Why I Love Fox’s Much-Maligned X-Men Franchise

In 1963, Marvel’s Stan Lee and Jack Kirby launched a new comic book series: X-Men. The series focuses on a fictional subspecies of humans named mutants, who possess the X-Gene in their DNA which causes them to develop superhuman abilities which generally manifest during adolescence. The stories traditionally focus on a particular group of mutants—the X-Men—in their fight for acceptance and equality in a world where hate, discrimination and bigotry towards mutants are rife. The X-Men are traditionally led by Professor Charles Xavier, alias Professor X, who strives for peace and understanding between mutants and humans. They are often antagonised by Max Eisenhardt, alias Erik Lehnsherr or Magneto. He has felt the wrath of humanity all his life and, as a result, has a more extreme ideology. He sees humans as a threat to mutants’ very existence and is willing to use whatever force possible to fight back. In the mid-’90s, 20th Century Fox obtained the film rights to the franchise from a financially-struggling Marvel. On 14th July 2000, the first film enjoyed its public release, changing the landscape of superhero movies forever.