Wednesday, December 14, 2016

For Thursday: Claremont, X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

For Thursday, we'll read our first Marvel comic, and the first comic focusing on a team of superheroes, the now iconic X-Men. In class we'll discuss how Marvel changed the comics game and what made Marvel comics, which ushered in the "Silver Age" of comics, so different and appealing to readers in the 60's, 70's and 80's. Claremont, who wrote many of the classic X-Men comics of the 70's and 80's, was instrumental in creating the mutant persecution storyline which has come to dominate the X-Men films, and also created some of the most iconic mutant characters. However, he has his share of detractors as well, as can be seen in the following 2009 Slate article about Wolverine and Claremont's contribution to his image.

As the article writes, "Under Claremont's purple pen, abusive boyfriends and illegitimate children came crawling out of the woodwork, girlfriends died and their mourning lovers married their look-alikes, who, predictably, also died. Most importantly, he spotlighted the fact that the X-Men were mutants, a persecuted minority in the Marvel universe whose trials and tribulations were thinly veiled commentaries on real-world racism. The slightly insane but entertaining zenith of this cheesy melodrama was the 1985 publication of the graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills, a morality play about racial discrimination in which passages from the Bible are quoted and the leader of the X-Men, Professor X, is crucified on top of the World Trade Center."

You can read the article here:

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