Tag Archives: X-men comics

What Recent X-Men Comics Can Teach Us About Present (And Future) Politics

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Trying to make sense of politics is like trying to understand quantum mechanics while stoned. The process of governing humanity has always been tricky. Ever since we exchanged our basic hunter/gatherer ways for a more formal system of order, the process has only become more difficult over time. You don’t have to look far to see the complexities and the overall absurdities of politics.

I’ve tried to talk about politics before, albeit with a limited focus on hot-button issues. I never claim to be an expert or an authority on the matter. I’m an aspiring erotica/romance writer. My understanding of politics is as limited as most people who don’t live, work, and breath these issues. Despite those limitations, I still want to make an effort to talk politics in a novel way.

As it just so happens, I’ve come up with just such a way and it involves X-Men comics. Considering how much I’ve written about X-Men and superhero comics in general, this should surprise no one.

More specifically, I want to take the events that have been unfolding in the X-Men comics for the past two years and use it to make sense of the current state politics. I also want to use it to speculate a bit on where these politics might lead us. Again, I am not even close to an expert, but I do believe that art and media have an uncanny way of shining a light on the real world and there are few narratives more uncanny than the X-Men.

The current state of politics, especially in the United States and Western Europe, has been dominated by polarization. More and more, citizens are becoming more tribal. On top of that, people are becoming more divided. That’s not just an anecdote, either. According to Pew Research, the public has become more ideologically split over the past 20 years and it’s only getting worse.

Rather than try to make sense of these decade-long trends, I want to apply it to the politics in the X-Men comics. More than any other superhero comic or franchise, politics are a major driving force for the X-Men, more so than killer robots. Co-creator, Stan Lee, stated that the inspiration for the X-Men was drawn from the ongoing Civil Rights movement that was in full swing in the early 1960s.

Over the years, this idea of mutants being an oppressed minority who were hated and feared for being different has been the driving force behind the X-Men’s story. It is also a big part of what helped them gain such a wide appeal. Some of the X-Men’s most iconic stories come from conflicts inspired by the hate and fear that ordinary humans feel towards mutants.

In the real world, hatred and fear are powerful forces that don’t need killer robots to cause upheaval. Hatred and fear is at the heart of debates surrounding migrants and immigrants. That same hatred and fear is at the heart of the political polarization.

Liberals hate and fear conservatives because they think they want to turn the world into one big plantation ruled by rich, wealthy slave-owners.

Conservatives hate and fear liberals because they think they want to abandon their heritage, punish people for the sins of their ancestors, and micromanage their lives.

In the world of X-Men, humans hate and fear mutants because they think they’re too dangerous, unpredictable, and uncontrollable. On top of that, if they truly are a new species, then that means their survival means humanity’s extinction.

The parallels aren’t perfect, but they are there. Mutants aren’t just a metaphor for any minority who has been oppressed, segregated, and denigrated. They represent just how divided two groups can be. Constant conflict ensures that hatred and fear will fester. However, it’s the events of House of X and Powers of X that the entire concept of X-Men has gained greater political relevance.

In case you haven’t been following superhero comics, the details of these events are many, but the theme is relatively simple. After years of fighting, running, surviving, and being marginalized because of movie rights, the entire mutant race has decided to reorganize themselves into a new society.

This isn’t some exclusive club or superhero team. With help from Charles Xavier and the powerful foresight provided by Moira MacTaggart, the mutants of the Marvel Universe have united within a new homeland, which happens to be a living island. They also have their own mysterious language that only they understand. They are essentially establishing themselves as a new political entity.

In the scope of the X-Men’s 50-plus year history, the idea isn’t new. There have been multiple efforts over the years to give mutants a homeland. One was called Genosha. One was called Utopia. Both enjoyed some measure of short-term success, but both ended up destroyed or abandoned. The reasons for this aren’t important. What sets them apart from Krakoa is the scale.

To understand it in a real-world context, think of Genosha and Utopia as enclaves within a community. They’re akin to neighborhoods in America or Europe that are predominantly populated by a particular ethnic group or religion. Many are quite successful in their own right. Others have become the sites of atrocities and tragedies.

What the mutants are doing with Krakoa in the comics is something bigger than an enclave. They’re not just seeking to be recognized as a full-fledged country, either. Charles Xavier, the X-Men, and every other mutant is building Krakoa to be a society that can function with or without humanity. It’s not land borrowed from humans. It’s land that’s theirs and theirs alone.

