Si Spurrier Nails The X-Men in One Page

What are the X-Men in a world where they are becoming a majority species, and humankind is being wiped out? They’re wiped out by M-Day, is what they are. But similarly, how do the X-Men stand as a metaphor for gay/racial rights when they’re made up almost entirely of a group of white guys? The metaphor has been struggling for relevancy over the past few years, in part because gay rights are now becoming more accepted around the western world, and in part because the actual X-Men simply aren’t as diverse and weird as they used to be. The central ‘weird’ mutant, the blue-furred Nightcrawler, is dead. Wolverine and Cyclops are in charge, backed by Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost respectively. Bishop is gone, while Dani Moonstar is depowered.

How can we redefine what the X-Men books are meant to represent, as a metaphor, in such times? Thankfully Si Spurrier has come in, with his miniseries X-Club, and helped provide a new way of looking at the metaphor. Which, man, that comes just in the nick of time. His team may be made up of two white guys, an Indian homo sapien, and a robot, but he’s managed to turn this four-member team into a diverse, radically bizarre array of characters who are single-handedly helping to revive the concept of ‘allegory’ to the X-Men franchise.

The fourth of five issues came out this week, and one of the pages is the following:


What you’re seeing is Madison Jeffries, launched out a failing space ship and in a free-fall down to Earth which will kill him, addressing himself and finally managing to come to terms with who he is. He may be white and straight, but he’s also a minority and his life is hard because of it. It’s weird and strange for any one of us to comprehend, but Madison has fallen in love with a robot, and has always been attracted to machinery. Not humans, but mechanisms. While it’s hard to understand, can anyone reading the comic deny him the right to feel what he feels? It’s a fascinating, clever twist of the idea of sexuality. Once, society was terrified of homosexuality and threw burdens upon it. Now, we can re-experience that prejudice through our own reaction to the Madison-Jeffries-fancies-robots reveal.

In this era, we’re seeing homosexuality treated with the respect and honour it deserves, which leaves the X-Men franchise free to explore the issue with more subtlety, and push into other aspects of human sexuality and interest. This single page offers a redefinition of the X-Men’s core philosophy, and seems to be a significant step towards bringing the metaphor home again. As Jeffries admits and discovers who he is, maybe the X-Men will soon be able to do the same.

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