"The primary characteristic of this universe lies precisely in the inability to use categories of the real to speak about it." - Jean Baudrillard
I have been trying to wrap my head around that quote for the better part of a week, but it is just not coming together for me, so I've decided to just shoehorn a meaning in there and see what happens. So, starting now, the meaning of Baudrillard's quote is that back issues of X-Men (categories of the real) will never be able to accurately express ideas of mortality.
But they sure do try!
One great melodramatic example of this is in X-Men #31, which was reviewed yesterday at Not Blog X. This issue focuses on Psylocke, a British-born telepath who switched bodies at one point with a ninja assassin (Kwannon). A ninja assassin who was in love! But then there was that bodyswap and later she caught the Legacy Virus and I guess she died after that, but who really cares, right? If the creative team wanted her back, she could be in the next issue, fit as a fiddle with a line of dialogue as simple as "I got better." But let's say we were to take some dialogue between Kwannon and her lover from that issue of X-Men and use it on the cover photo from National Geographic's June 1985 issue. Then would we be accurately expressing ideas of mortality?
I dare say yes! And then I dare you to click on the photo to see what that young girl looks like today. And by today I mean six years ago.