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X-Men: X-Tinction Agenda by Chris Claremont

X-Men: X-Tinction Agenda

by Chris Claremont

Series: X-Men

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The best thing about Claremont's X-Men stories is the parallelism between fiction and reality. By using mutants and other fictional characters, Claremont is able to portray a picture of the worst aspects of mankind: ignorance and inability to deal with the unknown, to accept what's different. It's the Holocaust, it's the Ruanda genocides, it's Syria, it's everything that makes us want to change channels.

This story may not have real pictures, but its images carry a message and meaning that easily sustain the passage of time. ( )
  Joel.G..Gomes | Apr 17, 2014 |
I started reading this and had thoughts like "why is the old stuff so ramshackle and ludicrous compared to the new stuff" (meaning the Silver Age and post-Silver Age, up into the early days of the post-Claremont era, and the Quesada period of widescreen cinematics, respectively--we won't touch the high '90s at Marvel, the cod-anime and Heroes Reborn era, with a ten-foot pole--although maybe with a ten-foot Ultimate Nullifier). But then I reread the first volume of Mark Waid's Fantastic Four immediately afterward (the life of an underfunded grad student--trading in your old comics; giving them one last reread on the bus to Pulpfiction books:/ and the scales fell from my eyes a bit.
The current aesthetic can grate. Not everything needs to be a procedural or a realist grapple with reductive "ordinary people" like on TV trying to cope with a world gone mad using only powers and snappy dialogue. The old soap-epic approach has its appeal. And it doesn't preclude the struggle with real issues, and the fact that it comes across in more of a pastiche than a jaded everyday way can even--if you'll believe--be a strength.

Case in point: X-Tinction Agenda is so ludicrous in so many ways that it doesn't really need covering, from Cameron Hodge's "shoulder spikes" (a weapon obviously designed by Louise Simonson's 9-year-old son, who sulked when she put them in her own stupid comic instead of getting Larry Hama to give them to Duke and Scarlett in GI Joe) to the imaginary "injuries" suffered by the cast just to reduce the number of characters involved in the final fight for choreography purposes to the usual silliness where Rahne calls people "spaleens" (I see the word is actually "spalpeen", in two senses--day-labourer and rascal--and can only assume Claremont thought it was "Scots" for "spleen"; I am embarrassed for him, but thank the current age of miracles for answering this long-standing riddle. "Spaleen", incidentally, brings up only one hundred awful New Mutants fanfics) and Logan calls them "bunkies". Yes, plural (no relevant hits). But in amongst it all, it manages to dramatize--kabukize!--the needs of the many vs. the few, ownership of the genome, and the persistent humanity of normal folk in a totalitarian system engaged in doing awful things. So there's that. And there are some good character moments, and Cameron Hodge is creepy, and let's not worry that the X-Men's assault on the citadel is confused to incoherency. Worse stuff was to happen in Genosha, after all. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Nov 18, 2009 |
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Genosha is a paradise on Earth, but it is supported on the backs of a mutant labor force. When the Genosha government kidnaps Storm and three of the New Mutants, the X-men, X-factor, and Cable heads there to tear the place down to find them.

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