Friday, April 17, 2015

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Official Teaser Trailer [HD]

New rule, Hollywood. Don't ever announce when your trailer is going to be released. It will get leaked early. Like Rule 34, the internet finds a way. Between the dick pics and cat videos, there are rules and the internet is damn good at following them. For some reason, WB didn't get the memo. They announced the Batman v Superman trailer for next week. Guess what fucking happened? Well, I hope they learned their lesson, but they probably didn't.

X-men Supreme Issue 119: Deceptive Dealings PREVIEW and Bios Updates!

The X-men Supreme fanfiction series is nearing one of its most critical moments in its five-year history. When this moment manifests, X-men Supreme will firmly set itself apart from any other form of X-men. It’ll have something that has never been seen in the comics, movies, or cartoon. It’ll become something that no other form of X-men has ever become. It’s a moment that has its roots in events going all the way back to X-men Supreme Volume 2: War Powers. Now all these conflicts and the progression of numerous characters is about to converge in a major way. When all is said and done, the world of X-men Supreme will never be the same.

Now don’t take this to mean that the X-men in this fanfiction series will be unrecognizable. I’ve seen one too many Marvel Comics events that try to change and distort the X-men too much. The same often happens with the Avengers, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. There’s a big difference between changing the direction of a story and distorting the narrative. One is constructive. The other is destructive. I’ve tried to avoid the latter in X-men Supreme. Events like Magneto’s uprising on Genosha, the battle against Weapon X, or the battle against the Cambrian were intended to challenge the X-men into going in new directions. The way they operate changes. The way the team interacts with one another changes. But the fundamental narrative of the X-men does not change.

That’s something I think Marvel loses track of from time to time. That’s something even other comic companies like DC lose track of as well. They try to make heroes like the X-men too different from what they are at their core. I’m going to try and avoid that with X-men Supreme. But this upcoming conflict is going to shake things up in ways that will both shock and intrigue readers. It was set into motion the moment the Black Queen was defeated on Nova Roma. Now it’s about to manifest in a terrifying way.

The architect of this moment is Sinister, one of the X-men’s most devious and dangerous enemies. It could be argued that Sinister is a far more dangerous enemy than someone like Magneto. Whereas Magneto has a greater vision for mutants as a whole, Sinister’s agenda is more obscure. He’s willing to deceive, torment, and manipulate anyone he has to in order to get what he wants. And with the death of the Black Queen, his desires have become much darker. And the X-men are about to find out in a very painful way. The darkest hour of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series is set to begin. And as always, I’ve prepared a preview of the beginning of this dark and pivotal turn.

“Mission log entry 15. The incident with Weapon Plus has added some bizarre twists to this all-around shit storm. Being dragged away to put down Fantomex was more than just inconvenient. It proved General Grimshaw correct on multiple levels. Not only was Colonel Wraith full of shit. His work confirmed some of the General’s other suspcisions as well. He believed there were some shady dealings with Shaw Industries involving mutant research. According to the statement that Professor Xavier gave the MSA, the techno-organic material that made Fantomex originated from Shaw Industries. Officially, that research was abandoned. Unofficially, Shaw kept working on it. Now sonny boy, Shanobi Shaw, seems to be using it as well. I’m not sure who is pulling the strings here. That’s why I’m here at Shaw Biotech where I hope to find some answers before another Fantomex screws everything up.”

Captain Jack Freeman put away his recorder before entering the vast complex. It was late at night in this remote part of New Mexico. Keeping records of his mission in facilities this secure was tricky. For something that was officially off the books, it was necessary. After the battle against Fantomex, he was content to return to missions more befitting of a soldier rather than that of a mutant.

He entered the facility with ease. Using his adaptive body, he pulled off another high altitude jump from a stealth helicopter to land on the roof of the complex. He then placed a special device he borrowed from the CIA near a fuse, which would scramble the sensors and allow him to enter without tripping the alarms. Shaw Industries was notorious for using security measures that put some military installations to shame. For systems this elaborate, they had to be hiding more than just trade secrets.

“You never make it easy for me, Shaw. Wish I was used to it by now, but you just insist on being a gigantic prick,” mused the mutant soldier.

