Last month (see "Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy -- The X-Men's Change In Cultural Perspective"), I wrote how disappointed I was with Jonathon Hickman's Krakoa Era of X-Men. And, not because of the quality of the contents; I conceded the books were well written and drawn. It was only after the fact, that I realized they were something else, something I don’t often see in mainstream American comic books; a would-be Utopia. This is especially nice seeing as how the comics industry currently seems to be absolutely obsessed with dismal dystopias.
My problem with them is the way, at the worst possible time, the X-Men have given up on Professor Xavier’s dream of harmonious human-mutant coexistence to become unapologetic arrogant separatist supremacists. I have no doubt Hickman didn’t intend his X-Men to be supremacist propaganda, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it’s being read that way by certain people given the way, it champions exclusion and the rights of the “superior.”
Mutantkinds sudden superiority complex is apparently based on the idea that (often) non-standard human appearances plus highly specialized innate abilities somehow equals superiority. The thinking behind it appears to go, yellow-banded poison dart frogs are superior to green frogs because they’re yellow and black and poisonous. You can make the case they’re more useful than green ones if you happen to need someone poisoned. And they’re indisputably a whole lot cooler looking; they have naturally occurring racing stripes for heaven’s sake, but deciding one group of frogs is superior to the other because of these qualities seems to be a bit of a reach to me.
It’s not like humans are treated like second-class citizens in X-Men comics -- except for occasional appearances by groups of human criminals, humans don’t often show up. But other groups are well represented; there are the Arakki, a brutal and fantastically obnoxious ‘lost tribe’ of mutants from another dimension, the fey folk from Otherworld, and of course space aliens. But, unless they’re outright villainous, mere humans need not apply.
On a positive note, one thing Hickman’s X-Men titles have proven is a title can be a top-seller in mainstream American comics without being about superheroes. Sure, there are still your standard costumes, codenames, and physical conflicts, but always in the context of science fiction and fantasy. And I do realize how these kinds of comics work; chances are eventually things will revert to their factory settings and the books will once again be about a maligned minority fighting to protect a world that hates and fears them.
Back in September (see “Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy -- The Return Of Giant Character Balloons”), I wrote that there wouldn’t be a Goku from Dragonball Z giant character balloon in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Well, I was wrong because it’s been confirmed that the Goku balloon will in fact be making its third appearance in the parade in November.
Confessions Of A Comic Book Guy -- Comics In Space"), while writing about the unfortunate cancelation of the animated science fiction comedy series Final Space, I stated that "cancellation isn’t necessarily the end of a franchise” anymore. Well, that’s been confirmed with last week’s announcement that after eleven and a half years NBC was bringing back the original Law & Order. I need to stress this isn’t yet another new iteration or remake, but rather a full-on resurrection. In short, they’re just turning the cameras on again and once again tearing stories from today’s headlines.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.