It Must Be Said: The X-Men Are the Dumbest Superhero Concept

It’s near Christmas, so it seems like a good time to rant about the X-Men.

I like comic books and superheroes, but — other than Josh Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run which was entertaining — I can’t stand the X-Men. The concept is just too stupid on so many levels and I can’t suspend my disbelief.

One thing, is the constant whining about how discriminated against they are, and you know how much everyone loves it when heroes whine! “People are so mean to us mutants! People say they don’t want their kids in the same school as mutants just because we’ve blown up classroom’s six or seven times!” So while we’re expelling kids for just drawing a picture of a gun, we’re supposed to feel bad that most people don’t want mutants around them who can touch things and cause them to explode. Anyway, the discrimination against them is supposed to parallel homophobia or something (which they’ve made more explicit by having them move to San Francisco), but of course that analogy breaks down pretty quickly. It would be a much different debate if gay people secretly went around in a paramilitary organization blowing stuff up all the time. And know who blows stuff up all the time and whines constantly about being discriminated against? Radical Muslims.

Another thing is how the X-Men being discriminated against makes absolutely no sense in their universe. You can’t swing a dead cat in the Marvel universe without hitting a superhero, and many of them are beloved by the public like the Fantastic Four and Captain America. Still, apparently this conversation happens a lot:

BYSTANDER: “Thanks for saving us!”

SUPERHERO: “Just doing my duty.”

BYSTANDER: “So how did you get your superpowers? Gamma radiation? Super serum? Radioactive spider bite?”

SUPERHERO: “I was born with them.”

BYSTANDER: “AH! FILTHY MUTANT! I DISCRIMINATE AGAINST YOU!”

Finally, are really supposed to buy that the explanation for their powers is evolution? Is that how evolution works now? Animals just one day shoot lasers out their eyes? And explain to me the process where over thousands of years someone would be forced to evolve the ability to phase through solid material or control the weather. If you actually follow the evidence, a much more scientific and logical explanation for the X-Men’s powers is that they’re all possessed by evil demons.

Anyway, sign me up as a supporter for Senator Kelly’s next bill.

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21 Comments

  1. And according to comic-book logic, demons ARE more logical than evolution.

    I’m not big into superhero comics (schoolgirls and children’s card games are SOOOOO much better), and certainly not Marvel stuff (DC all the way!), but the Phoenix Saga was pretty cool, as was the one where Magneto took all the adamantium off of Wolverine’s skeleton.

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  2. * Very nice rant, Frank, I really do appreciate the effort. But you’ve just reminded me why I’ve always paid little attention to superhero fiction. Dating back even to when I was a child.
    * One of the great flaws with liberals is their constant failure to think of decent analogies. Their ideology makes them care little for proofreading the analogy either.

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  3. I like X Men, mostly because of a plethora of badassery.

    But I noticed major flaws in the premise, too. These people have mutations that give them super powers with no apparent downside, sans the bride-of-Frankenstein chick who kills people she touches. Also, people don’t like them even though they can kick everyone’s ass at will, they aren’t being recruited by SEC football coaches or the military.

    But really, what NFL team wouldn;t want Wolverine to be their Mike LB?

    Still, I will watch the movies and enjoy them.

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  4. And why dont the good mutants and bad mutants have rival intermural mutant football leagues – now that would draw a crowd.
    On the plus side, the bride-of-Frankenstein chick never had to worry much about that sneaky uncle 🙂

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  5. Seriously, how much would it suck* to live in the X-men universe? I mean, apparently half the population has some sort of super powers and super heros and villians are always fighting and destorying property. The military and police force are completely corrupt and/or incompetant, and odds are good that some crazy guy with god-like powers will try to destroy your city on a daily basis.

    *this of course would not apply if you personally had super powers. Then it’d be awesome.

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  6. My superhero as a kid was Zorro. In the late 50’s, it was on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and was the only program my Mom would let me watch every week. Oh, man. Z – Z – Z with the cape and mask and horse and stuff. Since then, I remain minimally cultured so I rely on Frank for a continuing education in “modern culture.”

    ~Jimmy (“Zoro, who makes the sign of the Zee-hee”)

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  7. I just got into the whole superhero thing less than three months ago, so I don’t know much about any of them… except the X-Men. I enjoyed the Ultimate run because the X-Men strutted about claiming they are the “next stage of human evolution,” therefore they should be better but in reality it just made them pompous and arrogant children. By the end of the series, many of them were dead or former-drug addicts.

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  8. You said: “So while we’re expelling kids for just drawing a gun,…”

    Perhaps it would have been better to say: “So while we’re expelling kids for just drawing pictures of a gun,…”

    In the first case, I’m thinking, “Expelled, they ought to be arrested.”

    In the second case, I’m thinking: ” Yeah, that’s pretty lame.”

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  9. While I agree that the X-men mutant superpower thing is a flawed concept, I must contend that Batman is the lamest of the suprheros. There is nothing “super” about the guy. He’s a gay guy with a latex fetish and a tool belt.

