Wolverine and the X-Men may be the best American animation ever done. Then again, I’ve got a soft spot for this story line. My first issue of the X-Men, picked up in a magazine shop when I was a kid, just happened to start with the Marauders and the Mutant Massacre. I remember the Marauders, the rise of the Sentinels and the Mutant Response Division better than any other Marvel stories before or after.
Unfortunately, this short lived series is all there is and all there will ever be because even though the story got critical acclaim, they ran into financing troubles and never managed to make the second season. That’s too bad because it looks like the second season was going to be the second best (some would say the best) storyline in Marvel history, the Age of Apocalypse.
I’ve always thought Marvel got human nature right. If mutants did exist people would react with the same way they always do to difference with violence and fear. Humans have certainly killed for much less, like the color of skin and someone’s religion and even for imperceptible ethnic differences like the Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan today. God forbid people had powers. I love DC comics too, but I always thought people were far too accepting of the superheroes there. The Marvel stories really resonant on a primordial level because the mutants are hated and feared, whereas in the DC universe they are loved and respected almost universally. That’s changed a bit with modern riffs on DC characters as they go back with a revisionist pen and try to make them darker and edgier to appeal to today’s dystopian minded readers but Marvel did it first.
Marvel’s dark view of human nature reflects my own thoughts about how I expect post-humanity to fare (at least at first) in my future history. When we fracture into a trillion pieces and everyone can alter their bodies however they desire I expect to see a vicious spike in genocide, war crimes and general discrimination and hatred.