It's something that every X-Men fan has thought about - what if I discovered that I was a mutant? What power might I have, and would I use it for good, or (possibly more likely) for evil? Who hasn't dreamed of mind reading, flying, generally having some kind of kick-ass ability that sets them above the rest?
Well, in the style of some of the epic viral marketing campaigns we have seen in recent years, X-Men: Apocalypse has launched two new tumblr sites to capitalize on the fan fascination with the possibility of real mutants.
The Tandem Initiative is a site that claims to be searching for the "genetically gifted" among us, encouraging Tumblr users to submit photos of themselves with the tag #WeAreGifted for a chance to win genome sequencing.
The best part of this campaign is the interactive component; real people submitting real photos (and obviously, a few planted ones including "past winners" to get the ball rolling), letting people indulge in their superhero fantasies. While some of the powers described so far are very out there, like mind-reading and multiplication, the majority are actually new takes on much more realistic talents. Powerlifting, extreme flexibility and animal whispering take center stage.
It's reminiscent of the show Stan Lee's Superhumans, which was a fantastic series, and I love the idea. We may not be at the level that requires Xaviers School For Gifted Youngsters (yet) but isn't it incredible to think that humanity is still evolving, and that we might really be on the way? More than that, as the Queen of Silver Linings, I'm a fan of looking at things in the best possible light - what better light is there than the idea that we could take our quirks and consider them gifts?
On the other side of this incredibly well-considered tumblr campaign is M-Underground, a site that purports to have discovered the secret agenda behind the Tandem Initiative, to "create a rift between humans and the genetically gifted".
The site revolves around a video allegedly taken from the Tandem servers that cobbles together news, interviews and video edited to suggest that mutants are a threat. The other major component of the site is a set of hospital reports and images purportedly from Ted Kennedy's plane crash in '64, claiming that he had a healing factor (way to use a big name!).
I'm not as big a fan of this one as I am of the ''official" Tandem Initiative site, but the implications are fascinating for the film. While the Tandem site on it's own would just be a great way to capitalize on fan fantasies and drum up fresh excitement for the concept of mutants, the second site points toward more of a mutant-registration/mutant v human storyline, similar to what we saw in X-Men: The Last Stand.
It's a common theme in comic books - the fear that "normal" humans have for superhumans, the need for registration, licensing, even the persecution of those who are different. But how could this relate to the Apocalypse storyline? We have already seen a divisive issue like this in the franchise, and I would be shocked if Fox decided to re-hash a previous concept after all the work they did to re-set the timeline.
Could this be something in the background, or building to something bigger? Will the events of [X-Men: Apocalypse](movie:1194267) lead to a cry for registration, or is this a way to further Magneto's journey as the grand villain we all know him as?
What do you think of the sites? Will you be submitting your photo to #WeAreGifted? How does this play in to the plot of Apocalypse? Comment below and let me know!