I can't wait to fly
Don't get me wrong. Superman was great. I loved Superman. But that was sort of the problem, you know? Everybody loved Superman. Superman was the embodiment of the cool kids' crowd. He was strong, and handsome, and had women swooning after him, and even in a faaaabulous cape and ruby-red boots with two-inch heels, he still came across as butch. So fine, he was an alien whose entire race got blown up in a planetary cataclysm (save for himself, a dog, his cousin, and three criminals in parachute pants), and he was consequently the ultimate outsider to this planet he had chosen to protect. The point is, he was a hero to everybody. He passed.
The first time I read the X-Men was in the mid-eighties. Our family vacation to a beach in South Carolina had gotten rained in, and to shut me up my mom gave me a dollar and let me buy a comic book from the convenience store.
It was an early issue of the Morlock Massacre. There was a cameo by the Power Pack kids; Rachael Summers (Phoenix II) was part of the team; Kitty Pryde was in a stasis chamber on the Blackbird slowly disincorporating. The team spent the whole issue slogging around sewers and fighting mutants with hideous deformations and strange, slightly off-putting powers. The art was a bit sloppy, the story was a giant mess, and I read the entire issue in one sitting and found myself in it.
The X-Men were loathed by everybody. Nobody thought of them as heroes, except for those of us observing their universe from the outside. Every character was tragically flawed, and they muddled through their imperfect lives the best way they knew how, just like the rest of us did.
I think I was too slow to get the message, if there was one intended. It's the same thing I'd tell my ten year old self. Hang on. You'll get through it. Everyone does.