If you compare the current X-Men stories to ones of the past, you will notice that a lot has changed -- the stories of today are very different than those of yesterday. At the height of their popularity, the X-Men struggled against discrimination and prejudice. They were an ostracized race that humanity saw as a threat.
Today, Mutants are not only up against the prejudices of humankind; they are up against one another. Ever since the Scarlet Witch uttered those three little words, "no more mutants," everything has changed. The rift caused by the events leading up to SCHISM have left the X-Men very weak, and as they prepare to go up against the Avengers in the upcoming AVENGERS Vs. X-MEN story arc, things are looking even more grim for our heroes. As more problems have piled on, old problems continue to exist, so where should their focus really be?
The events that followed HOUSE OF M and DECIMATION led to the greater disintegration of the X-Men as both a team and as a family, and SCHISM served to solidify that collapse. Now, with very little money and resources; Wolverine has taken the young mutant generation and opened a school in Westchester, New York while Cyclops continues to lead the remaining team on the West Coast. The two leaders are not only separated by a continent; they are divided by their personal ideals. "No more mutants" meant no more mutant births, and the number of de-powered mutants continues to be overwhelming. However, aside from all of these more recent conflicts, the X-Men continue to be plagued by those who feel they should cease to exist.== TEASER ==
The mutant race has always been threatened by external forces, but the most prominent has been the prejudice against them by humans. This idea was really introduced in Chris Claremont's run during his 17-year long career on the X-Men books. During that time Christ Claremont challenged comic readers. His run which spanned from 1975 to the early 1990's developed the X-men cast of characters, making them more intricate and interesting.
Influenced by the socio-political atmosphere in the United States; Claremont took the events he witnessed in this country and turned them into literary concepts -- applying the events sentiments to the experiences of his characters; giving them depth and making them multi-faceted. The racism, discrimination and prejudice he saw in American society is something he used and applied to his X-Men. These mutants who were different suddenly became relatable when Claremont witnessed the rift caused by prejudice and racial discrimination and used those concepts to build massively interesting story lines.
One of the early stories to deal with this idea of Mutant discrimination can be seen in GOD LOVES, MAN KILLS. Claremont's graphic novel delved into the struggle of the mutants. In this story, Reverend Stryker took it upon himself to isolate the mutants and call for a "genocide in the name of God." The story was very raw and very real, and was likely influenced by reality. Although this story took place years ago, the issues it addressed are still very real and continue to plague the mutant race in more recent story lines.
Recently the Purifiers have come to the forefront of several comic series. First in X-Factor where a de-powered Rictor joined the organization to spy on them for the X-Men, and also in the three part mini-series FEAR ITSELF: UNCANNY X-FORCE. The Purifiers may not presently be in any major ongoing story, but it is clear that the organization continues to strive for the genocide of the mutant race. The threat of the Purifiers exists and therefore the mutants continue to be a threat to parts of "humanity."
Very soon the X-Men will be going up against the Avengers in the AVENGERS VS X-MEN which launches this April and according to the minds behind this upcoming story arc not everyone will make it out alive. Combine that with the fact that some of the X-Men will be fighting against their own, (Wolverine and Beast will be up against the X-Men in some of the promotional art), the X-Men will ultimately grow even weaker.
Looking at the bigger picture, this is pretty bad news for the X-Men. The rift that was caused by SCHISM is still present and doesn't appear to be resolving any time soon, so going up against the AVENGERS when so many mutants have been de-powered is about one of the worst things that could happen to the mutant race. Weakened, and with a plethora of external forces that want to see their demise, the X-Men are in a bad position. Now more than ever the mutants need to come to terms with their differences and resolve them for the sake of their own survival.
What do you think? What do you think is the biggest threat to the X-Men? Do you think they should overlook their differences and come together once again, or do you think that Scarlet Witch's "no more mutants" was a self fulfilling prophecy?