In Brightest Day: Addiction in Geek Media

Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (x)

demon_in_a_bottleFrom Tony Stark’s alcoholism to Sherlock Holmes’s 7% solution, geek media is rife with portrayals of addiction and substance abuse. As someone who has watched close friends and family members struggle with real addiction, I have a very personal stake in these fictional portrayals. It means a lot to me if a show that includes an addict among its characters takes the time to treat addiction as the complex problem it is. And because of this, I am tremendously turned off by shows that act like an addiction is something that can easily be gotten rid of.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Tessellation

Aside from his work, no one knew anything about Xavier. Not what he looked like, not the full extent of his power–though from what little they did know, he was by far the most powerful telepath in existence–and not what his intentions were. The man was a recluse. As far as Magneto knew, Xavier had never once stepped foot outside his impenetrable Westchester manor.

And now he was scheduled as the keynote speaker for the largest pro-mutant conference in the world.

“I have official confirmation,” Mystique said. Magneto released a breath.

And just like that he was Erik again. Mystique relaxed, losing the stance of his second in command and becoming Raven, the first mutant he’d found and recruited to his cause, someone he considered a friend. Erik grinned.

“Professor Charles Xavier,” he said, giddy with the thought of it.

–from Tessellation by nekosmuse

This week’s rec is one of my old favorites from the X-Men: First Class fandom. In Tessellation, Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr meet under different circumstances—Erik is already the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants, headquartered on the island of Genosha, and Charles is a world-renowned geneticist who’s turned into a complete hermit after the death of his wife, Moira. As in the movie, Charles is pretty frankly amoral about the use of his powers—and unlike in the movie, he’s chosen to remain that way. Erik, too, is older, and a lot of his fanaticism has been dulled by the experience of years. It’s a fascinating what-if story about two characters meeting at a much different time in their lives, and how they influence each other after they meet.

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