By Arturo R. García
For me, the aura around Marvel’s X-Men franchise took a hit this year, thanks to the raceFAIL that derailed the otherwise enjoyable X-Men: First Class. After all, playing up a group of heroes as surrogates for the marginalized when they’re almost entirely white, cis-hetero folks was more far-fetched than any bit of sci-fi on the screen.
There’s something similarly problematic undercutting this year’s big story in the X-Men comic books, Schism. Much like First Class, Schism isn’t a bad superhero story so far, per se, but its’ focus on the team’s internal politics only highlights how Marvel’s creative process has done “too good” of a job of marginalizing mutantkind, both as a collection of characters and as any kind of representation of diversity.
Spoilers for Schism and other X-stories under the cut.
By The Racialicious Team
Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised at all.
Maybe it was too much to expect X-Men: First Class to show any less of a tone-deaf sensibility than Heroes. Matthew Vaughn, the director, warned us as much:
We talked about race issues because they say X-Men was based on Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, but I think I had enough political subtext in this movie. We’ve already discussed in the next one, does the civil rights movement become part of … But that’s a real hot potato as well, still, so we decided to stay clear. You can only put so much in one film, so, the sequel …
I don’t know. I don’t like talking about sequels because the film could tank and then there won’t be one.
So there you go, everyone. Meanwhile, Arturo and Andrea retraced their initial impressions, and expanded on more reasons why this film can’t be considered more than a well-intentioned failure. Spoiler-riffic discussion under the cut.