That’s not to say Krakoa operates in isolation, as Wakanda once did. They actually seek to maintain diplomatic relations with the world. They even have valuable resources with which to trade. They don’t have to make these kinds of deals, but under Charles Xavier, they do anyway. It culminates in “House of X #5,” in which Krakoa gains formal recognition by the UN.

This is where the politics of the X-Men comics add some necessary nuance to what we’re seeing in the real world. When people feel marginalized, they tend to feel unwelcome. Even if you are legally an American, a German, an Italian, or a Wakandan, being hated and feared by a large segment of the country makes you feel like you don’t belong.

Between divided polls and America’s colorful electoral map, it’s not hard for anyone to feel out of place. The added polarization provided by the internet, social media, and cable news only adds to the divisions and the animosity. As a result, people naturally retreat into groups and tribes where they feel welcome. Whether it’s a political group, a religious group, or an identity, they seek some form of sanctuary.

In doing so, these groups essentially create their own little world within their community. It’s a world that might as well be a separate reality from what others see. It’s how different people can see the same facts, but have wildly different interpretations. Their brains are still working and the facts are still facts. It’s how they apply them to their world that’s different.

Each group feels they don’t belong. They may even feel victimized. It doesn’t matter if the group happens to make up the vast majority of the population. They still feel like they’re the ones under attack, not unlike the X-Men when they constantly confront fearful, hate-filled humans. They act as though they need to carve their own place in the world and defend it at all costs.

This is where House of X and Powers of X can provide some possible insights into the future of politics. To some extent, Krakoa is a natural byproduct of mutants being hunted, attacked, and denigrated at every turn. They tried isolating themselves on islands. They tried living among humans, sometimes in their most populated cities. Now, they’re trying something bigger.

It’s not exactly peaceful and not everyone understands it, which seems antithetical to Charles Xavier’s dream. However, it’s pragmatic in a very political sense. They have a homeland that they can control. They have barriers for entering and exiting that homeland. Nobody who isn’t authorized can enter it. It’s basically the ultimate immigration control.

On top of that, it has valuable resources that the rest of the world wants. The mutants of Krakoa are willing to share them, but only if they respect their new homeland and treat it like a legitimate country with its own culture, laws, and norms. In a world where people constantly attack others for not respecting their culture or norms, it feels like the ultimate endgame of sorts.

Those who want their culture and way of life preserved will only have more incentive to become more organized. If they keep feeling hatred and fear, they may look for ways to simply function without those they feel don’t belong. People won’t just become more ideologically divided. They may end up more divided in a very literal sense.

It’s the ultimate manifestation of our natural tribal instincts. We seek to join, maintain, and protect our tribe from others, be they real or imagined. It doesn’t matter if there are objective facts that show our tribe is somehow wrong or misguided. We still feel inclined to protect it at all cost.

This era of X-Men comics has been exciting. Writer, Jonathan Hickman, has turned the X-Men from just another superhero team into a blossoming community with its own culture, identity, and borders. As an X-Men fan, I’ve been enjoying it a great deal. As someone in the real world who can’t always avoid politics, it leaves me worried about just how divided we’ll ultimately become.

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New Comic Book Day June 23, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

Between New Comic Book Day and new episodes of “Loki,” Wednesdays have never been more enjoyable. These truly are special times for comic book fans. For years, we just had comics with an occasional superhero movie every other summer and most of those movies involved Batman. Now, thanks to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s an embarrassment of riches on top of the comics we still love.

I feel like this is one of those eras that we’ll look back on years from now as a true golden era. It’s also a time during which long-time fans like me can appreciate just how far comics have come. I’m still old enough to remember a time when comics where a niche market for nerds and geeks. Now, they’re so mainstream that being a nerd or geek might as well be a term of endearment.

That growth has definitely helped comics in many ways. Now, they feel like a proving ground of sorts. This is where you’ll get your first taste of something that may one day make it onto the big screen. This is where we first met Kamala Khan. This is where we first met Spider-Gwen. Who knows what iconic character will debut next?

