Robot 6

‘The metaphor is strong and it hasn’t gone away’

uncanny xmen11“The metaphor is strong and it hasn’t gone away. Chris Claremont was the one who decided that it was a full-on allegory for race and religion and sexuality. I’m a Jewish kid, and I have a multicultural family [two of Bendis’ daughters, one Ethiopian and one African-American, are adopted], and with that comes all sorts of stuff that you witness or are a victim of. I have it pretty easy, and still I’m like, ‘Wow, you really said that right to my face?’ So it’s nice to have a book I can shake it off a little bit. I’ve never had that. [...] It’s not a mistake that Kitty Pryde, the most Jewish superhero that has ever lived, is the leader of the X-Men now.”

– writer Brian Michael Bendis, discussing X-Men in an interview in The Oregonian that touches upon his life in Portland, Oregon, his role in “full-on luring” other creators to the city, and his career at Marvel. Bendis and recent Portland transplants David Marquez and Michael Avon Oeming will be signing Wednesday at Things From Another World.

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6 Comments

It is truly regrettable that thirty years later these issues are more pronounced and problematic than ever.

The metaphor is still powerful, but in all honesty I don’t think it’s executed very well. It started as a metaphor for the alienation ALL people feel, particularly in adolescence. Then it became explicitly a civil rights/MLK/Malcolm X analog, and now it’s pretty much a metaphor for gay rights.

My opinion, but the narrow and narrower the metaphor becomes, the less the appeal. The less appeal, the lower the readership, even though the metaphor will be VERY powerful and appealing to the readers that remain.

I was once a huge X-fan, but a combination of convoluted histories and a preachy politics pushed me out.

BMB isn’t wrong, but I find it sad that Kitty, who is fairly assimilated and rarely even shown as a cultural Jew, is the most Jewish superhero we have. But it’s either her or Ben Grimm. Or maybe Gert Yorkes.

“Kitty Pryde, the most Jewish superhero that has ever lived”

Ladies and gents, I give you: Rabbi

http://www.cereb.us/wiki/index.php?title=Rabbi_(character)

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Bendis, but his run on All-New X-Men is quite good. The emotional stakes are high, and there’s a distinct ideological push back to Remender’s Uncanny Avengers wherein Havok disassociates himself from “divisive” labels such as mutants. Bendis’s X-Men are proud of their identities and refuse the erasure of “we’re all human.” This type of colourblindness is counterproductive and I’m very pleased to see Bendis refuse to partake in it.

For the first time in a long time, the Marvel books have grasped at political relevancy. Just another way in which they have surpassed their Distinguised Competition and their unrelenting nostalgia

I thought Rick Remender said we couldn’t use the M-Word

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