In “X-Men: Days of Future Past” This Real-Life US President Is (Probably) a Mutant

20th Century Fox

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


This post contains some spoilers.

The X-Men film series, about a class of mutant superheroes and villains, has always been about the persecution of minorities. The first installment, 2000’s X-Men, drew soft parallels between the US government hunting for mutants and past Nazi atrocities. The story for 2011’s X-Men: First Class, was directly influenced by the civil rights movement and the contrast between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the latest installment, X-Men: Days of Future Past (directed by Bryan Singer, and starring Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Peter Dinklage, and Ellen Page), this theme continues with a storyline surrounding a fictional program from the early 1970s, approved by President Richard Nixon, that involves sending killer robots after America’s closeted mutant population. The film’s political backdrop also features a mutant-ized take on the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, where the US agreed to end direct military involvement in the Vietnam War. On top of that, the new X-Men flick deepens the alternate history explored in the franchise by suggesting that this handsome devil was secretly a mutant:

John F. Kennedy

NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Yep. That’s John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States.

In the film, Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a. Magneto, (played by Fassbender) is being held in a secret prison beneath the Pentagon for his alleged involvement in the JFK assassination. After his fellow X-Men break him out of prison, he claims that he was wrongly convicted and that he was actually trying to save the president from Lee Harvey Oswald’s bullet. His reason? “He was one of us,” Magneto says.

To be fair, this is a brief moment in the movie, and it is never clarified if “one of us” means JFK was a mutant or something along the lines of a friend of the oppressed mutant community. One plausible interpretation of Magneto’s claim here is that it pays homage to the aborted “Princess Diana is a zombie mutant superhero!” plot from the X-Statix spin-off.

We can only assume that JFK’s secret mutant powers consisted of killing Iraqi liberals and rampant lechery.

Now here’s a fake mini-documentary released in November that summarizes Magneto’s alleged involvement in the JFK assassination:

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate