ByPhoenix Garrett-Shanklin, writer at
Coffee gives me superpowers. Loves to chat about comics, superheroes and movies--while on a caffeine high.
Phoenix Garrett-Shanklin

You can call them “freaks” or you can call them “outcasts.” But, “The Children of the Atom”, famously known as the “X-Men”, have always been the “black sheep” of the Marvel-verse. The X-Men are denied the same privileges and perks of everyday life that their fellow super-human counterparts, the Fantastic 4, Iron Man & Spider-Man all have. In the hypocritical world of media, it is “favoritism” and “idolization” for the entire latter. But, to the X-Men, its “prejudice” and “hatred.”

But in reality, these are the same people who’ll call Kathy Griffin a “media whore”, while celebrities who make out these distinctive characteristics, are showered in the luxury that they do not deserve. Like I said, the media can be hypocritical. But, I digress. Sure, Peter Parker (Spider-Man) has “Girl Problems”. He couldn’t keep Mary Jane Watson off his case about being late for a date. Millionaire Tony Stark (Iron Man) is a pussy-hound who has a problem with the “sauce”, while Bruce Banner needs anger management. I wouldn’t want to see him pissed about having to deal with high gas prices.

But, the X-Men are always the center of every conspiracy theory that wrecks our government. Hypothetically speaking, if reality coincided with Marvel’s reality, A Shape-shifter like Mystique could get away with “identity theft” by shape-shifting into any of her victims. Or someone who has the power of Professor X can commit a bank robbery without ever leaving their home…or wheelchair. See the damage behind being a mutant? It’s a pretty lousy job, the X-Men have. In a world where intolerance is at an “All time high”, the X-Men have tried to live their life, by the book. Their goal is to send a message about tolerance—despite the masses of human detractors who fear and hate them. Drama follows the X-Men everywhere they go.

The morally PC Professor Charles Xavier (Professor X) is a philanthropist and headmaster of the “School for gifted youngsters” (Mutant High). However, this is no ordinary school. In fact, it’ll even out-beat any celebrity’s pads from MTV Cribs. In addition, the X-mansion also serves as the X-Men’s headquarter. Prof. X is often compared to the late Martin Luther King Jr.; Xavier tries to play it safe about his initiatives—whether it may be naïve or arbitrary to others. Couldn’t the guy just use his vast telepathic abilities to brainwash the entire masses into changing their perceptions on mutants? No. That would be what he calls “immoral mutant ethics,” which is NOT his way to handle things.

Millions fear the thought that such mutants like Xavier can willingly control your thoughts and actions, as if you were some puppet. In fact, it would be the perfect indication that the humans need to prove that mutants are dangerous to the populace of humanity— which is what Chuck X is trying NOT to prove. The same is taught to his students, mutants in all shapes, sizes & appearances. Leading his pupils are Cyclops, Storm, Phoenix & Wolverine.

These men and women are his enforcers, his students, and his children, all of which he has either cared for since childhood, or have given them shelter from the outskirts of the world. Their loyalty to him is based on the response of Xavier’s leadership, commitment and nobility toward his fellow man: human or superhuman alike. the rescue!! the rescue!!

Professor X’s rival, former ally and leader of the Brotherhood, the enigmatic mutant Eric Langsherr goes by the codename Magneto. He is a man who can control a vast majority of metallic elements. However, Langsherr had always reacted towards the human’s prejudice against mutants as an “Extinction Level event,” setting off a problematic “fight-to-the-death” war. The fallout is the genocide of humans, despite the implication of mutant sacrifices. As the saying goes: “Live by the sword, you die by the sword.” Magneto, has often been compared to “Malcolm X” in regards to his tactics, which bears an “any means necessary” strategy. He will fight dirty, if he has to. With either deadly tactics if needs be. He’s an extremist, often depicted as a dictator or megalomaniac.

He's one angry dude, isn't it?
He's one angry dude, isn't it?

However, he’s also a victim of circumstances. A former Holocaust survivor, Langsherr was dealt with the hand of human hatred during the times spent in Germany’s human concentration camps during the years of Hitler’s reign. Living his childhood in the rancid concentration camps where the pungent smell of death filled the air. As most prisoner of prejudice, numbers were burned on his wrist. To him, it is a constant reminder of his horrific ordeals. But he’s vowed that it’ll never happen again, to let history repeat itself.

He's not playing around, folks.
He's not playing around, folks.

But, it's quite clear that both the X-Men and Brother-hood factions have no mutual understanding towards dealing with indifference. However, these issues that are fictionalized in the flat pages of the comics, are reflections of real life issues. The "X-Men" have taught us the valuable lesson that being different isn’t crime of humanity. The crime is how our fellow humans are not tolerant of difference. We’re taught to except ourselves for being different, and that we should not be at fault for that. And as for me personally, my life is pretty parallel to that of these heroes. God, if there’s one thing I have said about the X-Men, is that they are people I relate to.

Even though having super-powers is out of the question, I’ve often felt isolated for being “different”. Which, is what the X-Men reminds everyone about. Being different isn’t always a negative aspect. To these fictional characters, I send an Ode to you, to thank you for being my unlikely role-models. Despite their love-hate-relationship with the public, they’re heroes and their belief in the “dream” is just as inspirational. You’re different for a reason: genetically, religiously, or traditionally. But, you’re still human. And even though the X-Men are different “genetically”, they’re still human.

Give me your feedback. I'd love to know what you guys think, in the comment section, below. - Phoenix DA NERDETTE (@Da_Nerdette)


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