On Wednesday, Bleeding Cool ran the first article about Havok, Alex Summers, and his speech in Uncanny Avengers. The one in which he claimed that mutants didn't want to be called mutants anymore.
It caused a little internet controversy. The article became the most popular traffic-wise in Bleeding Cool, beating out recent posts about, say, Andy Diggle, Joshua Fialkov and Angela. Other sites and forum ran comment as well, on what was rapidly being referred to as "The M-Word".
If, like me, you have been offended by both Havok's ignorant stance towards minority status and assimilation in Uncanny Avengers #5, and writer Rick Remender's subsequent defensive outburst on twitter, then I'd urge you to write a formal complaint to Marvel at firstname.lastname@example.org. I shall be doing the same. Thank you to Lady_Alternate for the suggestion.
Don't forget that he also compared "the greatest hero of Japan" to "a walking atom bomb."
Translation: If I am no longer affiliated with my minority status, you will accept me as one of you and we can all ignore that big reeking pile of oppression you heave on blacks, gays, trans* folk — yeah, pretty much anyone who isn't Rick Remender. Because it's not an entire society lording its ignorance, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and general lack of willingness to tolerate any culture but their misguided assumption of what makes an American that's the problem! It's the "M-word"s that minorities use to 'alienate' themselves! Call me "Alex" and you don't have to face that I'm a mutant (or gay, black, trans*, etc.) If you can't tolerate the can because of its label, strip the packaging off and pretend it's no different than all the other ones!
If the word 'mutant' is swapped out in this scene for "gay" or "African-American" or "Muslim", the scene becomes downright offensive. Hopefully, this should all be leading towards some kind of twist of some kind – but at the moment, it's astonishing how brave this book is in making the lead characters appear to be utterly awful people.
Writer Rick Remender had his own take.
Heads up– If Havok's position in UA #5 really upset you, it's time to drown yourself hobo piss. Seriously, do it. It's the only solution.
— Rick Remender (@Remender) March 28, 2013
But one thing of note… this wasn't always Alex Summers' attitude. And since we did a Changing Face Of Cyclops post last night, why not do one for his broither as well? We'll take a quick trip to the Larry Stroman and Peter David X-Factor of the nineties. And a certain fellow calling himself Strong Guy.
So how did Havok respond? Well he wasn't best pleased. And it turns out Guido was only kidding around.
But then these things do have a life of their own, and soon he was having to play along.
And two decades later, it looks like he's come around.