This is why fans like me get up at 4:30 a.m. every Wednesday to enjoy a new stack of comics. It’s also why these past few years have made that experience so much more rewarding. It’s not just the comics themselves that bring so much joy. It’s the entire world they open up.

If you’ve enjoyed the latest episode of “Loki,” try giving some comics a read. That’ll help tide you over until the next episode. To that end, here’s my pull list and pick for the week. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Action Comics #1032

Amazing Spider-Man #69

Batman/Superman #19

Captain Marvel #29

Gamma Flight #1

Grimm Fairy Tales #49

Harley Quinn #4

Heroes Return #1

Justice League #63

Marvel’s Voices: Pride #1

Power Rogers #8

Red Sonja #28

S.W.O.R.D. #6

Silk #4

Star Wars: Darth Vader #13

Superman #32

Way Of X #3

Wolverine #13

Wonder Woman #774

X-Men Legends #4


My Pick Of The Week
Heroes Return #1

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New Comic Book Day June 16, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

I’ve always been an early riser. However, that’s not necessarily a habit by choice. When I was a teenager, I had to be up at 5:00 a.m. just to catch the bus to school. I lived on one of the worst bus routes in the district in that we were the first to get picked up. That meant it was often still dark out.

Waking up that early sucked for the most part. I was already an angsty teenager prone to misery and being so groggy in the morning didn’t help. That said, getting into that habit did have some perks. It certainly helped me later on in life when I began working. However, it really showed its value when comics started coming out digitally every Wednesday morning.

Suddenly, I wasn’t getting up that early out of habit. I had a damn good reason to be up at 5:00 a.m. That incentive definitely grew once I got an iPad. Now, I could just slip out of bed, grab my iPad, and indulge in a stack of digital comics before putting on any underwear. It’s a magical feeling.

That feeling is only more magical during weeks like this. Sometimes, just by sheer luck of release schedules, there’s a glut of awesome new comics, including some major event books and one-shots. There’s Heroes Reborn, the Hellfire Gala, and the wedding of Dr. Doom. That’s a lot to take in, especially in the early morning hours. Since I’m an early riser, I like to think I’m more equipped than most take it all in.

I know not everyone is up this early. I honestly envy the ability to just sleep in on a whim. If you’re a comic fan, though, some things are worth getting up this early for. When you see some of the books that came out this week, you’ll understand. Here’s my pull list and pick. After some of these books, I doubt you’ll be groggy. Enjoy!


My Pull List

BRZRKR #3

Catwoman #32

Fantastic Four #33

The Flash #771

Heroes Reborn #7

Heroes Reborn: Weapon X & Final Flight #1

The Mighty Valkyries #3

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #27

New Mutants #19

Nightwing #81

Planet-Sized X-Men #1

Star Wars #12

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1

Venom #200

Static: Season One #1

X-Corp #2


My Pick Of The Week
Planet-Sized X-Men #1

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New Comic Book Day June 9, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

When I was a kid, I had an exceedingly limited budget for comics. Even though they were cheaper years ago, the cost did add up. My love of comics was just that strong. Most of the time, that meant saving every penny I earned through allowances, chores, or birthday cards. Then, I had to basically look at a wall of comics and agonize over which to choose.

As a kid, it taught me a lot about managing a personal budget. That served me very well later in life. It also helped me appreciate the money I earned later on. These days, I don’t have to be quite as stingy with my comic book budget. That’s not to say I splurge every week. There are some books that I hold off on buying until a graphic novel compilation comes out. That’s just not as necessary as it used to be.

I imagine that if digital comics were around when I was a kid, I would’ve struggled even more to manage my comics budget. I like to think I’m fairly disciplined. I’m not sure that discipline would stand in the face of having unlimited comics at my fingertips through Comixology. In that sense, I’m glad I’ve managed as well as I have.

To those who are on a tighter budget than me, I hope my weekly pull lists help you make the most of every dollar you spend. There’s a time and a place to splurge on comics. The key is knowing when that time is and what to splurge on. I’m not saying this week is one of those times, but given the ongoing events across multiple major franchises, I can’t say it isn’t.

