Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: All New X-men #13

Every week I soak my brain in illicit chemicals, read a comic book, and write about the twisted thoughts that emerge. All New X-men has created a wide array of thoughts, most of them positive in a way I don't usually find outside a strip club. All New X-men #13 promises more thoughts, minus paying a hundred bucks for a few lap dances. Here are my twisted thoughts on this issue.

The mission to get back at Mystique for using their images to scare the shit out of people is still on, although I think they might be more effective using a lawyer rather than brute force. It works for Goldman Sachs. However, they are still dealing with many uncomfortable revelations. For one, Angel ditched them like a stripper that gives only half a lap dance and steals your wallet. Then they found out that Cyclops has a little brother that they never told them about. For a team that’s supposed to take on giant robots and evil mutant brotherhoods, you would think that shit is worth knowing. The O5 are all learning unpleasant things about one another…well, except Iceman. So far the only thing he has learned about himself is that he’s had bad luck with women and his older self is currently dating his teacher, Kitty Pryde. But this is All New X-men. That shit is only the fifth most awkward revelation this series has revealed.

But all that awkward shit will have to be worked out some other time, most likely in the presence of several licensed therapists. They need to find Mystique and her team of bank robbing, reputation destroying douchebags. And since the O5 are currently on law enforcement’s shit list, O5 Jean Grey has to tap yet another power she’s woefully ill-equipped to manage. She has to use her telepathy to fool the minds of law enforcement officers to thinking they’re not there and just looking for stoners to bust to fill their quota (I wish that was a joke, but that’s a real thing sadly).

It’s yet another instance of Jean Grey pushing her burgeoning powers, which has been explored since this series began. But you have to wonder if at some point the X-men will realize that it may not be a good idea to push the powers of a teenage girl who grows up to become Dark Phoenix and maims 5 billion aliens on a whim. It’s compelling, but like the hot big-titted slut in a slasher movie. You know it’s not going to end well for her.

The team arrives at the site of one of Mystique’s robberies, which looks like a hotel room after a party by Led Zepplin so there are still plenty of armed men sifting through the rubble. O5 Jean puts her new skill to use while Wolverine does what he does best (aside from being pissed at Cyclops and lusting after married women) and tracks their scents. It’s actually a nice moment where the O5 get to learn a bit more about how Wolverine and the team do business. It’s easy to forget that even though All New X-men is on its 13th issue, not a whole lot of time has transpired in comic time. I get that time flows in comics at a rate that seem to imply that Father Time is stoned on some pretty awesome shit, but these kinds of details at least add some depth.

But as we’ve seen before in this series, O5 Jean Grey isn’t exactly the accomplished psychic she grows up to be. She manages to fuck up once again, allowing some of the guards to see them. And like any law enforcement person that sees a minority with a joint, they shoot first and don’t ask questions. This seriously bothers O5 Cyclops, hinting that he might have actually agreed with his older self more than he let on. But it once again shows that these O5 X-men aren’t exactly the lean mean mutant team we’ve come to expect. They’re teenagers in costumes. They’re only slightly more experienced than your typical cos-player. This still allows O5 Iceman to finally do more than just juggle snowballs. So his older self is dating the teacher and he’s saving the day? Suddenly, Iceman’s balls are descending a little and it only took 13 issues.

But what about Mystique? What the fuck is she planning to do with all that money? Bathe in it while using it to put her name on every building in the world Donald Trump style? Lady Mastermind doesn’t buy it. She believes Mystique has other plans that she isn’t divulging. She’s a shape-shifting mutant with a history of lying, cheating, and enjoying it every step of the way as if it were akin to multiple orgasms. And you know what? She’s right, but not about the orgasms.

Mystique did have another plan in mind and this plan involved the Silver Samurai and our old friends, Hydra. This isn’t the first time they have shown up in All New X-men. But now they’re doing more than just providing random fodder like Nazis in a Wolfenstein game. Mystique doesn’t have too many friends or allies in the Marvel universe anymore, having either killed them, pissed them off, or slept with them. And I guess Hydra is one of those select few, although I can’t help but wonder if she’s thinking about roughing up some drapes with Madam Hydra.

Back in the jet, O5 Jean is once again demoralized and bummed. She continues to do a disservice to the legendary reputation of her older self. Yet you still can’t help but feel sorry for her. Bendis has done a great job of showing her as a wide-eyed teenage girl who is trying hard to make sense of the world. It makes for a nice scene between her and Cyclops where she basically puts a huge burden on herself. She needs to be perfect, lest she fuck up her future even more. But seeing as how she’s already dead in the future, it’s not clear how much worse it can get.

But a much more detailed debate emerges when Havok’s speech about the so-called M-word is broadcasted. As I said earlier, time is really fucked up in comics and apparently his speech happened very recently. Mystique heard it with her team earlier in the book. Now the rest of the X-men are hearing it and despite being inexperienced teenagers that still probably think communism is a good idea on paper, they have a problem with it. Now this speech took place in Uncanny Avengers a while ago. It’s odd that Bendis is finally referencing it now, but it helps add a sense of synergy to this book that you usually don’t hear outside of bullshit corporate events.

