The 2021 X-Men election has certainly caused divisions. Some have even called it the vote of the century. Lovers have split up, houses have been torn apart, and friendships have been ended. There are fears that Marvel will never hand power to its people ever again. War has erupted in localized parts of social media. As lines are drawn, and we look toward the future, many question if this vote has been worth the terrible bloodshed.
In the midst of these troubling times, political pundits have lent their expertise in a feeble attempt to make sense of the chaos. AIPT’s own David Brooke and Connor Christiansen, have already given their thoughtful insight to the matter of hair in this election. Now, shaken by the scenes in the #xmenvote tag on Twitter, prestigious journalists Lia Galanis and Alexandra Iciek wish to offer their thoughts on the harrowing events at hand.
The following transcript comes from a conversation between Galanis and Iciek, on a secure and encrypted server (Discord). When questioned on the content of their discussion, Iciek stated, “I don’t know. I was drinking at the time. Ask Lia.”
Lia has since replied, “I was drunk. Ask Alexandra.”
(Editor’s Note: We’ve made the decision to mostly keep intact Lia and Alexandra’s original conversation, which includes certain errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. If we changed anything, it’s only to clarify where need be. We hope this gives greater insight into the two and their conversation and thus feels all more engaging to you, the reader. Plus, who are we to quiet this kind of thunder?)
Alexandra Iciek: SO, who should win the election and why should it be Tempo?
Lia Galanis: I’m actually here for a Tempo win, because she’s underutilized and unknown. And I think this era is perfect for that because the A listers already have teams so why not be more inventive? Why not give new people a spotlight and let other people fall in love with them? That sentiment is part of why Hellions works so well, so do it for the main team too. Also, the main title is super white right now and while we don’t know what the team’s gonna look like in the end beyond having Jean and Scott, but more diversity is always a good thing especially where X-Men is concerned.
AI: I am also a massive cheerleader for former X-Men “villains” being recognized as having legitimacy. Teams like the MLF and the Brotherhood of Evil have always been coded as “bad guys” for being “radical”, and it’s high time we re-inspect that narrative
Boy, you can tell I haven’t finished my gin. I am still able to string a coherent sentence together.
LG: Ok my thing with Krakoa RE: villains is that people like Sinister who are Nazis? Shaw who has helped fund Sentinels? Irredeemable. But the MLF, Brotherhood, etc. — they were called villains for being radical. Their crimes don’t need forgiveness really because anything wrong they did they wouldn’t have done without being in the situation they were put in by humans in the first place. If mutant oppression didn’t exist, they never would have been considered villains. So it’s a neat angle.
AI: Ooph, yeah. The transformation of the character from a dark villain, into a whacky– “oh you”– bad guy, has rested on sweeping his fascist, genocidal origins under the rug.
Anyway! Back to our main gal. I think Tempo also has a really cool set of powers. I wonder if she could technically age someone with her powers? Like, you see the team get prepared for a mighty battle with some anti-mutant hate group, and Tempo just straight up age them into geriatrics there and then. KO.
LG: Totally. Tempo could be cool and her powers are more unique? It’s just such a fresh option for something new which is what this era of X-Men should be about
AI: Exactly👏👏which is why it stumps me that Polaris was put on the running list.
LG: I don’t see a logical reason she can’t be on both. Like… I know she’s gonna win it. So the best case scenario for me is to just have her in two places.
In a world where Wolverine has 500 team affiliations at any given time, I can think of a lot worse things than “too much Polaris.” But yeah I’d totally prefer that spot for someone who isn’t an A-lister.
AI: Oh yeah, absolutely. I remember in the 2000s-2010s when Wolverine was in basically everything. I’m pretty sure he was with the Power Pack at some point.
LG: He was in their stuff sometimes lmao. I’m a Power Pack stan though so I let it slide because Jack Power would totally be a Logan fanboy.
AI: I just know the gay aspects of Power Pack and stop at that. Poor Julie Power got dumped for Nico. L in the chat 4 Julie.
LG: it’s ok because Julie Power is totally the best member of Power Pack anyway.
AI: Add Julie Power to the X-Men with absolutely zero context.
&^%*! Back on topic!!!!!! The problem with characters being in multiple books is that their development sort of gets short-changed. I love Polaris. She’s one of my favorite X-Men. But there are other characters that could be given more attention overall.