I’ll let you be the judge. Here is my pull list and pick. Please spend wisely, but if you need to splurge, I totally understand. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Amazing Spider-Man #68

Batman: The Detective #3

Children of the Atom #4

DC Pride #1

Detective Comics #1037

Excalibur #21

Heroes Reborn #6

Heroes Reborn: Night-Gwen #1

Iron Man #9

The Joker #4

Justice League: Last Ride #2

Mighty Morphin #8

Spider-Man: The Spider’s Shadow #3

W.E.B. Of Spider-Man #1

Wonder Woman #773

X-Men #21


My Pick Of The Week
X-Men #21

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Inhumans vs. X-Men: Anatomy of a Misguided (and Dumb) Rivalry

The following is a video/mini-documentary that I made for my YouTube channel, Jack’s World. I’ve actually been working on this video for quite some time now. I feel it’s finally ready for release. It’s a grand overview, as well as my own personal take, on the brief, but impactful rivalry between the Inhumans and the X-Men. It’s also me making the case that this was a case study in how not to develop a rivalry.

Please note that, while I tried to be fair and objective, I couldn’t help but go off-script in a few areas. Trust me. You’ll know it when you see it. I still try to tell the story of this rivalry in as fair a way I could. Enjoy!

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Filed under Jack's World, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, superhero comics, superhero movies, X-men, YouTube

New Comic Book Day June 2, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

It’s June! Last year, that was just a formality, due to global events that I’d rather not dwell on. This year, we can actually say it with some enthusiasm. We made it to June and it’s New Comic Book Day. What’s not to love?

Summer has finally arrived. The schools are letting out after another crazy year. Things are finally opening up, much more so than they did last year. This summer, we will be able to go to a ball game. We will be able to go to a pool, a concert, a movie theater, or night club. We’ll even be able to go to a restaurant without having to wear a mask. If you’re not shedding tears of joy right now, then you have no soul.

I’m ready to embrace this summer in a way that I haven’t embraced a season since high school. A big part of that effort will involve comics. This time around, I’ll actually be able to enjoy them while lounging by a pool, sitting at a restaurant, or just wandering about. I cannot overstate how much I’m looking forward to that. With warm weather and a world that’s less chaotic, this is a great time to just enjoy summer like never before.

To all those still digesting their Memorial Day barbecue, I encourage you to do the same. Make the extra effort to enjoy this summer. Whether you’re a kid out of school or an adult still working, find a way to do something special. Let today mark the beginning of that effort and what better way to start then with a stack of new comics? To help, here’s my pull list and picks. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Amazing Spider-Man #67

Batman #109

Batman/Catwoman #5

Black Cat #7

Crime Syndicate #4

Hellion #12

Heroes Reborn #5

Immortal Hulk #47

The Invincible Red Sonja #2

Justice League #62

Marauders #21

Non-Stop Spider-Man #3

Rick and Morty: Rick’s New Hat #1

The Trials Of Loki: Marvel Tales #1

X-Force #20


My Pick Of The Week
Marauders #21

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New Comic Book Day April 28, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

I’m a morning person, by nature. I know that makes me a freak to some people and I totally get that. I’ve met people who just can’t function properly before eight in the morning. I’m just not one of them. Ever since high school, I’ve been wired to get up before six and start doing whatever I need to do for my day.

That hasn’t just helped me with school, work, hobbies, and what not. It has nicely supplemented my love of comics, especially since Comixology entered the picture. I’ve lamented before how agonizing it was in ancient times before the internet. Back then, if you couldn’t get to a comic shop, which rarely opened before ten in the morning, you had to wait for your comics to arrive in the mail.

Except, they almost never arrived on time. In fact, a comic arriving on a Wednesday afternoon was something to be celebrated.

I don’t miss those days. Being a morning person, New Comic Book Day was less an event and more a test in frustration. That’s why Comixology has been such a godsend. Now, when I wake up early like I always do, I have my new comics waiting for me on my iPad. It’s a beautiful thing and I just love starting my Wednesday mornings with coffee and comics while watching the sun rise.

Even if you’re not a morning person, these are good times to be a comic fan. It has never been easier to get into. If you have an internet connection or a smartphone, you can immerse yourself in the world of comics. You don’t have to take in everything all at once. It can start with one Wednesday morning. Why not make it this one?

