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Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

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Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by das_boot » 05 Nov 2018, 20:45

So, Ephemerist, my betrothed, has made an EXCELLENT point in another thread that I’ll sum up here in my own unique scatter-brained way:

So. I said that I don’t understand why more people in the MU aren’t more afraid of magic users than mutants— yes, anyone could be a mutant/latent mutant, but magic users... it’s been mentioned that even people with little knowledge or talent for the arcane can learn SOME magic in the MU, or in the case of people like Juggernaut, they gain a mystical artefact. Often in the “artefact” cases, these individuals just instinctively know how to use them and their powers, and realistically, the same could apply for people who come across alien artefacts, build a high tech armour etc. These people have either come across their empowerment entirely accidentally (Juggernaut, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Captain Britain), or have actively practiced and trained to gain abilities (Moondragon, Doctor Strange, Doctor Voodoo, Daytripper, Agatha Harkness)- and whilst people are scared of what these people can do, Ephemerist, my love, stated that he views it as a different kind of fear.

Fear of mutants is fear of being biologically replaced. I would argue that this is more of a subconscious fear/driving motivation to influence prejudices to come to the surface, but on the whole, the fear isn’t necessarily of the person, or the power that they wield (like in the case of everyone except mutants), but of being redundant from an evolutionary point of view.

So, what I’m asking here would be the following questions, taking into account that in this hypothetical situation, you’re a baseline average joe in the Marvel Universe who sees the activities of the Avengers, FF, X-Men, Champions et al on the news at least once a day or so, even if it’s in passing. For this thought experiment FOR WHICH NO ONE WILL JUDGE OR PLACE REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS ON TO THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN you’ll need to take off your comic fan hat a little. Talk as though you were genuinely reacting to a world in which this was actively happening right now and we were right in the midst of all these people coming out of the woodwork and announcing they were real. Kind of like the MCU, I suppose. ANYWAY.


-Who would you be more afraid of? Someone who you know has had to practice and train to develop their super-human abilities (magic users, quasi-mystical martial artists, human psychics); those who gained their powers via accidents/experiments of which they didn’t understand the potential consequences (the FF, the Hulk, Captain America, Luke Cage, Deadpool) ;those whose powers come from a source external to them (Juggernaut, Captain Britain, Moonstone); Those who created something to help them become heroes/villains (Iron Man, Green Goblin); Aliens (including Venom); or Mutants?

Keep in mind that in this hypothetical situation, whilst you might not know/understand the precise science and whatnot about these individuals and their abilities, you have about as much understanding as the average person who’ll maybe scan a science or medical newspaper article on the morning commute: so you understand that mutants are considered the next step in the evolutionary ladder to humans, that Inhumans are technically a separate species that are genetically compatible enough with humans and mutants to be able to breed, that magical ability can be cultivated, that some people’s biology reacts differently to exotic radiations and allows beneficial mutations that are expressly different to mutants.

I’ll post my thoughts on this later, but I’m just really interested to read other people’s opinions on this as I’m sure we’ll have some really interesting views here.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by EphemeristX » 05 Nov 2018, 21:15

Well, for one, I'd never, ever, visit New York City. That's just asking for trouble. On Monday, the Sinister Six explodes a lab full of experiments. On Tuesday, a bubble seals the city off from the rest of the world. On Wednesday, a portal to Hell opens up.

Nah, really, I'm good.

As far as the types of preternatural things that would worry me, I'd probably be the most afraid of aliens or extra-dimensional beings. The whole fear of the "other", this unknowable thing, that has no motivations that you can figure out, is what truly scares me. For instance, in The Mist, the scariest part for me was the part where they're in the car and they watch a whole new food chain fight itself out in ways that far outclassed them. They were like ticks on the back of an elephant. That primordial, existential dread is what truly terrifies me.

But, you know, at the same time, if I lived in a reality where there were just demons and aliens and whatever, I might just get used to it. We'd have things like Doctor Strange or Alpha Flight or the Avengers or whatever running around and keeping things in order, and I might be able to sorta move past those fears and accept them given enough time.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Nu-D » 05 Nov 2018, 21:18

I’d be more afraid of magic users than mutants. Magic users have chosen to arm themselves. Mutants don’t have a choice. To me, a person who makes a deliberate choice to be armed has indicated a penchant for violence, and I am wary of those people. People who are born big and strong, even though they may pose a greater risk to my physical safety than “normal” people, I choose to give the benefit of the doubt because it is unfair of me to judge them on something they can’t control.

