WASTED POTENTIAL: X-Men: First Class and the Death of Armando Muñoz
Or, How Racism F%#@ed the X-Men Movies
It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am absolutely, ridiculously invested in the X-Men Cinematic Universe. Or, more specifically, I’m invested in what the XMCU could have been, if it had been approached as a cohesive whole rather than a series of vaguely confused attempts at continuity and Wolverine cameos.
For me, the biggest moment of missed potential comes with the death of Armando “Darwin” Muñoz at the midpoint of X-Men: First Class. People have talked, of course, about how his death was racist and doesn’t make sense – because it was racist, and fundamentally, it doesn’t make sense.
To be fair, I don’t think the writers were being intentionally racist when they killed Armando off in the same scene where the movie’s only other black character defects to the side of the bad guys. I don’t think they were being intentionally racist when they had a Nazi kill a black man, who, in the comics, is literally and demonstrably unkillable.
But they did these things, and these things were racist.
And to be honest, that racism kinda f%#@ed the franchise. It’s not the only thing that did – the decision to put ten year timeskips in between each movie of the second trilogy certainly didn’t help matters – but I think that it’s the single bad decision that, if averted, would have changed everything.
Under the cut, I’ll discuss why Armando was such a significant character, and why his death shaped the direction of the franchise by destroying some pretty epic narrative possibilities.
(Trigger Warnings for: mentions of suicide, depression, trauma, real life racism, human experimentation. Nothing more explicit than XMCU canon, however.)
Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker in stills and while rehearsing with director Armando Iannucci on location for TTOI (rehearsal photo by Sam Chapman)
In the Loop & TTOI creator Armando Iannucci in the February 2010 Vanity Fair:
“It’s so funny because when we started writing the part of Malcolm Tucker for the TV show, The Thick of It, which sort of precedes In the Loop, we didn’t have him Scottish at all! We just wrote it. It was the casting director who said, “You must cast Peter Capaldi,” who in reality is very quiet, softly spoken, with a very mellifluous, genteel accent. And then when I met him and asked him to be nasty, he said “Oh, I’m not so sure, but I’ll give it a go.” He was thoroughly nasty and I thought, “That’s Malcolm.”
my half of an art trade with the really rad @spookyfishcakes ! They asked for their oc, Armando. It’s been really hot these past few days and what better way to cool down than a refreshing dip in a pool with a glass of iced tea!
I had a blast drawing him! I really hope you like it!
A/N: So this is how we open our blog… with Captain Saladbar, hooray! Spanish is actually my first language, so i apologize for grammar, i´m still learning. If you think i should correct anything please notify me via message.
Credit: the beautiful art was created by @salmicka1 her blog is awesome! go check it out!
Warnings: Angsts, violence, broken heart
He had a
mission, and you couldn´t be prouder of him. He also made a promise, as soon as
he came back to land he would marry you, you just had to wait… and you did.
passed and you were almost ready to lose hope (he was as stubborn as a mule and
courageous as a bull, he couldn’t just… he couldn’t!) but you heard the rumors
of a Spanish captain hunting down a pirate named Jack Sparrow, the same Jack
Sparrow that supposedly was guilty of sinking the Silent Mary. Your fiancé was
alive, it couldn’t be anyone else but him.
your father, a very important man of high rank, that your husband to be could
still live, sailing somewhere in the sea. In no time a ship and a whole crew was
ready to look for him. The only thing that your father wasn´t counting is that
you were going along with the crew to find him.
found you hiding amongst the provisions it was too late to go back, and it was
obvious that you wouldn’t get down without a good fight.
passed, your course was only guided by rumors of honourless men you met in the
docks of towns, until one night you were awaken by the explosions of cannons, apparently
you had finally met another ship, but clearly they weren’t as cordial. The
Spanish Royal Navy had no enemies in this waters, no one except… pirates. The
kind of filthy pirates that took the love of your life away from you.
thoughts of realization were interrupted by the screams of fear and grunts of
pain coming from the crew fighting for their lives. No! Your journey couldn´t
end like this! This couldn’t be happening. But the silver glow of a sword
hanging from the wall at your right filled you with rage, but rage and courage.
