Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Dear X-men

To, 
X-men, 
C/o Professor X, 
Founder, 
Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, 
also known as the X-Mansion,
Westchester County,
New York, 
C/o Stan Lee and Jack Kirby


Dear X-men,

Who would have believed that a new idea could be born even in the midst of a creativity drought! 

There’s a lesson there for those of us who get caught in dead-ends in our lives.

Apparently, Stan Lee wanted to create a new bunch of superheroes but couldn’t seem to come up with great origin stories for them. After all, how often could you ship someone over from another planet, have them exposed to gamma ray explosion or bitten by an insect? The novelty would have begun to wear off after a while. The easiest thing to do was to decree that someone was born that way.

Your name was given to you by Charles Xavier, aka Professor X, who can control and read minds, and who assumes the trouble of banding you together. But X actually stands for the X-gene, the unknown gene that causes mutation, giving you something X-tra that us ordinary humans do not have.

And that’s how you came to be the X-men. Even the women. But actually you are mutants, a subspecies of humans born with superhuman abilities. I was in awe of you. Your ability to eat fire, walk through walls and doors, grow knives right out of your fingers, everything impressed me. And even though I knew that a number of you, or at least the world around, viewed your gift as a curse, I sometimes wished for a radical gift like that.

The makers sometimes got so caught up in the larger story of the X-men versus Magneto, the arch enemy of Professor X, that I felt that they lost the opportunity to make you human. To give you interesting back stories, and to show you struggling in a world that isn’t designed to comfort the likes of you.

What distinguishes you from other mutants is that you are trained by Professor X to fight for peace and equality and to envision a world in which normal humans like me and mutants like you could live in harmony without harming each other. It was a natural aspiration in the “Marvel”ous superhero universe.

What you didn’t count on was the level of difficulty you’d be up against. Don’t you know how much difficulty we have in harmonising with other humans? How could you even think of spiking up the mix with mutants and expect us to swallow it without protest?

But in doing so, you discovered the larger goal of fighting against prejudice and racism, the lust for power and the struggle of good against evil.

In recruiting mutants from around the world, the stage was set for introducing multi-cultural hues and philosophies, and for making the canvas of your world far more expansive than it was. And that too was a good thing.

Sometimes I wonder if there are mutants among us, people who keep their gifts under wraps for fear of inviting a backlash of hatred. Maybe there are, and maybe we are all mutants in some form or the other.




4 comments:

  1. That's a scary thought that there are mutants among us. X=men are not my favourites.

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  2. I was wondering what you'd write for X! such an apt post!

    Of course there are plenty of us who keep their gifts under wraps for fear of being ridiculed or due to some complex..

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  3. Great choice. Tonight I get to watch another installment of Agents of Shield. There is a new Sesame Street parody of the Avengers that you might enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHPn5d7wRtk

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  4. Was never a big fan of the X-Men though I have watched the movies. This team reminds me of the comic that I do read, the Legion of Super Heroes. Kind of the same thing but each member comes from a different planet. It was their goal to fight for what was right and to fight Xenophobia at the same time. It worked, I have always been a reader.
    As always, great post.

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