LG: I’m totally in agreement. I think Polaris had like 30 years or something under the same writer in various X-Factor books — we know how she is and we’ve seen her evolve. I love her! But I’d rather someone like Armor get the spotlight.
AI: Ah, yes. The utter legend that is Hisako Ichiki. ٩(♡ε♡ )۶
LG: Armor is interesting for me because she used to be an A-Lister! Astonishing X-Men was basically her title for so long. Now she’s a D-lister so I’d love for her to be back on the big kid’s table.
AI: Yeah, we really got to get Armor out of the legacy of Joss Whedon.
LG: Well other writers wrote her in Astonishing too. When I say Astonishing I mean the whole line. Because she was pretty much always a focal in that.
I think there’s a lot to say with Armor in this era, who’s first big plot in comics was watching her friend die. And now she’s on an island without death. That era of X-kids saw so much pain.
AI: Not to mention the death of her mother and brother. Give Armor the love she deserves in 2021!!!!!
LG: At the same time, at least she’s got a space in [AL] Ewing’s S.W.O.R.D. Ewing is such a good writer and I trust him with her. I just worry she might get drowned out in a cast that big.
AI: I also wanna see her punch Fabian Cortez in the face.
LG: Oh if there’s any writer in current Marvel I trust its Ewing. He’s blown me away every time. Armor’s one of my favorite X-Men and I do think she’s in great hands with him.\
AI: I feel like the more I drink, the more my criteria for X-Men team members comes down to their ability to punch assholes.
LG: Same and that’s totally what matters. Do I wanna see Armor suit up and punch Sinister? Yes.
AI: Oh man that would be good. A team with the dedication only to kick Sinister’s ass
..and then they could go on to other Nazi affiliates in the Marvel universe
LG: Goodbye Struckers.
AI: Now, Marrow would be good at kicking Nazi butt.
LG: She would! Marrow is one of those characters that hasn’t been properly used since the ’90s so again, she’s the perfect fit.
AI: I know! She’s such a wonderfully weird character, too. She’s like Tempo in that I just want to know more about her.
LG: Seeing how someone like her is doing on Krakoa is so interesting to me just because she was such an outcast and she had so much anger for her treatment in man’s world that just wouldn’t exist here. So how’s she doing? It’s a neat chance for character dev on her part.
AI: Yeah, I think there’s also a need to inspect the status of the Morlocks on Krakoa. If anything, this election has sort of made it very clear that we need more X-Men in more teams.
Okokokok, on to Strong Guy.
LG: Lol, Guido. I think he’d be good comedy I think?
AI: I mean I like Guido. But do I like Guido enough to vote him onto the flagship X-Men team?
LG: I think more than anything what makes him appeal to me as being part of the team is that this is the only way he’ll get a spotlight.
AI: See that’s why I want him to turn up in Vita Ayala’s and Rod Reis’s New Mutants.
LG: Yeah it can play off new mutants bringing back how he killed Tier Sinclair…
I do think he works better off characters like Madrox who aren’t completely serious and on a team that isn’t a flagship title.
LG: I don’t really have anything mean to say about Guido but I’m not sure he’s the right fit lol you know.
AI: He strong. He guy.
LG: Basically… I’m not sure how’s he’d fare against super serious characters like Scott who don’t put up with nonsense. Or Jean, since they have no relationship.
AI: Controversial take here but I’d actually rather Guido than Banshee.
LG: Banshee would certainly fit in with Jean and Scott and could be fun for some ’70s nostalgia points. But the Banshee appeal for me is mostly “how are we addressing the Moira thing” more than “I want Banshee on this team.” I also think Theresa is the superior Banshee.
AI: I liked Banshee when he would pop up in the classic Claremont run but kind of lost interest from that moment forward. Sean for me is a character that is often indeed there…
LG: Plus Sean’s biggest ties are, at this point, to the Gen X kids, Theresa, and Emma, and unless Gen X students are on this team I don’t see why he’s necessary.
AI: Hey…Lia. Can I confess something to you?
AI: I totally had a crush on Caleb Landry Jones when he played Banshee in First Class.
LG: Lmao. I only remember him because of that scene in the aquarium where he was hitting on Alison DiLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars because I was totally obsessed with that show.