With the sensors scrambled, Captain Freeman forced his way through the top level stair-case near the air conditioner ducts. As soon as he was in, he stayed on his guard and made his way down the stairs. According to the mission details, what he was looking for was on the eighth floor. It required him to cut across a few security barriers and take out a few guards, which was pretty standard for a Shaw Industries facility. If the information he needed was as valuable as he was told, then he had a long night ahead of him.

“Here we go again,” he sighed as he prepared to enter the danger.

The Green Beret approached the door to the eighth level. He had only non-lethal weapons at his disposal. His orders were not to kill anyone. That would bring way too much scrutiny to his mission. Armed only with a special stun gun and his fists, he opened the door and did a quick scan of the area. That was when he confronted an unexpected sight.

“What the fuck?” said Captain Freeman in confusion.

It appeared someone else had done his work for him. As soon as he entered the main hallway, he saw the unconscious bodies of several guards strewn along the floors. They were all lying motionless, but there was no blood or signs of a struggle. It was as if someone had just put them into a deep sleep. Looking around more urgently, he also saw that the security cameras weren’t on and the barriers in front of him had already been breached. Something was definitely wrong here.

“Well this is a disturbingly convenient.”

The Green Beret took a defensive stance and cautiously approached the first security barrier. It was composed largely of bullet-proof safety glass and a vast array of motion sensors. Whoever managed to break through had to have strength beyond human. It meant he may be dealing with another Fantomex-level threat.

He had only begun to scan the damage done to the barrier. Then he sensed a presence approach him from behind. Just as his soldier instincts kicked in, two powerful arms tried to grab him.

“Oh no you don’t!” exclaimed Captain Freeman as he quickly ducked out of the way.

“Talking to yourself is a piss poor tactic for a soldier,” said an obscured figure.

“What I lack in tactics, I make up for with this.”

The Green Beret adapted his body to be more durable. Setting aside his stun gun, he did a quick spin move and struck the shadowy figure with a punishing body blow. He hit flesh, but it felt more like he had struck a slab of granite. The figure was only momentarily stunned, clearly not expecting to be hit so hard. He recovered quickly and hit back, pulling off a sweep kick that forced Captain Freeman to jump back.

Undaunted, the mutant soldier attacked again, going for the head and neck. The figure blocked and countered with a knee to the gut. Grunting through the pain, Captain Freeman responded with an uppercut to the jaw. Both blows hit with a force that would have shattered the bones of regular humans, indicating they needed to use more force than expected.

“I don’t care if you got a head start. You will not keep me from my mission!” yelled Captain Freeman.

“A head start?” questioned the figure, “You think I’m the one that…”

The mutant soldier didn’t wait for him to finish. He adapted his body again to gain more speed and mass. He then charged the figure head on. His enemy hesitated for some reason, causing him to take the brunt of the hit. Captain Freeman laid into him with so much force he drove him through the hole in the barrier and pushed him through several others, stopping only when they reached what looked like a clean room. In this area there was more light so both Captain Freeman and his attacker could identify one another.

“Ungh…you?” grunted the unidentified man.

“You who? Do I know you?” grunted Captain Freeman as he kept the man pinned.

“I know you. You’re Jack Freeman…General Grimshaw’s worst kept secret.”

“So you watch Fox News. All the more reason to crush your spine.”

“You’re talking to an Apache warrior. I don’t crush easily. You’re lucky I’m on a mission too because I think there’s been a hell of a misunderstanding.”

In the light of the clean room, Captain Freeman took in the appearance of this man. He was a tall, imposing Native American with a bandana and a strange uniform that didn’t look military garb. The fact his body hadn’t been shattered from Captain Freeman’s attacks indicated he was a mutant of sorts. He demonstrated enhanced strength as well, shoving the Green Beret off him and returning to his feet.

“My name is James Proudstar, but you can call me Warpath,” he said.

“I’ll call you Donald Duck if I want. Whatever mission you’re on, it’s interfering with an official military investigation,” said Captain Freeman, taking a defensive stance.

