Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Savage Wolverine #2 - Baited Awesome
Beautiful women can be a confusing mix of contrasts to both a man's brain and his penis. Some of them claim they want to be appreciated more for their personality and intellect than their tits and ass. Some claim there's too much pressure for them to look beautiful, whereas butt-ugly rock stars and Hugh Hefner can still get more pussy than a door-to-door gynecologist. Yet I've often been extremely confused when some of the women make these arguments while wearing push-up bras and thong underwear.
Now I know I'm going to have my balls busted by angry feminists who think this generation of men should pay for the bullshit generations past, but men and women are wired differently. I know. That's not politically correct and anyone who says that is brushed off as someone who listens to Sean Hannity too much. But as someone who fantasizes about Sean Hannity and men like him suffering endless bouts of explosive diarrhea, I can say without hesitation that I'm not against all the tenants of feminism. I just acknowledge the cold hard fact that men are wired differently than women. They cherish the visual appeals of big breasts, a tight ass, and lips that you could use as a pool toy.
It's this visual appeal that makes characters like Shanna the She-Devil in the pages of Savage Wolverine so appealing. Wolverine's name may be in the title, but you can guarantee that the male readers of this book will scrutinize the images of Frank Cho's artwork on Shanna far more than they will with Wolverine. They'll do it for the same reason they'll buy a subscription to Sports Illustrated only to get the swimsuit issue. While the brain does most of the thinking, the penis has power of attorney. It's for that reason that the premise of a Wolverine story that involves him teaming up with Shanna has so much appeal and makes plenty of sense. Wolverine is a battle hardened survivor with a feral side while Shanna is a battle hardened survivor with a feral side and tits. Feminists may not like it, but you can't fuck with that sort of logical coherence unless you're a creationist.
Savage Wolverine #1 took Wolverine away from his duties at the Jean Grey Institute and the Avengers and brought him back to his roots. He found himself in the unforgiving landscape of the Savage Land where a couple of SHIELD agents enlisted help from Shanna to locate alien artifacts on a forbidden island. Well, this artifact clearly didn't want to be found because it led them to crash land in the middle of the fucking jungle where a tribe of blood-thirsty (and possibly racist) savages want to carve off their skin and sacrifice it to their bull god. The SHIELD agents didn't stand a chance, but Shanna and Wolverine's paths eventually crossed and now they're in it together. They hadn't had a chance to bone yet, but you definitely get the sense it's on their to-do list.
But before any boning can be contemplated, a new complication enters the conflict and that complication’s name is Amadeus Cho. If it sounds rather random to anyone who hasn’t been reading Hulk comics, it is. I guess the brutal slaughter of the SHIELD agents in the previous issue left a void that threatened Marvel’s usual slaughter quota. But Cho is a very odd and very different choice compared to the SHIELD agents and that’s a good thing. For one, it means we don’t have to read the same damn story of a bunch of unfortunate agents shitting themselves as they try to survive in a brutal jungle with racist archetypes chasing them in hopes of using their blood as anal lube. We don’t get much of an explanation on why he ended up in the Savage Land, but then again we didn’t get much explanation on why Wolverine ended up there as well so at least the plot gaps are consistent. And if you do happen to be racist or an avid listener of Rush Limbaugh, you should enjoy watching a bunch of jungle savages try in vain to beat Cho with sticks.
We then finally pick up where the last issue left off, which was basically Wolverine plummeting to the jungle floor after being mauled by a pterodactyl. I know it’s usually wrong to feel a certain level of glee in someone’s misfortune, even if they are fictional, but since Wolverine can heal I don’t think it will make Jesus cry. And like the previous issue, Frank Cho uses some internal monologues with Wolverine to help give a better description of the pain he’s in. For a man with serious anger issues and an inability to tame his penis around married women, his thoughts are pretty coherent. Wolverine may be in a fuckton of comics, but we rarely see this kind of narration so it helps give this series something unique. But as articulate as his thoughts may be, it eventually drifts back to hot women with nice tits. He remembers Shanna is in trouble and for her sake and that of his penis, he ignores the pain and runs off to help her.