To assist, here is my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Action Comics #1030

Batman Black & White #5

Batman/Superman #17

Black Widow #6

BRZRKR #2

Cable #10

Detective Comics #1035

Fantastic Four #31

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #25

New Mutants #17

Savage Avengers #20

Silk #2

Star Wars: Darth Vader #11

X-Men Legends #3


My Pick Of The Week
X-Men Legends #3

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New Comic Book Day April 21, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

I’m genuinely glad that new comics come out in the middle of the week. Even before the days of Comixology, there was some benefit to it. Since most comics came in the mail and the mail was often a few days late, I could usually expect my pull list to arrive by Thursday or Friday at the latest. That way, I could start my weekend with a fresh stack of comics.

Now, thanks to the wonders of the internet and Comixology, there’s no delay. I wake up on Wednesday mornings and I have my new comics waiting for me on my iPad. It’s a beautiful thing and I think I speak for many fellow comic book fans when I say it’s one of the best parts of the week. The fact that it happens in the middle of the week also has benefits.

In some ways, it’s like a checkpoint in the middle of a level in a video game. Making it this far into the week shows that you’re making progress. You’re already halfway to the weekend and new comics feel like both a reward and a reprieve. I think we’ve all had weeks where we badly need that.

I’m certainly grateful that I have something to look forward to on Wednesday mornings. Everything in my week after that seems to flow faster and smoother. I sincerely thank comics and those who create them for that experience. You make every week inherently better because of it.

For those who’ve come to love Wednesday mornings as much as I do, here is my pull list and pick for the week. We’re at the halfway point. Comics just make that point extra awesome. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Amazing Spider-Man #64

Avengers #45

Captain Marvel #28

Catwoman #30

Champions #6

Eternals #4

The Flash #769

Justice League #60

The Mighty Valkyries #1

Nightwing #79

Power Rangers #6

Red Sonja #26

S.W.O.R.D. #5

Star Wars: Dr. Aphra #9

Superman Red & Blue #2

Way Of X #1

X-Force #19


My Pick Of The Week
Way Of X #1

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Jack’s Comic Gems: Psylocke

The following is a YouTube video from my channel, Jack’s World. It’s a fresh entry to my ongoing Jack’s Comic Gems series in which I highlight a rare and special gem from the comic book world. This time, I focus on Psylocke, a character whose star has been on the rise lately in Excalibur. However, she’s always found a way to stand out, as a character.

If you’ve been enjoying he most recent exploits in the pages of the X-books, then you’ll really enjoy “Psylocke,” by Chris Yost. This 4-issue mini from the early 2010s stands out in many ways, but it’s also a Psylocke story that involves ninjas and former lovers. Need I say more?

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New Comic Book Day March 31, 2021: My Pull List And Pick Of The Week

I like that the weather is getting warmer. I really do. However, when you have allergies like I do, your excitement about spring and warmer weather generally take a hit. As I write this, the trees outside my window are blooming. They look beautiful and all, but I know what this is going to do to my allergies and I’m not looking forward to it.

I’ve dealt with allergies all my life. I’ve taken medications to deal with them in the past, but medication only goes so far. Sometimes, you need something else to either supplement that effort or help you ignore the sinus congestion. New comics aren’t a cure all. I’m not going to claim that. I’ll just say that, regardless of the medications I take, they’re a welcome distraction.

This stretch of omega level allergy season usually lasts a couple weeks, at most. During those weeks, having a stack of new comics to help me navigate those weeks is a welcome remedy. You don’t need a prescription and you can safely consume them with alcohol. What more do you want in a remedy?

It also helps that this is also the time of year when major comic companies start teasing their big summer events. Last year was such a bust for obvious reasons. This year, every company seems to be trying to compensate and build up some hype. I’m already starting to see it and I expect the pace to pick up in the coming week.

Marvel is doing it. DC is doing it. Image, Top Cow, and Dark Horse are doing it. Some will succeed. Some will fail. In the end, the fans are the winners. Those with allergies just happen to win more than most. Wherever it leads, this week brings us just a bit closer.

To my fellow allergy suffers, hang in there. In the meantime, here’s my pull list and pick of the week. Enjoy!


My Pull List

Avengers: Curse Of The Man-Thing #1

Batman/Catwoman #4

Black Cat #4

Captain America #28

The Flash #768

Grimm Fairy Tales #47

King In Black: Ghost Rider #1

Power Rangers Unlimited: Heir to Darkness #1

Silk #1

X-Men #19

X-Men Legends #2


My Pick Of The Week
X-Men Legends #2

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