“Whatever mission you’re on, it’s interfering with something very personal so we’re even,” retorted Warpath, “Now I’m more than inclined to kick your ass and ship what’s left to Iran, but right now I’ll settle for an explanation.”

“What’s there to explain? You broke in before me and tried to steal what you’re not authorized to steal.”

“Ignoring for a second the flawed concept of being authorized to steal, I did not break in before you. I infiltrated this area from the basement and it was already like this when I got here.”

“I may have been held back a few times in grade school, but even I’m not stupid enough to believe that,” spat Captain Freeman.

“I don’t give a damn if you do. I came in here thinking you were the one who broke in ahead of me. But that could only mean someone else beat us both to the punch.”

Captain Freeman was confused now. He wasn’t sure whether to believe this guy or go straight to an aggressive interrogation. Warpath carried himself like a hardened soldier. He knew the signs and he seemed just as defensive, which couldn’t be faked in his experience. If he was right, then that had some disturbing implications.

While the two men struggled to make sense of this situation, they heard another noise from behind the final security barrier. This area was locked down tightly, consisting of a reinforced metal door with no fewer than five heavy locks. It was built like a bank vault so it would take more than just a crow bar to force it open. That was why the two men were very surprised to notice that it had already been forced open.

“You’ve gotta be shitting me!” groaned Captain Freeman as he saw this.

“Quiet!” said Warpath in a hushed tone, “You gave yourself away earlier. Don’t do it again.”

Now more curious than frustrated, Captain Freeman approached the opened door. Warpath moved out in front of him, armed with a large knife that he had kept in a holster near his hip. He was every bit as apprehensive, sensing another hostile presence in this area. If it was as hostile as Captain Freeman, they both had to be ready.

Ready to attack, Warpath forced open the door and stormed into the area. He and Captain Freeman entered what appeared to be a computer archive. They took no more than three steps before stopping again to discover what they expected to find. There was indeed another presence in this facility that beat both of them to the punch. When they saw who it was, they were left equally stunned.

“You’ve gotta be shitting me!” exclaimed Warpath.

“Now you’re copying me? Some Apache warrior you are,” quipped Captain Freeman.

The two men were now staring down an equally confused figure, who had been hunched over a series of computers. It was a woman this time. She was dressed in all black, had pale skin, and a distinct white streak in her hair that allowed them to identify her quickly.

“So you boys were causin’ that racket outside?” said Rogue in a befuddled tone, “Dang, this is awkward. Since Ah was here first Ah guess Ah owe you fellas an explanation.”

As X-men Supreme nears this pivotal moment, I also want to make sure I offer plenty of content so that the stakes are clear. This means an overdue update for the bios section of the X-men Supreme website. I know it's a section I've negated for a while. There have been a number of characters who have been introduced lately and I haven't kept up with the updates. For this, I apologize and I hope to get things back on track, starting with X-23 and Sage.

X-23 is a character who first showed up in X-men Supreme Issue 97: Uneasy Truce. She then joined the Academy of Tomorrow at the conclusion of the Weapon Plus arc. There's a lot about her life that I haven't been able to explore. The same goes for Sage. The Weapon Plus arc exposed a lot of dark secrets about her life. There were some details I didn't get to explore and I hope this entry in the bios section helps fill in the details.

X-23 Official Bio

Sage Official Bio

This is a critical time for X-men Supreme. The outcome of this moment and the response I get (or lack thereof) will determine if I continue this fanfiction series beyond Volume 5. I certainly do have ideas for stories beyond X-men Supreme Volume 5: Dark Turths. But these stories will explore a very different world for the X-men. And it’s a world I want to make as awesome as possible. So please remember to take the time to provide feedback. I always appreciate input from readers. Either contact me directly or post your comments directly in the issues. Either way is fine and I’m always happy to chat. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII - THE FORCE AWAKENS - Official Trailer #2 (2015) ...

Does this even need any drunken rants? Sometimes awesome can just speak for itself. With that in mind, I give you the latest Star Wars teaser trailer. Nuff said!

