Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Non Mutant

I’ve always been a huge fan of Spider-Man so naturally I spend some time digging through the back issues when I’m here at the shop. I started noticing something on the covers of of issues 312-333 (the majority of them anyways).

The Non Mutant

The “Non Mutant Super Hero”? Seriously Marvel? Did you really create a ficticious form of racism and then apply it to the cover of Spider-Man? Do not try and say you didn’t because you guys totally did.

I spent some time trying to find the exact answer as to why an editor would feel the need to add something like that to the cover. Unfortunately my search only resulted in a bunch of message boards where people argued back and forth as to whether or not Spider-Man is or is not a mutant. I was surprised at how heated these discussions had become; pro and con camps had definitely been formed. The official word from Marvel is here, he is an altered human and not a mutant. He was not born being Spider-Man so therefore he is not a mutant. It seems simple right?

The more I read these forums I began to realize that maybe the answer was this argument I was seeing. I remember there was a point in the stories where it was questioned as to whether or not Spidey was a mutant. Could it be that the masses became so fired up over this question that angry letters were written in for and against the idea of his mutantness? Judging from this message board I would say it is more than likely. The idea that an editor would react to these letters by taking one of their top franchises and then adding a special banner to their covers in order to disassociate any connection with another top franchise which was based upon a race of fictitious people, which were persecuted on a daily basis, in effort to calm the readers is maddening, but believable. The reality of it though is that it is discrimination or fictitious discrimination I guess because these people are not real!! The idea of fighting over a race that does not exist in real life as if it were real breaks my brain. The idea that real life action must then be taken to calm real people though causes my brain to then implode in on itself. Either way, I’m toast guys.

Marvel Comics is often viewed as being more realistic than their distinguished competition. In this case they subtly managed to show how racial discrimination can be used in the media even if this particular race does not exist. If it was not the original intention it can still be viewed that way and I guess that’s what this is really all about.

If anyone has any comments or any information regarding why this banner was created please feel free to stop on by the store and fill me in!

Until next time.
-Action Chad

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