Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday Comics: X-Communicating the X-Men

The X-Men comics are the most anti-Christian mainstream comic franchise.

I say this as someone who has hundreds of X-related comics and was one of the suckers who bought every single variant copy of X-Men #1 back in the 1990's.

It all started with the graphic novel "God Loves, Man Kills" from 1982.  This was writer Chris Claremont's send up of the televangelists as Reverend Stryker called for the extermination of mutants in the name of God.  As a one shot story, it was an interesting read and could be read as simply an attack on religious zealotry in general.

But things have not gotten better.  I have written before about how one widely published X-Men comic began with the sentence, "More people have died in the name of religion than have ever died of cancer; and we try to cure cancer."  The story inside ended with dozens of mutants being crucified by religious zealots.

And then there is the movie X-Men: Apocalypse.  I did not see this film, so I cannot speak with certainty regarding its content.  But the main reason I did not was because the trailer had the main villain claim to be the God of the Bible without any kind of push-back or clarification.

This brings us to today's release of Iceman #1.

As an aside, this is a character who has been transformed by modern Marvel in ways that don't make sense.  He is a character who writers have decided has always been gay.  I wrote extensively about DC turning Alan Scott gay in their Earth-2 book a number of years ago.  In that case I had no real objection because it was a rebooting of the character and that universe with a clean slate.  But with Iceman they simply ignored everything about him for the last half-century for the sake of some strange reason.  I am waiting for them to tell us that Storm has been a transgendered man all this time.

Anyway, my main gripe is not that Iceman is gay.  The problem is that in his solo comic the purifiers are back.  And if the idea of them being religious bigots who hate mutants and gays is too subtle, the main bad guy is wearing a mask with a Christian cross on it.

I'm sorry, but for a book that prides itself on sharing a message of tolerance and diversity, it paints in bigoted broad strokes the entire Christian faith.  If this was one isolated incident from one idiosyncratic writer, I would likely shrug and let it go.  But this has been consistent.

I do not need my comics to be overtly Christian nor do they always need to portray Christians in a positive light.  But X-Men goes out of their way to associate the faith with evil, and that I cannot abide.

Some may object and say that Nightcrawler is a Catholic X-Man, but I would argue that his faith is looked at as quaint but ultimately unsubstantial to the other X-Men.

At this point, I think I am done with anything X-related.  I would not call for a boycott on the book.  Everyone should make that judgment on their own.  But I can no longer support such bigoted attacks on my faith.  If they want my dollars, they will have to earn my trust again.


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