Saturday, May 19, 2012
Uncanny X-men #12 - Innuendo and Awesome
Sex. Now that I have your attention I'm ready to begin my review of yet another issue of Uncanny X-men. Now I didn't just say sex to get your attention. I may have said it because I just finished watching three hours of anime porn and my dick is still hard or maybe I'm trying to set the tone for what this issue has in store. Or maybe I'm just a little drunk. Well, I'll leave it to you the reader to figure that out and save the rest for my parole officer. My point is that comics are full of sexy, ridiculously proportioned men and women. Why not celebrate it every now and then? When you have a great writer like Kieron Gillen and an artist like Greg Land who probably uses porn stars as tracing material, you're bound to do a little titillating and make some 13-year-old boys that haven't gotten around porn filters on their computers yet very happy.
You may think that there isn't much time for wanking and hanking in the pages of Uncanny X-men and you would have a valid point. Uncanny X-men is in the midst of Avengers vs. X-men and who has time to get their freak on when two superhero teams are mashing it up? Sure, beautiful women can get into those sexy uniforms with ease, but getting out of them to do a little boinking is just too much. But like every tie-in linked to Avengers vs. X-men, Uncanny X-men has it's own style and it's own theme. So far the tie-ins for Avengers vs. X-men have been above average. Most tie-ins are hit or miss with more misses than hits. Marvel seems to be getting it right this time and Uncanny X-men is one of those titles they probably don't want to fuck up.
Uncanny X-men #11 was the first tie-in and it didn't try to use sex to sell the story. It was essentially an extended recap, covering the points of view of several characters as we relived the events of Avengers vs. X-men #1 and #2. It's about as gripping as it sounds, but it did offer some intriguing new insight. However, it didn't really move the story forward in the context of the overall struggle between the Avengers and the X-men. Uncanny X-men #12 is poised to take a different approach and hopefully one that doesn't just act as an extended reminder. This is the 21st century. We have apps for that shit.
Uncanny X-men #12 picks up shortly after Avengers vs. X-men #3. It catches up with Cyclops and the team of X-men that slipped out of the Avengers grasp courtesy of a little trick from Magik. They've since surmised that Hope may be in the Savage Land, Tabula Rasa, Latveria, Wakanda, or Wundagore. Since the Avengers have sent teams to each location, the X-men are obligated to do the same less their collective dicks not measure up. Namor leads a team consisting of Sunspot and Hepzibah, two characters that have been in the pages of Uncanny as many times as my Aunt Pumpkin O'bigtits. It seems like a random team, but Kieron Gillen has fun with it by showing that Hepzibah clearly didn't get laid enough while she wasn't a major character because she hits on Namor from the get go. To be fair, he's a fucking king with the body of an Olympian. He is to women what Pamela Anderson is to men, minus the silicone.
Their chosen battleground, Tabula Rasa, should be familiar to anyone who has been reading Uncanny X-men for the past few months. Unless of course you smoked more weed than me, then you're lucky if you remember how to wipe after taking a shit, but I'll assume your dealer isn't that stupid. The X-men have been to Tabula Rasa, but the Avengers have not. So when Luke Cage, She-Hulk, and Thing show up they might as well be a transvestite hooker in Pat Robertson's church. They find out that the landscape is not very forgiving and while it may make for a good post card, it's like those berries you end up eating while stoned. They turn your insides to molten magma and give you diarrhea for the next three days. So they're already at a disadvantage.
This would be difficult enough, but for the reader it's a point of confusion. I'm not talking about the unforgiving landscape of Tabula Rasa. I'm talking about She-Hulk's presence. Now I understand why the Avengers would want a super strong woman with green skin that looks great in skin tight outfits on an unforgiving landscape like Tabula Rasa, but she was already playing a major role in the pages of X-men Legacy by making Rogue sexier with green skin. Now maybe this comic takes place sometime before or after the events of that comic, but it isn't very clear or very logical. I know tie-ins sometimes result in the writers or publishers just saying "fuck it, let's show heroes beating each other up" it's still one of those little things that make's it look like Marvel isn't trying as hard as they need to.
Inconsistencies aside, the Avengers quickly find out that the so-called intelligence they're relying on to find Hope is about as reliable as stock tips from Bernie Madoff. They make their way to a nearby cave and as anyone who has read more than two comics will tell you, caves in comics either contain unparalleled treasures or a horrific monster or both. Let's jut say that when Thing comes out of the cave, his net worth is the same. Tabula Rasa hasn't become any less forgiving since the last time Kieron Gillen and Greg Land visited it and many fans will probably appreciate that.
Unlike the Avengers, Namor's X-men team has it much easier. During the X-men's last trip to Tabula Rasa, Namor couldn't keep it in his pants and ended up fucking an alien underseas queen that looked like an overgrown tapeworm. Say what you will about Namor's inability to stop himself from humping anything that has a fuckable hole, but he knows how to make an impression on a woman or woman-like creature. That queen was nice enough to escort Namor's team through Tabula Rasa. It's the least she could do for getting freaky with a king. Hepzibah is even lurid enough to ask for details. She can't speak the language, but she can probably assume that whatever this creature considers multiple orgasms was a significant factor.