You took it
without a second thought. Everyone was here because of your orders, you
wouldn’t let them die alone. Enemy steps were coming down the stairs directly
at your chambers. You hid next to the door, took a deep breath and as it opened
you stroke right to the chest. Your gaze rose only to meet a patch and a golden
eye, “¿Lesaro?” your lips spoke in almost a sob, “¡señorita!” he simply
responded, clearly surprised too.
Lesaro, the right hand of Armando Salazar, was being impaled by your sword. You
let out a scream and released your tight hold on the handle. He quickly
retreated upstairs again. You went after him, how was he still standing? A
heavy fog met you at the deck, figures running around in the darkness of the night.
“Everyone stop!” Lesaro commanded, the shadows stood their ground obedient.
“Capitán! This is- is one of our ships, a Spaniard ship” “No…” a strong raspy
voice growled back. The fog started to dissipate almost as if they were the
ones controlling it, you were met with the gaze of at least 30 men surrounding
you and the terrified surviving crew.
Most of the
candles had been blown out, but in the darkness you could still recognize the
old black and white striped uniforms they bared before you. And up there next
to the rudder stood Lesaro (still with your sword logged in his chest) along
with a strong figure using a sword as a cane.
filled with tears “Armando!” you screamed at him, pain mixed with anger. “and
la señorita is here too” Lesaro said almost ashamed of not telling the captain
sooner. Salazar panted, he couldn’t believe his eyes, his beautiful fiancé
stood before him. “(f/n), amor mío” he spoke, it truly was him.
nightgown danced as you ran to meet him, but he stopped you raising his hand
“¡no! Don’t come any closer” he shook his head, you could have sworn his dark
locks floated. “Why? W-what’s the matter?” “fear not mi amor, soon we’ll be
together. But for now you must be strong and patient, I promise I will come
back to you. Now, go back to land where it’s safe-” “safe from what, Armando?
From you?” you reached for the last burning lamp and climbed the last steps of
stairs towards him and Lesaro, he tried to step back, looking away. “What are
you hiding from me?!” but that man was not your loved captain, not anymore. The
lamp almost slid from your fingers, a dead man, the corpse of the great Captain
Salazar stood before you, black ink (you hoped) dripping from his lips. “Go
back to land (f/n), please. You’re too precious to me, if any of those
disgusting pirates got their hands on you I- go back to land!” his voice rose.
You didn´t fear
his temperament nor his appearance, clearly he still cared. Stepping closer you
copped his face in your hands “mi amor… what have they done to you?” “I will
have my revenge, they will pay for hurting us this much. I love you.” he kissed
your forehead and banished back to the Silent Mary before you could kiss him
capitán taught you well” Lesaro returned the sword, your tears collided with
the smile he planted in your face, “take care of yourself, señorita (l/n)”
“bring him back to me Lesaro, that’s an order” you tried to joke but your heart
still broke “I will (f/n)” he gave you a bow and jumped back.
sailed away while you hugged the sword that gave you some strange comfort, you
suffered a sad deja vu from years ago. Why couldn’t he just take you with him?
Why must he abandon you again? You needed to be by his side and protect him,
but right now you could just honor his wishes, “back to land” you commanded to
the survivors, it took them a few moments to process what just happened but
they obeyed, mostly because they wanted to get as far from them as possible. An
island was not far away, an island with a single habitant, a woman who was
abandoned too but in her case she was abandoned by a pirate.
Transfiguration went by quickly, the usual exercises and practices - just a little spiced up considering your year and level of expertise. One hand lazily swaying your wand and the other cupping your cheek, you repeated each incantation given to you carelessly.
Your usual passionate, ready to learn demeanor was overshadowed by your disappointment and anger. Transfiguration took concentration, precise incantations and exactly perfected wand movements - all of these things you usually excelled at but today, not at all.
Occasionally you’d steal glances at your enthusiastic Transfiguration Professor, Albus Dumbledore - to your convenience. He noticed your soft, glossy-eyed gaze and although this didn’t distract him from teaching, he still kept one eye on you throughout class.
“Remember students, do not grip your wands too harshly as it forces your wand to point at a downward angle. Precision is one of the many keys to success, but I have faith in all of you.” Dumbledore lectured to keen ears.
Sighing softly and gathering your things into your satchel, you turned to leave when a large shadow blanketed you. “A moment, please, Y/N.”
