What Makes Those X Men So Darn Great? A Personally Opinionated Paper

2435 words - 10 pages

When many people hear about the X-Men, they think of a silly kid's comic book,but that is not so. X-Men, actually most comic books in general, are a unique blend oftwo classic art forms; drawings, sometimes even paintings, and storytelling. A comic artistmust be able to convey the right mood and feeling for his or her art. They must also beable to fluidly tell a story and fit it all in the allotted number of pages. The stories oftenprobe deep into the human psyche, questioning what is right and what is wrong orshowing human frailty. That is not all. In a series like the X-Men, where there are at leasta few hundred characters, past and present, leading and supporting, even dead and alive,the writer must keep track of a character's experiences and their personality. They mustalso keep track of continuity, making sure they don't contradict past events. This last ruleis only loosely followed sometimes.All in all, a long, ongoing story can be like a soap opera. My favorite example ofthis is "The Summers Family," Which goes a little something like this: There are twobrothers, Scott and Alex Summers, who were orphaned as children when they werepushed from a plane being attacked by an advanced alien race. Their mother died but theirfather went on to become a space pirate.Later, Scott falls in love with Jean Grey, who becomes an omnipotent primal force,the Phoenix, who commits suicide to save the universe from herself. Meanwhile, a badguy has made a clone of Jean named Maddie, who marries Scott. They have a baby,Nathan. Jean returns from the dead, not actually having been the Phoenix, but actually abody template. Scott leaves his family and joins a team of super heroes with Jean andsome other old friends.Well, Maddie becomes a bad guy and apparently dies. Later, the baby, Nate, isinfected by another bad guy with an incurable virus, so he's sent 2000 years into the futurewhere he grows up then comes back to help fight the good fight. Nate was brought intothe future by a group of people pulled together by his "older sister."His older sister is Rachel, who was born in an alternate timeline where almost allthe good guys were dead. Her parents were Scott and the real Jean. She came back toprevent her time from ever happening and ended up about 2000 years in the futurebecause a friend was stuck traveling about in the time stream.Meanwhile Alex feels that he cannot live up to Scott's standards so he constantlytries to escape his shadow. He gets brainwashed into being a bad guy, recovers to lead agroup of good guys, and gets brainwashed again.Great family history, no? Oh yes, there may be another brother aroundsomewhere.The X-Men are all mutants, Homo Sapien Superior, the next evolutionary step forhuman beings, a minority group of people with a genetic quirk, an "X-Factor" that grantsthem extraordinary powers. Some are blessings, like the ability to control the weather orto fly. Some are curses, such as the ability to blast uncontrollably strong beams of...

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