M is for Minority not Mutant : Do Mutants represent Minorities in the Marvel Universe?
We all know the conflict between Mutants and normal people that exist in the Marvel universe whether we read it in our comic books growing up or in the blockbuster X-Men movies on the big screen. But underneath the fictional apartheid is there an undertone reflecting our current social issues?
"The X-Men are hated, feared and despised collectively by humanity for no other reason than that they are mutants. So what we have here, intended or not, is a book that is about racism, bigotry and prejudice."
—Uncanny X-Men writer Chris Claremont
CULTUREDAPPROVED's Frsk Purple already compared Professor X to Martin Luther King Jr, and Magneto to Malcolm X but mutants share more indelible connections to the Civil Rights Movement than adapting its two most recognizable figures as comic book characters. Mutants are often victims to hate crimes, lynching, and mob violence similar to the hardships minority groups have endured for centuries and continue to sufffer. The Sentinels (Robot bounty hunters) are an extreme exaggeration of the lynch mobs of the 1930s and the police officers who sicked dogs on peaceful demonstrators. Also groups such as Friends of Humanity, Church of Humanity and Stryker's Purifiers played major villain roles to The X-Men/Mutants. Genocidial groups masqueradin their heinous discriminatory acts as good for humanity is exactly the Klu Klux Klan's agenda. The goal of all of the parties mentioned was to deny a group of individuals civil rights, liberty and amendments.
Non-mutant humans fear and tend to make mutants feel not "normal" by insisting they must change and find a cure for themselves. Similar to dark skin minorities feeling a need to bleach or lighten their skin tone to fit into "White America". A great example is the opening scene of X-Men: The Last Stand where we see a young Warren Worthington better known as Angel of the X-Men cutting his own wings off so he can be accepted by his mutant hating father.
What happens to the mutants who don't join the X-Men? If you take a look into the stories told by author Grant Morrison about the mutants known as The Morlocks, a group of mutants forced to live in the tunnels of NYC and in abandoned areas of NY because of their appearance and mutant powers make them outcast in normal society. This shows a sub culture that parallels minorities who are forced into dilapidated areas away from the white majority. . The Morlocks' "ghettos" are areas called "Mutant Town."
February is Black History Month, but more than that, it is a reminder that there are stories of ostracized people that have been suppressed but have also been given new life in the form of comics.
We over here at CulturedApproved thank Stan Lee and all the artist and writers who ever contributed to a X-Men comic for bringing real issues , compelling characters and true to life story lines.
Now ask yourself who's your favorite superhero?