an important debate
I just reblogged this, but now I’m really thinking about it and it’s so in character?
Wolverine has been a working man for decades. He’s worked blue collar jobs. He values their labor, and does not see someone wearing a uniform as being beneath him. He sees being an X-Man as a job–one with a specialized skill set–but a job. Hence, he sees what he wears as a uniform, which marks him as an X-Man.
Scott Summers was raised at the school, and works a white collar job as an educator. He’s been doing this so long he hasn’t done any other work. He does not value what he sees as unskilled labor and looks down on people who wear uniforms. Scott does not see being an X-Man as a job–it’s a calling, something only certain people can do. He believes he is special, and he wears a flashy costume to show off how special he is.
Also fuck you, Scott. Most mechanics wear uniforms. So do doctors and nurses. And people in the military. And firefighters. And police. And the kid at Taco Bell working a double-shift just to pay for his college SO EAT A DICK. There is nothing wrong with wearing a uniform.
Scott wasn’t raised at the school, he was raised in an orphanage and told he was too damaged to be wanted. After he ran away he lived on the streets and used by a criminal.
He sees being an X-Man as a calling because all of his dreams were destroyed before Charles shared his. Of course it’s all he knows; he’s been a soldier since sixteen, and his life before that is a haze of trauma and helplessness. (He hasn’t even been a teacher at this point in canon.)
Could you read this remark as disparaging? Maybe. But that’s not justified by his actual backstory. More likely, the writer chose the first uniformed job that came into his head.
Logan, by contrast, has had far more varied experiences. He has problems with his own identity, but he doesn’t have to hinge it on the X-Men. It can be a job to him.
This isn’t about classism. It’s about two different people with different perspectives and different traumas. Neither of them has to be right.
Also to add onto this Cyclops literally went to military school. This isn’t about classism. Cyclops literally explains in one panel that, and this a few X-Men agree with, that they wear their costumes, because that’s what they are, so that children and mutantphobic humans will not be scared of him.
“He wants to be a superhero not a soldier and to be viewed as a superhero”
to be viewed as a superhero
“superheroes wear costumes.” -Scott Summers
Besides, think about what Charles Xavier’s dream actually means. Not in terms of its feasibility. But the idea is that humans and mutants can co-exist without fear. Until very recently, in comics terms, Scott was one of, if not THE most devoted adherent to Xavier’s dream
It’s funny, given their respective personalities, but Logan is far better able to blend in with human society than Scott can. All he has to do is not get injured or use his claws. He’s had a long history of blending into society, and working many jobs. He doesn’t need Xavier’s dream to live.
On the other hand, Scott can’t do that. He’s an attractive human looking guy, but an ill-timed shove can knock his glasses off, and then he’s a killing machine. And we’ve seen that countless times in fifty years worth of comics.
Heck, even the 90s cartoon, where everyone else had cool superhero poses in the opening, we see Scott with his glasses being knocked off, beams going everywhere.
There’s a reason Scott mentions “janitor” in his example and not a “soldier”. But it’s not classism. It’s because a janitor is ordinary. A janitor is overlooked.
If a costumed man has laser eyes. He’s a superhero or a supervillain. Either way, someone worthy of wariness and pause.
If a janitor has laser eyes? He’s a threat that was hiding in their midst all along. And Scott knows very well how humans can turn on you when they realize that the “monster” has been hiding among them.
The only way Xavier’s dream can work for mutants like Scott, Kurt Wagner, Hank McCoy, and so on, is if humans can see them as heroes. Not as spies and hidden monsters.
This debate bled over into the Evolution comic