No, The X-Men Don't Torture The Head Of The Heritage Think Tank

There is a post being spread around from The Federalist website, that is described as "influential in alt-right, conservative, and libertarian circles." So there's that. Its attitude to headlines makes Jude Terror look like the editor of the Sunday Times in 1874.

So when they say X-Men Torture Head Of 'Heritage' Think Tank In New Comic Book, you know that there's not going to actually be any torture in the article, or the comic book.

After all, the Federalist had previously asked Torture Is Unacceptable; But What Is Torture?


What the X-Men do is threaten. Take someone and do the telekinetic equivalent of holding her up against a wall and say "don't do that again." A superhero trope. Probably do less damage than if they'd used their fingers. If that is torture then others guilty of the same include Superman, non-Nazi Captain America, Spider-Man and Wonder Woman for decades. Ummm… maybe better not think about that too much.

But this accusation is copied by the Glenn Beck website and Republic Buzz who don't appear to have even read the comic.



But because just because a theory is nutty, however, doesn't mean there might not be something in there. After all, the subject of the X-Men assault is a bigoted head of a think tank, The Heritage Institute, which manipulates and controls one set of mutants into attacking another, to justify the policy of deporting all mutants. A conspiracy theory in and of itself, revealed by the X-Men.



And the Federalist points out that that sounds rather similar to the Heritage Foundation, an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.

Regularly ranked as one of the world's most influential think tanks, the Heritage Foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies were taken from Heritage's policy study Mandate for Leadership. Heritage has since continued to have a significant influence in U.S. public policy making, and is considered to be one of the most influential conservative research organizations in the United States. After the 2016 election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, Heritage played a major role in shaping his transition team. Politico reported "Heritage employees have been soliciting, stockpiling and vetting résumés for months with an eye on stacking Trump's administration with conservative appointees across the government effort to have the right kind of people in there".

Although ironically, the health insurance mandate in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was an idea hatched in 1989 by Stuart M. Butler at Heritage in a publication titled "Assuring Affordable Health Care for All Americans" and was also the model for Mitt Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts. Though they've moved on from that.

Was it a coincidence? X-Men Gold writer Marc Guggenheim and creator of the Green Arrow and DC's Legends Of Tomorrow TV shows is a politically active writer, as his social media attests to. The questions have been asked…

…but unanswered. I contacted Marvel and Marc Guggenheim and received an unequivocal no comment. In the run-up to the release of X-Men Gold, before the fuss with Ardian Syaf, the promotion was about leaving previous political stories behind.

The first arc is about the deportation of those deemed undesirable by the state, so it seems right from the bat, that commitment has been abandoned.

Good. I like my X-Men with politics. Both when Claremont did it and when Morrison did it.

More please!

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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