Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Scanned Thoughts: Wolverine and the X-men #32
When I get a new comic, I love to take my brain out of my skull, put it in a blender, dice it up for a good 20 minutes, and put it back and my skull. That way the thoughts that emerge as I read it are more fucked up than any fanboy on the planet not named William Shatner. What follows are the minced and diced thoughts that emerged while reading Wolverine and the X-men #32. I'm not legally responsible for any confusion and/or seizures caused by those who read on.
At the very least, readers can take comfort that they won't be as wounded as the Hellfire guards who were in Iceman and Kitty Pryde's path. Iceman gets creative, creating ice monsters that both fuck with and maim Hellfire guards in a way that is adorable yet obscenely violent. That's how you know it's a Wolverine and the X-men comic I guess. They probably should have expected the X-men to be pissed. The Hellfire Club stole two of their students. Now they're trying to locate the Hellfire brats at Kilgore's corporate headquarters. That or it's just Kitty and Iceman's idea of a date night. It almost makes me shutter to think what they're makeup sex might entail. They may need it because they don't find anything other than the typical overspending that you would expect of an evil corporation. But they're still probably not as bad as GSA or Goldman Sachs.
It's not just Kitty Pryde and Iceman looking for the the Hellfire Club as well. The whole team is in on the act. When a rival school is stealing their students, they don't just take an interest. They get pissed. The team is spread out all over the place, hitting up spaceship graveyards and doing psychic scans that would horrify Charles Xavier if someone hadn't cut out his fucking brain (see Uncanny Avengers). It makes for more Jason Aaron style juvenile humor, such as Rachel Grey determining that there are approximately 855,499 people making love. I'm pretty sure that's enough to make the Catholic Church shit themselves, but fuck religious zealots. They're trying to find deranged little kids. On second thought, maybe the Catholic Church can help them fight against that.
All this searching has left the Jean Grey Institute in a pretty fucked up state. They already found out they had a spy in their midst. Now they found out that two of their students left and they can't find the assholes who lured them away. That means the school gets a lot stricter and I'm not just talking about teachers raiding your locker and finding your weed. Now they have fucking Lockeed, Kitty's pet dragon, teaching classes. And even deranged teenagers aren't going to fuck with a dragon.
They're also not going to fuck with a pissed off Wolverine, who once again shows how he has anger issues that scare the shit out of Dr. Phil. He vents his anger the same way I imagine Charlie Sheen parties, by drinking heavily and wrecking a room. This time it happens to be his office, but I suppose there are worse ways he could deal with his anger. It also nicely reflects just how frustrated the X-men are and how well-equipped the Hellfire Club is.
And it's a good thing the Hellfire Club is hiding because they would probably piss the X-men off even more if they found out they were torturing one of their students. However, that student they're torturing is Kid Omega so I guess they wouldn't be too upset. Given the shit this kid has pulled on the X-men over the years, I imagine the Hellfire Club is only doing what the X-men wish they could do to him.
But unlike most teenagers who turn into pussies when faced with torture, Kid Omega handles it like a kid with balls beyond his years and four times his size. The Hellfire Club lets Dr. Pandemonium and a few hellish minions rough him up in a way that takes corporal punishment to a whole new level. In the process we even learn a little more about Dr. Pandemonium. His story is pretty basic. He discovered some evil mirror in a cave under Stone Henge and the mirror made him evil. It's basic, but it at least shows that there's some attention to detail in a book filled with so much playful violence.
That playful violence extends to the teachers lounge. Like real teachers lounges, it's a place for teachers to get together and hatch evil plan on how to torture their students even more. Their discussions are colorful and playful, despite being disturbing. They talk of human heads in refrigerators and making people scream. Again, probably nothing that doesn't happen outside of the teachers lounge in my old high school. But it offers some nice insight into how an evil school works.
The only killjoy is Toad, which I guess shouldn't come to anyone's surprise. He's still the lowly janitor and he makes some novel suggestions that include shit like actually educating the kids. He doesn't know that schools stopped educating back in the 70s when the world discovered it was much more efficient to just indoctrinate kids. Because educating kids might actually make them think and we just can't have that now can we?
So with so few leads coming up for the Hellfire Club, Wolverine turns to the only thing he can rely on to help him in times of crisis...booze. But not in the way you might think. Rather than just grabbing some hard liquor and some porno, Wolverine actually tries to use booze to help him solve his problems. But unlike most raging alcoholics, he does it in a more pragmatic way. He takes the pet bamfs, who have already shown a fondness for Wolverine's booze in previous issues. He then uses it to start tracking the Hellfire Club by following the trails of the mutants they recruited. It's not the most creative way I've seen booze used, but as a drunk it still brings a tear to my eye.
Those tears turn to rage once the Hellfire brats enter the picture again. They may not be as annoying as Hope fucking Summers, but they're still assholes that make an already ridiculous comic even more obscene. But they serve their purpose. We learned in the last issue that the whole point of this school is to create mutant sociopaths to drive up demand for sentinels. Kade Kilgore is already succeeding and with Sabretooth in charge of the school, they've got plenty of mutant sociopaths to go around. It has all the looks of a board meeting at Enron. You know a lot of people are going to get fucked over hard. This just involves giant robots and killer mutants.
The only potential problem with this perfectly organized evil plan is that one of the individuals they're trying to fuck over may be in a position to return the favor. Kid Omega, who has been tortured for three days now, is on the brink. Now Sauron and the boobed up version of Mojo are tormenting him. I imagine torturing Kid Omega is akin to a large bonus package at the Hellfire Academy. Unfortunately, the way they treated Toad earlier came back to bite them. Because he sneaks up behind them and looks to help him. And you know you're fucked when someone like Toad won't take it anymore.
But the Hellfire Club doesn't seem too threatened. They seem ready to roll out their new army of sociopath mutant teenagers. Kade Kilgore proudly introduces their star students, which includes Idie. They all look like obedient future sociopaths, but we also get a hint that Wolverine might be on their trail. Armed with an army of bamfs and whiskey, he is able to track down Lord Deathstrike while he's doing a supply run. It marks the first true lead the X-men have found on the Hellfire Club and now Wolverine is in a position to sink his claws into it. So not only did booze help him cope. It helped him find a solution. Excuse me, but I'm just getting really emotional here. I need a moment.
In just two issues, the Hellfire Saga has incorporated evil corporations, hard liquor, and beautiful women in sexy teachers outfits into the story. Throw in a gay wedding and you have Rick Santorum's worst nightmare. And yet Jason Aaron still finds a way to make it feel fun as hell. Wolverine and the X-men has had its ups and downs lately, but Wolverine and the X-men #32 is definitely an up and no mind, sober or drunk, can argue otherwise. Nuff said!