1) This is a major expansion of a previous blog of mine.
2) Before I start, let me address my credentials. I am a Spider-Man fan. I am such a geek I own over $100,000 of Spider-Man issues. Therefore I speak with authority, and I have a message to all you Batman lovers: get fucking laid.
The perception and common knowledge is that X-men is about racism or McCarthyism, but that is the defensively male-centric point of view. Different era’s produce different messages, and in the 80’s when the book was really clicking, plot lines mostly revolved around romances, escalating into marital issues and in the case of Cyclops and Jean Grey – loss of a child (Issue #200, AKA the Ashley Judd issue). X-Men wasn’t about racism or McCarthyism. X-men was Desperate Housewives with superpowers. The only thing Mutants were hiding from the public was the right for teenage boys to play Barbie.
Right. The lady doth protest too much.
Reality is a tricky thing to demand out of your superhero movies. The problem with asking for versimilitude is that the core superhero logic was designed for the brains of twelve year old boys. Even when the heroes get updated for the modern manchild who can afford $3.99 for a ten minute read, the supposedly complex themes now added to their cartoon origins can become ridiculous. For all the metaphors against anti-semitism X-men can try to infuse, it all gets muddled when you consider that there really are bad mutants trying to take over the world. For all of Xavier’s dreams of equal rights and that humans have no reason to fear mutants and their powers, he does call himself Homo Superior and he spends an awful lot of time trying to protect said human beings from Giant Blobs and crazy shape shifting killers trying to become President by murder. This is the equivalent of a Seinfeld episode in redneck Mississippi where Seinfeld saves their churches while fighting George Costanza, who is hurling bolting flames of World Bank Loans at Christians.