Xmen vs xpeople
October 1, 2020 5:33 AM   Subscribe

I haven't seen or been part of this universe, but on a tiddly Thursday night, with someone else in control of the remote (that's fine), I'm seeing diversity, women, POC - yay - not just white ripped dudes - cool! But why is it still xmen and not xpeople?
posted by b33j to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
 
My guess is that it's branding and trademark. Marvel has trademarked "X-Men" in association with about a dozen categories of products. Each of those represents millions, possibly billions of dollars of revenue. The exact same video game will sell X more units (no pun intended) if it has "X-Men" in the title.
posted by justkevin at 5:59 AM on October 1, 2020 [3 favorites]


Branding. The X- Men were created in 1963 as 4 white dudes (not counting Prof. X) plus Marvel Girl (the weakest of the group, largely treated a a love interest).

Over time (starting with Claremont’s run in 1975) the team became much more diverse. However by now there is considerable brand loyalty, built up over decades, for the (admittedly) patriarchal name X-Men. Unless a massive movement among fans started demanding a name change, I don’t see Marvel opting to tamper with a highly popular trademark.
posted by tdismukes at 6:50 AM on October 1, 2020 [10 favorites]


It’s something that gets lampshaded in recent cinematic installments, but I suspect the history of the brand and the conservatism of some of the comics audience is currently too much inertia to overcome.

Things you might be interested in include X-Men’s tendency to deal with social issues, their flawed history of character diversity, and the recent House of X/Powers of X storyline leading to the Dawn of X relaunch and associated rebrand.
posted by zamboni at 6:50 AM on October 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


Superhero comics fans are also fairly reactionary and resistant to change so I'm sure doing something like renaming the comic from X-Men to X-People would receive a ton of blowback. Within the comics I don't even think they're referring to themselves as X-Men right now but even still the main mutant comic is called X-Men.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:41 AM on October 1, 2020


Historical note: when the title was created, a vernacular term for Government agents (FBI, or Secret Service, say) was G-Men. Government-men.
As in, 'the sabotage ring was taken down by a squad of G-Men'.
So it made sense when a squad of people led by a Professor Xavier called themselves the 'X-men'. Those agents work for the G, we work for the X.

Later on, when there were a) more women on the team, b) storywise, mutants were no longer a one-off thing, but a new path of human evolution, and c)gendered language started to take more criticism, the justification for the name became more aligned with 'we mean X-man as in "one small step for Man, one giant leap for Mankind", that mutants are Man, with an additional X-factor. There is Man, and there is X-Man. So all of these mutants, regardless of sex or gender, are X-Men.' Flimsy, but that was the party line at the time.

Nowadays I think it's a 40-30-30 split between
- branding and name recognition
- fans of all stripes saying 'I get what you're trying to do, but X-Persons is just an awkward construction, I don't know what else to tell you'
- Those Jerks, who will make hour long YouTube rants about PC culture ruining the comics industry or whatever.
posted by bartleby at 1:40 PM on October 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


>- fans of all stripes saying 'I get what you're trying to do, but X-Persons is just an awkward construction, I don't know what else to tell you'

I kind of agree with this. But also, there have been many X-team spin-offs. X-Factor and Excalibur spring to mind. The Internet supplies: Generation X, X-Force, X-Statix, Exiles, X-Treme X-Men, ... and Starjammers. My point being, there are lots of stupid, canon, X-names. What's one more? (Though, now that I'm looking at my own question, X-Team seems like a pretty good compromise.)
posted by Zudz at 10:07 AM on October 2, 2020 [1 favorite]


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