Quite a few commentators have dismissed the big-screen adaptation of the first volume in Ransom Riggs’ bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children young-adult series as “Tim Burton’s X-Men”. In comics we’ve learned to accept the coexistence of dozens of super-teams among the numerous universes over the past century, many of which aren’t superfluous and forgettable. Meanwhile in movies, someone gathers a few paranormals and no one can think of any other basis for comparison beyond the X-Men. Y’all do know “school for kids with powers” isn’t a rare pop culture concept anymore, right? Besides, I called dibs on the joke four years ago and beat the rush. See below.
If the stakes were catastrophic enough, the training techniques were sufficiently intensive, and the world were just that unforgiving, who’s to say preteens couldn’t be accelerated to maturity and transmogrified into hardened soldiers like today’s eighteen-year-old American military volunteers?
Thus is the foundation laid for Ender’s Game: in a future where millions have perished at the hands of insectoid aliens (the predominant taxonomic class of Hollywood aliens), Earth’s last hope — and who knows how many hopes were wasted before the story begins — lie in an interstellar military system built on targeting the most gifted junior high students for recruitment, instead of the older kids least likely to go to college.