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Tuesday, June 09, 2020 

When heroes act like villains

In this post by AJ Glickson explaining what the whole Comicsgate campaign is about, he makes an interesting observation about what the X-Men are like now:
Comics writers have changed lots of characters to make them more PC. Carol Danvers went from being called Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel. She was given a square jaw and a flat body, and her long blonde hair changed to a short cut. Male characters are made to look weak and effeminate. Female characters must be heroes, not villains. Then the heroes start acting like villains. This is especially evident with the X-Men, who went from fighting for acceptance and friendship with nonmutants, to basically creating an ethnostate on the living island, Krakoa.
I'd thought this was a poor direction before, to have the X-Men otherwise isolate themselves from the rest of the world, rather than co-exist and reside with populaces lacking superpowers. First, Magneto takes up this kind of residence on Genosha island, and now, Xavier decides his direction is better, just so they can all undergo internal squabbles or worse. It's another example of what's gone wrong with superhero comics if they avoid making use of civilian co-stars.

And that's why Jonathan Hickman's run is basically overrated, just as retconning Moira MacTaggart into a mutant is contrived and cheap.

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Most mutants come from non-mutant families, so a mutant nation calls for them to turn their back on a lot of their life and identity. But I don't think it makes them into super-villains. The Americans who went to Liberia rather than accept a diasporic identity and struggle made a choice; it wasn't the most popular choice, but it was not a villainous one either. And unlike the people who talk the most about ethnostates, some of the extremist far-right white nationalists, the mutants are leaving to create a multi-ethnic mutant nation, not dreaming about ethnically cleansing the home they grew up in; they are not acting like villains, unless there is a lot worse in the comics than Glickson describes.

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