What does it mean to be an X-Man?
In the 60s it meant you were different than everybody else, harboring a painful secret that the world just wasn’t ready to know about. The way you were born set you apart, and you lead an exiting but perilous double life!
In the 70s, being an X-Man meant you broke all the rules. You looked great, fought hard, and challenged the idea of “normal” on a global scale.
In the 80s, things took a dark turn. Paranoid times meant living underground with your back to the wall, enemies at every side. The greatest challenge: to remain true to your ideals, despite living in a world that saw you as a disease to be eradicated.
The 90s were about getting your act together and learning to smile for the camera. You got a cartoon and a video game. You got a line of toys. Apocalypse sort of stunk things up for a while, but you got back to your status quo soon enough.
In the 00s, you were all over the place. Being an X-Man meant inheriting the earth in lots of messy ways. The world was your playground. You got a little wild. You got a little trashy. (Yes, I’m talking about YOU, Emma Frost.) Teachers at the school wore black leather. Life was pretty cool. Then, an editorial edict/magic spell caused pretty much every mutant to lose their powers unless they were A) Super Popular or B) Needed for a statistically dramatic death later. Religious nuts started bombing school busses, and suddenly it wasn’t so fun to be at Xavier’s anymore. The stakes had been raised. Being an X-Man meant being in crisis-mode!
So, where does that leave you now? Being an X-Man means being part of a pseudo-religious separatist paramilitary cult??? Great! Pull on those tights and line up behind the guy with the red visor!