This time it's the X-men that get the drop on the Avengers. Namor lands the first blow, hitting Luke Cage and going right for Thing since their little scuffle during Avengers vs. X-men #2 didn't exactly go his way. The battle plays out with varying degrees of action, but the main factor here is the effectiveness of home field advantage. The X-men know this territory and it shows. They clearly seem to have the edge, but the Avengers do put up an admirable fight. Sunspot certainly shows his youth in his inability to hold up against She-Hulk and Thing. Hepzibah shows she may have skills with her guns (and I'm not referring to her boobs), but that only goes so far against three Avengers with bullet-proof skin. If she's trying to get into Namor's pants, she might have to plan on getting fresh batteries for her vibrator.
Despite some of these setbacks, Namor shows that he's still a freakin' king and he knows how to fight dirty. He goes so far as to grab Luke Cage and use him as a bat to knock around She-Hulk. I'm a bit surprised that he didn't offer to make She-Hulk die of multiple orgasms, but I guess he's not turned on by a woman that isn't a tapeworm queen or has blonde hair and big tits. Luke Cage and She-Hulk are definitely roughed up and it's a pretty satisfying way to see them defeated. Namor hasn't had a chance to shine in a way that doesn't involve making Emma Frost's panties wet, but this definitely helps.
He then turns his attention to Thing, the everloving asshole that was able to get the better of him back during the early parts of the Avengers vs. X-men brawl. This battle is much more thorough. They lay into each other like a drunk Ohio State alum against an equally drunk Michigan alum after a football game. As they're going at it, they're being watched by another familiar face from Uncanny X-men. His/her name is Apex, the lovable yet twisted creature that is the last of his kind in Tabula Rasa. He shows that despite having too much free time and no females to hump, he finds ways to get aroused. He actually goes so far as to stop Thing and Namor so he can get a better seat. He thinks this is a mating ritual for humans and as creepy as that sounds, he's still as lovable as he is perverted.
Now do you see why I opened this review with jokes about sex? First we had Hepzibah looking to jump Namor's bone. Then we have Apex trying to study the mating rituals of superhumans. Even though this is a serious tie-in that shows the Avengers and X-men fighting over who will possess Hope, there's still some room for dirty humor. Leave it to Kieron Gillen to make readers think superheroes fighting counts as foreplay. But in this day and age when you can get a boner from damn near anything, it's not as ridiculous as it sounds.
Before the battle ends with more awkwardness, Magik shows up to teleport Namor's team away. At this point the timeline catches up with the events in Avengers vs. X-men #4 where the X-men found out where Hope is going. That means Cyclops is recalling the Extinction team so they can take a quick trip to the moon. If you read Avengers vs. X-men #4, you know how that shit ends. For Uncanny X-men #12, it represents a nice ending that fits the events of the Avengers vs. X-men mythos into a much more complete picture. While some details may have been messed up and laced with sexual humor, it still feels satisfying and enjoyable in the end.
I once tried on a pair of nearly seamless underwear. My balls thanked me and my penis smiled. That's because a seamless piece of work is to be celebrated. Avengers vs. X-men is a big motherfucking event and it's full of a shit ton of tie-ins. They don't have to fit together perfectly. They just have to fit together. Yet Marvel has found a way to make it as close to perfect as possible without making my penis smile again. I say it's close because there are still some inconsistencies, but in the end it does succeed in doing what a tie-in issue is supposed to do. It tied in the events conveyed in this issue to the events that would later play out in Avengers vs. X-men #4. I know that may not sound like much. Hell, it sounds like wondering what the movie "Snakes on a Plane" is about. But it's remarkable how few comics get that shit right so that makes Uncanny X-men #12 special.
It's not without some concerns. The presence of She-Hulk on Tabula Rasa after her presence was such a big spectacle in X-men Legacy is confusing and a little fucked up. So is Hepzibah's sudden appearance after being MIA so so fucking long. Someone like Sunspot is acceptable given his role in other comics like New Mutants, but Hepzibah? How she entered the fray would have made for a nice aside, but she just happened to be in a position to get her panties wet around Namor. I'm all for throwing in a hot alien chick, but a little explanation here and there goes a long ways. But I guess that's just me.
Uncanny X-men #12 is still solid all the way through. It doesn't just recap shit like the last issue did. It actually takes one of the many battles currently unfolding in the Avengers vs. X-men conflict and expands on it. Moreover, it takes events from recent issues of Uncanny X-men and incorporates them into the conflict. Throwing in a little sexual innuendo along with some dirty jokes also really helps and Kieron Gillen's mastery of dialog is just icing on the crack of a strippers ass. I give Uncanny X-men #10 a 4.5 out of 5. Tie-ins are pretty erratic, not unlike Charlie Sheen when he hasn't had his daily helping of cocaine and hookers. Avengers vs. X-men is actually bringing some consistency into the mix. It feels like it should've been done long ago, like withdrawing from Iraq. At least this time we didn't have to elect a Black President to do it. Thank you for saving us the campaign ads, Marvel! Nuff said.