X-Men: Deadly Genesis #6 (2006)

Today the news came out that our shockingly inept and increasingly cartoonish President has been engaged in keeping track of the phone calls of ordinary Americans. Ordinary people like you and me, our calls are being tracked by these idiots, for god knows what reason. It’s so spooky and Orwellian and bizarre. Of course, it’s all in the name of finding the terrorists, but of course, like so many other tasks they’ve taken on, only serves to boomerang and make the administration look like the real threat to the American way of life. In their headstrong and systematic approach to stealing as many basic American rights away from the ordinary American, and in their systematic approach to creating a dictatorship without checks or balances, the Bush administration is continually putting their interests before those of any of us who live in this country.
All of this leads me to this nasty and despicable comic book. Like George W. Bush, the Charles Xavier in this comic book systematically puts his interests ahead of those of his students. He lies and manipulates and acts much more like a villain than a hero. Hell, Professor X acts devious and evil, a true villain.
This is even worse than having Gwen Stacy deliver a baby without it never being revealed because she wasn’t actually evil. Professor X is an evil man in this comic. Forty-five years of depiction has been subverted by an ill-considered and stupid comic book.
I have to give you a little background to even explain this story, which may in itself be the biggest indictment of this comic. It turns on an event that isn’t quite obscure – in fact it happens in what may be the most frequently reprinted comic book of the 1970s, Giant-Size X-Men #1, the first issue featuring the "new X-Men." In that issue, the original X-Men (the group with the Beast, Iceman, Angel, Havok, Marvel Girl and Cyclops) have gone missing after a mission where they attack a mutant so vast that it’s an actual whole Pacific island. Professor X goes around the world and recruits a new set of X-Men (Wolverine, of course, and Storm, Nightcrawler and a few others who escape my mind now – Banshee, the Japanese guy and the American Indian guy who died two issues later) who brave the odds and save the original X-Men. Well, Deadly Genesis is what they call a retcon, short for retroactive continuity, where a past event is changed to add more information.
In my experience, almost all retcons are badly thought-out wastes of time that only serve to muck up characters and make nice simple stories unnecessarily complicated. This one’s a perfect example, plus it adds character assassination to the problem. See, after the original X-Men were lost, Professor X recruited another set of new X-Men, a group of four bland characters who failed at saving the original team, one of whom is the brother of Cyclops and Havok. So the new team fails and all of them die, including the brother. The new team comes in and saves the day, eventually becoming the X-Men we all know and love, who all idolized and worked for Professor X.
So let me underline what is revealed here: instead of telling Scott and Havok (can’t remember his real name) that their previously unknown brother had dies, Professor X lies to everybody for years and years. The very man they trusted with their lives, whom they literally trusted with their thoughts, had lied to them over the greatest secret of their past. For no real reason. So basically they shit on the reputation of a character that’s been around for 45 years, and for what? What do readers get from this revelation? That Professor X is a manipulator and liar?
There’s more crap here, too: Professor X is walking, and somehow has lost his mutant abilities. There’s no reason given for that, but what the hell, why should Marvel help its readers?
This is all so far away from the traditional Marvel style and ideal, so offensive on so many levels, that you have to wonder just why the hell Marvel would put out such a thing.
Utterly wretched.

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