Scanned Thoughts: Legendary Starlord #11

There are just some problems that cannot be fixed, no matter how hard anyone tries. And I’m not talking about making a shitty internet connection bearable. Human beings just aren’t conditioned to endure shit like that. I’m talking about issues that are a clusterfuck of circumstance. Kitty Pryde has been in her share of clusterfucks, some of which ended up with her in a fucking bullet that got launched into space. But after getting involved with a number of guys named Peter and fucking it up along the way, she finally found a Peter she could enjoy in Starlord. There’s a good dick joke in there, but it’s just too easy.

The problem is Peter Quill’s father is a cosmic-level douche-bag. How big of a douche-bag can he be? He tried to murder his son at least once a week and he froze a whole planet in amber. And he did this without the Black Vortex. Giving him power like that would be like giving King Joffrey the Ultimate Nullifier. More than anything else, this latest crossover between the X-men and the Guardians of the Galaxy established that Starlord’s father is a monumental douche of galactic proportions. And with Mr. Knife closing in for the kill in Legendary Starlord #11, time is running out. All Starlord wanted to do was have some fun with his girlfriend and watch Rocket get drunk with Groot. Was that really so much to ask?

Since the both the Brood and the Slaughter Lords are involved, I guess that question doesn’t need an answer. Kitty Pryde gets things going with a few painful reminders about her weakness for cute boys named Peter. It all started with her and Starlord pissing off his father by stealing the Black Vortex. Then it ended up with her getting encased in amber. I have had my share of shitty dates, but that definitely ranks in the top five. At least Kitty didn’t wake up in the back of a pickup truck next to a goat and used bottle of lube.

She and Starlord are trying to protect Spartax from the Slaughter Lords, who are trying desperately to do Mr. Knife’s dirty work for him so he can continue pleasuring himself to the screams of his son and his son’s girlfriend. Magik even joins in the fun. But even a demon-powered teenage girl can only do so much against the Slaughter Lords and the Brood. Again, Starlord’s father is just that big an asshole.

There’s some really nice inner musings here by Kitty Pryde. Numerous characters have had a chance to show their thoughts in this story. Usually, this stuff is easy to overdo, like putting wasabi on a taco. But it definitely helps give weight to the story here. It also allows Kitty Pryde to assess just how bad the situation is. They’ve got the Brood, the Slaughter Lords, and Starlord’s father. On top of that, some of their friends are still stuck in amber. Forget having a shitty date. This is right up there with divorce, a tax audit, and being sued by Rupert Murdoch.

That’s not to say that all is lost. In the midst of this cosmic shit storm, Captain Marvel manages to make it back to Spartax. It’s another example of perfect convergence between the issues. She was able to get the Black Vortex away from Mr. Knife, but ended up getting chased by Gara, who got drunk on the Black Vortex eons ago. So her day has sucked just as much. Even so, having the Black Vortex in their possession goes a long ways towards ensuring that Mr. Knife won’t use it to fuck them over even more. It still attracts a larger shit storm, but it’s one they can still navigate.

Gara makes sure they don’t get too lazy. Because the Brood and Mr. Knife weren’t enough, she decides to kick up more shit by demanding they give the Black Vortex to her. Since this woman looks about as trustworthy as used car salesman at a lot owned by Cobra Commander, they’re not exactly inclined to give it up. And since Gara has a few billion years of experience with this thing, she’s willing to fight dirty. The X-men and the Guardians of the Galaxy try to hold her off by throwing Magik at her. Again, a demon-powered teenage girl can only do so much. Believe me, I’m just as shocked that I have to keep pointing that out.

The intensity of this battle, along with the lingering threat posed by the Brood and the Slaughter Lords, leads some to think that a little extra cosmic power might be warranted. At this point, they might as well be playing Contra without cheat codes. It’s a losing battle with so many enemies. And since they have the Black Vortex, why the fuck not?

Well that kind of logic breaks down when O5 Jean Grey decides to take a dip in the cosmic pool. However, any X-men fan who has been alive since the mid-80s knows she has shittier luck than most when it comes to cosmic power. She wants to do it to save Spartax this time. Her heart is in the right place, but 5 billion D’brai would argue that’s not enough.

