…Okay, before anyone sees that title and asks, no, I don’t hate the X-Men in any way, shape, or form. I love the X-Men. In fact, I think it’s that love of the X-Men that helped me realize this issue of mine. See, a few days ago, while discussing the possibility of the X-Men and Fantastic 4 being phased out in terms of importance to the Marvel Universe, I mentioned how, and I quote, “the X-Men’s continued plight as being loathed by humanity becomes more absurd the more you think about it and the more time goes by”. I also mentioned how I’d like to see Marvel Studios come to some kind of deal with Fox to be able to incorporate the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if for no other reason but to have Wolverine potentially join the Avengers for a mission or two. However, looking back on that, I think that would only make the same problem I have with the X-Men in the comics present in the movies. And for those wondering what that is, I will spell it out for you: The X-Men and mutantkind in general being hated and mistrusted by ‘normal’ human beings MAKES NO SENSE when they exist in the same universe as the Avengers, who are seen as the legitimate heroes of Earth. Hell, it doesn’t make any sense when presented in the same universe as ANY superhero team that has super-powered members of any kind. Every excuse I’ve ever heard, be it that they’re too powerful, too different, were ordinary humans changed to be superhuman, can read minds, none of them have any kind of leg to stand on when you really analyze them. And, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to present my evidence in a very simple bulleted list.
- The Avengers have plenty of super-powered individuals that can be seen as being as powerful or more-so than the average mutant. And don’t split hairs with me, you know what I mean by average. The number of mutants that could take Thor or the Hulk in a one-on-one fight are probably a bit on the short side. So, those that fear that mutants are too powerful have clearly never taken a good look at Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
- Members of the Avengers have come not only from various walks of life on Earth, but from different worlds and even whole different realms of existence. And while I’m not saying that people aren’t afraid of Thor for being different, I would go out on a limb and suggest that they are considerably less than the number of people that fear mutants for the same damned reason.
- There exist plenty of superheroes both on the Avengers and other superhero teams (hell, EVERY MEMBER of the original Fantastic 4) who were ordinary humans that were altered, empowered, or transformed in some way, shape, or form that all get free passes from prejudice and hate. Now, granted, there are those that ARE feared and hated, too. Probably the biggest example of such would be the Hulk. However, let’s look at the biggest example of a human being who was changed and became able to perform superhuman feats: Steven Rogers, AKA Captain fucking America. Granted, at the end of the day, he’s still a human being with basic human weaknesses, but he can lift more and run faster than any non-enhanced human being, and can process information quicker than the average person too. And while I wouldn’t wanna make an ass outta you and me, I’m nonetheless going to assume that significantly fewer people fear Captain America than mutants.
- Mutants aren’t the only individuals in the Marvel Universe that possess a form of telepathy. Granted, the list of humans that can use telepathy and aren’t considered mutants is pretty frigging short, and mutants employ several of the best telepaths in the universe, but they aren’t the only ones. Hell, Sam Wilson has a telepathic connection with his fucking bird, and no one raises an eyebrow. Look, I get it, the idea of people able to read our thoughts can be kinda creepy, and there are those in the mutant community that don’t exactly do a great job of diffusing such fears. I’m not even necessarily talking villains here, either. Recently, the time displaced Jean Grey of the past (long story short for those that don’t know, the original five X-Men of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Angel, and Beast were brought to the present and have refused to go back until they fix the mess their future selves made) revealed that Iceman was gay by going into his brain and reading his thoughts without his consent and continued to do so even after he asked her not to. Still, it’s not like that’s a scenario exclusive to mutants. Oh, and speaking of which, I can’t help but notice that Earth in the Marvel Universe has, like the real world, become a place where we’re becoming more accepting of people of different races, religions, orientations, genders, and anything else that could divide us as a species…and yet, mutants, which have been used as a metaphor for all of those things, are still not accepted. That’s a problem. lol
Anyway, I think that pretty much covers most of… … … … …Oh wait, I almost forgot…
Even before the Unity Division, AKA the Uncanny Avengers, X-Men members like Wolverine, Storm, and Beast have joined various incarnations of the Avengers. Hell, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver have been longtime members of the Avengers, and they used to work for the Brotherhood of Mutants. Y’know, the bad guys? Don’t recall that ever being a problem, or if it was, I never heard of it being so.
