While we really don’t write about Marvel Comics at all, this interesting piece over on Boing Boing caught my attention this morning and it is worth discussing. Not because Marvel’s mutants are human or not human, but that the IRS taxes human based toys differently from non-human based toys. If Marvel’s mutants are declared non-human, Marvel gets taxed less when they import their cheap toys from China. The interesting part is that this is a fundamental issue in the entire mutants’ story lines, deciding if they are human or non-human that is being played out in real life thanks to the IRS.
In the end it might not matter about civil wars, secret invasions, or divided we stand, the IRS of all groups might finally put the entire matter to rest for us. Of course Marvel wants them to be non-human for tax purposes, but what will the fan boys and fan girls think of the whole thing? Regardless of the answer, will it be considered a cheap cop out on the part of IRS and Marvel? The arguments are sure to go on regardless of the court decision on human or non-human, what makes this interesting is that this plays so well into the story line. While I doubt we will see a vignette of Cyclops arguing with an IRS agent at year end taxes on human or not human, the potential here is actually pretty interesting.
Radiolab has an absolutely fascinating discussion on this issue as part of a podcast which kept me entertained for the duration of the show. Slash Film also has a short recap of the issue and how it would influence toys all over the place.
Honestly from my viewpoint, Doctor Who is undoubtedly a toy, because he is from Galifrey, Roy is a plastic man, River Song is a child of the Tardis and is only partly human, while Amy Pond depending on what show she is in is human, ganger, or something else entirely. Doctor Who is going to be the range from Toys (non-human) to Dolls (human) depending on what is being manufactured. I would assume then that Daleks, Cybermen, Adipose, and others are also going to be classified as toys for tax purposes. We could have an absolutely interesting discussion about our favorite shows like Battle Star Galatica through Stargate SG-1 on what it is to be human or not-human in the world of popular entertainment. We can even bring in Anime on this one because this burning question must be asked, are cat girls human or not?
Then we need to bring up Barbie, because her proportions are not realistically human, but she has always been classified as a doll (human). If Barbie is declared human, then what about the unrealistic proportions of people like Emma Frost who is also not realistically proportioned. Will this matter in the annals of IRS vs Mutants? Can Barbie be a mutant to go along with that definition because of the unrealistic body dynamics going on here?
Stand by on this one, it promises to be one of the more interesting discussions of 2012, or whenever the IRS and US Customs figure it out for all of us. Who knew that Tax Lawyers could have such a lasting influence on what it means to be human or not-human.
- Real-Life Mutant Rights Debate of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- Marvel’s lawyers get into fanboy flamewar with IRS about human-status of its mutants (boingboing.net)
- Real-Life Weirdness: Marvel Lawyers Insist Mutants Aren’t Human (slashfilm.com)
- For Tax Purposes, Marvel Argues that Mutants Aren’t Human (neatorama.com)
- Marvel lawyers fighting to prove that Mutants aren’t human [Mutants] (io9.com)
- Are Mutants Human? Not for Tax Purposes (forbes.com)
- Marvel Comics Vs The X-Men’s Rights (geeksyndicate.wordpress.com)
- Federal Court Rules that the X-Men are Not Human (escapistmagazine.com)
- Campaign Proposal: Mutant Dawn from Reality Refracted (realityrefracted.com)