It’s a tense moment and one that could’ve easily turned the Black Vortex into the 1,988,584th rip-off of the Phoenix Saga, but that’s not what happens. O5 Jean comes close to submitting, but Starlord stops her. He and Kitty Pryde agree that her history with cosmic power is just too spotty. While she might take offense to that, I don’t think she would deny it. She might be an irrational teenager, but she even she’s not willing to be this reckless. She should probably stick to weed, beer, and porn like most teenagers.

But someone still needs to tap a little of that cosmic power to tip the balance. Otherwise, they might as well be pissing into the cosmic wind. They all agree that they stand no chance against the Brood, Gara, and the Slaughter Lords without cosmic power. So being the responsible boyfriend, Starlord decides to volunteer. It’s fitting in many ways. It’s his father who’s causing this shit. He’s the one trying to show Kitty Pryde that he’s different from the other Peters she’s dated. This could be his chance to earn a permanent place in her panties.

So he takes a look inside the Black Vortex and he sees his cosmic version. And I gotta say, it’s pretty damn awesome. He doesn’t become a monster. He doesn’t go batshit crazy and decide snuff out an entire star system out of sheer boredom. He just becomes a supremely powerful, supremely confident cosmic badass. He’s basically like Han Solo, Captain Kirk, and Chuck Norris all rolled into one, plus cosmic power. He could both save Spartax and upstage his father. There couldn’t possibly be any downside to it. Hell, he could end this conflict while jerking off if he wanted.

However, there is another part of that vision into his cosmic awesome that makes him think twice. In addition to being a cosmic-powered badass, he also becomes a cosmic-powered douche-bag. He’ll save the day. He’ll upstage his father. He might even become the most celebrated cosmic figure since that three-titted woman in Total Recall. But in doing so, he would lose Kitty Pryde. Apparently, slutty women of every alien race find cosmic-powered douche-bags sexy. And with that kind of power, Starlord just can’t resist being the asshole that pushes Kitty away.

It makes for another powerful, emotional moment in which Starlord rejects this power. As much as he and everyone who ever saw Star Wars wants to be a badass, he’s not willing to break Kitty Pryde’s heart. Now is it selfish? Yes, to some degree. Does it sound like the kind of exaggerated romantic ploy that belongs in a bad Hugh Grant movie? Kind of. But it makes Starlord show more humility than he’s shown in a long time. It’ll give some women a pussy boner, but it still leaves the situation unresolved.

There’s still the matter of the Slaughter Lords and the Brood. The X-men and the Guardians of the Galaxy want to save Spartax and they need cosmic mojo to do it. This is where things get a little choppy. Gara, who has had a rage boner since she showed up in this story, takes a moment to lecture them on how fucked they are if they try to tamper with the Black Vortex. She knows because she fucked with it billions of years ago and ended up destroying her entire race. It’s a story that was already explored early in the Black Vortex crossover. Getting a reminder really doesn’t add much to it. She tells them noting that they didn’t already learn in the Phoenix Saga. If they fuck with this power, they may save Spartax. But they may end up turning countless other planets into the equivalent of downtown Detroit.

There’s some light debate on the merits of using the Black Vortex at this point. It’s nowhere near as spirited as earlier debates. That’s a bit of a problem because the stakes are much higher now. They’re not just looking to take this cosmic power for a cruise down the cosmic highway and show off to whatever the space equivalent is for cute cheerleaders. They’re trying to save a planet and stop Mr. Knife from wielding a cosmic-powered rage boner. It’s a debate that should be a lot more emotional, but it falls flatter this time.

In the end, it does lead to a meaningful decision. While Starlord and O5 Jean Grey might not be able to handle this power, Kitty Pryde decides she’s willing to risk it. She doesn’t have as big a history of murdering 5 billion aliens or being a space-outlaw douche. She is probably in the best position because she has the most incentive. She’s trying to help her boyfriend’s home planet. She’s trying to piss off her father. Short of carrying his child, Kitty Pryde has every conceivable reason to wield the power of the Black Vortex and not screw up. It still feels like Gara and Starlord don’t do or say enough to dissuade her, but it’s still a moment that carries a lot of weight.

