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The X-Men Are Running Attack Ads on Each Other

Screenshot: Marvel Comics

Since the daybreak of Marvel’s Krakoan Age, mutantkind has held an annual vote to induct the most recent crew of X-Men to be Krakoa’s public-facing representation to the world of superheroes at giant. In the actual world, followers have performed an element by with the ability to vote for one member of the lineup, and it’s often a little bit of enjoyable—however this yr feels totally different.

This week Marvel kicked off the 2023 X-Men Vote, with six potential candidates—Jubilee, Juggernaut, Dazzler, Cannonball, Prodigy, and Frenzy—dealing with the general public for an opportunity to develop into an X-Man (once more, for a number of of them). As standard, every character’s personal stans took to social media to assist their fave by lambasting the competitors, however in a wierd twist… so did the candidates.

In the previous few days Marvel has launched a sequence of humorous attack-ad-style movies for every of the mutants up for vote, framed as hostile campaigns by their rivals. Jubilee was a vampire! Frenzy was on a number of villain groups! Dazzler’s a disco flop! Juggernaut is a nepo decide! It’s all enjoyable and video games, and it’s a enjoyable mirror of the sorts of issues the X-community was doing in previous X-Men Votes.

But there’s something that feels different this year about it coming directly from Marvel itself. Not in the “large company co-opting fan culture” way, although there is a little of that to it. In earlier years, Marvel did launch comparable movies for the X-Vote, however they weren’t assault advertisements—they have been messages from the hopefuls pitching why they have been the right choice for the X-Men, showcasing their strengths and expertise, not denigrating their rivals. I’ll at all times love Siryn’s marketing campaign message simply being her screaming together with her powers, for instance:

This yr’s shift in tone to one thing extra divisive feels reflective of the present second Krakoa finds itself. The mutant nation’s livelihood feels extra threatened than ever currently, and the cracks are starting to splinter within the floor of utopia. Whether it’s Sinister’s disastrous coup of the Quiet Council, or the truth that whoever wins this vote will probably be becoming a member of an X-Men crew debuting within the ominous batch of titles known as “Fall of X,” it’s laborious to not really feel just like the solar is setting on the Krakoan dream ultimately.

One of the most important sea adjustments when House and Powers of X launched this new normal for mutantkind was that Krakoa welcomed all mutants, no matter their previous, providing amnesty in exchange for solidarity. That’s nonetheless right here on this yr’s vote, with characters like Cain Marko and Joanna Cargill being nominated alongside dyed-in-the-wool X-heroes like Jubilee and Sam Guthrie. But giving the election a little bit of chew this yr, even largely nonetheless in jest, feels reflective of the trail Krakoa itself is heading down—and whoever wins, they and their fellow X-Men are going to have a hell of a time retaining their residence in a single piece.

Want extra io9 information? Check out when to anticipate the most recent Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and the whole lot it is advisable to learn about the way forward for Doctor Who.



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