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The Army Is Using X-Men: First Class As a Recruiting Tool
by Jamie Frevele | 4:01 pm, May 29th, 2011
First, a caveat: It’s Memorial Day weekend, and we’re in no way saying anything disparaging about our men and women in uniform. That said, this is an article about the United States Army using X-Men: First Class as a recruiting tool, telling future recruits that joining the Army is as glorious as being a mutant. That’s the Army — not known for its unconformity — using the X-Men — known fairly well for their unconformity — to recruit soldiers — who are probably expected to conform to Army regulations and rules. And not just that, but the X-Men don’t exactly think that highly of the Army, at least not in X-Men: First Class.
Before we wonder why they didn’t go with Captain America as their Marvel summer blockbuster hero of choice, let’s take a look at the Army’s campaign on Facebook:
On that Facebook site are several advertisements for the movie, video clips, and trailers alongside a pitch to future soldiers that their tasks are similar to those undertaken by the X-Men’s mutant heroes:
“Heroes. Ordinary people discover they can do extraordinary things. With unique talents and strengths, they stand together as an elite class. It’s more than a uniform. It’s the chance to be part of something bigger than you ever imagined … There’s strong and then there’s army strong.”
Very true: every soldier has something unique to bring to the Army. Also true: this is a very nice way to spin this. But as Bleeding Cool points out, the X-Men generally don’t look upon the Army quite as positively, particularly in the very movie the Army is campaigning with:
In X-Men: First Class, the US armed forces are portrayed as loyal, dedicated but ultimately mindless [automatons], doing the bidding of politicians no matter what the consequences, taking the world to the brink of nuclear war, and attacking mutants. And at one point there is a comparison between their actions and the Nazi soldier excuse “I was only following orders.”
Well, that’s awkward. The Army is either asking recruits to compare themselves to the mutants that the Army attacks in the movie they’re promoting, or to look not to the Army, but at antagonists of the Army. Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?
And seriously, why did they not choose Captain America for this? We’re conducting a war on terror, and they didn’t go with the guy who defeated Nazis and punched Hitler in the face? They went with the characters who compared the Army to Nazis?
Again, we’re not trying to say bad things about the Army on Memorial Day. But their marketing department could have seen the movie first.
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