Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Uncanny X-men #5 - Demon Seeds of Awesome
We all go through rebellious phases in our lives. When we're young, uninformed, and gullible we actually think that shit like communism, bell bottoms, and hair metal are cool. We think we can solve all the world's problems within a generation with simple, common-sense solutions that the fat cats in power are too chicken shit to do. As we grow up, we learn that we're not just dead wrong. We also learn that the teenage mind is capable of immense ass-backwards thinking. That kind of thinking also leads some of us to go through a goth phase or a hippie phase of sorts where we just think it's so cool to stop giving a fuck. It's only later in life that we realize that not giving a fuck won't make you cool. It'll make you unemployed, broke, and smelling like hobo piss.
The exception to that rule is Magik. Unlike the goths and hippies, all that sinister energy they feel around them is not only real. But there's no need for weed or LSD to make use of it. She is a teenager and a pretty blond at that. So it shouldn't be too surprising that she gets a pussy boner with all things hellfire and brimstone. That and being the lord of Limbo and losing her soul probably didn't help. She is by far the most dangerous combination you can get without giving a metric ton of weapons grade plutonium to North Korea. She's a teenage girl armed with the powers of a devil and no common sense on how to use it.
Because of this dangerous mix, Magik is one of the most powerful figures on Cyclops's team. She was a big part of the Extinction Team during Kieron Gillen's run. She was one of the Phoenix Five and ended up being the only one who didn't have her powers fucked up. Now a member of Cyclops's new revolutionary team, she's now the most powerful by default, so much so that some of the new teenage mutants can't help but get a boner around her. As someone who has banged his share of goth chicks, I completely understand that. But for a girl who literally lost her soul in Limbo, that sort of evil pussy just isn't worth it.
Now Magik's devil-loving ways seem to be catching up with her in a manner that Jerry Falwell (may his intolerant ass burn in Hell) would have bitched about endlessly. In the previous issue of Uncanny X-men, the focus was on Cyclops recruiting O5 Angel from the Jean Grey Institute. However, one of the random side-plots was Magik having a few bouts of Hellfire PMS. No explanation was given, but it's clear that this will be the next major challenge for Cyclops's revolutionary team. Because what's a better exercise than taking on the very forces of Hell itself? When you just got done pwning the Avengers, you gotta ride that momentum as far as it will take you.
The first problem is SHIELD. While pwning the Avengers may feel good in the short term, like herpes it could come back to haunt the team in the long run. Bendis, always attentive to detail, takes some time to show Maria Hill and SHIELD’s reaction to Cyclops’s stunt in Australia. It’s easy to forget that this stunt took place in an area where people have cell phones, the internet, and too much free time. While the Avengers are content to fume while their balls regrow, it does show that Cyclops’s revolutionary team is getting plenty of attention and it’s not the good kind. They don’t take kindly to pwnage and now Cyclops is at the top of their shit list. The problem is we really don’t get a sense for how SHIELD and the Avengers are going to react. This is pretty much all we hear from them and we don’t even get a clue as to how they’re going to try to pwn them back. Other side-plots take priority.
Once such plot involves one of the many cute blond girls on Cyclops’s team and for once, it isn’t Emma Frost. In the previous issue, Magik just randomly flashed some hellfire-style PMS for no fucking reason. It was almost as random as a Lady Gaga outfit, but this issue dedicates a fuckton of ink to explaining that moment. And there’s a lot to explain. It basically amounts to Magik telling Cyclops about what happened to her. And the asshole behind it all was Dormammu, the flaming skull evil overlord who is more known for fucking with Dr. Strange. Now he’s decided to fuck with a messed up teenage girl. And for a great many reasons, I find this appropriate in ways that would piss off every feminist in the world.
