WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for X-Men Red #6 by Tom Taylor, Carmen Carnero, and Rain Beredo, on sale now!
As the debate over whether or not comic books should have a political agenda or simply political subject matter rages on, X-Men Red continues to wear its politics on it sleeve like an x-adorned sash. Since its first issue, X-Men Red has overtly been about the current political climate with regards to social justice and the treatment of minority groups. When comic fans who rail against this sort of subject material in mainstream books (specifically in Marvel Comics), this book is often a target -- and with good reason.
Writer Tom Taylor has presented the X-Men in an allegorical manner that at one time was a staple of their comics. His work in the story arc “The Hate Machine” harkens back to other classic X-Men stories like “God Loves, Man Kills.” As heavy-handed as a lot of allegory X-Men Red might possess, they to hold an earnest. They want you to see how serious the consequences of fringe groups can be. When someone becomes a true believer in an ideology birthed for hate and fear, the limits of what they are willing to do in order to uphold their rhetoric can lead them down dark paths.
In X-Men Red #6 Cassandra Nova‘s goal of brainwashing people into mutant-hating psychopaths is a thinly veiled allegory for a lot of the issues regarding how social media influences the masses for the worse. And while some won’t agree with Taylor’s politics it’s hard to say the man doesn’t have a point. Now we’re not comparing Mark Zuckerberg to Cassandra Nova (although they both have reptilian qualities) drawing a connection between the social media platform Facebook and the mind controlling powers of Nova seem to have similar effects on people in the real world and in comics.
Of course one of those things is far more terrifying and actually does lead to death. Turning someone into an Atlantis-crushing, brain-washed monster actually has its parallels to the influx of hate speech and biased media blurbs turning the average person into a frothing-at-the-mouth zealot against anything different from themselves.