The Inhumans used to be one of the more fascinating minor oddities of the Marvel Universe; ultimately only about as important as the Atlanteans or Monster Island, but just as pleasingly weird. With Medusa's magnificent hair, Gorgon's thunderhooves, and Black Bolt's mute power in a world of chatty heroes, they were deservedly called 'uncanny' back when the X-Men were still a preppy study group.
But the Inhumans have become the "fetch" of the Marvel Universe; the more Marvel tries to make them happen, the more certain it seems that they never will. What makes the Inhumans' rise especially hard to accept is that it seems directly tied to the fall of the mutants. Today's X-Men are comics' most significant icons of otherness, and treating them as interchangeable with another set of outsiders is dehumanizing on a whole new level.
The X-Men did not have an openly LGBT team-member for almost their first forty years of publication. This was primarily an egregious act of self-censorship on Marvel's part, but it may actually have helped strengthen mutants as a queer metaphor. Where LGBT people couldn't be part of the X-Men's text, the experiences of LGBT people came to dominate the X-Men's subtext.
In the third of three essays examining the parallels between fictional mutants and real life LGBT people, I'll look at how the mutations themselves -- and the identity struggles of many X-Men characters -- served to underline the essential queerness of mutants.
Mutants as a metaphor for real minority groups are an awkward fit for a number of reasons. First of all, mutants are actually dangerous. Second, a lot of mutants have good cause to reject their identity. Third, and perhaps crucially, mutants don't have a shared culture like real minority groups.
Of course, people have said all of those things about LGBT people as well. In the second of three Pride Month essays exploring mutants as a metaphor for queer identity, I'll look at how mutants are actually a perfect metaphor for the sort of dangerous myths used to marginalize LGBT people.
Mutants, Marvel Comics' best known superhuman minority group, have long served as an imperfect analogue for real world minority struggles and injustices, from the concentration camps of Days of Future Past to the segregationist society of Genosha.
Yet it's when X-Men stories are not trying so hard to draw parallels that they come closest to representing the experiences of one particular marginalized group. In the first of three essays in observance of LGBT Pride Month, I'll look at the special resonance that mutants have with LGBT readers, starting with an examination of the X-Men as a representation of queer family and queer community.
If you've ever read Marvel's X-Men comics -- and let's be honest, you have -- you're probably already aware that the central conflict of the story involves the struggle of mutants to gain acceptance in the world of humans that hates and fears them...
Now that Hasbro's Marvel Universe line has had a few years to amass dozens of X-Men, there's never been a better time to find creative ways of (pretend) wiping them from the face of your favorite shelves...
"X-Men" co-creator Stan Lee is set to re-explore the world of mutants - or, at least regular people with genetic gifts. The History channel has tapped Lee to co-host "Stan Lee's Superhumans" with David Browning Smith a...
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