X-Men/Fantastic Four continues to be one of the best titles at Marvel.
Written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Terry Dodson, the X-Men get called out for their behavior of mutant superiority over humans on Krakoa. While we all know that most of the X-Men are not like this, the Quiet Council has a number of members who think that their mutant birthright puts them above humans. Interestingly enough, the people challenging this notion are The Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom, who also have their own mutated powers.
The very interesting point of this story is in the concept of mutants who are genetically born with their gifts vs. those who undergo a mutation spawned by radiation or an experiment gone horribly wrong. The Fantastic Four do not consider themselves welcome on the mutant island of Krakoa because their gifts were the result of cosmic radiation; however, there is one member of the Fantastic Four family who is a mutant by birthright: Franklin Richards.
Franklin Richards has always been one of the more powerful mutants in the Marvel Universe. He counts as an omega level mutant. In a turn of events, Richards’ powers have been waning, and the Quiet Council have decided to bring him to the mutant nation of Krakoa to help him restore his gifts. This is where it gets interesting: The X-Men are willing to offer refuge Franklin as he is a mutant, but not to his sister, Valeria, because she is human. These are some pretty heavy politics to toss around, and Chip Zdarsky does it with seamless ease.
The concept of the mutant nation of Krakoa not allowing refuge to a human flips the script. This is a class of minorities who have been the target of prejudice for decades. In their new mutant country, they are not allowing humans in, and reflecting the same prejudice that had been targeted at them for many years, but now toward humans. It is a tight rope to walk, and we are left with questions:
Is this right? Should mutants show compassion toward humans, even if they were not shown the same level of expression? And shouldn’t the Fantastic Four still be technically classified as mutants and allowed the same level of compassion and refuge, especially given their long history with the X-Men?
Then what do you do if you add Dr. Doom and the country of Latveria into the mix, which doesn’t allow anyone outside of the country in without his consultation? Does that put the X-Men on the same level as Latveria? And what happens if Latveria is kidnapping and holding mutant children hostage — who is responsible for their well being?
The politics are heavy in this, but they are so good.
One final note: The characterizations of our beloved X-Men are spot on in this. Magneto is ready to cripple anyone holding mutants hostage on Latveria. Nightcrawler continues to be the voice of reason and peace when the Quiet Council wants to treat the Fantastic Four like invaders to their country. Kitty Pryde strikes a deal with Doctor Doom and when questioned about it by Magneto, she holds no fear barking in his face. Xavier walks around with a god-like complex, and even a mass murderer calls him out on his BS.
And in my favorite moment, Emma Frost concludes an entire battle with the Fantastic Four by slipping in through the crack of their helmets and controlling their minds while calmly sitting on the Blackbird. She doesn’t even lift a finger!
If you are looking for some solid mutant politics, it’s all here. I highly recommend picking up this title. Don’t wait!