Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned. For more, read our S.W.O.R.D. #2 review.
Marvel Comics has continued to impress with their new line of X-Men comics not least of which is S.W.O.R.D. by Al Ewing and Valerio Schiti. The series has reintroduced some old favorites like Wiz-Kid, Mentallo, and Fabian Cortez. In the latest issue out this week, the series has also reintroduced an old term seen throughout mutants comics history.
Midway through the second issue, a few of the S.W.O.R.D. mutants are on a mission where Fabian Cortez–a mutant who can augment the powers of other mutants–uses this term:
The term, which is generously defined by Christopher Golden in the Marvel Classic Novels – X-Men: The Mutant Empire Omnibus, is derogatory and typically used by bigoted mutants towards humans.
From the novelization one passage reads:
Magneto discouraged the use of such words as flatscan, a derogatory term which mutants had coined for those who did not show the essential x-factor that caused mutations on their genetic charts–in other words, “normal” humans. However, since humans had chosen to make mutant the dirtiest of words, he could not bring himself to correct his Acolytes when they used such terms.
Way back in 1991, Chris Claremont and Jim Lee used the term for the first time in X-Men Vol. 2 #1 and in fact it is Fabian who used the term. It’s only fitting Ewing would have him say it again in the HOX/POX era.
Credit: Marvel Comics
The term has been used elsewhere, though sparingly, like in Ultimate X-Men #57 (2005) when Longshot was fighting some humans.
And more recently in Age of Apocalypse Vol. 2 in 2015.
Whether or not we see the term more in current X-Men titles remains to be seen, although since Xavier and Magneto are attempting to keep the peace it’s unlikely it’ll be used much. At the very least, it’s a nice touch to have Fabian, an ex Magneto Acolyte, and supervillain, use the term casually. Even though he’s not quite the same character as he was in 1991 it’s still in his DNA.
I highly recommend you check out S.W.O.R.D. #2 which is out in comic shops now!
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