You nodded and the two of you waited for the last students to leave for their next class. Pulling your white sleeves over your elbows and to your wrists, eyes cast down.
“I’ve been meaning to tell you something, Professor.” You admitted, “Something that troubles you, it seems.”
You looked up at the man, who’s face expressed a deep concern for you. “The hex. You said it was dangerous, that whoever cast it wanted to really hurt me. I think I know who it was.”
Dumbledore flashed you a warm, fatherly smile and raised his hand to halt, and so you did. Only after Dumbledore’s eyes detached from you to something behind you did you turn to inspect.
He stood in the doorway, books tucked under his arm neatly, eyes on Dumbledore and then on you.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, Professor, but Y/N is going to be late for their class if we don’t hurry.” He said politely, though his eyes were narrowed and his lips seemed to tug downward faintly.
“I said you don’t need to escort me, Riddle. Are you deaf?” You snapped, breaking away from his gaze. Dumbledore tutted at this but his eyes showed how he truly felt. He liked your fire.
“Tom has offered to help you until we discover the caster who hexed you, Y/N. Wouldn’t it be wise to show appreciation?” He teased, fingers running down his beard.
You blushed and shook your head, “But I know who hexed me!”
Tom was at your side in a flash, nose in your business. Professor Dumbledore raised inquisitive brows at you and then turned to the brunette at your side.
“If you’ll excuse us, Tom. Come along, Y/N. We’ll discuss this somewhere more private.” Your shoulders tensed and you nodded enthusiastically, “Yes, yes please.”
Riddle seemed put off but nodded politely, “Of course, Professor. Please let me know if everything goes well, if you need my assistance.” Dark eyes lingered over you before their owner turned with the wave of his robes and left the room.
You waited until his footsteps were faint enough to assure he was far away before letting out a relieved breath. The soft laugh next to you lifted your spirits, “Thank you, sir.”
Dumbledore guided you from the classroom and into the halls, “Where are we going, Professor?”
“To speak to the Headmaster,” he responded, “this is a very serious matter, Y/N, we’ll need to speak to Professor Dippet.”
Shaky legs carried you to the hidden staircase and the tall man raised a finger to his lips, “I trust you won’t be telling anyone about this.” You laughed, your heart fluttering at his playful demeanor. “Tell them what, sir?”
“Very good.” Dumbledore turned to the stone gargoyle and authoritatively spoke, “Of the army.”
The stone monstrosity shuddered before turning its back to you, exposing the spiral staircase. You’d been there before several times in your first year at Hogwarts for misdemeanors - all altercations instigated by other students.
Anxiously walking up the stairs, you noticed the immediate temperature change and a wave of nostalgia washed over you.
You were eleven years old and after two months of torment by your fellow housemates, young and old, when you’d finally had enough. It was the first time you’d ever stood up for yourself.
Abraxas had his sights on you the moment you met and had ever since then. You were always the victim of any cruel prank or gang-up he had planned and after he set your robe on fire during Charms - claiming it was an ‘accident’, you’d had it.
Eyes teary and robes tarnished, you turned and snatched the snarky pureblood’s wand and stood up, “I’ve had it with you!”
Malfoy stood up and sneered at you, hand outstretched, “Give me my wand, mudblood.”
That was all it took. With a soft snap, the entire class fell silent, save for your breathing.
“Y/N!” Your Professor shouted, and Abraxas snatched the remnants of what was once his wand from your hands and frantically tried to push the two pieces together.
“You broke my wand! How dare you, you broke my wand!” Abraxas shouted, tossing the wood onto the table and launching at you with a ferocity you’d never seen before or since that day.
Needless to say, both Abraxas and yourself were suspended from classes for a week and each had to serve two months’ worth detention, your family being billed for the expenses of fixing Malfoy’s wand.
“Excuse us, Headmaster,” called Dumbledore from behind the old mahogany door. “Enter.”
The door swung open on its own accord and you had to squint your eyes to see the hunched, brown-haired man behind his desk.
Scribbling hastily onto a piece of parchment, a wand without a hand dipped itself into a nearby ink bottle. You watched that with fascination before the clearing of the Headmaster’s throat stole your attention.
