X-Men

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The X-Men are a fictional team in the Marvel-Comics universe.

It was too close. It had only been a few years since the assassinations. In a way, it seemed like that would be too raw. My resonance to Magneto and Xavier was borne more out of the Holocaust. It was coming face to face with evil, and how do you respond to it? In Magneto's case it was violence begets violence. In Xavier's it was the constant attempt to find a better way. ~ Chris Claremont
Mutants are all around us. They could be your neighbors. They could be your co-workers. They could be related to you. Gifted with extraordinary powers, they are the next step on the evolutionary ladder. Some use their powers for good; some, for unspeakable evil. One group had dedicated its wondrous abilities to protect mankind, even those who hate and fear them. Known to the world at large as outlaws, they are the X-Men. ~ Chris Claremont
They were meant to emphasize the conflict between people who felt that we've got to all work together and find a way to get along, and people who feel, 'We're not treated well, therefore we're going to strike back with force! ~ Stan Lee

Comics[edit]

Films[edit]

TV shows[edit]

About X-Men[edit]

I always wanted to get involved in science fiction fantasy, and the notion that Professor Xavier was Martin Luther King and Magneto was Malcolm X, and these were two men who had very strong, decent beliefs, but had taken different roads. And the irony of that, and the moral ambiguity of that, intrigued me. It was a step beyond simple crime-solving, superhero action. It was much more socio-political, and in that way exposed more truth. ~ Bryan Singer
It is as important a serious piece of work as Strindberg or Ibsen. You don’t shortchange the work because it is a comic book franchise for a studio. I think entertaining is a serious business and shouldn’t be taken half-heartedly. ~ Patrick Stewart
  • Mutants are all around us. They could be your neighbors. They could be your co-workers They could be related to you. Gifted with extraordinary powers, they are the next step on the evolutionary ladder. Some use their powers for good; some, for unspeakable evil. One group had dedicated its wondrous abilities to protect mankind, even those who hate and fear them. Known to the world at large as outlaws, they are the X-Men.
  • Only hours ago, it had seemed like just another ordinary day in the life of a kid whose world was falling apart. Her parents were splitting up, and Kitty Pryde herself was being plagued by a series of steadily worsening, skull crushing headaches.
She came home from dance class in time to be introduced to Emma Frost -- It was dislike at first sight.
Her reaction to the X-Men -- when Professor Xavier arrived to try to recruit her for his school for gifted youngsters -- was quite the opposite, Wolverine was spooky, Colossus a real hunk...
And she and Storm became instant friends.
  • If you wanted one book to summarize all that the X-Men is about in terms of character and conflict and theme, I’d have to say that –God Loves, Man Kills- was it. If you could only read one X-Men graphic novel start with that. Because for me the X-Men is not about super heroe’s and super villains it is about people, and how you deal with the challenge of life and the choices you have to make every day...That for me is why Magneto is so important. Xavier is spoke for. He already....he has made his choices. He is a hero. Magneto is a work in progress. He is not evil. He is defined by his past. But that definition drives him to disaster. The question for him is..is he the victim of his destiny or can he change it. Can he grow? I'm not sure, I'd like to think he can.
    • Chris Claremont Ages of the X-Men: Essays on the Children of the Atom in Changing Times, (July 6, 2011), p.100.
  • The actual story line was that Xavier would die in issue #200...and that Magneto would become head of the school [pause] permanently.....But the idea, that goal was built from the death of Phoenix. The hope was to show that this is ... their lives as X-Men have a real risk. This isn't superhero games. This is reality. In reality good guys sometimes do not win and people die. And that has to be part of their lives otherwise it just becomes a video game ... life isn't like that. . And I always thought , my thought was the stories we tell in comics shouldn't be like that either. If there is risk for the reader, then the victory is that much sweeter. And you can, something can happen that can catch you by surprise and can have that much power and heart.
    • Chris Claremont Ages of the X-Men: Essays on the Children of the Atom in Changing Times, (July 6, 2011), p.101
  • [X-Men]is a story about downtrodden, repressed people fighting to change their situation, which I think anybody can empathize with. […] The Jewish situation is the most obvious genocidal example in the human experience. Cambodia is probably the second. It’s something that all of us can relate to and that all of us should relate to (Sanderson, “Claremont Pt. 2” 32).
  • No matter what genres or gimmicks were tried sales kept contracting and contracting [...] Comics needed a miracle and it didn't look like anyone in charge was capable of producing one. Marvel President Arthur Landaus idea of a money making idea was this: create a team of international superheroes representing all the major foreign markets in which he would sell Marvel products.
    • Gerard Jones and Will Jacobs as quoted in Ages of the X-Men: Essays on the Children of the Atom in Changing Times, (July 6, 2011), p.39.
  • With Magneto, whose people were hounded and hunted and almost tortured, he had every right to feel, 'We're trying to help mankind, and they're making us outlaws, and they're persecuting us, we've got to strike back.
  • They were meant to emphasize the conflict between people who felt that we've got to all work together and find a way to get along, and people who feel, 'We're not treated well, therefore we're going to strike back with force!