And the one who provides the best insight into the whole M-word debate is Kitty Pryde. Because not only is she a mutant. She’s also Jewish and as we see on a daily basis from Iran, there are still some pretty anti-sematic assholes out there. She gives this awesome speech about this time when she heard some asshole she had a crush on say something that would bring tears of joy to Hitler’s eyes. Then rather than suck it up and go back to fantasizing about boy bands, she flat out proclaims that she is Jewish. And now she’s a mutant. Her point is simple. She wants people to know who and what she is so she knows if she’s going to have to bust any balls.

Her speech isn’t just another “fuck you” to Havok’s bullshit M-word speech. It effectively draws a line between what the All New X-men are doing and what the Uncanny Avengers are doing. It shows that the Avengers and the X-men still don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to addressing mutant issues. It took a fucking cosmic force for them to finally sit down and confront the bullshit surrounding mutants. And so far, they seem to be doing a very shitty job of it. While they may be incompetent as fuck, it still makes for a very compelling and very thought-provoking debate.

Mystique, however, takes a more basic approach when it comes to dealing with the hardships of being a mutant. She adopts the same approach the government uses whenever a big bank fails. She just throws money at it and hopes that will fix things. But she actually does have more of a clear plan than anything Congress has ever proposed. She offers Madam Hydra (who I’m still convinced she wants to fuck) an actual mountain of money to buy Madripoor. She wants to basically take it over and run it herself. Because running a small country worked out so well for Cyclops until a cosmic force fucked everything up, she wants to give it a shot. I’m not sure how viable this sort of plan is, but at least it makes more sense than what she said in previous issues about just making enough money to ditch the mutant issue altogether.

The negotiations between Mystique and Madam Hydra could have been very heated and made an awesome porno. But the O5 manage to arrive just in time to fuck everything up. I want to be upset, but I already have plenty of lesbo porn to jerk off to so I’m not too mad. The battle that unfolds is short, but to the point. Wolverine leads the O5 into battle against Mystique and Hydra. Wolverine also gets another chance to wound Sabreooth, which like a cold beer he never passes up. I’m guessing this is a deal-breaker between Hydra and Mystique. She’ll have to find something else to buy with her big pile of money. Maybe Texas is for sale. She can’t be any worse than Rick Perry.

But in the course of this overly basic fight, Lady Mastermind noticed O5 Jean’s presence. And given Mastermind’s history with Jean, it’s just too good a chance to pass up fucking with her. She was the one that humiliated her father. And while Jason Wynegarde was a total dick and probably a shitty parent, Lady Mastermind goes to work making shit even harder for O5 Jean Grey. And she does it using the fucking Phoenix Force.

I may be a drunk, but I haven’t killed enough brain cells yet to forget the shit the Phoenix caused in Avengers vs. X-men. Even if this is just an illusion and the Phoenix Force isn’t actually there, seeing again gives me that same feeling I get when I go to the dentist knowing that I haven’t flossed. It’s too soon and I’m not drunk enough to see another Phoenix plot. But seeing O5 Jean Grey tap the fucking Phoenix again is still an awesome sight and one that ends this comic on a high note.

Once again, All New X-men demonstrates why it’s one of the best X-books and also the most well-thought out. There’s actually some compelling words and arguments to be made in this book about labeling people. And if you’re not busy jerking off to images of Mystique going at it with Madam Hydra, you would do well to think about them. These are just my fucked up thoughts on All New X-men #13. And no, I won’t apologize for them. Nuff said!


  1. I already fell out with Rick Remender over what he did to the Age of Apocalypse, so I only know what goes on in Uncanny Shitheads by virtue of your excellent blog, good sir.

    Having read the pages of Wanda "DIE ALREADY!" Maximoff little speech to Rogue (seriously, how has she not just sucked the power right out of that waste of genetic material), I probably won't touch anything he writes ever again.

    Yes, I'm sure he's writing what he thinks is an Integrationist Manifesto. Integration is something I support. I think too much effort has been made to divide people needlessly by putting everyone into boxes.

    HOWEVER, the sheer amount of naivete is just APPALLING. It's basically back to "don't ask, don't tell" only for an entire people. And the idea that mutants aren't a real people because they come from all walks of life... well that was something that was being DEVELOPED with District X and Genosha before Joe "Asshole" Quesada ordered genocide.

    So Kitty's speech there pleases the hell out of me, and I hope Bendis stays for a while. Right now, he's the chief saving grace of the X-franchise right now. The only titles I read are All New, Uncanny, and Cable & X-Force.

    1. Glad I can keep you informed with my blog! But to be fair, Uncanny Avengers has been improving lately. It just won't make you despise Wanda and Havok any less. I'm not going to debate the merits of integration between humans and mutants. I'm just going to say that word games and semantics are the tactics of shitty English teachers.


    2. Both sides have a valid point to make, and if they weren't being such complete ASSHATS about it, it could even make for an interesting dialogue.

