THE X-MEN IS MY FAVORITE COMIC TEAM OF ALL TIME!
I have said a number of times that I am an ardent X-Men fan. People often ask, “Why the X-Men?” While I fully agree that most of their comics have not been great lately, and their movies have not been good for years, I am still a fan. So, I’m going to explain the points that make me a fan and my favorite parts of it.
By now, it isn’t a secret that the X-Men are often a racial allegory; a minority is put upon by forces that either want to exploit or eradicate them. The X-Men are obviously different since segments of their species have enough power to level cities, if not planets. However, the messages are consistent. Furthermore, the two constants in the X-Men’s stories is that we should not look down upon those who are different. And, fear divides humanity.
The first message is pretty easy to pick up on when Marvel’s mutants are preyed upon by characters who either want to destroy them, like the Purifiers and Reavers. Or, harvest them, such as Mister Sinister.
The second message of fear dividing humanity is less obvious, because it is in the divided factions within mutants. Although, Magneto may try to separate mutants from, it is because he has memories of his family being killed by fearful humans and he fears what could happen to his people at the hands of more short-sighted people. So, the same lesson can be derived from humans attacking mutants for their potential, not their actions.
While these moral lessons are not in the forefront of every X-Men story, they are the cornerstones the on which the X-Men’s actions are based. Also, their messages resonated with me as a kid growing up. I am half African-American. I tend to feel racial divides, and the X-Men’s allegory helped me get focus on why people treated me differently and what kind of heart I would need to get past derision.
The X-Men’s messages care applicable to all kind of minorities, from race to gender to sexuality.
MY FAVORITE X-MEN STORY
The Dark Phoenix Saga is the story that really put them on the map. I’m sure people of my generation gravitate to the early New Mutants or X-Force . I like to be a bit different. My favorite story of the X-Men is the first couple of volumes of X-Factor by Peter David in 2005. It took several characters- who didn’t work with the central X-Me-n and made stars out of nearly every one of them. It is also a tale of extraordinary people trying to live more mundane lives than those who put on masks and capes. David even had a story where he had a therapist talk to each one to measure their trauma.
Even thoughI love superhero tales, it is terrific world building to see how they would adapt to actual normal day to day life.
FAVORITE CURRENT X-MAN
The X-Man who is the most consistently entertaining to me is Domino. She has almost always had a devil-may-care take on life and can bring levity to very dire situations.
With her training and her luck altering powers, she is both lucky and good. Because of her sharp mind, Domino tends to be a couple steps ahead of her opponents.
FAVORITE X-MAN EVER
My favorite X-Man is featured on a cover of Classic X-Men (reprints of old stories at a discounted price). Colossus stood tall on a pile of bodies surrounded by energy. I had to know what was in that comic.
As I read, I discovered Colossus’ respect for life and his desire not to cause any pain. That resonates with my beliefs and I found a kindred spirit. Though there was a period where he went with Magneto and become one of his Acolytes. Personally, that’s not my style.
BEST X-MEN STORY FOR NEW READERS
If you want to read more about these characters, a good place to start would be X-Men Red. The series has some of the first X-Men and later characters, in addition to one brand new one in its roster.
I think the tale in it mirrors a lot of what we are dealing with globally today. Additionally, you don’t need to have intrinsic knowledge of the X-Men to enjoy it.
In the meantime, please check out our latest comic reviews, the Case Files, and our latest comic news podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!