  • One of the most significant features of the X-Men comic books is that difference is outward and inward, both voluntary and involuntary. By eluding easy classification, mutants resemble Jews. Looking like everyone else, yet perceived as different, they are easily misunderstood. They experience only provisional acceptance and a precarious sense of belonging. The language of those who persecute them is comparable to Nazi rhetoric against Jews (156).
  • The X-men are frequently referred to as the “next step” in human evolution (X-Men: First Class 2011; Gresh and Weinberg 2002, 133). According to Darwin, in order for evolution to occur, an individual must exhibit a variation that makes it better suited to its environment and then that variation must be selected for and passed down to future generations. When that variation has accumulated throughout the species, the species is considered to have evolved. Playing by Darwin’s rules, then, in order for the X-men to be the “next step” in human evolution, they must have a variation, that variation must prove useful in their environment, and that variation must be passed down to offspring. The genetic variation that the X-men have is called the x-gene; presumably the same gene, shared among the X-men but not among normal humans. There are huge problems with this, not the least of which is that an identical gene has appeared simultaneously in individuals who otherwise share very few genes. Furthermore, while Richard Dawkins, celebrated author of The Selfish Gene and authority on genetics, talks at length in about genes for various physical traits and sets of genes for various behaviors, he never once in his body of work mentions the possibility of a gene that has the same protein structure in each individual, but manifests itself in each individual in a radically different way. There is a gene for blue eyes and a gene for brown eyes, but the blue-eye gene will never produce brown eyes. Yet the x-gene is capable of producing invisibility, scales, telepathy, and wings, all with the same protein structure. Even epigenetics, which can account for different physiological manifestations of the same genetic code, cannot produce such a wide variety of traits.
  • Assuming that the X-Men survive long enough to reproduce and care for offspring, very few potential mates are going to be willing to take the genetic risk of mating and producing offspring with them. The comics themselves support this, when the XMen are ostracized from society as “dangerous.” Thus, the X-Men cannot possibly be the next stage of human evolution because their adaptations are neither advantageous, nor likely to be passed down to future generations. However, we buy into the notion that the X-Men are the logical progression of our species because they conform to our notions of evolution as something that follows a progression from simple-structured and simple-minded to physical and mental complexity. Because the variations that the X-Men exhibit are flashy, complex, and, very often, associated with some mystical higher functioning of the brain (such as Xavier’s telepathy and Magneto’s ability to move metal with his mind), they are embraced as the next phase, regardless of environmental pressures or sexual selection. This is where, once again, the idea of a pre-designed evolutionary blueprint for each species comes into play. By discounting factors that influence natural selection, the X-Men comics are presenting a version of “evolution” that is not dependent on natural selection. Rather, evolution will continue creating creatures that are more and more complicated, with more and more interesting brains, because that is the natural trajectory for evolution to follow. Factors such as what is advantageous in their environment or the number of offspring they are able to rear to reproductive capacity are disregarded.
    • Ibid, pp. 9-10.
  • Female comic book characters are often treated as secondary to the main male character whom they assist in their current endeavour. They are often transformed into the Other, objects acted upon by the male character for his own ends through sub-par plot writing, as evidenced by such tropes as the ‘damsel-in-distress’. There have been a few characters treated as active subjects capable of continued growth. X-Men featured both Kitty Pryde and Jubilee as young female characters with complex emotions and desires. Kitty’s desire to be treated as an adult is blatantly expressive of Levinas’ concept of recognition. Their costumes, while occasionally sexualized, are overall more expected with elements that can be loose fitting and functional over showing off their sexuality. The interesting problem is that both of these characters are very young; teenagers in fact. By placing them below the legal and moral age of consent, the publishers essentially free themselves from the expectation of sexualizing them for their readers. They fit into an Otherness that shields them in a way similar to Haraway’s cyborg.
  • ...the idea of a revived "international" X-Men was my idea in 1974, after the company's president, Al Landau, suggested that it would be good to create a group of heroes from different countries we sold comic[s] to. I put writer Mike Fredrich and artist Dave Cockrum on it, with instructions to use a few old X-Men and create a few new ones, and left them to it. I quit the editor-in-chief job not long afterward, so had no further connection with it [...]
    • Thomas Roy , "Re: Follow Up Question." Message to Joseph Darowski.31 October 2013, E-Mail. Ages of the X-Men: Essays on the Children of the Atom in Changing Times, (July 6, 2011), p.44.
  • I always wanted to get involved in science fiction fantasy, and the notion that Professor Xavier was Martin Luther King and Magneto was Malcolm X, and these were two men who had very strong, decent beliefs, but had taken different roads. And the irony of that, and the moral ambiguity of that, intrigued me. It was a step beyond simple crime-solving, superhero action. It was much more socio-political, and in that way exposed more truth.
  • You look at the X-Men movies and it's an allegory for what it's like to be gay, like, if you take the word mutant out of that movie and stick gay in, the movie still works.
    • Kevin Smith, A Complete History of American Comic Books by Shirrel Rhoades p.66

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