“No More”: Why the New Krakoa Era of X-Men Matters So Much by Dave Shevlin

So yesterday a swarm of white supremacist, domestic terrorist idiots who worship Trump stormed The Capitol building in a chaotic display of ignorance, stupidity and hate. Some cops let them in, some posed for selfies with them, some helped them down the steps on their leisurely way out. People were shocked and surprised and I don’t know why. This is America. This has always been America. Spare me your platitudes of “We are better than this!” We are not. We never have been. I’m a cis, white, privileged male. I get it, you don’t need to hear this from me. But I’m trying to use this unearned privilege to speak out for all my friends around me suffering. To say something in this rotten reality we all are stuck in together. These people need to punished. These people need to not be empowered. They are a cult of fanatics that make up millions of our country. They cannot be reasoned with. They need to be condemned by everyone. No one needs to meet in the middle. We don’t need to “love” them. We don’t need to understand them. Let me loudly and unequivocally say “FUCK THESE PEOPLE.” That’s been the conservative way of dealing with all of America’s deep rooted problems for so long. IT DOESN’T WORK! We need to condemn, defund, abolish, and change nearly everything about our country from the laws, to the police force, to every part of our government. None of these things serve the people. They serve the loud, the wealthy, the white, the ignorant while good people suffer, while the poor get poorer, while the Black and Brown people get shot or treated like less than human. Denying or overlooking things like this only paves the way for things to escalate, to get worse, to stay the same. To this I say “No More”

These are pages from last year’s House of X #4, the enormous X-Men relaunch by Jonathan Hickman. Charles Xavier, watching his fellow mutants, his surrogate children be murdered for his entire existence just because of who they are by racist, hateful people in power, finally breaks him as the powerful message of “No More” is framed by the many mass casualties they’ve endured. The X-Men for years have lived by the slogan of “Protecting a world that hates and fears them.” It’s relatable, it’s common, it’s a wonderful stand-in that any oppressed minority can identify with and self insert into. Over the years that has been so many different classes of people. These past few decades the Mutants have been put through every kind of hell imaginable, similar to so many of us these past few years with a rotten toad of a White Supremacist as President. We’ve seen the GOP becoming literal super villains. Women’s rights, Trans people’s rights, every ethnicity’s rights if you’re not white, immigrant’s rights, and the poor’s rights have all been forcefully taken from them and squashed on all while they’ve been told to believe in the American Dream and told to vote. It’s an EVERYDAY battle to survive, to be counted as something, to just fucking matter. That’s what the X-Men have gone through throughout their entire history. It’s part of what makes them so great. The big, powerful relaunch of the franchise through House of X/Powers of X and the Dawn of X line of books has worked so well because it gives us all a cathartic way to deal with our shitshow reality. Finally, after all these years of conservativism, of attempting to play the game, to meet in the middle with peaceful co-existence with the people that want them dead, the Mutants wake up and say “No More.” They celebrate their power, their uniqueness and establish a new nation where they can live freely, proudly and love themselves. They are no longer trying to sit down with the MAGA hat wearing lunatic and work it out. They are no longer living under the laws of America that are fundamental in breaking them and keeping them down forever. They flip the script. They empower themselves. Hell, they still even protect humans because it’s the right thing to do. It’s called trying to be a good person. They saw that things DO NOT WORK as they are and finally tried something new. They say fuck all that “We can still be friends and have a different political opinion” type nonsense. They don’t meet in the middle of the aisle, they abolish the reality of their situation and make life livable for all of them. It’s the type of thing you wish you could see here in our reality instead of Kamala Harris and Lindsey Graham slapping five and having a good laugh together while we all die and go bankrupt.

This is why I get so angry when people claim that the X-Men are all brainwashed or villains now. That’s the same tired rhetoric you keep hearing on the news of “We are better than this” or “Hey! ALL lives matter!” We aren’t and you don’t get it. You just want everything to be exactly the same in your whitewashed, blind reality where YOU’RE comfortable. These same critics are no doubt the same people who believe cops always have a reason to shoot a Black man seven times in the back for no reason. “Had to be a reason” and “The X-Men are bad guys” go hand in hand. The same people who think it’s totally fine for children to be stolen from immigrant families and women to be forced into hysterectomies while being kept in cages like animals by our disgusting government run programs. To these critics I say Fuck off, you don’t deserve to read these comics. You don’t deserve a place in this fandom. All of us who read and love these comics need to continue to fight, to do our part to try everything we can to make our reality a little bit more like how the Mutant’s reality is now.

I think these comics are important. I think they matter. They offer us an escape and inspiration to deal with the Hellscape we all collectively live in now. They act as a warning and they set an example of what really needs to happen in our country if we really want to enact any type of lasting, progressive change. If you’ve ever said you don’t like this new era for the X-Men franchise, I BEG of you to reexamine them. Reexamine your own life, your own beliefs. Try to accept that life isn’t right, just like the Mutant’s lives werent right. Fight for defunding the police, for progressive new government reform, for funding education and more. Accept and love other races and the entire LGBTQ community. Learn, educate yourself. Help bail somebody out, donate to a trans person in need, share important information, push for sweeping government reform, punch a fascist in the face, march & protest, fight, make your voice known. Get out of your bubble. Look at all the injustice around you. Be a part of the solution. Join the Mutants in saying “No More” and make OUR world better.

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