Dippet was standing at his full and looked down at you with intimidating eyes. Armando was a kind, caring Headmaster but very strict and radiated authority.
A sheepish smile found your face and you scratched your chin anxiously, “I’m sorry to disturb you, sir.”
Dippet watched you for a moment longer before letting out a tired sigh, hands finding his temples. “Y/N believes they know who was behind the hex from Friday.”
Brows raising, Headmaster Dippet hummed as he approached, “I hope you’re feeling better after your ordeal. I’m sorry I wasn’t present, Y/N. Business to attend to.”
You shook your head a little too eagerly, “I understand, Professor. You’re busy - and yes, I’m fine.”
“So, you think you know who hexed you, Y/N. Before I even ask who it is, I have to ask if you’re absolutely certain.” Dippet said, quill dropping lifelessly into the ink bottle as his attention was fully on you.
You frowned, “Well, I can’t be completely sure that it was him, but there’s no one else who hates me more than him.” scratching your chin and shifting from foot to foot, you looked up at the Headmaster, “Right before I passed out, we had a fight in the hallway.”
Eyes hardening at you, Dippet sighed, “I thought you two were past this childish squabbling.” You felt tears well in your eyes and he noticed this, leaning down to your level. “Y/N, walk me through what happened and then we’ll decide how to proceed.”
You nodded, taking a moment to recount everything that happened in order before you began, “I was feeling ill from dinner and had to use the restroom and when I came out, we bumped in the hall,” cringing at the memory of what Riddle had said to you, “He was angry that I sat with Tom at the front of the table. You know, where the popular students sit.”
Dippet clicked his tongue, “Children making hierarchies. Ridiculous. I’ve never understood it.” Dumbledore agreed, fingers gently brushing the end of his beard.
“He was doing what he always does, you know, calling me a mudblood, dirty, the usual. I ignored him,” the Headmaster inhaled through his nose and with the wave of his hand, a clean piece of parchment made it’s way from a stack on the shelf to his desk and the quill began scribbling again.
“It’s Abraxas, sir, he got angry and I riled him up for fun. I didn’t hear what he said after that, I was already leaving.” Your eyes drifted from Armando to the quill and back to him, “He was pretty pissed off, sir,”
“Language, Y/N.” Dippet scolded and you blushed, “S-Sorry, sir.”
The two Professors exchanged looks for a moment, all the while you stood uncomfortably between them, trying to act interested in something else. “Your history with Malfoy has always been a troubled one.”
Raising your gaze again, you shot him a quizzical look. “That being said, I can’t guarantee that he was the one who injured you. The two of you have argued countless times but neither of you have ever ended up in the hospital wing. Rivalry doesn’t usually escalate to hatred.”
You gaped at him, “Rivalry? We’re not rivals, we’ve never been rivals. I hate Abraxas and he hates me. He hexed me!” Dippet’s eyes hardened at you, “Watch your tone, Y/N. I won’t tolerate being spoken to with such disrespect.”
Flinching, you shamefully looked at your feet, “Sir, please,” you pleaded, “I know it was him. It had to be him.”
“Until there is hard evidence that he had something to do with it, we can’t take action. I want to help you, I want to bring whoever did this to justice, but I can’t do that with your opinion alone. It isn’t enough.” Dippet looked almost apologetic, but he turned his back to you as he continued.
“I’ve been told you’re being escorted to and from classes by Tom Riddle, you’ll continue to do so while I investigate this further - personally.” Fists clenched, you said nothing despite internally wanting to scream. You didn’t even want to look at Tom Riddle.
Silence fell and as the tension rose, you were dismissed.
In 2001, Armin Meiwes posted an advertisement on a website called The Cannibal Cafe which read: “looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed”. He received a response from Bernd Jürgen Armando Brandes, an engineer from Berlin. They met up on 9 March, 2001, and videotaped the event. It began with Meiwes amputating Brandes’s penis and then the two men attempted to eat it but as Brandes said, it was too “chewy”. Brandes had originally insisted that Meiwes bite his penis off but this proved to be too difficult. Meiwes then fried the severed penis with salt, garlic, and wine. Brandes, weakened from blood loss, was placed in the bath to bleed out for three hours while Meiwes read a book. Meiwes then gave him alcohol, pain killers, and sleeping pills, kissed him goodbye, and took him to his “slaughter room” which he had built for this occasion. Meiwes then stabbed Brandes in the throat, placed him on a meat hook, and began cutting off chunks of flesh that he froze and continued to eat over the next 10 months. He consumed as much as 44lbs of the flesh. Meiwes was apprehended in December, 2002, after he began posting online for another willing participant to consume. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and has since become a vegetarian. There are screenshots from the video available online, but not the video itself.
