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Wednesday, April 03, 2013 

Why should "mutant" suddenly be a negative word for superpowers?


In Uncanny Avengers, Rick Remender's making Havoc claim that he's rather not be addressed with the word "mutant", and that ordinary humans shouldn't call mutants what they are. And Bleeding Cool's making a big deal out of this, as though even a non-corrupted pronunciation of a scientific word should be negative. This writer at Arthouse Cowboy/Ain't it Cool is not impressed:
I disagree that this issue of this particular comic book in any way undermines the general notion of mutants representing minorities, the persecuted, and the oppressed. Moreover, Rich Johnston's implication that this is some sort of demonization of the word mutant is such a crass, overreaching grasp at straws...I'm amazed he got away with this load of crap. Bleeding Cool, as they are wont to do, have manufactured yet another controversy out of thin air, and the rest of the comics blog diaspora has followed along and validated them.
I'd also say this isn't the hubbub BC would like it to be, though if Alex Summers is implying that he doesn't like having superpowers, however they're achieved, that's not the way to go. It's how you use the powers that counts.

Looking and thinking about the material, I'd say that if Remender set out to make a point that we should all be recognized for our color of character and mindset and addressed by our own personal and family names, that's something noble and appreciated. If, as BC is suggesting, "mutant" is altogether negative, then surely "metahuman" is also a bad word altogether. No, what's really bad is when Marvel and DC start running litigious disputes over who can use which word to describe characters born with powers, as they did in past decades.

This is far from the controversy BC would like it to be.

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Uncanny Avengers #5 is taking as much heat from the left as the right. A reviewer at comicsbeat.com complained about Alex Summers being too apologetic and seeking to conform and to fit in. But it seemed to me that Alex was seeking to be judged as an individual, not according to his group or class. That is close to Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. But leftists hate the idea of individual rights, individual responsibilities, or individual anything. Liberalism is all about collectivism. Everyone has to be classified as a member of one group or another, and rights, privileges, and duties are assigned accordingly.

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