So without any more meaningful debate, Kitty Pryde decides to take the jump and embraces the power of the Black Vortex. This time, we don’t get any visions of what could happen if she fucks up. We don’t see her sitting by a pool while a bunch of male strippers named Peter serve her martinis. Instead, she becomes this cosmic-powered ghost who looks like she’d haunt the nightmares of Mr. Knife and bless the wet dreams of every man named Peter in the history of the universe. It’s not quite as spectacular as Jean Grey embracing the Phoenix Force or Thanos wielding the Infinity Guantlet. But it is eerily beautiful in its own special way and the emotions behind her choice still carry plenty of weight. The only problem at this point is that Starlord probably has to hide the most awkward boner of his life.

This issue wasn’t epic in that it didn’t have the same cosmic-powered smackdowns that previous issues had. There was a lot more talking and a lot less planets being turned into a giant Jurassic Park prop. Granted, that talking was meaningful. Nobody ever got off-topic and started discussing the NFL draft or anything like that. And it did move the story forward. Once again, the overall Black Vortex story remained concise and focused. Given the size and scope of this story, it deserves a steak dinner and a blow-job. That still didn’t keep it from dragging a bit more than previous issues. And the absence of Mr. Knife and the rest of the team didn’t help. At times, it felt like only half a pizza. It’s still better than no pizza, but not as good as it could have been.

Even with all the talking and repetitive whining, this issue made a solid contribution to the Black Vortex story as a whole. It also played up the emotional undertones between Starlord and Kitty Pryde. Even though some of those undertones felt too Twilight-esque at times, it still felt genuine. The emotions don’t feel overly forced, but they’re not going to make anyone think they did an extra line of blow. It was still enough to make Kitty Pryde’s decision at the end feel meaningful. It took a while and it was a bit predictable, but it still felt right. That’s why I give Legendary Starlord #11 a 7 out of 10. All Starlord wanted to do was enjoy his time with his girlfriend and not have to save the galaxy. His dad is just that big of a douche and the Black Vortex is just that much of a cockblock. I think a lot of men can relate to some degree. It still beats being dragged to a shitty Johnny Depp movie. Nuff said!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny X-men #33

What’s the difference between simple bad luck and a full-blown shit storm? It’s subtle, but only to the extent that certain kinds of Earthquakes are subtle. Bad luck is fleeting. Bad luck is some dip-shit at Starbucks putting too much cream in an espresso. It’s annoying, but it’s over as soon as someone spits that disgusting concoction out on the nearest barista. A shit-storm is a bit more elaborate. It leaves a stench the same way bathing in John Goodman’s septic tank leaves a stench. It lingers, it taints, and it stinks in ways that can induce seizures.

To say that the mess Cyclops left after dissolving the New Xavier School was a shit-storm would be the most polite way of putting it. He found a way to do it in a manner that pissed everyone off, including his ex-girlfriend. He just really dove head-first into it, leaving plenty of other characters with a noticeable stench. He’s got a lot to clean up and it’s not going to be solved with a simple bottle of Febreeze. So I’m sure a lot of X-men fans are curious about how he’s going to go about it. I admit I’m curious about that story as well. Well unfortunately, that’s not the story we get in Uncanny X-men #33. In fact, we don’t get jack shit in terms of progress regarding the closure of the New Xavier School. We only get a simple one-shot story involving Kitty Pryde and Magik. It’s as entertaining as it sounds, except for those hoping for lesbian porn.

It’s not completely random. While Cyclops was announcing to his students that the New Xavier School would be closing, Magik grabbed Kitty and teleported her away. She didn’t give a reason. She probably knew Kitty would make the kind of scene that even a demon child like her couldn’t stop. Or maybe it was the other way around. Either way, they ditched this monumental moment and this is the story that happened.

It’s completely irrelevant to the plot revolving around Cyclops shutting down the New Xavier School. In fact, that shit doesn’t even get mentioned. But to be fair, they really don’t have time to contemplate it because Magik just happened to teleport Kitty to Monster Island. It’s basically like the Savage Land on crack. At the very least, Magik was honest about saying she would do something stupid if she stayed to listen to Cyclops’ announcement. And in Monster Island, she has plenty of opportunities to vent. Is it health? Fuck no. But is it fitting? Fuck yes.

