Friday, June 09, 2006

"'x-men' is not a cleverly named documentary about the nation of islam..."

"... If you go expecting anything of that nature, you will be extremely disappointed."
Or at least that's what Huey Freeman of the Boondocks said in his own review of the first X-Men film. But I'm not sure if Huey has ever been more wrong. In the current political climate, it would be difficult for any film about mutants who are met with widespread paranoia and face increased government scrutiny to not also evoke the challenges faced by another group whose name also begins with the letter "M".

For example, consider Magneto's words to Professor X at the end of the first film:
But you know that it is a war, old friend. And to win a war it takes the will to fight it at all costs, by any means necessary. And for that reason, I will always have the advantage. No matter how you trap me, how I am contained.
Or the exchange which occurs when the blue-skinned mutant Mystique is being questioned by a government official:
The Interrogator: Raven?
Mystique: I don't answer to my slave name.
The Interrogator: Raven Darkholme? That's your real name. Or has he convinced you that you don't have any family?

Perhaps a future DVD release of the films will include a deleted scene of the Juggernaut selling bean pies?

And we can go further... Many of the characters literally and metaphorically represent various Others. We all know... Magneto is a Malcolm X (literally a Holocaust survivor). Professor Xavier is Martin Luther King Jr. and Hispanic (Xavier is definitely a Spanish name but Professor X seldom shows a "Latin tinge" except for the Marvel 1602 series where he is renamed Carlos Javier and explicitly made a Spaniard). In the film X2, "Iceman" Bobby Drake was 'gay' (He came out to his parents as a mutant) and in X3 that role was played by "Angel" (bare-chested, flying around with wings, his father discovers his mutant status in the bathroom).

But I am definitely not the first person to point out that the X-Men mythos is really a huge fable about racism, anti-semitism and other forms of prejudice:

Morpheus Reloaded: Beyond Children of the Atom: Black Politics, White Minds and the X-Men
blackprof.com: X-MEN III: A Story about Race and Sexuality?
X-Men, Emerson, Gnosticism by Geoff Klock
Malcolm X Men
X-Men screenplay

Grenada's past:
black comic books
race and dc comic books

2 comments:

arafat said...

Wow, I was totally unaware of much of this, even though I did sense the basic subtext about society and those who are marginalized.

Thank you!

cheap chanel handbags said...

Wow, I was totally unaware of much of this, even though I did sense the basic subtext about society and those who are marginalized.

Thank you!