A/N: Hey lol this is the first time I post an imagine on here xD So uhm this is for all the Salazar fans :)
Warnings: Smut and Spanish language
You woke up beside your beloved. It was late at night but you couldn’t get yourself to go back to sleep so you decided you would get up and take in some fresh night air.
You slowly got up, you made sure not to do any sound. You didn’t want to wake Armando, who was sleeping cozingly in your bed. You went to leave but suddenly stopped. Salazar’s black and white stripped coat was just hanging on the back of the door. Salazar never really let you wear it but you wanted it all the time. You used to beg on your knees but he would always say ‘no’ so, eventually you stopped. You thought it was the perfect time to ‘steal’ it since Salazar and all the crew was sleeping, so you took it and left.
You walked up to the governing board and lean over the railing of the ship. You admire the reflect of the moon over the ocean. Its white light shining over the whole ship. It was truly beautiful. It was so calm. There was no wind. All that could be heard was the rocking of the ship. You closed your eyes and took in the calmness of the ocean.
“So querido, you finally got to steal my jacket didn’t you?” Armando said from behind you, wrapping his strong arms around your waist.
“Mmmhh” you responded, leaning in to his touch.
“I must say, my coat makes you irresistible” you turned around to meet his beautiful pale brown eyes.
“So mi amor, does that mean I can wear it more often?” you asked teasingly.
“Si” he responded, before leaning down to kiss you softly. You kissed back, deepening it. His grip on your waist tightened.
“Mi amor…” he said between kisses, “are my…. only… weakness”
A smirk grew on your face. You pulled a way, reluctantly.
“Am I now?” You teased.
“Si” He groaned. Suddenly he swiped you off your feet and took you in his arms, bridal style. You giggled at the sudden gesture. He carried you back to your room and gently placed you on the bed you both were sharing. He climbed over you, hovering over you.
“You have no idea how much I… love… you” He said in between kisses he planted on your neck
“Oh I think I do, querido” You responded, making him leave a love bit on your sweet spot. You gasp as he did so.
Your fingers found their way to his hair. Your fingers entwined with his locks. He groaned at the feeling. He made his way down to your collar bone. He stopped when he couldn’t go further down because your shirt was in the way.
You sat up. He took off his coat over your shoulders and proceeded with your shirt, leaving you just in your bra and pants.
You lean up to his ear and whispered, “Mi amor, ven y juega conmigo”
He kissed you and roughly pushed you down on the bed. He took off his shirt and tossed it aside. His lips crashed with yours once more. Your hands roamed up and down his muscular chest until they found their way to his pants. You unzipped them and he took them off, leaving him in just his boxers. He unzipped yours and command you to lift your hips so he could take your pants off. He leaned down and took of your bra, leaving the both of you naked.
“Y/n, you are beautiful” He almost whispered.
He took one of your breast in his hand and squeezed it hard and sucked on the other, making you moan.
“Capitán… Please” You almosy begged.
“Patience, mi amor”
“Please…” You begged once more.
“Tú ganar” He responded with a smirk.
He aligned himself with you. He roughly pushed himself inside of you. You screamed in both pain and pleasure. Salazar starts to roughly thrust inside of you, not letting yo adjust to his size. You moan Armando’s last name.
“Scream my name amor”
“SALAZAR” You scream. You don’t care if the whole crew can hear you. Salazar goes faster and harder until all his length is in you.
Whenever you called him Salazar instead of Armando, it made him weak. He loved it.
“S-SALAZAR PLEASE” You panted out of breath. You were close and he knew it. He bit down at your collar bone, leaving a huge mark which was gonna show.
He thrusted a few more times before you came. He came inside of you.
He removed himself out of you and crashed on the bed beside you. You were both out of breath.
