X-Men. X-Men. X-Men. They’re hot right now, but what’s the issue nobody’s talking about?
Of the many comics I’ve read, one of the most striking images in recent memory is Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross’ brief characterization of the X-Men in their award-winning Marvels series. If you haven’t read the series yet, please do. It’s one of the most beautiful and well-written series Marvel has ever produced. (It’s popularity spawned Earth X and the current series Marvels X)
Another Look at Mutants
Busiek and Ross, following Lee and Kirby, depicted the X-Men as threatening outcasts compared to the other heroes of the time. They were strange, unknown, and people were afraid of them. They were also a fantastic metaphor for the Civil Rights Movement because they highlighted the dialogue of difference. Lee was always on the side of love and compassion, meaning difference meant nothing compared to our commonalities. We’re fortunate to have had such a wise mastermind.
X-Men in Film
The X-Men films have often highlighted these differences. (There’s almost always a Senator involved in some capacity) And the common theme of homo-sapien vs. homo-superior as seen in Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has been seen over and over again. (Did they name themselves “Evil Mutants”?) The well worn thematic points of the X-Men films are simple: Professor X believes humans and mutants can live together, Magneto does not.
It’s Time for a Change
I don’t foresee the MCU introducing the X-Men in the same old fashion. We’ve seen it for 20 years and I think there are more nuanced ways of illustrating the valuable contrast of an outgroup/ingroup dichotomy than listening to Magneto wax poetic once more.
X-Men as Villains
At first. In the long run, they won’t be villains. They’ll be heroes and they’ll have their own movies and they’ll be the talk of the town. (Remember when X-Men was the gold standard and Avengers were who again?) But they could be introduced as villains in a very Captain America: Civil War type setting. If there is any truth in the current rumor mill, we will see Rogue in Captain Marvel and the possibility of Omega Red in something else. Who’s to say all mutants won’t be introduced as villains at first? It wasn’t long ago when Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch went from villain to hero within a single movie arc.
Vs. the Avengers
If we see them as villains, they’re going to be battling the Avengers. That means X-Men #9 will be a big issue. It’s the first appearance of Lucifer, but more importantly, it’s the first appearance of a capital ‘E’ Event. It could be one of the most important books of the new MCU. If you want to go all-in you can spend 25k on a 9.8. (If you have that sort of expendable income then by all means) I’d recommend a 7.5 which can still be had for a little over $400. That could be a fraction of the cost if we see a crossover event like Civil War.
Another book that could bump in price, admittedly not to the same degree as X-Men #9, would be X-Men Annual #1. It’s a reprint of X-Men #9, but it’s also the first Annual of the series. You can get the cool story and great cover for a fraction of the cost. For comparison’s sake, you can pick up a 7.5 for around $90.
Either way, these are two books that could be huge pickups down the line.