Also, in the MU magic tends to have a corrupting influence. So putting aside real-world analogies, I’d be worried about the magic user dabbling in something dangerous.

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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by das_boot » 05 Nov 2018, 23:27

That was my initial line of thought, Nu-D— then again (to play devils advocate), wouldn’t you say that a sufficiently powerful mutant also runs the risk of corruption? Apocalypse, Magneto, Exodus... all men of great power who see that they have a duty and a responsibility to impose their world view. That’s a choice of what to do with their power with no more of an external corrupting influence than, essentially, proving Eph’s original theory correct.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Blackcyclops » 05 Nov 2018, 23:41

In defense of magic in the MCU, magic is basically a skill to be used (like a martial art or boxing). People who do that aren't all inherently looking to harm people. Of course magic isn't a perfect 1 for 1 comparison because magic can be used to really benefit others. Whereas, martial arts really can barely help others beyond like protecting them.

It's influence is really only as corrupting as the type of magic being used and the person using it.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Anna Raven » 05 Nov 2018, 23:46

I feel like the mystical cadre does a pretty good job of a) policing themselves, b) keeping the bad things hidden from the public. So that while we should be completely terrified of Nightmare, and Dormammu, and their ilk, the general puic seems unaware of how dangerous those entities really are. I also feel like despite the clear evidence to the contrary, most ordinary people still feel like magic is just a bunch of hooey, that it's not real, and so why be scared of it? Again Dr. Strange and the good guys seem to do a fair job of keeping their exploits private that this belief remains common

It might be fun to take the mystical side of Marvel more public for a while, and do an arc where Christian conservatives whip themselves into a frenzy about the new public acknowledgement of magic. It could be the new Satanic Panic like the ones that surrounded D&D, video games, and Harry Potter. Only this time, there would be an element of they actually have a point, because Black Magic is a real thing.

Unfortunately as interesting an idea as it is, I don't think Marvel would go for that right now, with comicsgate in full swing and all
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Nu-D » 06 Nov 2018, 00:11

das_boot wrote:
05 Nov 2018, 23:27
That was my initial line of thought, Nu-D— then again (to play devils advocate), wouldn’t you say that a sufficiently powerful mutant also runs the risk of corruption? Apocalypse, Magneto, Exodus... all men of great power who see that they have a duty and a responsibility to impose their world view. That’s a choice of what to do with their power with no more of an external corrupting influence than, essentially, proving Eph’s original theory correct.
Yes, power can corrupt, no matter the source.

But mutants didn’t ask for the power they were given, and thus get the benefit of the doubt. Persons who seek power already have a strike against them. Neither power origin is definitively good or bad. If all I know is the source of power, I’ll reserve judgment on both because I don’t know them as people well enough to judge. But I have one piece of information about the moral person who the magic wielder has chosen to be, and that piece of information tends to be a slight negative.

@Anna—Yeah, I like the idea. Though I think Marvel would have to go to great pains to avoid applying an explicitly Christian label. It could be generic religious opposition to the corrupting influence of magic and “satanism,” but it would have to be bland-as-hell public characters.

And, unfortunately, Marvel would be unable to resist the temptation of a big reveal with some Evil Spirit motivating it all. They can’t let people just be bad anymore, without sloughing off responsibility onto a villain.

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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Blackcyclops » 06 Nov 2018, 00:22

You mean like in X-Men Red...Taylor is pretty explicit about it. But honestly, that’s just as equally cliche tho in the wrong writer’s hands. A good allegory can work just as good as the explicit “man is evil” thing if both are done well...


But back to the topic:
There are just alot of bad people more broadly...but I think the more hidden nature of magic seems it’ll be less frightening. Still, the real scary shit are the Ultrons and aliens...that s*** keeps em awake at night irl.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Nu-D » 06 Nov 2018, 02:48

My MU self is afraid of aliens like my real self is afraid of hurricanes and bird flu. There’s no moral dimension here, just a natural disaster. (I’m thinking aliens like the Brood, not like Skrulls). Skrulls worry me like any invading army would. Of course, as an American I don’t really know what it’s like to live under the threat of invasions, so.

