In which we ponder how the world that fears those that are different would react to a red nosed reindeer.
But first, an introduction. This is a new thing I’m doing, Geek Thought of the Week. Basically, this is a way for me to waste my time and your’s at about 500 word intervals by talking about things related to our chosen genre of entertainment that I have thought about during the past week. Does it have a purpose? No, not really. But neither do marshmallow peeps and those are awesome.
So, what are we talking about this week? Well, since it’s Christmas, how about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The beloved childhood story of an outsider overcoming the teasing of his peers and saving Christmas is beloved by millions. We all watch, year after year as the plucky young Rudolph has to take it from Fireball and his own dad, even Santa Claus. Seriously, Santa is a dick in this story. But, eventually, they all learn what dicks they are and everybody is happy. However, this year I thought to myself, hey, Rudolph is technically a mutant. He’s a Marvel Comics mutant who has evolved a new and extraordinary power which brings down great prejudice upon his head, yet, also allows him to save the day. So then, I got to thinking how this tale would be interpreted in the Marvel universe.
Now, think about this for a second. The world of Marvel Comics is a world where the U.S. government thought it would be a good idea to build giant robots that hunted down people who are born different. It has people like J. Jonah Jameson who make a bajillion dollars by besmirching the good names of costumed heroes with weird powers. Basically, the people of Marvel Comics are a bigoted, fear filled, hysterical race of people. Yet, they also have, at Marvel Comics, a policy of having these characters inhabit a world which is essentially ours. Barack Obama is President, reality TV is big and Reed Richards is useless. So, we also have to assume that they watch Rudolph every year in this world. But how can that be?
I can just imagine this. Kids being handed papers in the street decrying Rudolph as pro-mutie propaganda. Schools aren’t allowed to show it because it presents a pro-mutant message about tolerance and how special powers are a benefit to mankind. I can just hear crazy radio talk show hosts going on for hours about how America’s youth are being brainwashed by a friendly reindeer into embracing the deviant mutie lifestyle. I can also imagine Rudolph being required viewing in the X-Men’s mansion every year. Just imagine Scott and Jean and Bobby and the rest on the couch, roaring fire in the fireplace, bowl of popcorn in front of them. The professor is sitting in his chair, smoking his pipe. He has a pipe, right? Well screw it, he has one now. And Wolverine has a festive Christmas sweater to wear, covered in snowmen and Christmas trees, unable to take it off because Jean made it and that would hurt her feelings. Also, she would mentally fling him through a wall.
But hey, maybe it’s just me. Who else thinks that this beloved bit of our childhoods just doesn’t fit into this comic world? I can’t be alone here, can I? Though I do know one thing for sure.
That Santa in Rudolph is still a dick.