      Ironically, this isn't the first time Havoks' been responsible for this. Back in Peter David's first X-Factor run, Strong Guy came out with a similar speech, and asked that mutants be called "Genetically Challenged" or GeeCee's for short. Havok and the others mocked him for the political correctness of it.

      I'm convinced the REAL Havok never came back from the Mutant X world, and we got some shitty amalgamation of him with that universe's Douche-Alex, hence the incredibly awful characterization of a person I used to be rather fond of.

    3. I would like to think that this douche-bag Alex Summers is a clone or a Skrull, but I doubt Marvel would do something that fucked up at this point. Apparently, you have to be a douche in Marvel comics for some reason if you're going to make waves. It's the only way readers respond I guess. I think that's just fucked up, but the mere fact we're talking about it shows that it's working.


  2. :( I am grateful for Rick Remender for Dark Angel Saga and the Apocalypse twins, but I also think the naivete is appalling. I was hoping that he wrote Havok to be a little naive to show a little shade when Havok will come around, but after reading his quotes about it, Kitty's speech pleases the hell out of me too. Bendis saved Kitty for me because after AvX, she and the rest of JG school could kiss the avengers ass some more. And that's interesting about that Mystique wants to buy Madripoor, doesn't Tyger Tyger run it now? I hear Necrosha and Utopia are uninhabited at the moment, besides Josh Foley being emo at the former. Those would make good real estate.

    1. I'm not really sure what happened to Remender. I Liked Uncanny X-Force when it started. I read up through the Dark Angel Saga. And though I think it went on a little TOO long, it was a good story overall.

      My problem came from the fact that Age of Apocalypse ended on a maudlin but good note. It went out fighting the good fight, and was erased by the sacrifice of Magneto's X-Men. I *really* liked that storyline. Then the 10th Anniversary Limited Series came out, and lo and behold... somehow it had kept on going.

      It was a little jarring, but it made sense given Marvel's multiversal structure. So i read it, and despite some weak points, I liked it. It gave the franchise a high note, even if it unfairly demonized AOA-Magneto, and showed that even after all that had happened, humans and mutants were learning to co-exist. It was rough, shakey, and hard, but all sides were trying. In fact, I feel that way about most X-titles.

      And then Remender showed up, turned AoA into an even SHITTIER crapsack world than it had been the first time. Suddenly Wolverine was Apocalypse 2.0 (?!), the Phoenix was suddenly about as useful as Pyro, and it started showing all the excessive gore and brutality I came toe xpect from Ultimatum. And we won't even get into the Wanda/Phoenix scenario in the setup for the solo AoA series.

      And this is where my backlash came in. Somewhere along the way, Grimdark became in. All futures and AUs must be dystopias. Hope is a four letter word. Over-the-top torture-porn level violence has become the norm. This last point is why I stopped reading DC comics. Honestly, I'm just sick of it all. So I finished the Dark Angel saga and dropped UXF like a hot potato. So far, from what I"ve read, I've missed very little.

      I hear all this whining about how dark and stupid the 90s were. And I admit, it was corny, and the then-new-characters were lousy. But so far the mid-2000s to now have been the REAL "Dark Age" of comics.

      I've digressed.

      Bendis was never my favorite writer, but I never understood all the hate people have for him. Now that he's over on the X-side, he's pretty much my freakin' savior, because without Gillen, he's the only one who actually seems interested in writing stories I actually *want* to read.

    2. I don't know if naivety is the problem here. But Kitty just seems to be living in the real world where we as human beings have to identify as something. Even if we all look exactly the like and believe the same shit, we tend to form our own groups. That's human nature. And until the day we can all link our minds together into one big collective, which is probably on Apple's to-do list, it will continue and trying to avoid it like Havok is suggesting is just stupid. Just ask the Catholic Church how hard it is to get people to resist their natural inclinations.


  3. When I first atched the preview of this issue I was pissed because of the Phoenix because since I last remembered the Phoenix was erased by Scarlet Witch and that fucking brat Hope Summers, so when I saw the page where Jean is going crazy over the Phoenix force I was pissed but then, I waited and until I realized it was the illusions of Lady Mastermind all the time I managed to stay calm.

    I liked Kitty's speech of mutants and how she see herself as a mutant in society, when I read Havok's speech of the word mutant well... I pretty much disliked his character even more now, no doubt he's a much bigger douche now.

    1. Yes, an illusion by Lady Mastermind helps take away the sting of seeing the Phoenix again so soon after the bullshit in AvX. It still gives us a chance to see Jean experience a little Phoenix flare. And I'm all for that. As for Havok, I don't think he can be a bigger douche at this point without taking a shit on Charles Xavier's grave.


    2. Remember, the Phoenix hasn't been erased. They "killed" it.

      What exactly is a Phoenix known for?

      Yeah, that scene seriously PISSED ME OFF!!! and added to the recently increasing hatred I have for the Scarlet Bitch, but I comfort myself that it's return is pretty much built in, no matter what one clueless know-it-all thinks.