Like any self-respecting messed up teenage girl (if that’s not the most paradoxical phrase ever uttered), Magik doesn’t take kindly to Dormammu’s shit and fights back. But in doing so he reveals something that has been touched on only slightly since the beginning of Uncanny X-men. It was established early on that everyone who interacted with the Phoenix Force had their powers fucked up. But for some reason Magik was as healthy and deviant as ever. Well, we now find out that isn’t exactly the case. Her powers were fucked up too and in the process, it fucked up the Limbo dimension she’s so closely linked to.
It makes a little bit of sense, but not as much as a sober mind would prefer. How exactly does her mixing it up with the Phoenix Force fuck up Limbo? Well seeing as how this involves magic and teenage girls, it probably falls into that category of things that can’t and probably shouldn’t make sense. And even if it doesn’t, it still provides a solid connection to the story that Bendis established earlier in the series. And those kinds of connections are like the private phone numbers of supermodels. They’re worth their weight in Wakandan vibranium.
But by fighting back, Magik also stirs in her what I’m assuming is a metaphor for every temper tantrum ever thrown by a teenage girl. Dormammu releases the Darkchilde, which is basically a cross between the Hulk, Satan, and that girl in high school that screams whenever she finds out someone posted those naked pictures of hers on Tumbler. Dormammu is basically pissing on a hornet’s nest. Even for a powerful demonic creature like him, that shit is pretty dangerous. He may be one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel universe, but you never get the sense that this match-up is unfair. Makes me think Dormammu probably would have been right at home in my old high school.
The hellish battle is pretty fucking epic. She lays into Dormammu and the demon hoards of Limbo with her flaming sword which isn’t a dick joke. And like the battle between the jocks and the gym coaches in high school, it’s pretty evenly matched. And keep in mind, this is just Magik retelling it to Cyclops. All this shit happened behind the scenes in the previous issue. So I guess karma worked quickly for the X-men after pwning the Avengers. But in the process of this battle, Dormammu also hints that Magik doesn’t completely understand how the Phoenix Force fucked up her powers. It offers some compelling hints that there are some other fucked up forces at work here that could be revealed later on. If your asshole doesn’t clench at the prospects, then you’re either too drunk or not drunk enough.
After telling Cyclops her story, Cyclops makes it clear to her that he wants to help her. While he may not be boning a hot blond anymore, they still have a special place in his heart. But what makes this scene even more compelling is how Magik actually shows some fear and emotion. For once, she’s not just some unapologetic bitch that reminds me of the women I used to date. It’s a major shift considering every other character has had their moment of drama except her. It’s overdue, but it has just the right impact.
Unfortunately, that impact is mired by yet another outburst of Hellfire PMS. And this time, the rest of the team hears it. They probably think Magik is pitching a demonic hissy fit or Cyclops allure to attractive blonds is too much for her. And they’re all still wide-eyed teenagers who just became mutants at this point. How the fuck are they supposed to process this when a few days ago they were only struggling to process the last two episodes of the Walking Dead?
At this point, however, the focus actually shifts away from Magik so that some of the other side-plots can be explored. Brian Michael Bendis has shown he’s willing to juggle multiple plots before and while it may be a bit late, he does make a nice effort to add more connections. This includes a nice moment with O5 Angel and Magneto. It’s easy to forget that from O5 Angel’s perspective, Magneto is still basically a mutant Hitler. O5 Angel reveals that he’s still not completely comfortable being around him, but he does note that Magneto does seem a bit less deranged. That or he just looks less creepy with a shaved head.
That’s not the only side-plot Bendis explores either. In the previous issue, all these young and inexperienced mutants were just getting to know one another. And that continues here. By that I mean some continue to flirt with one another. We saw a couple of flirtatious moments in the previous issue. We see even more here and why not? Three hot blonds just joined the team. Anything with a penis is bound to be at least somewhat intrigued. Although the Stepford Cuckoos make it clear they don’t appreciate it, going so far as to make Christopher forget his own name. It’s a funny, light-hearted moment in a comic involving demons and devils. It’s still a bit unbalanced, but at least it isn’t completely one-sided.
