X-Men comics persist to ignite the imagination of readers everywhere. Yet, what originally charmed readers back when the stories first came out may now mean something else for an entirely new generation of young X-Men fans. This podcast explores how much of a divide there is, and what still holds up in modern times.
It’s a popular saying to claim age is just a number. While this is true in most instances, what college-aged kids in 1963 valued varies drastically from what they value today. A young X-Men fan is defined as someone who’s love of the stories derives influence from a modern day understanding of the series. This means the added complexities of Magneto are already well established, as well as other crucial plot points that developed later in the series. Political strife consumes the world of the 2010s. This influences the reading of the comics tremendously. Additionally, a young fan is aware of the complexities of their society parallel those in the comic. They respond to the material accordingly, to ensure their society doesn’t become the one in the stories.
The world of the mutants is timeless, yet their stories aren’t. Sometimes, as political identities shift and the expectations of the consumer changes, the stories that were thought to be groundbreaking no longer are. Characters from diverse ethnic backgrounds became normalized as time went on; making comics that center around this idea trivial at best, patronizing at worst. While some stories fall by the wayside for the new generation, others still resonate throughout time. They might deceive some into thinking they firmly grasp their time and their time only, yet certain problems remain consistent. Debates on race, gender, and sexual identity have progressed but not enough. In conclusion, it is when X-Men tackles these harder subjects that readers, no matter when they were born, can love this unique franchise.