Xiao-Murphy 1Abraham Xiao-MurphyENGL101Dr. FeelgoodMarch 23, 2011Watchmen and X-Men: Social Commentary Through ComicsMany people might not think that comic books can be a “serious” medium for examining social problems. Throughout the years, comics have been called “mindless” entertainment for kids, and even adangerous or corrupting influence, as a famous book written in the 1950s called Seduction of the Innocent once argued. While it is true that a great many comic books throughout the years have been mindless or even needlessly violent, I assert that two works of comic art have actually contributed in a positive way to how people—especially young people—understand and talk about real-world problems like race and violence. Marvel Comics’ X-Menand DC Comics’ Watchmen offer critical insights on these problems, but in vastly different ways. X-Men was created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Joe Kirby, and the series centers on a group of superhuman “mutants” who must live in (and protect) a world that hates and distrusts them due to theirdangerous powers. From the beginning, this series was a perfect way for Lee and Kirby to discuss issues of race. The mutants in X-Men are born with their powers, making them different from the other “normal” humans in the world: they are part of homo sapiens superior, the next step in human evolution. Alan Moore’s Watchmen, published by DC comics in 1986, is a much darker story than anything in X-Men, but deals with some similar themes.