The X-Men Clue


Isidore Locked Room Mystery Story

This kept me up last night. Still is tonight.

A screenshot  shot of the clue in question: this is the scene in DoFP when Erik boards Charles’ plane after he’s been busted out of jail. He goes to reach for the newspaper in front of Wolverine, but he extends his bone claws to stop Erik from taking it. First thing- Wolverine has his three claws on the paper, Erik has three fingers on the paper. Wolverine is being protective here of a newspaper- why? Well, the camera zooms in on the paper for a reason. If you pause the screen and look at the article in question, nothing looks out of place until you start reading it. At first, the article does appear to be about the Paris treaty, but as you read on, halfway through the first column the story shifts abruptly to a different story, then returns to the Paris treaty. But by the bottom of the second column, and continuing on through the rest of the article, the other story takes over and repeats over and over. It’s a crime report, detailing the murder of a laundry owner named Isidore Fink. What the hell? Why the hell is that there?

So, I look up this story, right. And hells bells, it’s an actual unsolved crime from New York City that appeared in the New York Times in 1929. So, what the hell is it doing in a paper that’s supposed to be from 1973? The crime in question is one of the more famous real life LOCKED ROOM MYSTERIES. (Link above is to the Isidore murder story.) Anyone familiar with mystery stories will know what that is right away. For those of you who don’t (and I was you a few months ago), here’s what it is (from Wiki):

“The locked room mystery is a subgenre of detective fiction in which a crime—almost always murder—is committed under apparently impossible circumstances. The crime in question typically involves a crime scene that no intruder could have entered or left, e.g., a locked room. Following other conventions of classic detective fiction, the reader is normally presented with the puzzle and all of the clues, and is encouraged to solve the mystery before the solution is revealed in a dramatic climax.”

The Locked Room Mystery trope can be used in many, many ways. And, in fact, it’s the heart and soul of the Sherlock series. Except, instead of just being a crime story, it also stands for a way of introducing a romance- Sherlock’s heart is the locked room and John Watson is the killer- the one who gets into Sherlock’s heart- and vanishes. This particular real life story of Isidore Fink has quite a few clues that lead me to believe this is about Erik and Charles.

1. Isidore lives with another man, Max Schwartz. Well, well. (And Erik’s real name in the comics is Max. Still looking for a possible connection with Isidore to Charles.)

2. Max says during police interviews that Isidore had started to shut himself away more and more a few months before his murder. (Charles slowly retreats from Erik in FC, eventually breaking it off.)

3. Their neighbor, an African American woman strangely named Locklin Smith (lock smith?), is the one who hears the murder happen- but never heard gunshots- and calls the police. (Yet another callback to the previous civil rights battles of the African Americans. I’ll go into detail in my subtext analysis about this, but they are constantly used as a parallel to gay rights.)

4. Isidore was shot with a gun. (“Erik’s always had a way with guns.”)

5. The running theory is that Isidore was shot in the hallway and then retreated to the room in which he was later found. So, he was shot outside the room (Charles’ heart is somewhat open/he’s shot in the open on the Cuban beach) then later retreats where he dies. (foreshadowing Charles’ decade long descent into depression, drugs, and alcohol in DoFP.)

6. Witnesses claim that they’d seen two well dressed women in the hallway just before the shooting, but Max shot down this theory by saying that Isidore never consorted with women. (Two well dressed women- Moira and Raven, the two women who are always the obstacles between Erik and Charles /never consorted with women because Charles is in love with Erik)

7. Isidore and Max lived in New York City. (Charles’ school for mutants is in New York.)

8. In order to get the locked room open so the police could investigate, they had to find a small child to squeeze in through the transom window above the door so he could undo the lock. (Wolverine was the only one with the ability to go back in time and open the locked room/save Charles and Erik’s relationship/bring them back together.)

9. The motive had not been robbery, and the police couldn’t figure out how the killer had just vanished without a trace. (Erik didn’t want any of Charles’ money, he wanted his love. And when Charles rejected him, he vanished- literally.)

10. Max Schwartz, Isidore’s “roommate” and sometimes called landlord, was never considered a suspect. Ever. (No one believes Erik is the one who broke Charles’s heart. The entire audience believes it’s Raven that had that effect. Yeah- “they used her powers of transformation and what, they weaponized it?” You fucking bet they did.)

….So. All this from one repeating story on a close up shot of a newspaper that no one would consider looking at twice, even me, until I started studying subtext. And then I remembered how many graphic novels are FILLED with subtext and symbolism- in fact, in another similarity to Sherlock, one of their cases called The Geek Interpreter (which is THE case that proves the johnlockers are right) is about a young man who convinces Snerlock that his favorite comic book is starting to manifest in real life. Subtext in X-Men is obvious because the story IS subtext for all kinds of civil rights issues, that’s how it was written in the first place. And what is our current civil rights battle?- LGBT.

So, back to the scene at hand:

Wolverine is being protective of the locked room mystery on the newspaper/protective of Charles’ heart because Charles is the reason Wolverine survived his past pain and was able to move forward. He’s always been protective of Charles. Three claws/fingers on the paper from Wolverine and Erik. Erik saying- give him to me, Charles is mine. Wolverine saying- back the fuck off, dude, he saved my life and I don’t give a fuck that you two reconcile in the future, you’re not gonna touch a hair on his head on my watch. Erik says “imagine if they were metal”- of course referring to the fact that Wolverine’s claws become metal in the future when he’s tortured by General Stryker, but also referring to the fact that if he had the ability, he’d force Wolverine out of the way….. Which is exactly what he does at the end of DoFP.

Yeah, so. There’s a locked room mystery being used as a romantic trope in X-Men. I also have to say that I’m starting to believe that maybe it’s also foreshadowing a possible death for Xavier in the future, especially considering that it’s been reported that Ian McKellan, who plays older Erik, will be in the last film but Patrick Stewart, who plays older Charles, will not be. So, I’m thinking Apocalypse may end with the death of Charles, who in the graphic novels then hands over the school to Erik, begging him to continue with it and take over as headmaster. That scene is extremely intimate, and I think if that happens, this is where and when we’ll get the love confession/kiss. After all, every film has an almost death for Charles- FC he is shot in the spine, he and Erik share that amazing beach scene; Days of Future Past, Charles almost dies at the end when the Sentinels find his hiding place, and he and Erik have that love confession between one another. Every time Charles and Erik are in mortal danger, they come within inches of just a total outpouring of love. (Another similarity to Sherlock.) So, last film, I think Charles may actually die. And Erik will get the kick in the ass he needs to tell Charles he loves him.

But, as X-Men tends to do, Charles probably won’t die for real. He never does. And I think… I hope… They’ll end the film franchise with those two in the school, together, where they FUCKING BELONG.

Back to the rest of the subtext analysis. I’ve learned so much because of these films and Sherlock, it’s amazing. I wanted to dissect them both because I MUST know how they’re doing this. I’m nuts obsessed. It’s so beautiful. So, so, so beautiful.


~ by hln351 on March 25, 2015.

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