So, with all of that said, the only conceivable answer I can come up with for why mutants are still loathed and feared in the Marvel Universe when there are people like the Avengers and the Fantastic 4 running around is because humanity is either immensely hypocritically bigoted, or it’s fucking stupid. And, as I’ve said before, if a story only works because the characters involved are morons, the story ultimately fails… … …which, to be perfectly frank, is probably why the X-Men and the struggles of mutantkind being pushed aside a bit in the grand scope of the Marvel Universe, and not being an element of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are good things. And again, I love the X-Men. I love seeing the characters show up and be awesome, and watching them take part in big, epic events to save the world is great. And the stories that focus primarily on them are still good. It’s when I’m asked, in a story involving the Marvel Universe in general, to believe that they’re still despised by humanity in spite of every reason why they shouldn’t be that I find the severe logical problem in storytelling, which is one reason why I REALLY didn’t like Avengers vs X-Men… … … … …And oh God, do I ever dread the day when I’ll have to give my full thoughts on that event. -_-
Anyway, those are my thoughts on that particular subject. Lemme know what you think of it in the comments section below, and be sure to bamf back here the next time I have a random thought about how a comic idea can kinda fail sometimes. Ja né!
Y’know, something that seems to happen a lot in comics is that superhero teams will go through multiple iterations with varying members that switch in and out of the roster. The Justice Society, the Justice League, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Teen Titans, the New Warriors, etc. Now, a word that’s been going around a lot lately is ‘iconic’, specifically as it pertains to individuals bearing legacy hero aliases or variations of superhero teams. Ultimately, though, what it boils down to is which version you think of first. Like, for example, I love the idea of people like Sam Wilson, Miles Morales, and Kamala Khan taking up the names of Captain America, Spider-Man, and Ms. Marvel. Thing is, though, as much as I love it and hope they stick around for the long-haul, unless your first exposure to the Star-Spangled Avenger was the book All-New Captain America, you’re probably gonna think of Steve Rogers first before Sam Wilson. And that is in no way a knock at Sam, it’s just how it is. Steve has now had five individuals who have taken up the shield in varying absences and has always found a way to retake it every time, meaning that in his 74 year existence in comics, he’s spent the vast majority of it as Captain America, and is therefore likely to someday become Cap again. The movies don’t really help much there either, since Marvel always tries to have their comics reflect elements of the movies for the sake of new readers that got into the characters and stories through the movies, except in rare cases. Like, I don’t expect Carol Danvers to become Ms. Marvel again now that she’s got a movie in the works as CAPTAIN Marvel, so Kamala is probably safe in her current role.
Still, that raises an interesting question: Is there a universally accepted definition of who the most iconic versions of heroes and/or members of superhero teams are? Because every comic is conceivably someone’s first, so who knows? Maybe some people’s first exposure to Captain America is the Sam Wilson version? And hey, Free Comic Book Day is meant to get new readers on board with comics, so it’s entirely possible that the first version of the Avengers for some people is the one that debuted there, assuming they don’t watch the movies of course. Likewise, people who don’t read the comics and only watch the movies would think of that team of heroes as the Avengers first and foremost, and would probably be shocked to learn that Captain America wasn’t a founding member, Hulk left within a couple of issues and didn’t return until 2012, and Black Widow didn’t join the team until a full 10 years and 100+ issues into the Avengers’ history.
As such, here’s the question I pose to you all: Who do you think of when you think of the Avengers? Do you think of the original five founding members of Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, Iron Man, and the Hulk? Perhaps Cap’s Kooky Quartet of himself, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch? Maybe the A-Next team from the MC2 Universe, consisting of J2, Mainframe, Stinger, and Thunderstrike? Or maybe you don’t even think of one single version of the team, but rather different members that have been on various incarnations of the team, like Spider-Man, Vision, Wolverine, Luke Cage, or Doctor Strange?
So, basically what I want is for you to list the first five to ten characters you think of when you hear the word ‘Avengers’. Keep in mind, there is no wrong answer here. It all depends on who you think of. List them in the comments section below, and we’ll see who everyone thinks of, and if there are any universally considered iconic members of the Avengers. Ja né!
