Scott Summers and the X-Men in X-Men '97 trailer

How Are All These Neckbeards and Republicans Fans of the X-Men? They’re Literally Not For You!

Sometimes, the men with patchy beards overflowing onto their necks (you know, the ones who champion ComicsGate) say the most baffling and least self-aware things. Like how they don’t want the X-Men to be “woke” in X-Men ’97. Yes, those X-Men. Guess they just never paid attention to the story!

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Let us look at what comics legend Chris Claremont said about the X-Men in 1982. “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.” This makes sense since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were inspired by the Civil Rights movement to create the superheroes.

Lee spoke to The Guardian in 2000 where he said “I couldn’t have everybody bitten by a radioactive spider or zapped with gamma rays, and it occurred to me that if I just said that they were mutants, it would make it easy. Then it occurred to me that instead of them just being heroes that everybody admired, what if I made other people fear and suspect and actually hate them because they were different? I loved that idea; it not only made them different, but it was a good metaphor for what was happening with the Civil Rights Movement in the country at that time.”

Why is all of this important? Because those Republicans/alt-right voices trying to take over the comic universe have been loudly screaming that they don’t want these characters to be turned into some “woke” thing. Uh … have you … met the X-Men?

The definition of “woke” according to Merriam-Webster is “aware of and actively attentive to important societal facts and issues.” So, kind of what the X-Men always were.

These clowns never understand the things they claim to love

The point is that the origins of the X-Men are connected to injustice and function as a metaphor for any marginalized community. So when men yell into the void angrily about inclusion and diversity, they are missing the entire fucking point of the X-Men franchise.

There have been allegories to HIV/AIDS in Marvel comics history, amongst many more connections to complex human rights issues. What I am trying to say is that acting like the X-Men are suddenly “woke” is laughable. What you’re telling me is that you never paid attention to the X-Men.

And yet all these clowns watched X-Men ’97‘s trailer and made comments about how they hope it is good and not “woke.” They’ve become enraged because Morph is non-binary, which makes sense given the history of the X-Men. They are so loud yet so wrong.

You can own as many action figures as you want, but if you don’t understand what these characters are trying to teach you, you have wasted your breath and time posing as a fan.

(featured image: Disney+)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.