However, Magik then reveals that she’s not just there to blow off steam, although that would be a perfectly legitimate reason for a demon-powered teenager. She claims she took her to Monster Island to find a mutant who happens to be in trouble. If that sounds obscenely contrived, then take a deep breath. That last bong hit didn’t kill too many brain cells.

Exactly how the fuck does this mutant tie into the ongoing conflict surrounding Cyclops and the New Xavier School? How does this mutant contribute anything to the story that took a big fucking turn in the previous issue? Spoiler alert: he or she contributes less than jack shit. There really is nothing else to it. They’re just there to help a missing mutant. Kitty and Magik are almost casual about it. Magik fights off the monsters as though she’s painting her nails and Kitty is just calmly talking to her as though she’s waiting in line at a Wal-Mart. She doesn’t ask about Cyclops or what’s happening to the New Xavier School. She just shrugs her shoulders and goes along with it.

Now I’m not saying that helping an innocent mutant makes for a shitty story. Hell, that’s probably the simplest, most basic kind of X-men story there is. There’s just absolutely nothing appealing about it in the context of recent events. I love watching a rerun of the Simpsons as much as the next guy, but if I see a rerun at a time when I was hoping to see a new episode of Family Guy I’m still going to be disappointed. So in a sense, this whole story fucks itself before it even has a chance to get going.

Circumstances aside, this story that nobody wanted or asked for still progresses as coherently as is possible on a place like Monster Island. Magik keeps fighting off armies of blood-thirsty monsters. Eventually, the monsters realize that fighting a demon-powered teenage girl is not good for their long-term health. So they decide to back the fuck off. Something about that is inherently logical. Even monsters on an island dominated by monsters would rather not deal with a pissed off teenage girl. This is why parents drink and why therapists are overpaid.

There’s no question that Magik is badass and dangerous. The battle against the monsters here is nothing spectacular. It’s fairly generic. It’s not overly rushed either. It’s just predictable. I can’t say it does anything wrong. I don’t think anybody would expect an island of monsters to give someone like Magik any trouble. But again, the circumstances of this story just limit the impact.

Once the monsters back the fuck off and leave the teenager girls to the guidance counselors and principals of the world, Magik and Kitty Pryde proceed to look for this missing mutant. Along the way, Magik and Kitty do have some meaningful conversations. Magik explains that she’s not just doing this because slaughtering monsters is how she blows off steam, although that’s probably part of it. She says that when the X-men are at each other’s throats like Cyclops and Wolverine fighting over an old pair of Jean’s panties, she likes to go off and help mutants in need. It’s how she reminds herself that the X-men are worth fighting for. It’s probably the most healthy coping skill a messed up teenager has ever done in any circumstance and it doesn’t even require a prescription. It makes a twisted bit of sense, even if the impact is still limited.

Kitty doesn’t add much. She just chooses not to argue. When a fucked up teenage girl is doing the right things, she understands that it’s usually a good idea not to say a damn thing. So he just follows her along and helps her search for this mutant. And like 70 percent of all the X-men’s search efforts, it leads them to a creepy cave. I guess it’s still better than mad scientist’s lab or Graydon Creed’s basement, but it’s right up there.

Inside the cave, they find this missing mutant. And it turns out to be a mutant that’s far more adorable than Matthew Malloy or Hope fucking Summers. It’s a little girl who looks like she tried to cos-play as an alien from Star Trek and failed miserably. She’s not deformed. She’s not whining like Matthew Malloy. She’s just scared, confused, and adorable. It helped make Frozen a billion dollar movie so why not use it here?

Kitty Pryde, being the one who isn’t plagued by demonic forces, reaches out to the young girl. Their exchange is every bit as adorable, utilizing the classic X-men heroics. This girl is scared and hungry, but she quickly connects with Kitty the same way most children connect with a puppy. It might not be a story about Cyclops and Havok opening up their own pizza place, but even the non-Disney fans have to enjoy this on some level. Except the sociopaths, this moment should touch the hearts of every X-men.

