Thursday, February 23, 2012

Do I Not Bleed?

One of the things that made the X-men comix great was the idea of these amazing heroes succeeding despite all of the odds against them (after all, in the great Marvel tradition, all of them were quite flawed), but also of being despised by society. In fact, in the classic Chris Claremont run (which I consider to be the definitive X-men - I know that i'm not telling you something you don't already know), the X-men were actively prosecuted for their being mutants, and thus not human. We're just like you, the X-men always argued, we just happen to have special powers (and kick-ass uniforms). It was powerful and moving and served as a great analogy for being a teenager - for after all, what teenager doesn't feel that they're uniquely different than everyone else, but still long to be accepted by their peers?

All of which makes Marvel's recent arguments in court all the more ironic. As usual, we follow the money, which pointed the folks at Radiolab to obscure tarrif regulations that state:
"Dolls," which represent human beings, are taxed at almost twice the rate of "toys," which represent something not human - such as robots, monsters, or demons.
So now Marvel is arguing that the X-men are really monsters, and not humans after all, all so they can save some money on their tax bill. Poor, poor X-men, rejected by their makers.

Boing Boing gives us the sad, rational denouement:
The solomonic court divided the mutants into varying degrees of humanness. In the human camp were the Invisible Woman, Punisher, Daredevil, U.S. Agent, Peter Parker, and Jumpsie were humans. The remainder (including the Fantastic Four) were mutants.
And no, I don't know who "U.S. Agent" or "Jumpsie" are either. Nor why the Invisible Woman is human while the rest of the Fantastic Four are mutants. Law is very strange in that way.

No comments: