The battle of the superhero definitions is at its end and it is official. The X-Men and other superheros are not human. To be more specific the mutants are not “dolls”. The definition of dolls by the US Customs Bureau are modeled after “only human beings.” The government has officially ruled that they are toys, which represent “animals or non-human creatures.”
Why on Earth (or beyond) should any one care? Well Marvel and other toy manufacturers care because the definition saves them hundreds of millions of dollars.
The U.S. government decided to enter this fray 19 years ago when, at entrance points to the US, officials declared the superheros dolls. Labeling the figures as “dolls” made importing them subject to a 12 percent tax rather than a 6.8 percent tax which is levied on toys.
Recognizing the difference between toys and dolls, international trade lawyers Sherry Singer and Indie Singh saw an opportunity to save Marvel a lot of money by getting the X-Men, along with Marvel’s other action figures, including the Hulk, Spider-Man, and Iron Man, reclassified as toys.
Singer broke it down to Fox News,
“Humans have eyes, and ears, and mouths, and noses, and legs, and arms. It was other features these figures had that, we believe, made them non-human.”
Singer listed a plethora of traits that the superheros had (fur, blades, super powers) that distinctly made them not human. After a very long fight, the United States Court of International Trade agreed.
The Court wrote in it’s decision,
“Whatever the degree is to which they resemble human beings, the court finds that these action figures do not represent human beings …These fabulous characters use their extraordinary and unnatural physical and psychic powers on the side of either good or evil,”
Joe Liebman, the former lead attorney in the case for the U.S Department of Justice told Fox News,
“The government’s position was that the essential nature of these figures and the characters that they represented in the story … were essentially human despite the presence of these additional features or abilities,”
The Difficult part for Singer was convincing the judge that all of the superheros were not humans representations regardless of their human like traits. He had to bring in a box of all the different action figures and convince the judge one by one with Leibman arguing for them to be accepted as humans.
The judge in the end took the incendiary step of excluding the mutants from the human race, keeping mutants in an unaccepted role in society and saving Marvel tons of money.
Do you agree that mutants are not human?
Watch a movie about Marvel Comics Lawsuit win.