A couple of months ago there was a lot of backlash against Rick Remender and his portrayal of Havok in Uncanny Avengers. If you are a comics enthusiast you have probably heard or read a lot So if you read marvel comics, you have heard of the Uncanny Avengers and Havok’s M Word Speech. At first I thought this wasn’t a bad speech. I guess I am prone to bouts of optimism that this speech really spoke to. But then the more I thought about it the more I became disturbed. I felt like as nice as that speech sounds, it’s not quite realistic to think of the matter in those terms. I felt like I didn’t quite know where Alex was coming from and where Remender was coming from. Click below the break for my Analysis of the matter.
My main observation was that Havok, while trying to unify two groups of people, was turning his back on a culture and community of people to become one with another. He may not feel that he belongs to another group, but by birth he does. He is a mutant, and while it would be lovely if everyone on earth could understand that we are all human and are equal in the eyes of whichever god we believe in, that’s just not realistic and people are all to prone to selfishness and greed, and putting others down to make themselves feel better. Add to that race, gender identification and just the many different types and groups of people that exist , and we really do live in a melting pot of differing and opposing peoples, some of which are unwilling to see the other as equal. Not sounding so optimistic now right? Just wait a moment.
The way Kitty speaks in this issue was so good. I loved her dialogue, characterization and how this topic was addressed in an X-book. It also made me think about the backlash over Remender’s work. This felt like one writer of an x-book, taking a potshot at another writer of an X-book. This got me thinking more on the subject of how this could happen. Is this a little writers tif. A celebrity battle. There has to be more to it.
It was about this time that Holly, who regularly writes for this blog, had written a post about the M-Word as it pertains to Harry Potter. You can read the full article here. In the article she says a lot of really interesting things about the Wizarding world being stuck in a pre-Industrial society. Some of her points concern the word Muggle and how it puts a barrier between people. She mentions how little Hermione is shown to think of her Muggle parents, how condescending Mr Weasley is toward Muggles as a people to be marveled at like a toy, and how Muggles are just playthings for Death Eaters. Then Holly says something I wish I had written (a compliment), I’m not going to try and ruin it by not just posting it. Holly says:
But, think about how language works. Using a seemingly innocent word to describe an entire group of people, robs that people of identity, on an individual and a group level. When that word is considered normal, it shapes how the marginalizing group thinks of those who are marginalized. This benign bigotry leads to malignant bigotry, then to organizations of particularly hateful bigots, with one scary and scary-powerful bigot leading them.
THIS is what I think Alex is getting at. This is what I think Remender is getting at. I think I was slightly harsh on him but as Holly says in her article:
I’m inclined to believe that J.K. is clever enough to include more complexity in her books… And, the moral of the story is J.K. Rowling is a lot smarter than we give her credit for.
In a recent article on The Uncanny Avengers Remender says this:
I’m setting up a lot of things here; some of them will pay out and some are misdirections… Having this entire story broken down up to issue #22 has been great. I’ve been able to make a lot of choices to seed relationships in ways that you might not initially see, as well as introduce more overt misdirections that play out in other ways. Part of the fun of comics is guessing at what happens next, so I’ve tried to give people plenty to guess about. People will see in the next ten issues how it will payout.
I want to mirror Holly’s words. I’m inclined to believe that Remender is clever enough to include more complexity in his books. Is Remender smarter than we give him credit for. Think about it. Issue #11 of Uncanny Avengers was just released. Remender knows what is going on up to issue 22. This doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with Havok’s views, just look at Kitty, but I think Remender has set Havok up to have a unique leaders position in the marvel universe, and if you check Havok’s history, this isn’t out of left-field for him.
So what does this all mean for the X-Men and Battle of the Atom? There have been a lot of dominoes set to fall down in the next two months. There are two main camps of thought being touted as a divisive plot to rival that of Schism.
What do you think? Should the All-New X-Men be sent back to their past or should they be allowed to stay and fulfill whatever the hell it is they need to fulfill while here? With all the hoo hah over Havok’s views and the M-word, we know it’s not all going to be black and white. I’m seeing the color grey in our X-future.
Check back tomorrow for the next article in our Battle of the Atom (BotA) countdown.