This is an excellent installment that deals with some deep social issues, particularly segregation and the hardships faced by people living on the edge of society.
Liminal people are individuals who are transitory or exist on the fringe. Most often, they are homeless or migrant workers, people who have not been able to occupy a space within the construct we call “normal society.” Often, seeing luminal people makes us uncomfortable. There could be several reasons for this: fear that we are just a few paychecks away from losing what we have; a sense of guilt or shame at seeing others that we cannot aid; and yes, self-righteous disdain and disregard for people we judge as lazy and hence inferior to ourselves.
Issue #3 opens with a scene in a tent city, where homeless people on the fringe of society have tried to build a community for themselves. Like all luminal groups, mainstream society does not want to see them or think about them, and the government officials are quick to find reasons to displace these individuals, pushing them farther away from society.
Female agent: The man you aided…Magneto…is a wanted terrorist.
Homeless man: I…I only gave him soup.
Male agent: Tell us where he went and this will go much better for you.
Homeless man: If I could help you, I would.
Female agent: I hope you understand we feel the same way. We may have additional questions for you. In the meantime, one of the officers will be along shortly to help you…in moving off-site.
Homeless man: But…this…is our home.
I lived in South Florida for many years. That area boasts an abundance of gated communities intended to provide a sense of safety and security to those who choose to live enclosed by gates and walls. It is, in essence, a self-inflicted segregation, separating themselves from others who they fear, who may be different, and who do not fit into the same social mold. I lived in one of these places and I can assure you, there is no sense of community there. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I actually felt more isolated in this manufactured “community” than I do in my current, organic and integrated neighborhood.
In this issue of Magneto, the humans who fear the mutants seek to create their own “gated community” which will provide them with their false sense of protection against those who are different and hence threatening.
“This is meant to be a peaceful refuge for humans…for those who fear what mutants might do…what they might become. Once the facility is complete…we’ll be protected. We’ll be protected because we’ll be segregated.”
This comic forces us to take a hard look at ourselves, at our beliefs and our actions. The media has a tendency to fuel the fires of fear and many respond in a manner that is not in the best interest of society. We extract ourselves, isolating from those that we do not understand and hence make us feel afraid. Fear is often the root of social injustice. I think it is a pretty safe assumption that a society based on fear is doomed to fail. I hope that we can replace some of our fear with trust and acceptance.
Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my post.