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  10. @due that’s because there aren’t enough Democrats in Gotham, otherwise Bruce Wayne’s money would have redistributed a long time ago.

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  11. Frank
    You seem to be having a very bad time this Christmas, First a really vicious attack against the couple of 100 idiots who believe in Kansas or Quonset or whatever the holiday was. Now you are expecting a bunch of imaginary friends dreamed up by an 80-90 year old guy to make sense at all times or at least ever. What are you going after next Pelousy, nah That’s too easy a target.

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  12. “Now consider the tortoise and the eagle.
    The tortoise is a ground-living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past it by being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat.
    And then there is the eagle. A creature of the air and high places, whose horizons go all the way to the edge of the world. Eyesight keen enough to spot the rustle of some small and squeaky creature half a mile away. All power, all control. Lightning death on wings. Talons and claws enough to make a meal of anything smaller than it is and at least take a hurried snack out of anything bigger.
    And yet the eagle will sit for hours on the crag and survey the kingdoms of the world until it spots a distant movement and then it will focus, focus, Focus on the small shell wobbling among the bushes down there on the desert. And it will Leap…
    And a minute later the tortoise finds the world dropping away from it. And it sees the world for the first time, no longer one inch from the ground but five hundred feet above it, and it thinks: what a great friend I have in the eagle.
    And then the eagle lets go.
    And almost always the tortoise plunges to its death. Everyone knows why the tortoise does this. Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off. No one knows why the eagle does this. There’s good eating on a tortoise but, considering the effort involved, there’s much better eating on practically anything else. It’s simply the delight of eagles to torment tortoises.
    But of course, what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a very crude form of natural selection.
    One day a tortoise will learn to fly.”
    – Terry Pratchett, Small Gods.

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  13. another reason for people to fear mutants is because by being the next step in evolution they make homo-sapiens the inferior race and the ones which will eventually die out….. i much prefer the x-men to all the other super hero sh*t, radioactive spider? gamma rays? x-men have way more dimension than most comic book heroes

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  14. All of the XMen are like totally teh ghey compared to John Wayne! He’d just blast ’em with his six shooter and then say something extremely cool and that would be the end of the matter. No need for modern “discrimination” and all that. The Duke knew bad when he saw it and he dealt with it himself. He didn’t go all sissy and call in the police or anything! The problem we have today is that we don’t have a Duke. All of our Hollywood actors are about 5 feet tall (Leonardo DiCaprio etc.), and could easily be defeated with one back hand from Wayne and totally humiliated with a cool turn of a phrase at the same time!

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  15. Always preferred Nick Fury and his Agents Of SHIELD when Steranko ruled supreme.
    What covert agency wouldn’t want to have Godzilla on call as a free lance agent?
    The X-Men were far more interesting when there were more questions than answers.
    Once Henry McCoy morphed into the blue furred Beast, the series went into left field.
    The beginning of too much back story. Not enough kicking bad guy’s backsides.
    Another reason why I like what Stan Lee did with Don Pendelton’s ‘The Executioner’
    Creating Frank Castle as a comic friendly version of Mack Bolan.
    Though, I’d love Mack to have his own comic, since his recent paper backs read like one.

    Jack.

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  16. One version of the X-men backhistory had that that Celestials (megapowerful and smart superaliens) implanted an X gene in humanity that would be triggered by the presence of radiation (a-bombs in the air.)

    Which means Stan Lee is a Creationist pretending to be an Evolutionist.

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  17. I always thought the Dirty Mutie thing was a off span of the civil rights movement, not some gay thing. Even though they have had ambiguously gay characters.

    All comic books go through their rough patches. Depends on the writer. When the Punnisher was screwed up by some “Edgy new writer” who thought it was a good idea to give Frank Castle the powers of an angel, Marvel had to bring in Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon to fix it.

    Usually that’s how you can tell if it will bee a good series. If one of your favorite series sucks for a year, and they switch writers, Usually means this person will do a better job. It’s how I became a fan of Gail Simone after she cleaned up the Deadpool series. Wish someone would do that with the mostly crappy Marvel movies. Especialy the X-Man and Wolverine series.

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  18. Hi, BigRichard:

    I like what DC with Batman and his ‘Year One’ retro-spree. Also, the ‘Cataclysm/No Man’s Land’ series that brought back the Cassandra Cain ‘Batgirl’. Only to crash and burn with the ‘Gang War’ series that brought about the terrible ‘Spolier/Robin’ and an end to Batman’s Private Harem.

    I agree, Writers do make a difference. Jim Steranko revitalized Nick Fury and SHIELD and Frank Miller brought Daredevil into his own ages ago.

    ‘Egde’ rarely works with characters that already have it. Which leads me to believe that the ‘new’ Superman and Wonder Woman will tank and be ‘re-invented’ within a year.

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  19. Early on the Avengers did that whole, “Oh we’re so hated and feared” whining bit too. I tried to read those in reprints, and gave up due to suckage.

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