This exchange quickly goes from cute to terrifying when the little girl, who calls herself Bo, reveals that her father left her on this island as finger food for monsters. Even Darth Vader would say that’s pretty fucking harsh. He could’ve at least given her a chance to join the dark side. She says her father told her that her powers killed her mother. But he might just be a massive dick. A man who leaves a little girl on an island of monsters certainly fits most of the criteria.

The girl starts getting emotional and understandably so. Thinking about an asshole father who left her on an island of monsters probably would upset anyone at any age. The problem is a crying little girl is like a dinner bell for some monsters. And one of them just happens to be nearby. It’s not as bad as a Sentinel, but it’s still right up there.

However, there isn’t much of a battle this time. Magik doesn’t get a chance to skin this monster alive and make cute puppets to cheer Bo up. Instead, Bo shows off the powers that brought out the massive dickhead in her father. She shoots off a few fancy energy blasts, probably pissing off a few Dazzler fans in the process. These blasts end the battle in an effective, albeit unspectacular way. It still takes out the monster, along with Kitty and Magik. It also explains why Bo was able to survive on Monster Island. With a power like that, capable of taking out monsters that startle her, she could probably survive on Monster Island as easily as I could survive at a Wal-Mart.

Kitty and Bo have another adorable conversation. Kitty once again shows the classic skills of a good X-man, talking to the young mutant girl with kindness and compassion. She explains to her that she’s a mutant. She has powers and her father was a total asshole about it. Even though she and Magik just experienced the business end of those powers, she’s not mad. I’m sure Kitty has endured way worse when she’s gotten in Wolverine’s way before he’s had his morning beer. It’s the complete opposite reaction of her asshole father and it goes a long ways towards making the little girl feel at ease.

It’s still worth saying that Bo is incredibly adorable. I know this story is still completely out of place. But after the bullshit story surrounding Matthew Malloy, Bo is a welcome upgrade. She’s more representative of the issues mutants face. They have scary powers that their parents don’t understand. The X-men go out of their way to help them. It’s a perfect display of what the X-men are all about. It’s simple and basic, even if it’s out of place. And even if I were an angry drunk, I couldn’t help but adore this girl and this story on some levels. Then again, I tend to get overly emotional when I’m drunk, as plenty of traffic cops can attest.

Having endeared themselves to this little girl, Magik teleports her away from Monster Island and to the Jean Grey Institute. They then introduce Bo to Storm and Nightcrawler, who welcome the little girl with open arms. Even though her powers leave them feeling hung over, minus the beer buzz, they both embrace her in another tender moment. It essentially proves that Magik’s approach to dealing with the X-men’s internal struggles is effective. Just running off to help an innocent mutant does in one day what a year of group therapy can’t and is probably way cheaper. It also gives Kitty Pryde and Magik a way to re-connect. It’s still awkward with Kitty having dated her brother, but there’s still friendship there. Magik should just be glad her name isn’t Petra. Then there might be too much sexual tension for that friendship to work.

This issue was as basic as an issue of X-men could possibly get. Take a couple X-men, put them in a hostile environment, and have them rescue a scared young mutant whose parents happen to be dicks. This is a script so simple that Stan Lee could recite it verbatim while drunk. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that script. There’s nothing inherently wrong with how it’s done in this issue. It just feels out of place, like watching an episode of Game of Thrones out of order. There’s still plenty to enjoy, especially if it involves a Lanister in a brothel. But it doesn’t really contribute much to the bigger picture.

There were so many hard emotions and major changes at the end of the previous issue. There was a powerful story that was just starting to unfold. But instead of seeing that story, we get this fun little adventure with Kitty Pryde and Magik. Don’t get me wrong. I love Kitty Pryde and Magik. I’m sure there’s an alternate universe where they go down on each other over the Red Skull’s rotting corpse. It just doesn’t really add much. It’s plain. It’s simple. It works. But it doesn’t do anything that the X-men haven’t done since the Kennedy Administration. I give Uncanny X-men #33 a 6 out of 10. It’s good in that it follows that tried and true formula correctly. It just felt out of place. There’s a time and a place for two women to fight monsters and it doesn’t always have to be in anime porn. It might have been the right place, but it wasn’t the right time. If I want that kind of filler, I’ll go back to eating at McDonald’s. Nuff said!