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X Men: Marvel's Message For Equality Essay

1957 words - 8 pages

In the world of comics, two main publishers dominate: DC Comics and Marvel Comics. DC Comics promotes superheroes such as Batman, a vigilante who began fighting crime solely to avenge the untimely death of his parents. He possesses no unique superhuman ability, other than a substantial fortune inherited from his late parents. Yet, the public in the Batman comics still adore their hero. In contrast, Marvel Comics promotes superheroes such as the X-Men, a team of superheroes who possess the X-Gene, a DNA mutation that gives each member a different ability. Under the leadership of Professor X, this team fights to protect their world from evil. Despite the many accomplishments of the X-Men, society persecutes them. In fact, when the X-Men first try to recruit Wolverine, he refuses: "Be an X-Men? Who the hell do you think you are? You're a mutant. The world out there is full of people who hate and fear you and you're wasting your time trying to protect them?" (Housel 140) Because the people view the X-Men as mutants, not humans, they refuse to treat them as equals. Consequently, Marvel's comic series X-Men discusses the philosophical dichotomy of equal human rights versus discrimination, revealing that everyone deserves human rights even if they are different.
In the simplest of terms, human rights are those that undoubtedly belong to each person. These rights, from a philosophical standpoint, have certain characteristics that distinguish them from any other. According to Richard Wasserstrom, author of the article, "Rights, Human Rights, and Racial Discrimination," human rights embody several characteristics. Primarily, and perhaps obviously, human rights are those that belong solely to humans (Wasserstrom 631). Moreover, Wasserstrom asserts, "Because [a human right] is the same right that all human beings possess, it must be possessed equally by all human beings" (Wasserstrom 631). Thus, human rights promote equality, free of discrimination or exclusion. Similar to the second characteristic, Wasserstrom's third characteristic of human rights states, "[Human rights] constitute the strongest of all moral claims that men can assert" (Wasserstrom 632). These rights not only promote strong ethics but also makes them a responsibility of all those who possess them.
Throughout the series, Professor X and his team of X-Men symbolize Wasserstrom's characteristics of human rights. Of course, critics will argue mutants do not represent human rights, claiming mutants are not humans. This would contradict Wasserstrom's first qualification of such rights. However, Professor X refutes this argument, explaining, "Mutation . . . is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism to the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow . . . but every few hundred millennia evolution leaps forward" (Irwin 280). The X-Gene, or X-Men mutation, simply represents another form of human evolution. In fact, many people have mutated...

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