This is usually where you expect to get all badass and be that character that so many fans complain is overexposed. You assume he’ll swoop in, save the day, shed plenty of blood, and soak the panties of any woman within a half-mile radius. In a comic with Wolverine’s name in the title, it’s hard not to expect that shit. But that actually doesn’t happen this time. Instead, Frank Cho adopts this radical idea that a guy who just fell from the sky with poor impulse control and no sense of strategy actually might not fare too well against an army of hungry pterodactyls. While he manages to catch up with Shanna, who is still in one piece while battling these hungry creatures that make creationists cry, he does a shitty job of fighting them off. He only manages to get himself hurt even more. It takes Shanna picking up a gun left by a SHIELD agent and shooting them before Wolverine’s ego and balls are permanently wounded.
This may sound like a rather unspectacular display of action, but it actually provides a different approach to Wolverine that doesn’t often get told in a world where so many of the writers at Marvel have a man-crush on Wolverine that would make any gay man jealous. Frank Cho actually shows Wolverine as being clumsy, incompetent, and overmatched. And this isn’t fucking Apocalypse he’s facing. These are just hungry dinosaurs. They’re just a level above the masked guards that James Bond uses as target practice. Yet it makes perfect sense that a man who vehemently hates guys like Cyclops who actually strategize and has serious anger management issues would struggle. It’s only here that we actually see it. I’ve berated Marvel many times, drunk and sober, about shit not making sense. This is one instance where they actually make sense in a way that is pleasantly surprising.
Back with Amadeus Cho, he’s clearly gotten bored with roughing up the angry natives. At least that proves he’s not a member of the KKK because they would probably never get tired of that shit. As he’s assessing his situation, he finds out about the dampening field surrounding the island that was mentioned in the previous issue by the SHIELD agents. It has negatively affected his ability to communicate with the outside or tap the full extent of his powers. His AI, Calvin (basically a more nerdy version of Jarvis from Iron Man), informs him of the artifact that’s causing all the disruptions. His best bet is to find it, get rid of it, and get his ass back home in time watch She-Hulk take a shower. He also notices that some of the natives have marks from dead SHIELD agents so he can expect to be as welcome as a bad case of herpes.
For Wolverine and Shanna, they don’t get to enjoy that kind of boredom. After they recover from their battle against the angry Pterodactyls, they begin to discuss their plan to infiltrate the temple and disrupt that artifact. And by discuss I mean coordinate with the same efficiencies as two drunk monkeys trying to hump a coconut. Wolverine can’t get Shanna to shut up and Shanna can’t resist pointing out how short he is, comparing him to Hugh Jackman in a very nice reference to the movies. She even finds a way to throw in a little poop joke about drinking jungle water. And whenever a hot chick makes a poop joke, it’s a very special thing.
These two clearly aren’t on the same page and the possibility of Wolverine getting into Shanna’s panties are dwindling at a surprising rate. It actually makes for some nice drama on top of the action to show that their partnership isn’t following the usual plot you would expect, given Wolverine’s luck with women. It’s another example of Wolverine not being depicted as the alpha dog he usually is. It also gets progressively worse when it starts raining (it’s a fucking jungle, mind you) and they end up falling down a cliff. And Wolverine, looking more like Homer Simpson than an X-man, tumbles down in a way that is as humiliating as it is hilarious.
When they land, both Shanna and Wolverine’s pride is almost as wounded as Mante T’eo’s credibility. But they don’t have time to sulk because they just happened to land in the den of some angry raptors and like an off-duty cop whose home you just stumbled into while drunk, they’re not too pleased. And this time, Shanna doesn’t have any big ass guns (not counting her tits) to fight off these aggressive creationist nightmares. It’s a fairly typical situation in the Savage Land. It seems like you can’t take a piss in a bush without it being home to some flesh-eating monster. But what makes it entertaining is how Frank Cho sets it up. It’s like the Three Stooges, except there are two and one of them has a great rack. It’s as entertaining as it sounds.
As Wolverine and Shanna are making the same mistake, Amadeus Cho is trying desperately to stop the angry natives from making more. He’s been remarkably patient with them, not using his power to slaughter them and use their bones to make dildoes. Yet they remain painfully slow at realizing that hitting him with fucking sticks isn’t working. It’s like trying to reason with Ann Coulter. It’s a losing battle. But eventually, Cho does manage to get his translator working. This allows him to communicate with the chief of the natives. It’s a little sluggish at times and the whole Elvish language used to depict the natives talking really doesn’t make for an interesting conversation. But when he does finally crack their language code, he makes clear that he comes in peace and is powerful as fuck. Their natural reaction is to worship him as a god.
