From: Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters… [Open Letter of Admissions]

Hello!

I wanted to personally thank you for joining us here at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. My name is Tiffani. I’m sure you may have already noticed that this is not Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. What a shame! I can assure you, however, that what you will see here will be equally gratifying.

I am a junior at The University of South Florida, double-majoring in mass communications and marketing with a focus in public relations. Why? The answer is simple. I wish to pursue a career in public relations. I wish to work with non-profits in order to assist sick children and wounded animals. I wish to give them a home. I want to give them hope. Wasn’t that not Charles Xavier’s goal?

I chose to blog about the X-Men because I have always been so fascinated it’s allegory to civil rights. Also, I love how even though Eric (Magneto) is told to us that he’s evil, if you look at things from his perspective, he is not evil at all. To him, he’s not the bad guy. He is doing what he can to protect himself and others like him. He has the same goal as Charles, but uses a different method.

How does Machiavelli put it? If the end justifies the means…

I find blogging therapeutic. I have all these ideas and concepts that run through my head. Through this blog, I can see if any others agree with me and if not what was their take away on these mutant story lines. The only other social media sites I use are Facebook and YouTube. I will be sharing my posts on my page in order to receive my friends’ opinions. Of course, don’t forget to share your opinion.

You’re one of us now.

Congratulations on your addmission to Xavier’s School for the Gifted!

Sincerely,

Tiffani Torres

The Apocalypse is nigh

So, for those of you that have seen X-Men: Days of Future Past, let’s talk about that post credit scene. SPOILER ALERT!

This clip takes us back to Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians are chanting “En Sabah Nur.” That is Apocalypse’s name. It translates to The First One. You can see in the clip, very fittingly, there are four men on horses. Does that ring a bell to anyone? The Four Horsemen are very prominent in apocalypse lore.

In the comic’s, Apocalypse is awakened 100 years ahead of schedule by a time travelling mutant. In the movies, they can easily give that story line to Wolverine. He did time travel in Days of Future Past to stop the sentinels. If that’s the case, why doesn’t it seem to affect the ending scene of the movie? That’s an easy question. Logan finally wakes up, figuratively, and remembers the change of events. However, he doesn’t know what they’ve missed. He, along with the team, could have defeated Apocalypse already. Is that a good sign? Does that mean that we don’t have to worry about our favorite characters dying off? Of course it does not mean that. No character is ever safe! We learned that the hard way in X3. What do you think? Do you have any ideas on what the next movie could be about? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Character Analysis: Mystique

Hello!

If you haven’t heard of Mystique, boy, you are missing out. She lives up to her name. Mystique is athletic, manipulative and has the ability to shape shift into anyone she wants. In the original X:Men trilogy, she is a member of Magneto’s brotherhood. She is a villain super villain. In the movies, she is used to terrorize Rogue, Senators and the X-Men. She is swift and thinks quick on her feet. As she says in X-Men: First Class, she is “mutant and proud.” However, she wasn’t always that way.

She was once a little girl who didn’t have a home. People were afraid of her. She had no friends. That all changed when she met Charles Xavier. The two grew up together. Unfortunately, the soon to be Professor made her feel ashamed of her blue appearance. When she romantically got involved with Beast, he too made her feel ashamed. He pressured her into taking a cure, which she ended up declining. Why? Magneto had started to make her feel special for who she was. He told her that she was most beautiful in her natural state.

He did what any friend should do. He built her self esteem. Once she had it, she never again wanted to hide herself. She was proud to be a mutant and from then on out vowed to kill anyone who told her otherwise. Of course, that comes later in her life. In her early life, she tries to live more peacefully. When you are a mutant things don’t ever go your way.

Check out her character trailer below!

Uncanny X-Men #308

Its the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right folks, the time of year that you get to stuff your face with delicious food. At least, I will. If any of you end up with any leftovers that you’re willing to share, I’ll be here… patiently waiting… with my fork and knife.

This is going to be a lighter, goofier post.

During my time as an X-Men fan, I’ve managed to come across something special. It’s without drama and very unique. Uncanny X-Men issue #308 manages to make the X-Men seem more like us than they ever had before.

I bring to you, the Thanksgiving dinner.

Uncanny308_ThanksgivingIn this one strip, you see complete normalcy. Everyone’s eating Turkey, smiling and seem genuinely happy to be together. Instead of worrying about another attack, they are worrying about who will be doing those dishes. I’m not gonna lie, I wish that I could be in this comic. If only for the delicious food on the table.

This issue was pretty simple. The X-Men do everyday task such as raking and explaining football. They even build a scarecrow! I’m a little jealous. We don’t have seasons where I live.

What do you think of the X-Men Thanksgiving celebration. Do you think it was a waste of a comic or a nice change of pace?

A Tail of Two Kitties

Fear is a huge motive in the X-Men story lines. Today, I got to witness a first hand demonstration of fear with two kittens. Now you may wonder what a pair of kittens have to do with X-Men. I’d say, nothing. However, I’m analyzing fear at its most primal level and comparing it to characters within the X-Men universe.

So, I am babysitting my friend’s cat Missy. Missy is a 6 month old tabby cat. My cat’s name is Jasper.

Jasper and Missy’s first meeting did not turn out as expected.

Jasper (left) see's Missy (right) for the first time. Jasper immediately flee'd the living room to hide in the bathroom.

Jasper (left) see’s Missy (right) for the first time. Jasper immediately left the living room to hide in the bathroom. Photo Credit: Tiffani Torres

In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Charles Xavier, too, cowered in his home. He feared that all of his actions would cause others pain. His power was a burden he could no longer handle.

Jasper is similar to Charles. Something he should have control over, his home, was suddenly so different. He didn’t know where was safe, so he hid.

