If you lived in the Marvel Universe, would you be pro-mutant?

I was rereading JLA/Avengers #1 today and struck by the scene where the angry mob is chasing the young mutant. A number of the people chasing him were apparently the guy’s friends, teachers and neighbors.

It strikes me that the Marvel Universe doesn’t seem very “enlightened” if it can still have public pogroms, even if the victims are very scary looking. On the other hand, the Marvel U is in many ways meant to be an approximation of the real world…just with super-beings, aliens, and Galactus. (I say this a bit tounge-in-cheek…in theory, the Marvel Universe should be a VASTLY different place than our world. I can only imagine how different religion, politics, the economy and any number of things would be if we lived in a superhero world.)

I realize that our society still has plenty of discrimination, but the prevailing view you sense from our culture, based on TV programs, the media, and academics is that we’re more enlightened. Non-caucasian races are more accepted, women can climb the social ladder and not be expected to be married mothers, and even homosexuality has made social leaps and bounds in the last decade.1

Still, mutants continue to get the shaft. I realize that it’s hard to blame the Marvel universe–your neighbor might shoot lasers out of his eyes, and Magneto has killed how many people? I’m still amazed that there isn’t a more prevailing sense of tolerance. When 9/11 happened, people continually said “Muslims aren’t bad people–it’s only these people who are nuts.” Why can’t the same be said for mutants?

So my question is not directed at anyone’s personal views–I presume that everyone here wouldn’t give anyone stigma based on race, gender, or in this case, cosmic genetic disposition. My question is whether you think that, based on the prevailing culture of the Marvel Universe, you–the average person–would be suckered in by the anti-mutant bias.
1 I was rereading Action Comics #600 today, which has a scene where Lex Luthor threatens to blackmail Maggie Sawyer by making public the fact that she’s a homosexual. This part struck me as almost funny–this scene may have been believable in 1988, but by today’s standards, Maggie would probably be “out” and the threat likely wouldn’t carry as much weight.

Actually, I’d probably BE a mutant.

In fact, I think I already am…

I get the impression that, while the unwashed masses tend to hate mutants, thinking people do not. The “X-Men” version of bigotry has always seemed a bit over-the-top to me, in any case.

My personal view would probably be what it has always been toward everybody in this world: if they’re not hurting me or people I care about, I have no problem with them.

Well, remember that many mutants have what would be considered physical deformities. Add that to the undercurrent of danger that would be associated with the term (frome verything from eyebeams to invasive telepathy), and I wouldn’t be surprised if that hatred WAS widespread, though I really don’t know how over it would be, whether it’d be frequent mobs like the comics, or more institutional…

In some cases the fear could be justified, too. What if the kid who sits next to you was a mutant whose power was to explode and his powers just happened to awaken during math? What if that guy’s optic blasts get too strong for his dinky little glasses all the sudden? What if someone’s already controlling your every thought and you don’t even know it?

So mutants would be a little different from other minorities. Plus, even the good ones in the Marvel Universe engage in widespread vigilante activity, although that’s not nearly as strange there as it would be here.

And don’t forget they also have airplanes that come out of basketball courts.

Seriously though, don’t forget how effective propaganda can be. You hear the same anti-mutant drivel every day, it’s no wonder you wind up calling the police when your brother turns out to be Iceman.

I’d be pro-mutant, in theory. Mutants are people too, and thus deserve all the rights and priviliges blah blah blah.

However, I’d also want mutants to be registered and closely monitored. Mutants that can’t/won’t control their powers or refrain from using them in public get comitted to training facilities, then special jails, then (if possible) surgery to nullify their powers. All after their day in court, of course.

As for hiring practices, I’d be ambivalent. Someone like Quicksilver or Colosuss could replace a large crew of men. Do the rights of other workers trump the rights of these super-workers?

Da. The problem is, in Marvel, there are endless supplies of super villains causing death, destruction, and chaos. This is not a good thing, and no, the heroes are not sufficient protection. All superpowered beings would have to register: some of them are just too dangerous. Professor X is, to me, the scariest man on the planet.

Granted, its not really logical, and yes, its way over the top.

They actually have superhero insurance in the Marvel U. It’s called “Damage Control,” and IMHO, it was one of the funniest Marvel books published.

I would whine and whine that I didn’t have powers of my own.

Many healthy normals might feel violated by the mutant population due to the inferiority they see themselves holding when compared to an overly-capable being. That element alone would generate a whole new genre of hate.

Why are mutants discriminated against whereas non-mutant superheroes are celebrated and beloved? Look at the way the public treats the Avengers or Fantastic Four and compare with the bigotry aimed at mutant counterparts. All things considered, is the Beast really any freakier than The Thing? How would people discern whether a super power is genetically endowed or accidentally granted (via magic, radiation, etc)?

I’d be insanely jealous, myself.

Has Marvel ever dealt with how superbeings affect sporting events, especially the Olympics?

You’d actually save money, by having super-powered workers replace the jobs of expensive machines. Why have a machine that costs hundreds of thousands(and will eventually need to be replaced or repaired) lift something heavy when you have a guy working at a worker’s wage to do it? Thus, the other workers still have a job.

Aslan, that super-worker would demand a wage equivalent of the price of those machines. He wouldn’t settle for a normal worker’s wage.

All that is moot, because puny humans like us would be run out of business by vastly more intelligent mutants who would drive us out of the marketplace.

Why would someone who could do the work of ten men be willing to work for standard wages?

I’m pulling this from wayyyy back in my memory, so feel free to correct me, but I’m pretty sure Northstar was a champion downhill skier before he came out as a mutant. He swore he didn’t use his powers, but I think even he wasn’t really sure, and I believe they stripped him of any medals he’d won.

I remember an episode of the X-Men cartoon where Colossus demolished a whole building for a contractor. The union boys were NOT happy with it.

The chaos created by mutant juvenile delinquents alone might make me anti-mutant.

Remember–a young person, hopped on hormones & frustration, often can be very destructive without mutant powers.

Remember Colombine?

Then, think about the movie Carrie. In the Marvel Universe, it’s a documentary. Granted, they treated her cruelly. But nobody deserves to die that way.

Being mutant isn’t a choice or a lifestyle. One simply is.
I am a mutant, so I would be pro-mutant.

This part is absolutely true. I don’t recall if they stripped him of his medals.

Yes, but in the context of the legal need to control superbeings, where do you stand? Its no use clinging to sunshine theories if people are being slaughtered (and they do get killed in superhero universes. They get killed in large numbers.