So, a while ago, I talked about characters I’d love to see make it into the new Marvel Universe when the dust settles and Secret Wars is over. As such, let’s talk a bit about some superhero teams I’d love to see either be a thing or continue to be a thing post-Secret Wars. Now, technically, we already know of one team that’ll exist, as we’ve learned that Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Vision, Ultimate Spider-Man, Iron Man, Nova, and Thor will be teaming up as the All-New, All-Different Avengers. But will that be the ONLY Avengers team? I highly doubt it, honestly. And frankly, there’s at least ONE other Avengers team that exists in the new universe. So, might as well start there. These are the five superhero teams I’d like to see in Marvel Comics post-Secret Wars, starting with the aforementioned Avengers team I’d like to see post-Secret Wars…
Potential Members: Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, Black Widow, Storm, Medusa, Angela, Wasp, Sif
As I’ve said before, a team of Marvel’s greatest superheroines? YES PLEASE! 😀 That said, while I get the feeling the version in Secret Wars will pretty much be damned near EVERY Marvel superheroine, I’m thinking the post-Secret Wars team should be a bit more streamlined. Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, or Storm would all be good choices to potentially lead the team, while the rest of the team should really be varied in terms of powers and walks of life. Of course, Black Widow works great as the least super-powered of the group, Angela or Sif would be good choices for representatives from Asgard, and there should at least be one Mutant and one Inhuman. And of course, there’s always room for long-time Marvel heroines like Wasp or Spider-Woman.
Potential Members: Steve Rogers, Thor Odinson, Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, Sabretooth, Quicksilver, Wolverine
Honestly, I see no reason to put the kibosh on this team. In fact, it might even be to the benefit of those that want to see Steve Rogers and Thor Odinson continue as key players of the Marvel Universe if they rejoined the team. Rogue, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man, and Quicksilver all work as members too. As for Sabretooth, I can see him sticking around, though it may make things awkward if Wolverine DOES, in fact, return from the grave and rejoin his old team, considering their long and bloody history. And speaking of which…
Potential Members: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Havok, Beast, Emma Frost, Angel, Dazzler, X-23, Iceman
Would not shock me if, after Secret Wars, the All-New X-Men are more or less done away with, but that their future selves are influenced by their actions and thus end up in Cyclops’ camp. Would certainly make for an interesting scenario if Jean Grey, back in her adult form, was brought back, and now is on the same team as Cyclops and Emma Frost. Still, hopefully with the reboot, we can start to see Cyclops distance himself from his douchey and at times blatantly evil behaviour and try to make something better of himself. As for the other X-Men, well…
Potential Members: Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, Rachel Grey, Jubilee, Psylocke, Colossus, Pixie, Rogue
As I said before, I’m pretty sure the return of Wolverine is all but inevitable. As such, seeing him return to the X-Men would be a huge plus. And while I showed the logo for Astonishing X-Men, really, it doesn’t HAVE to be. It could be Amazing X-Men and be just fine. And, of course, all the big names in that particular camp of X-Men would be among its roster, though I wouldn’t be shocked to see some of the other students at the mansion and other X-Men join in from time to time. Now, while I would like to see Adjectiveless X-Men continue, there is one OTHER superheroine team I’d like to see get picked back up for the new Marvel Universe…
Potential Members: Valkyrie/Annabelle Riggs, Misty Knight, Dani Moonstar, Warrior Woman, Clea, Elsa Bloodstone, Ren Kimura, Nova (Frankie Raye)
I’m sorry, but I gotta know what the hell next happened with these characters! I haven’t seen them since the book ended, except for Valkyrie, and her appearances (that I’m aware of) didn’t allude to Annabelle or the team at all! Did they stick together? Did they split up? Are they still fighting Caroline and Morgana le Fey? Did Valkyrie, Annabelle, and Red get into some kinda twisted love triangle? Did they eventually end up fighting Galactus like Cullen Bunn wanted? WHAT’S HAPPENING?! lol
Anyway, those are five teams I’d love to see make it into the new universe. Got one that wasn’t here? Lemme know in the comments, and we’ll see what becomes of the Marvel Universe in September. Ja né!