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Missy see’s Jasper come out of hiding. Immediately, she launches an attack. Photo Credit: Tiffani Torres

Missy, in this real life example, has a closer rationality to Magneto. She believes that Jasper will hurt her, so she lashes out. As I mentioned in my character analysis of Magneto, Magneto attacks before he can be attacked.

Jasper (right) retreats back into the kitchen. For the first time since he adoption, he hisses. Photo Credit: Tiffani Torres

I was surprised to hear Jasper hiss. He really was afraid of this new cat. It caused him to behave differently. A few moments later, he went back into hiding.

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Jasper crawls out of hiding for a second time. Missy prepares herself for an attack. Photo Credit: Tiffani Torres

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Jasper takes a submissive position as Missy hisses at his advances. Photo Credit: Tiffani Torres

Much like Professor X, Jasper chooses to be peaceful. In his home, he submits to Missy so that he may feel safe. She didn’t seem to trust him, however, and he still doesn’t.

I have Missy until Sunday. I hope that tensions die down by then. Currently, Missy is so afraid she won’t even let her owners come near her.

On a brighter note, here is a cute video about X-Men and cats. Happy Thanksgiving!

Check Mate, Old Friend

Professor X and Magneto are always playing Chess in the Marvel movies. While I am sure they love the game, this means something much greater. Its symbolism for the constant battle the two have. They are both the players, the kings, of their own team. Both of them are always trying to foil each other’s plans. However, they both use different tactics. Xavier is much less willing to sacrifice his pawns than Magneto. In the following clip, Magneto uses the clear pieces. You can clearly see most of his pawns are already gone.

I’d like to point out that his sacrifices come to no avail. Xavier would have won. In case you don’t understand the rules of chess, the pawns can only move diagonal and the kings can move one space at a time (with exceptions). If the king were to eat the pawn (which had him in check), Xavier’s horse would have killed the king. He had him in check mate.

I believe in the following scene, the two were playing a real life game of chess.

Unfortunately, because of Xavier’s unwillingness to make sacrifices, Xavier loses rogue to Magneto. Rogue is a major piece for Xavier. One could think of her as the queen since she can absorb other’s abilities. However, as we all know, Magneto’s strategies never succeed and he ultimately loses the game.

Character Analysis: Rogue

Greetings!

Like Magneto’s character analysis, I will strictly be commenting on Marvel Movies’ version of Rogue. Rogue (Marie D’Ancanto) is a member of the X-Men. She is a mutant with the power to absorb other mutant’s power, memories and life force. She gained her powers during her high school years. At the exact moment she kissed her long time boyfriend, her powers manifested, putting him in a coma for the rest of his life. This caused her to run away from home. In my opinion, this is the root of her disconnect with her abilities.

In the first movie, Rogue develops a father/daughter relationship with Wolverine. However, while trying to wake Wolverine from a nightmare, she gets stabbed by Wolverine’s claws. She survives by absorbing his power and healing herself. Later, Mystique, disguised as Bobby (Ice Man), convinces Rogue that she will be an outcast for stealing a fellow mutant’s powers. She runs away but is brought back by Wolverine.

Rogue has a romantic relationship with Bobby. However, she can’t engage in physical contact with him due to her ability. In X-Men: The Last Stand, Rogue decides to get rid of her power by taking a controversial cure.

If you’d like to learn more about Rogue, go here: http://xmenmovies.wikia.com/wiki/Rogue

I believe that Rogue decides to get rid of her powers because she feels that she never truly fit in. No one liked her at home after the incident, classmates looked at her like she was a freak when she stole Wolverine’s powers and she was never able to be the girlfriend Bobby wanted. So when the chance came for her to have all the things she couldn’t, she took it. She can finally receive comfort from someone without fear of killing them.

What do you think?

Fear and Discrimination in X-Men

Today, I am writing about the fear and discrimination featured in X-Men. This is a concept I am sure few have missed. If you have, though, I forgive you. It’s easy to get caught up in all the action.

I mentioned in a previous post that Magneto lashes out to protect himself from the average human. Humans have attacked mutants on several occasions. They aimed missiles at them in X-Men: First Class. In Days of Future Past, they created the Sentinels, an entire race designed to cause the genocide of mutants. Magneto’s intentions seem justified. However, are the humans advances justified as well?

I believe so.

I’d like to clarify that that doesn’t mean that I agree with their actions.

Alright, here is my opinion and, of course, I am generalizing.  People like you and I are afraid of what we don’t understand. As children we cower in fear of what is hiding in the closet or, even worse, under the bed. Adults will go to see a horror flick and cover their face the whole time. Older folks are afraid of dying (aren’t we all.) Religious people cower at the mention of Satan and I am deathly afraid of spiders.

Those are a lot of things to be afraid of in one life time. That is just a short list!

Basically, what I am trying to say is that people have rational and irrational everyday fears. Now, imagine that your sister has the ability to control fire. Imagine that your father can control metal. Imagine that your best friend can read your mind and even control your body. Sounds fun, right? Maybe. You trust those people. Now replace all of those people with your enemies, criminals and untrustworthy individuals. The idea of someone taking control of your body isn’t so fun now, huh?

According to X-Men and Philosophy: Astonishing Insight and Uncanny Argument in the Mutant X-Verse, fear of the unknown is quickly transferred into discrimination and oppression. While those are both inherently bad things, average humans have a right to feel how they feel. A lot of them don’t know or trust these mutants. An average human may wonder what is stopping a mutant from using his abilities to kill or harm children and families. To an average human, the risk is too high and so they take preventative measures. You can read some snippets of X-Men and Philosophy: Astonishing Insight and Uncanny Argument in the Mutant X-Verse here.

What do you think? Are the humans reactions justified? Is there enough justification for them to need to wipe out the mutant race with the Sentinels? Leave your comments below!