Best school for mages/superheroes? (MatPat video inbound)

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Best school for mages/superheroes? (MatPat video inbound)

Post by Formless » 2016-10-05 02:08am

So a week ago I saw this video by MatPat on Film Theory and thought "gee, that's interesting".

Of course, one week later and I'm still unsure what to think of his judgement that Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is a better school than Hogwarts is true, or whether my doubts are just nostalgia for Harry Potter talking. I am, after all, not an expert on the X-Men franchise. So I'm opening this up for SDN to discuss: for those of you familiar with the relevant stories and the schools discussed, which of these really is the best school as a school, and can you think of any schools from fantasy fiction that surpass them? And is MatPat's choice of using The Princton Review's eight criteria really the best or most applicable for these fictional places of learning? Discuss!
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Re: Best school for mages/superheroes? (MatPat video inbound)

Post by Zixinus » 2016-10-05 05:00am

I think an important point to consider: how well do the schools work for non-heroes or otherwise non-protagonist? Because the protagonist is almost always exceptional in various ways or at least regularly stumbles into adventures that doesn't involve regular students. Or the school goes into mayhem or is otherwise affected by the protagonist's actions. Harry Potter being rather infamously hard on Defense Against Dark Arts teachers for example, where his adventures directly impact the school's regular operation.

Then there is stuff that happens because the story requires it. Xavier's school being regularly attacked in the films, which is a severe negative point. Say whatever you want about "safe spaces", schools shouldn't allow itself to be shot up regularly. Xavier's students regularly brawled with other mutants in the cartoons too, which are are not intended extra-curricular activity and thus again a negative point.
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Re: Best school for mages/superheroes? (MatPat video inbound)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2016-10-05 05:09am

In point of fact, while I have not seen any X-man film after Wolverine except Deadpool, I only recall one major attack on Xavier's school, at a point when things had basically escalated to genocidal warfare.

Edit: D'oh, forgot I saw First Class.

Which probably tells you something of how highly I thought of First Class. :wink:
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Re: Best school for mages/superheroes? (MatPat video inbound)

Post by Majin Gojira » 2016-10-09 10:55pm

Honestly? Avengers Academy. Baring one incident which is utterly Hopeless, it held itself pretty well. In its later incarnation, it became a vocational school. A revolving staff with many guest speakers, small class sizes, and a minimum of violent attacks against the school (seriously, in the comics, the school blows up, or the students are kidnapped every other week) elevates it pretty high in my esteems.

Well, while it was running, at least.
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Re: Best school for mages/superheroes? (MatPat video inbound)

Post by Q99 » 2016-10-10 05:02pm

Xavier's does a pretty good job at training kids, but being a mutant already puts a bullseye on you- notably, whether or not you're there (see: Morlocks), so the body count is fairly significant. It's notable that the average Xavier's school graduate, deprived of powers and attacked by a gang of half a dozen anti-mutant bigots, is probably going to walk out of there.

And on the one hand, they aren't the best at teaching normal job skills, on the other, they *can* teach you super science, magic, etc..

Finally, they're just a much nicer environment. Hogwarts has a large cadre of influential people who care if you're a 'mudblood,' and your lineage. There's baked in bigotry and outdated thoughts, teachers bullying students is considered ok (Dumbledore didn't view it as a major problem when Snape did it). Xavier's has teachers there to provide counseling, advice if you're gay, people pick on you for your religion or look or whatever, and provide an ear and a shoulder.

So, on the one hand, Hogwarts guarantees you'll get the full magic toolbox, which is quite helpful, *but* you're in the wizarding world with it's significant warts and issues, many of which are social. Xaviers means you're automatically a mutant and thus target, your powers may be not as good as a wizard's, but they do have fairly significant defenses for you, and the environment is sooo much better.

For other good schools from elsewhere, there's the school PS238, a fun supers comic about an elementary school for kids. Which even has a magic class. Good place, good environment, not perfect, but beats either.

Then there's UA from My Hero Academia. A *very* professional hero school for highschool-aged trainees (in a world where 80% of people have powers, though many are quite minor). Their heroing curriculum has quite impressed me. Considering they're only a school for top-shelf super candidates and a smaller number of them, and all the students come in with some level of existing training from prep schools, they aren't exactly comparable to the above. Early on they aren't even a boarding school. Even so, they'll teach you how to hero, and hero well.

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