-Art by Trico
Like any other backpack-toting American kid in the nineteen-nineties, the one thing I looked forward to each week (well, after TGIF) was Saturday morning cartoons. My absolute favorite show was X-Men The Animated Series which led to frequent trips to old, dusty comic shops to buy Series II Trading Cards and special edition comic books. Through reading the backs of each card, I learned so much about the X-Men universe and story canon. I loved the idea behind the story that each character had their very own mutant power that both ostracized them from their hometowns while leading them to meet up with a community of unique individuals at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
I wanted to be a mutant. I could not wait to be a teenager so I could discover my mutant power. I was fully convinced that if I wished hard enough, my dream to be a mutant would have been unlocked by my sixteenth birthday. Eventually, I did learn about mutants in my AP Biology class where gene mutation meant something else entirely. My teenage years came and went and I never discovered exactly what my hidden mutant power was supposed to be. X-Men turned out to be a gateway into my love of comic books and nerding out on comics in general. It should be no surprise that I went to the midnight viewing of X-Men: Apocalypse on its opening night.
I am very fortunate that X-Men existed during my formative years because it taught me a valuable lesson: It is okay to be different and if you are treated as an outsider long enough, eventually you will make friends with other people on the outside. Because of this idea, I never obsessed about fitting in with the stereotypical “popular” crowds in school. I knew I was cool, I knew my friends were cool, and I usually hung around people who were gifted in some way, shape, or form.
When a character first discovers his or her mutant power, it is seen as a burden and a reason to be excluded for normal society. There is always a transition towards self-acceptance and finally using mutant powers for a good purpose.
It is with little doubt that the X-Men comic series was written for any individual that ever felt excluded. I find it to be very uplifting that a comic exists that teaches youngsters that not fitting in is cool and sometimes it comes with a neat outfit. I am still curious to discover my own mutant powers even though I never was gifted with the ability to walk through walls, move objects with my mind, or fly.
Restless hit 100 pages on Sunday, June 5th!
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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, June 6, 2016
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