by Jeff Oaks

X-Men were mutants, which frankly we all were I learned, reading them. Who knew what power might be ready to be released by crisis? Which in a way made crisis, danger, panic, transformative if you thought about it right. Outcasts could suddenly catch fire and save the world. A quiet girl might possess her brutal father and end a beating. That a professor lead them, that a man in a wheelchair might stop a whole town merely by thinking it, was important. Not everything was on the surface. Or rather: under some apparently clean surfaces lurked the bizarre, the powerful, the wild, the invulnerable. You might breathe water. You might be able to hear a cat walking in the shadows. You might have the ability to tell happiness from terror from excitement from grief. The fact that you lived in a nuclear age might have good consequences as well as anxiety. What your parents did might quietly unfurl wings within your otherwise utterly ordinary teenage cells. You could jump tall buildings. You could become a Phoenix.