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Mutants of Colour

29 May 2014

Cross-posted from The Molinist.
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Warning: This post contains mild spoilers for X-Men: Days of Future Past.

If, like me, you saw the previews for X-Men: Days of Future Past and were absolutely thrilled to see Blink, Bishop, and Warpath [1] heavily (and exceedingly ominously) featured, then actually saw the movie, you may well share my frustration with the very skilled bait-and-switch which the filmmakers ran. Though featured every bit as heavily as previously front- and second-line characters like Storm, Iceman, and Kitty Pride, these interesting (and largely unknown to fans who only come to these characters through the movies) mutants are barely in the film. Oh sure, they have some long, very visually strong, very dramatic action sequences where they make heavy use of their powers for stakes-setting and -raising purposes (the movie is about time travel so your mileage may very on how dramatic they actually are, and that’s before we get into the excessive use of slow-motion) but not only are they completely absent from the main plot, their entire secondary plot function is to faciliate the white people saving the day.

Assuming you’ve seen the previews (and understand the degree to which the First Class line of the films is the only one with an ounce of non-Wolverine-dependant goodwill remaining) you’re probably aware that most of the action takes place in the past [2] of X-Men: First Class, which, you may recall, had a total of two characters of colour, Darwin and Angel, one of whom (Darwin) died in the second-act stakes-raising encounter with the Hellfire Club and one of whom (Angel) turns evil at the same time. By the point at which Days of Future Past takes place, Angel is dead too, and it’s left to Wolverine (God I’m so tired of Wolverine), Professor X, Beast, and Magneto to save the die (with a little help from Quicksilver, which is profoundly confusing but we needn’t get into that). Mystique is going to doom them all, you see, and she must be stopped before her angry hysterics cross the moral event horizon (yeah, ‘a team of men trying to stop a woman from doing something foolish’ is a decent summation of the primary storyline). The people of colour, including Storm (don’t even get me started on the degree to which these movies have mistreated Storm, anyone’s thoughts on Halle Berry’s performances aside), are relegated to standing around in a drab setting and doing drama

Continued at The Molinist: Mutants of Colour.

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