with his "The X-men were never about racism until Morrison came along" rant.
 

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