Now I’m trying not to make too many comments on race here because I’m already on thin ice with Al Sharpton, but this is something that has the potential to piss a few people off. You’ve got a population of people who fit the stereotypical depiction of a savage and an enlightened westerner armed with superpowers shows up and they worship him as a god. Maybe some people won’t take as much offense to that as they will a speech about women’s rights by Todd Akin, but it is somewhat clichéd and a bit of a dick move. However, it could have been much more offensive so I’m not going to make a bigger deal of this than I need to.
The prospect of Amadeus Cho being worshipped by the natives as a god ends up being more exciting than Shanna and Wolverine escaping the raptor den. The action isn’t quite as entertaining as the earlier battle against the pterodactyls. They’re still comically uncoordinated, but they escape and continue making their way to the artifact. They continue to bicker as well. You get the sense that boning is now no longer as high up on their to-do list as initially thought. But it still makes for a rather bland ending to the issue. They just fight off more dinosaurs, struggle to get along, and basically continue down the same path they were when they began. But they don’t know that Cho beat them to the punch. So there are still plenty of reasons to look forward to the next issue and there are plenty of memorable moments in this one. The ending just isn’t one of them.
I often hear fans bitch and moan about how Wolverine is so overexposed. Those same people also frequently bitch and moan about how he’s made out to be too perfect in the sense that he’s a badass, he’s overly competent, and he gets to bone way too many hot chicks. To some extent they have a point. Wolverine does get almost as much love as Emma Frost’s tits at Marvel. But that extent is only as long as Tim Tebow’s passing stats last year. Because this comic, in what may be a subtle middle finger to the Wolverine-haters, tells a Wolverine story that doesn’t make him out to be Marvel’s alpha male. It’s a story where Wolverine is incompetent, clumsy, and downright stupid at times. Hell, the way he’s carrying himself, Shanna’s panties are getting dryer by the second. And you know what? It actually feels like this is how Wolverine is supposed to be depicted. This is how you would expect someone to carry himself who heals from anything, has poor impulse control, and couldn’t strategize even if Jean Grey’s pussy depended on it.
Savage Wolverine is quickly turning into a Wolverine comic for fans who don’t like Wolverine. It’s similar to how the movie Bad Santa was a movie for people who really hate Christmas. While that movie had touching messages like “Shit Happens When You Party Naked,” this comic has a clear message in that a beautiful woman will use your ass as bait for hungry dinosaurs if you’re going to be a dick. Both are good messages, but Wolverine’s new role as bait offers something different compared to previous Wolverine titles. When I first heard about this book, I made many of the same assumptions my fellow Marvel addicts made in that will likely be just another Wolverine title that tries to find new ways of making him seem awesome. Well, that’s not what Frank Cho is doing here. He’s showing a different side of Wolverine in that while he can survive in a jungle, he would have long since become T-Rex shit were it not for his healing. He gets pwned more in this issue than he has in any comic where Cyclops hasn’t shot him and given his recent actions, that’s saying something.
While I enjoyed Frank Cho’s approach to characterizing Wolverine, there were parts of this comic that dragged. The side-story with Amadeus Cho was a nice touch, but it seemed needlessly spaced out by having him fuck with the natives until he could translate their language. Aside from just flexing his powers, he didn’t really do much. In addition, there wasn’t a whole lot of progress made in Wolverine and Shanna’s mission to find that ancient artifact. They basically just tripped over their own asses for most of the issue. It was entertaining and all, but it really didn’t move shit forward. And the ending was pretty weak and pretty abrupt. So while the theme of the book and the action was enjoyable, it was poorly organized and didn’t come together very well in the end.
If you liked Savage Wolverine #1, then Savage Wolverine #2 will give you even more reasons to enjoy it. Despite the rather chaotic pace of the story, Frank Cho’s artwork is as beautiful as ever and the sight of Wolverine getting mauled by dinosaurs has yet to get old. The strong dialog also adds plenty of value to this issue and the movie references are a nice bonus and give women more reasons to want to bone Hugh Jackman. Savage Wolverine is quickly turning into a different type of Wolverine comic and for all the right reasons. I give Savage Wolverine #2 a 3.5 out of 5. At the rate this comic is going, Wolverine actually might not get laid in the end. That would be a monumental milestone in the history of Marvel and a clear victory for anyone whose girlfriend cheated on him with a tattoo laced biker wanted in four states. But most importantly, it also sends a clear message to the Wolverine haters that they can stop bitching and moaning now. And like shows sponsored by Glenn Beck, this world needs less bitching and moaning. Nuff said!