Marvel’s 2023 X-Men Vote Is Defined By Division

Image for the article titled The X-Men turn attack ads against each other

screenshot: Marvel Comics

Since the beginning of Marvel’s Krakoan AgeMutantkind held an annual vote to introduce X-Men’s newest team be krakoas public representation into the world of superheroes in general. In the real world, fans have played a role by being able to vote for a member of the lineup, and it’s usually a bit fun – but this year feels different.

This week Marvel launched the 2023 X-Men Vote, with six potential candidates – Jubilee, Juggernaut, Dazzler, Cannonball, Prodigy, and Frenzy – stepping out in public for a chance at becoming an X-Man (again, for several of them). As usual, each character’s Stans took to social media to support their favorite by berating the competition, but in a weird twist… so did the contestants.

Over the past few days, Marvel has released a series of humorous Assault-style ad-style videos for each of the mutants up for voting, framed as hostile campaigns by their rivals. Jubilee was a vampire! frenzy was on several Villain Teams! Dazzler is a disco flop! Juggernaut is a Nepo choice! It’s all fun and games, and it’s a fun mirror of the sort of things the X-community has done in past X-Men tunes.

But there is something that feels different this year about it coming straight from Marvel itself. Not in “Big company co-opting fan culture” way, although there is a little of it. In earlier yearsMarvel released similar videos for the X-Vote, but they weren’t attack ads — they were messages from the hopefuls explaining why they were the right decision for the X-Men who flaunt their strengths and skills and don’t denigrate their rivals. I shall always I love Siryn’s campaign message which is simply that she screams with her powers, for example:

This year’The change in tone to something more divisive reflects the current moment Krakoa is in. The livelihood of the mutant nation feels more threatened than ever lately, and the cracks in the surface of utopia begin to splinter. Whether it Sinister’s disastrous coup of the silent council, or the fact that whoever wins that vote will join an X-Men team that falls within the ominous series of titles called “Fall of X‘ it’s hard not to feel like the sun is setting on the Krakoan Dream in some way.

One of the biggest sea changes, if House And Powers of X introduced this new normal for mutantkind was that Krakoa welcomed all mutants regardless of their past and offered amnesty Exchange for solidarity. That’s still the case in this year’s poll, with characters like Cain Marko and Joanna Cargill nominated alongside die-hard X heroes like Jubilee and Sam Guthrie. But giving the elections a bit of bite this year, mostly still in jest itself, seems to mirror the path Krakoa is taking herself – and whoever wins, she and her fellow X-Men are going to have a hell of a time, theirs to keep home in one piece.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Wonder, war of starsAnd star trek What’s next for the releases DC Universe in Film and TVand everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who. Marvel’s 2023 X-Men Vote Is Defined By Division

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