The real world is colliding head-on with the Marvel Universe. You should really hear this podcast on “Mutant Rights”.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Radiolab, it’s a radio program that can be heard on over 300 NPR affiliates nationwide. The hosts, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich delve into the odd, wonderful topics. Over the course of the last few years, I’ve heard fascinating interviews with experts in space, times, how humans process information, and more than one human interest story that had me chuckling at one moment and tearing up at another.
Trust me, check out the list of their podcasts and try one out.
Anyway, just this afternoon, I was listening to a “Shorts” segment that I had downloaded via iTunes that ties into the comic book world.
Marvel Entertainment started a real life legal battle about a decade ago that has real-world implications on Mutant Rights (should real-life mutants ever be a real thing).
At its core, the X-Men has always been about equality and harmony between Homo Sapiens and Homo Superior. That’s the ideological debate, right? Do mutants have the same rights as humans? Are we all the same, or is there fundamentally something different about mutants that makes them “not human” and, therefore, excludes them from equal protection under the law.
Now, you hardcore comics fans might tell me that is not what the X-Men is about today. I think I heard it’s kind of about Xavier being dead and some weird stuff is happening with Cyclops’ time-twisted family tree. I stopped caring when Havok was introduced, and I stopped paying attention when all the Mutants were wiped out by the Scarlet Witch for some reason.
(Aside to any Marvel writers/editors – Why did it have to be the Scarlet Witch? Just get her and the Vision back together with their baby and extended family. How much money would I pay for another Vision and Scarlet Witch mini-series that was a wacky, suburban sitcom like “Bewitched”? All the money! That’s how much. Imagine the fun of when Vision gets home after a long day of “avenging” and Wanda tells him, “Oh, by the way, Daddy’s coming over for dinner tonight”.)
Back to my main point. Mutant equality is embedded in the DNA of the X-Men. It’s been used as a metaphor for the Holocaust, the US Civil Rights struggle, and for the gay rights movement. So, when it came down to actual real-life legislation that would define whether mutants are people, guess which side Marvel came down on.
I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to listen to the podcast embedded below. Or, search for it online and download it.
Aaaaaand, the Radiolab podcast embed function is not working. So here’s a link to the podcast. Go… Listen… Let me know what you think.
(SPOILER ALERT: Marvel took the side that makes them the most money)
Oh, yeah, Bryan Singer is interviewed in the podcast as well.
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