And it isn’t just the boys drooling either. As Cyclops returns with Magik, we find out that he still has this strange way of soaking a woman’s panties. He’s boned Jean Grey and Emma Frost. At one point Psylocke had the insatiable urge to bone him as well. Now it seems Tempus has taken a moment to admire him. He’s single, he’s charismatic, and he’s a wanted fugitive. He’s basically a walking pussy magnet right now and anyone who has a daughter with a functioning vagina should be very afraid.
Sadly though, these light-hearted moments of boners and soaked panties are shot lived. As they begin mulling over options to help Magik, she has another bout of hellfire-fueled PMS. And this time, she takes the whole team along for the ride. She claims she’s not the one behind it. She may or may not be telling the truth, but it effectively ends the comic with Cyclops and his new inexperienced team right in the middle of Limbo. So they thought fighting the Avengers was a challenge? How about an army of demons? I guess in addition to attracting beautiful woman, Cyclops just can’t help but attract the wrath of evil forces.
If you just happen to be in that rebellious phase I mentioned earlier, this comic may encourage you to davel in devil worship. If you’re a guy, you’ll want to bone Magik until she sets your dick on fire. If you’re a girl, you’ll want to dress like Magik and recruit your own army of demons. The Christian Coalition may go ape shit over it, but that doesn’t prevent this issue from being any less awesome. Even if you’re not inclined to join a Satanist cult or participate in human sacrifice at the moment, you’ll still find plenty to enjoy about this comic.
This issue effectively establishes the next major challenge that Cyclops’s revolutionary team will have to face. Pwning the Avengers? Shit, that’s what they do on the weekends when there’s no football on. They actually have to go up against the demon hoards of Limbo now. There’s trial by fire and then there’s trial by fucking hellfire. For a team that is still new and includes a bunch of young, inexperienced, and obviously horny mutants, that’s a pretty tall order. And Brian Michael Bendis sets it up beautifully.
He had to juggle a number of plots in this issue. The biggest was, by far, Magik’s hellish outburst. It’s probably the first time Magik has come off as more than just a deranged teenage girl that hung out with Charlie Sheen for too long. She actually had some emotion here to go along with the conflict, which is a very nice shift. It also forced Cyclops to set aside his revolution to help one of his fellow X-men. So even though many may see him as the douche that murdered Charles Xavier, he’s still a caring guy who will do his best to help his teammates. That helps make him less of a douche and soaks the panties of teenage girls like Tempus.
Even though the Magik plot was the most pressing concern in this issue, there were a number of side-plots that helped keep this issue coherent with the others. Bendis continued the plot he established in the previous issue of having the new mutants get to know one another. And as he’s already done a number of times, he’s shown that these are still teenagers. And unfortunately, the horniness of most teenagers exceeds their common sense. It added some more light-hearted moments to what is otherwise the kind of plot that Bill O’Riley believes takes place in the ACLU every day. In other words, it’s near perfect balance.
I say near-perfect because it did get a little choppy at times. That’s bound to happen when you try to juggle too many plots. It’s like having multiple girlfriends. When it works, it’s an orgy of awesome. When it doesn’t, you’ll either be nagged to death or castrated in your sleep. I get the sense that this issue fell somewhere in between. Bendis has shown in previous issues that he can balance multiple plots (and women probably). However, that didn’t show here. Some of the scene, such as the conversations between Magneto and O5 Angel, felt a bit underdone and so did the first scene with SHIELD. It didn’t distract from the quality of the art, the impact of the drama, or the solid progression of the story. But it did keep this comic from having that perfect blend that would make it perfectly awesome. For that reason, I give Uncanny X-men #5 a 4.5 out of 5. Cyclops’s team is literally going through hell right now. After reading this issue, we’re left with only one question. Which woman will be smitten by Cyclops next? Nuff said!