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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Spectral Knight » 06 Nov 2018, 06:22

Wow... so many discussion points in this thread. I'll try to take a look at it a fragmented look

Fear of mutants. I think there's several fears here. One is the loss of control aspect - people don't know they're mutants until their X-Gene awakens. While mutant A might grow a big nose, comedy ears and turn an unsightly shade of vomit mustard, mutant B could turn into an explosive bomb, or be able take over minds at will. It's a complete unknown as to how and when any power might manifest, and that's pretty terrifying.

There's related fears though - what if your child or significant other were a mutant - how would you react? That's more of an internal fear/ self doubt. We know the X-teams try to teach mutants to control their ability but it's hardly a safe environment with how many times the various HQs have been blown up / attacked so would you send your kid there?. I think the usual doubts / fears of trying to raise a child the right way would be multiplied exponentially in a world with mutants.

Fear of supervillains. This to me is more like a fear of terrorism - yes the damage can be catastrophic but there's an element of control with superheroes. I think there will be a greater demand for the death penalty for those who've been unable to reform after countless years of villainy.

Fear of magic / supernatural. Now a lot of this is hidden but if you were to witness say Hellstrom or Ghost Rider at night, that's sure to scare the bejesus out of anyone.

Fear of Gods / Pantheons - this would surely mess with many people's world views. How would a committed Christian or Muslim react in a world where Gods from other religions are on Earth and are real? This could be a devastating revelation in regards to much of the real world geopolitical issues.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by das_boot » 06 Nov 2018, 13:21

Spectral Knight wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 06:22


Fear of Gods / Pantheons - this would surely mess with many people's world views. How would a committed Christian or Muslim react in a world where Gods from other religions are on Earth and are real? This could be a devastating revelation in regards to much of the real world geopolitical issues.
Okay, so just my take on it but personally I feel like the appearance of these gods on earth could actually act as evidence for other gods existing. Obviously part of why we’ve never seen a representation of Allah or the Prophey Mohammad is because it would literally open the marvel offices up to terrorist attacks, and we haven’t seen the Christian god because CHRISTIAN RAGE.... however, we also haven’t seen every god from every pantheon. Even the pantheons we HAVE seen, we’ve not see each deity or spirit or demi-god in print. It’s possible that the other gods just choose not to incarnate and have fist fights in New York.

However, there’s still further evidence that the Judeo-Christian god at least, exists in the MU— vampires are repelled by holy icons. Demons can be repelled by them too. I’m not saying it’s as firm evidence as being punched in the face by Thor, but it’s certainly evidence.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Spectral Knight » 06 Nov 2018, 13:50

Yes, but many of those faiths believe only their God is the real God. When A.N.Other deity is wrecking havoc on your doorstep, the one true God belief sort of goes out the window, does it not?
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Anna Raven » 06 Nov 2018, 14:24

Spectral Knight wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 13:50
Yes, but many of those faiths believe only their God is the real God. When A.N.Other deity is wrecking havoc on your doorstep, the one true God belief sort of goes out the window, does it not?
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Cable » 06 Nov 2018, 15:08

Spectral Knight wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 06:22


Fear of mutants. I think there's several fears here. One is the loss of control aspect - people don't know they're mutants until their X-Gene awakens. While mutant A might grow a big nose, comedy ears and turn an unsightly shade of vomit mustard, mutant B could turn into an explosive bomb, or be able take over minds at will. It's a complete unknown as to how and when any power might manifest, and that's pretty terrifying.

There's related fears though - what if your child or significant other were a mutant - how would you react? That's more of an internal fear/ self doubt. We know the X-teams try to teach mutants to control their ability but it's hardly a safe environment with how many times the various HQs have been blown up / attacked so would you send your kid there?. I think the usual doubts / fears of trying to raise a child the right way would be multiplied exponentially in a world with mutants.
Yes this is spot on. It is a different kind of fear and part of it is that it can happen to anyone. I mean in the real world Islamofascist terrorism is frightening because of a few horrific events, but is it something most people in the Western world think about when they go out each day? Not really. It is something that happens but do you really think it will happen to you? The aliens/dark magic users seem like they fall more in that category. Now every single person who has ever had a child thinks about the fear of possible birth defects or complications. What if your child is a mutant? What if they get one of the powers that is thoroughly negative? Even if they get a positive power, what if they are a child who likes sports but isn't allowed to participate with his/her classmates because of an unfair advantage? There are so many fears about everyday life that go along with the possibility of unexpectedly being born a mutant or having someone in your family born a mutant.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by P-90 » 06 Nov 2018, 15:20

Nu-D wrote:
05 Nov 2018, 21:18
I’d be more afraid of magic users than mutants. Magic users have chosen to arm themselves. Mutants don’t have a choice. To me, a person who makes a deliberate choice to be armed has indicated a penchant for violence, and I am wary of those people. People who are born big and strong, even though they may pose a greater risk to my physical safety than “normal” people, I choose to give the benefit of the doubt because it is unfair of me to judge them on something they can’t control.

