Side-stepping a bit from my movie rant of yesterday, one of the things I think “X-Men: Days of Future Past” got right was an explanation as to why mankind fears and/or hates mutants.

This may be, on a subconscious level, why I’ve always been more of a DC Comics fan than Marvel.  It never made sense to me that in the Marvel Universe, superhuman beings and aliens aren’t generally feared – only mutants. Civil War sort of shifted the tide a bit, but since that storyline ended the whole concept has rebooted back to the same status quo.  Mutants are Evil…but other folks with odd powers who might look funny are okay.

DC doesn’t make such distinctions, a point in their favor.  The lines are clearly drawn: Us vs Them. Governments recognize the threat of vigilantes and superhumans and aliens, and more to the point aren’t thrilled that they can’t control them.  If the Justice League ever go rogue and become the Justice Lords, who is to stop them? It’s a secret war of superpowers, with the non-powered seeking ways to control or eliminate the metahuman element. It doesn’t matter how they got those powers: alien ability, freak accident, birth mutation, arcane ability, divinity or technological advantage.  They’re “Them”, and we regular humans are “Us”.

Marvel’s lines are somewhat more blurred.  It’s okay to have superpowers, as long as you weren’t born with them.  Unless you’re alien, and your powers came that way – that’s sort of okay, but you’re still an alien and kind of second class. But at least you’re not a mutant. Ptooey!  Gods? Sure, bring ’em on – so what if your worshippers aren’t around anymore, we accept you and love you as one of our own.  The Pope is oddly quiet about his position on certain gods of thunder, I’m sure because he’s waiting for his own shepherd to show up and start tending his very large flock.  But while he might be a pagan god…again, he’s not a mutant.

For the first time, thanks to the movie – I think I get it now.  The distinction is one of evolution; homo sapien – us – came along rendered the brute that was Neanderthal obsolete.  We were the next stage in human evolution, and because of our appearance our genetic predecessors died off. We supplanted them on the evolutionary stepladder, and they no longer exist.

I can only imagine how Neaderthal felt about that; wowed and in awe of the abilities of his children, only to later realize that he no longer has a place in this new world. He’s slower, can’t think as well, can’t problem solve or create as well. He’s the old grandfather trying to understand how to work a computer, while his grandkids shake their heads at poor old Poppy.  It’d make me both sad and angry, that I don’t want to be phased out. I still have a place in this world, I still matter!

That I’m not obsolete.

That’s the mutant fear; that because of this emergence of homo superior, what role can I, a homo sapien, play in the future? How can my grandkids hope to compete on a sports field when my neighbor’s kids can run at 100mph, or fly? What tech job can they get when the toddler down the street is creating new quantum equations with his alphabet blocks from his playpen?   Not only am I now obsolete, but my children – and their children – are already obsolete as well. We aren’t relevant to this world; we’re Neanderthals in a world of modern Mankind, wearing loin cloths and carrying wooden clubs.

It isn’t fair, and that would incense me.  Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate.  You know the rest, you nerd you.

So: thanks, DoFP. I get it now.

Fucking mutants.

– Trickster out