Here's a cool video with Alyssa Rosenberg and Peter Suderman discussing X-Men and the representation of Team Commie in sci-fi across time. My own piece figures into the discussion, and while I'm appreciative I think I need to clear up one detail--I would hate to think anyone took my column as a claim that X-Men, and mutants, are the strict property of colored people.
I really dislike like the notion of shrinking art. The reason X-Men is powerful is because it so open and so applicable to so many different people, and so many different struggles ranging from the collective (Jew/gay/black) to the individual (puberty.) This is a good thing. In the main, I enjoyed the first two X movies, and frankly I enjoyed them in spite of Halle Berry's performance.
My problem with First Class was very particular to it being both a period piece and an allegory. My point was that in American history, 1962 is a large moment in the long struggle against systemic bigotry. To construct allegory for said bigotry, and at the same time ignore that moment (and then couple it with Darwin's doom, and Angel's switch) in 2008 struck me as odd and revealing.
But it isn't about property, or what particularly inspired Chris Claremont, or what didn't inspire Stan Lee. It's bigger than that now. And that's what makes it great.