Also, in the MU magic tends to have a corrupting influence. So putting aside real-world analogies, I’d be worried about the magic user dabbling in something dangerous.
Honestly, with respect I have to disagree with your view that those who choose to arm themselves are more prone to violence. People arm themselves for a multitude reasons including self defense, being a hobbyist/collector (which as comic book fans we can understand, they just have an interest in something different to us), for sport (such as target shooting) or often because they are serving or have served in the armed forces. The majority of people who own firearms are mentally healthy law abiding citizens who would never dream of using those weapons against another human (outside of self defense) and those who've unfortunately found themselves in a situation where they have needed to defend their lives are often haunted by the experience despite not actually doing wrong. Most firearm owners are in reality no more dangerous than those who regularly participate in activities such as archery, fencing or martial arts and I'd be very surprised if you were wary of those people.

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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Nu-D » 06 Nov 2018, 15:44

P-90 wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 15:20
Nu-D wrote:
05 Nov 2018, 21:18
I’d be more afraid of magic users than mutants. Magic users have chosen to arm themselves. Mutants don’t have a choice. To me, a person who makes a deliberate choice to be armed has indicated a penchant for violence, and I am wary of those people. People who are born big and strong, even though they may pose a greater risk to my physical safety than “normal” people, I choose to give the benefit of the doubt because it is unfair of me to judge them on something they can’t control.

Also, in the MU magic tends to have a corrupting influence. So putting aside real-world analogies, I’d be worried about the magic user dabbling in something dangerous.
Honestly, with respect I have to disagree with your view that those who choose to arm themselves are more prone to violence. People arm themselves for a multitude reasons including self defense, being a hobbyist/collector (which as comic book fans we can understand, they just have an interest in something different to us), for sport (such as target shooting) or often because they are serving or have served in the armed forces. The majority of people who own firearms are mentally healthy law abiding citizens who would never dream of using those weapons against another human (outside of self defense) and those who've unfortunately found themselves in a situation where they have needed to defend their lives are often haunted by the experience despite not actually doing wrong. Most firearm owners are in reality no more dangerous than those who regularly participate in activities such as archery, fencing or martial arts and I'd be very surprised if you were wary of those people.
I’m electing not to engage with you on this because it’s off topic and I do not want to derail this thread, and because past experience suggests we may not be able to maintain a constructive dialogue.

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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Spectral Knight » 06 Nov 2018, 16:28

Anna Raven wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 14:24
Spectral Knight wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 13:50
Yes, but many of those faiths believe only their God is the real God. When A.N.Other deity is wrecking havoc on your doorstep, the one true God belief sort of goes out the window, does it not?
Well, denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
Hey, I'm not saying they're right / wrong, or crazy or anything...but I do think that the appearance of actual, real-life deities would transform the dialogue that exists on a global level... I mean even those that believe in one God only continue to argue his / it's doctrine, so imagine the Asgardian pantheon not just visiting Earth, but living in Oklahoma, as they did pre-Siege.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Anna Raven » 06 Nov 2018, 16:42

Spectral Knight wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 16:28
Anna Raven wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 14:24
Spectral Knight wrote:
06 Nov 2018, 13:50
Yes, but many of those faiths believe only their God is the real God. When A.N.Other deity is wrecking havoc on your doorstep, the one true God belief sort of goes out the window, does it not?
Well, denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
Hey, I'm not saying they're right / wrong, or crazy or anything...but I do think that the appearance of actual, real-life deities would transform the dialogue that exists on a global level... I mean even those that believe in one God only continue to argue his / it's doctrine, so imagine the Asgardian pantheon not just visiting Earth, but living in Oklahoma, as they did pre-Siege.
Oh I realize that, and the dialogue would change, and the real news would report on the proven existence of gods, and so on. But then Fox News would get on and say "Amatsu-Mikaboshi is just fake news, it's just CG folks, by the failing lamestream media." Or I imagine it might be a lot like in Ultimates, where Tho goes around telling everyone he is a god, and everyone just thinks he is a lunatic. We live in a day and age where facts are disputed every day if they don't mesh with certain people's worldview. I am positive many Christians would continue to maintain that all other gods are fakes, even in the face of overwhelming visual evidence to the contrary.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by EphemeristX » 06 Nov 2018, 16:46

