The X-Gene

So I suppose I should come back to one of those sci-fi assertions that were so kindly gifted to me a few days ago. Today I think I’ll take a crack at: mutations can be good.

Which, I have to say, is… true.

They can be good, they’re usually indifferent but they can be good.

However, case and point of showing bad mutations (no matter how silly and exaggerated the X-men theory of genetics appears to be), in the original run of Ultimate X-men (I forget which issue it was but I think it falls somewhere in the New Mutants story arc where beast gets flattened by a sentinel at the end) there is a comic where a young boy wakes up with his mutant powers active, finds no-one in the house, heads to school and realises that he’s releasing a poisonous gas that kills every living thing around him.

Now that’s a shitty power.

This story gets resolved as you would imagine, pretty harshly.

Wolverine finds this boy in the mountains, having been sent their by Nick Fury and lets him know that it wasn’t his fault, that he just drew the short straw before promptly euthanising him with his claws.

Now, you might say, that’s pretty dark.

Well, if you propose that single mutations can make enough of a phylogenetic impact to cause you to grow a whole set of wings, this is the other end of the spectrum.

But in reality, thankfully, it’s very unlikely that this would ever happen.

Mutations are incremental and usually result in no change, in fact, if all mutations were a positive step then evolution would be whirring away a lot faster than we have observed, that is, if the organisms involved are always subject to evolutionary pressures that they would benefit from a leg up over.

More on this another time.


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