By the Left Coast Rebel
Just read a great op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times by none other than Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch:
Reason's Kurt Loder offered up a glowing review of "X-Men: First Class" on Friday. Are you going to see it?
Though populated with superpowered "mutants" such as Magneto (who is able to control all sorts of metallic objects), Storm (capable of flight and creating crazy weather), Banshee (an Irish American tenor who can kill with his voice) and Raven (a blue-skinned shape-shifter), "X-Men" perfectly captures social reality and social aspirations in a post-gender, post-racial, post-mainstream, post-everything America. The multicolored, polyglot heroes and villains of the X-Men universe may be able to communicate by reading minds rather than using Skype, and they may be able to fly anywhere without booking tickets in advance, but make no mistake: That's us up there on the screen.
(SNIP)....Created in 1963 by Marvel Comics masterminds Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the franchise was a run-of-the-mill title for the company until the mid-1970s, when it was recast in wilder and darker tones by younger writers and artists who emphasized the individualism of the characters and their ambivalence toward the very powers that made them unique.
In other words, "The X-Men" caught fire when it started fully exploring the disruptions and possibilities inherent in the plenitude of the last 40 years, and not coincidentally as the mainstream gave way to niche markets in music, publishing, clothing, ethnicity and so much more.
Taking their cue from the classic storylines published in the 1980s and 1990s, X-Men movies posit an ongoing war between Homo sapiens (regular people) and Homo superior (mutants), who represent the bleeding edge of trans-human possibility. Fittingly, the movies, including "First Class," revolve around a school run by Professor Xavier, a crippled telepath who teaches his superpowered students to fulfill their potential while being comfortable in their own often-polychromatic skin. Some of the mutants, and many of the regular humans, can never let go of their resentments or their fear. They are, quite properly, the villains of the series.
RELATED: In case you missed it, "X-Men: First Class" Movie Trailer:
Via Memeorandum. X-Men wallpaper image via x-menfirstclassmovie.com, all rights reserved.