The fact that multiple pantheons coexist in the MU sorta cancel out their status as being Earth's creation deities. They can't all be right. That leaves room for some of the unrepresented religions to still say "Well, my god isn't out here in spandex punching bank robbers, so mine must be the capital-G-God." That's how I see some of the faithful still feeling the way they do. That and the idea that many of these Gods are just powered beings who either are lying about their godhood or are misinformed about it.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Nu-D » 06 Nov 2018, 16:49

I would assume people would just argue semantics. There’s only one God: the one I worship. The rest of these call themselves “gods,” but they’re not really the one and only. They’re just powerful creatures created by the God I believe in.

I mean, I can say I believe trees are the real gods, and spend my time worshipping them. Nobody’s going to dispute the trees exist, they’re just going to say that’s not really “God,” and I’m being idolatrous.

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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Nu-D » 06 Nov 2018, 17:01

It’s a little tougher when you’ve gotta deal with Eternity and the Living Tribunal, and their ilk. But most people don’t know about them.

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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by EvilMonkeyPope » 07 Nov 2018, 02:21

People have enough vitriol in their hearts for all kinds of superhumans! They can hate more than one thing!

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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by das_boot » 07 Nov 2018, 09:16

But then, it could actually feed into the fear of mutants if it’s easier for the public to rationalise magic (no scientific basis) by just assuming that demons and magic users are mutants— the general populous have seen mutants with other-worldly physiology (Beast, Nightcrawler, Mystique, Marrow, literally pick a Morlock to add to this list...), I suppose on some level it might be easier for baseline normal folk to just write off demons as the “weird looking” mutants.

Ditto the gods, actually. Other than his physical strength and durability, what can Thor do that Storm can’t? And what would make more sense to an observer? That an actual god or Demi-god walks the earth, or that a mutant has a specific skill set and physical appearance that correlated to a certain god, so they took their name for their super-heroic adventures?
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by Spectral Knight » 08 Nov 2018, 05:53

Thor can do loads more than Storm. He's got a might big old hammer that very few others can lift (How would that be explained as a mutant gift?) which allows him to use energy projection unrelated to the weather (God Blast) and all sorts of other crazy stuff like open dimensional portals or detect illusions, his longevity is much improved over Storm, improved senses, far superior stamina.

Not really in the same ball park.

However... on the whole you're right. Most Godly abilities in the MU could be clocked up to mutant powers, but I'm not necessarily convinced only because for most of the Pantheons there's biological relations. It'd be one thing to look and have the abilities of God, but when your father, brother, cousin etc. also have the same it must raise eyebrows.
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Re: Fear: mutants vs other super-humans

Post by das_boot » 08 Nov 2018, 11:02

Spectral Knight wrote:
08 Nov 2018, 05:53

However... on the whole you're right. Most Godly abilities in the MU could be clocked up to mutant powers, but I'm not necessarily convinced only because for most of the Pantheons there's biological relations. It'd be one thing to look and have the abilities of God, but when your father, brother, cousin etc. also have the same it must raise eyebrows.
I mean... one on hand yes, but on the other... Magneto, Polaris, Scarlet Witch, Wiccan— all with god-like Powers (poor Pietro and Tommy). Xavier and Legion. Jean Grey, rachel Grey, Cable (pre-TO Virus or when he’s not really affected by it as much). Granted, they’re more the exception than the rule, but for the most part it does seem like powerful mutants will have powerful mutant relatives. And that’s entirely discarding “one off” mutants with god-like Powers such as Exodus and Apocalypse. Hell, while they might not be super-powerful to the level of the examples I listed, the Guthrie family in and of itself could, at one time, have basically passed themselves off as a full pantheon!
Marvel Fantasy League Team: Laura Kinney, James Howlett, Domino, Luke Cage, Magik, Black Bolt, Sentry, Dazzler, Nick Fury, Dazzler, Hawkeye (not the Hawkguy)

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