AI: I actually liked his character! It wasn’t Banshee though. Not ol’ Irish Banshee.
LG: The XMCU, like, never adapted the actual characters. But sometimes their OCs with canon names were nice
skater banshee was funny lmao
AI: NOPE!! That just reminded me of the remarkably bad adaptation of Cannonball — who is also in the election! As is his old friend, Sunspot!
Honestly, Sam and Berto should have been a two-in-one deal.
LG: Oh yeah you can’t separate them. And it feels weird when you do. But I guess they could reasonably do it since they did it in the 90s with Sam joining the main team –but it only ever ends one way: him rejoining Roberto.
AI: Look, all I’m saying is that if Sam was to leave Izzy for Berto, I wouldn’t be against it.
LG: It wouldn’t be the first time Roberto homewrecked Sam a little.
I also just. think Sam/Izzy came out of nowhere in Avengers and was poorly set up.
AI: Yeah, it was heterosexual nonsense.
Roberto can be a bit of a homewrecker As a treat.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
LG: He has the right!
AI: I would like to continue on that point by stating that it is high time we address that their on-and-off teammate, and fellow running member– Boom-Boom (who, for the record, is also not straight)!
LG: Tabitha has chaotic WLW energies.
AI: Give Tabby a girlfriend!
LG: She’s another character I don’t know would gel well with Jean and Scott on the main team. Though it’d be nice for an X-Factor throwback I guess.
Though it’d be nice for like. an X-Factor throwback I guess. Scott is too no-nonsense for her chaos you know lmfao.
AI: Oh man part of me wants Tabs on the team for the sheer chaos potential.
Lia: She’d be fun! I’d also just like her interacting with a lot of like New Mutants-esque characters and X-Force characters so it’s a bit hard to gauge my excitement for her without knowing the rest of the team,
AI: I’d actually love to see her around the current X-Factor team.
LG: That’d be fun! I think Leah Williams could write her brand of chaos very well. lol.
the more i drink the less i care for proper punctuation
AI: Oh *&%! hard same. …
Leah Williams should write team of gay women X-Men.
LG: I’m so sad because i started thinking of the line up potential and that pool is so small. Karma …for women at least.
AI: Yeah it ain’t great. We got Tempo!!
LG: Wait, we have Cessily and bling too. marrow is a character i can’t believe isn’t queer yet tho, tbf.
Same with Illyana.
AI: I guess Kitty is sort of canon now
LG: Never met a straight Illyana fan or marrow fan. or Doug fan.
MY MAIN BITCH
LG: how did I forget mystique….bisexual on bisexual crime.
AI: Mystique do be shouting for her wife.
And I respect that a lot.
LG: I do wanna see the context of their marriage bc I’m actually OK if they aren’t technically married but see each other as wives in every way that counts. not only because I’m not sure when they had the time to do so or how they got married. but they were functionally married! They raised a kid and loved together.
AI: Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if they got married pretty early on, with Mystique as a man for the ceremony.
LG: yeah i think it’d just be cool to explore not just because mystique and destiny are those bitches but there’s a lot you could say for a powerful WLW story in there. just the themes they’d be talking about is ground untouched by mainstream comics ATM.
Oh, you know who we forgot: Forge.
AI: I actually really love Forge!! I think he’s a solid choice! I actually think he should have just been in the team, and not put to a vote.
KG: I cannot stand Forge. He was so r/niceguys to Ororo.
LG: But I also think under a different writer he might do better because i can’t pretend the 80s brand of racism wasn’t often on display with him and in like modern writing he might thrive more.
AI: I think a lot of my nostalgia for him comes from the ’90s X-Men animated series. I am also a bitter X-Men fan who likes to talk about how he’s better than resident rich-boi Tony Stark.
LG: I like him when he’s just a quirky inventor.
AI: Honestly, there’s an argument for Forge just on the basis that he wears this again.
LG: The one glove is a fashion statement I think.
AI: The collar says, “I’m classy”, whereas the shorts say, “I’m single ladies and gentlemen, take me now.”
LG: He should be tacky and 80s again.
AI: @MARVEL LET THE X-MEN WEAR SLUTTY 80 OUTFITS AGAIN GOD DAMN IT!!!!!
Time is running out! Vote for your favorite X-Men through 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!