“You know querido, I love you” He said.
“Mi amor, I do too. Nothing will ever seperate us” You replied. He wrapped his arms around you and pulled you close to his chest. You buried your face in the crock of his neck and doze off.
FACES. Daniel wakes up in a strange place the next morning. “Trevor” had gone with Julius to party some more after dumping his “problem” in the river. Frankly, the nazis should’ve just killed him in the apartment & took his money; it’s a surprise to still be alive, let alone in this hellish situation with a hangover to match. WHERE “this” was, another question. Signs of heavy partying- including the partiers- were everywhere. He went searching for his jacket & phone, only to find doors locked with a key. “Going somewhere?” a man suddenly asked in English. Daniel turned to see it was the barkeeper from the club, Armando, with Julius behind him. “My apartment,” Daniel said, just to say something. This was dangerous ground. Armando told him the police had been there, so, not a good idea. Daniel narrowed his eyes. He asked about Lena, was told this was a Ganz house. Okay, keep playing along to get inside this group, so he did when they asked him to stay awhile, testing him. For now, they had his phone.
Lena shows up a few hours later. Daniel, chafing to get on with meeting Otto Ganz, makes a few wisecracks in keeping with “Trevor”’s attitude and agrees to go on her shopping trip. He knows it’s another ugly test when they pick a grocery owned by Muslims, harasses them. Then he sees Julius pull out his knife when they spot the owner’s wife and daughter. Acting quickly to avoid worse violence, he shouts gleefully while pushing over product displays and the store owner, runs around and out, still shouting slurs. Luckily, Julius and Lena follow his lead, leaving the store without seriously harming anyone as Daniel intended with his distraction. How many more times would this work? He needed to get to Otto Ganz quickly and uncover their plot.
BERLIN STATION Season 2 also airing in US on SPIKE channel! Begins October 22 at 8 pm ET.
Hi, lads… I tried to find, IF Armando´s wounds from his last battle were fatal. (sorry for bad quality of screenshots)
First: Stab from Barbossa - definitely NOT fatal wound. Barbossa stabbed Armando from the back right side under his collar bone. As you can see from pictures below, the tip of the sword left Armando´s body somewhere under his collar bone, but the sword did not break captain´s ribs or the organs in the ribcage.
Second: collision with Magda and Bracero - definitely NOT fatal for anyone of them. The point is, that they lowered the speed of captain´s fall.
Third: collision with the anchor. Well, that´s the problem. but not so serious as thought first time. Why? Because Salazar DID NOT hit the anchor with his head (see screenshot below), but with the lower part of his chest. It much depends on the speed of the fall, but probably his stomach (maybe liver) get torn by this hit. That wound could be fatal… BUT! …
stomach surgery in these times was nearly always fatal, because of the infection from digesting tract…. but captain and his crew did NOT eat for nearly 40 years = no infection from this point of view. Sooo… you know, what I mean?
Last one: water - holy ship, you all are sailors and can swim (or hold your breath enough long).
Result: If Silent Mary was changed as its crew was, if Magda saved himself, and if captain had extraordinary luck…(and 2 years recovery) he could survive.
Maria remained frozen as Salazar leaned close, head cocking as he studied her. He emitted a raspy exhale as he recoiled slightly.
“Rebeca,”he croaked, one hand slowly reaching up - as if to cradle Maria’s face. “You are…Rebeca’s?”
“Si,” Maria answered quietly. She could see much of herself in her father’s face: the shape of her eyes, the set of her mouth, the strength of her jaw. But the yellowness in his eyes…that was not of him. It was as though something else was looking at her through him. “My name is Maria.”
Salazar echoed her name, but as his fingers brushed her skin Maria yelped in sudden pain; that yelp was echoed by an unholy screech from Salazar. He sprang away, the fingers that had brushed her tightening as if burned.
“What is this?!” he snarled. Maria’s first thought was her amulet - but another thought came to her.
“…I am your living blood, Papa,” she breathed. “Whatever holds you between life and death…it does not want you near me.”
Below, near Jack, Jozefo bustled instantly to ready wards, finding an incense that could banish evil spirits - but at a weaker strength than he would. He did not want to accidentally kill any of the men a second time - but to discourage them from attacking the ship or crew, yes.