Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Scanned Thoughts: All New X-men #15
What happens when you give a drunk a blog and let him review comics every week? Well for one, you give that drunk even more reasons to drink. You also give him an avenue to describe what happens when you mix the passion of a comic book fan with the irresponsible judgment of a drunk. It’s beautiful in the same way watching a crash at a NASCAR race is beautiful. You know there’s some horrific shit going on behind the scene, but you’re too entertained to care. What follows is a raving drunk’s assessment of All New X-men #15. So just lie back, listen to the agonizing screams of my liver, and enjoy the carnage.
We’re 15 issues into All New X-men already and already the sense of time flow in this series is more fucked up than an LSD trip in a wax museum. Because apparently, the O5 have only been in the present for a few days and in that entire time O5 Jean Grey never crossed paths with Rachel Grey. The reason given…Rachel Grey was off playing hero. Yet she somehow turned up in all the other books like Wolverine and the X-men? I may be a drunk, but I’m not a stupid drunk.
This shitty understanding of how time flows in comics is par for the course, but sometimes it goes right into the middle of a sand trap. That’s what it felt like here when Rachel, ignoring Storm’s warning that something fucked up had happened, meets her time displaced AU mother just as she’s coming out of the bathroom. That’s like walking in on your dad while he’s taking a shit and having phone sex. It’s awkward, fun, but absolutely jack shit comes of it. They just exchange a few thoughts, share an awkward glance, and run away. That’s it. For a series that has had so much drama, that’s both a missed opportunity and a crock of shit.
It’s not quite as awkward for O5 Iceman, who has to deal with his younger self boning his teacher, Kitty Pryde. Now that actually sounds a lot more awesome than it really is. But for him, it’s like watching a video of yourself making out with a fat transvestite prostitute when you were blacked out drunk. And O5 Cyclops, who is still working on tormented love letters to Jean Grey, he can only take so much complaining. So with more awkwardness going around like a crack pipe at Rick James’s house, they decide to ditch the Jean Grey Institute for a while and get some fresh air. It’s not as effective as booze, but I guess it’ll do.
And for some reason, after O5 Jean has an awkward encounter with Rachel, she decides the best way to deal with it is to do some telekinesis training with new-Ape Beast. Her target…Wolverine’s motorcycle. They might as well be training for a boxing match by kicking Mike Tysons in the balls when he’s high on crystal meth. O5 Jean’s powers have already accelerated to levels that allow her to knock Wolverine out and make Sabretooth whine like a little girl who just had her lollipop taken away. So what would stop her from completely disassembling Wolverine’s motorcycle? I think this once again shows that Wolverine will never finish paying for fucking up Cyclops’s motorcycle in the first X-men movie. Karma is just that vindictive.
In their effort to get away from all the shit back at the Jean Grey Institute, O5 Iceman and O5 Cyclops find their way to a county fair. Given what they have been through, nobody would fault them for going on a drinking bender and giving the finger to every PSA announcement ever done about weed. But they keep it simple and just enjoy the festivities, along with a wad of money from Wolverine. Because it’s not enough his motorcycle was fucked up. They need to steal from his ass as well. And given Cyclops’s public persona, which was so nicely displayed globally during Avengers vs. X-men, it doesn’t take long for him to get recognized. But he’s recognized by a bunch of cute girls so that sort of softens the blow. It’s worth remembering that both he and Iceman are teenagers. Cute girls will make them forget whatever crazy problems their dealing with and if they’re lucky, it’ll create a few new ones as well.
But the awkwardness isn’t quite over just yet. In fact, it’s about to get worse on a level that will give readers the stomach to watch an old porno tape with their parents. While Beast is fixing Wolverine’s motorcycle, which O5 Jean destroyed inadvertently, she starts picking up on his thoughts again and they’re pretty damn disgusting. He flat out thinks out loud to her that he was in love with her. I shit you not, that’s what sort of twisted shit this guy was thinking. This guy, who is dating Abigail Brand mind you, reveals that he was in love with Jean Grey.
When I read this, I got the same sick feeling I got when I read X-men Forever. But at least that shit didn’t happen all at once. This issue actually revealed that Beast has always had a boner for Jean Grey. It’s not quite a pervy as Charles Xavier having naughty thoughts about his student, but it’s right up there. It doesn’t help that I’ve developed a hatred of Beast more powerful than the collective livers of Led Zepplin for his recent shit, but this really is coming out of fucking nowhere. And of all times to reveal it, he does it now while O5 Jean is in an emotional fragile place. On top of that, the impact of her meeting Rachel Grey, isn’t so much as hinted at. So it was just awkward and not relevant. If I want that, I’ll ask my uncle to tell me about his bachelor party in Tijuana.
I’m about ready to throw up, but it’s slightly less sickening when we see O5 Cyclops and Iceman doing so well with the cute girls they met earlier. They even manage to scare off the lone guy who was with them. They all seem very progressive and tolerant, basically revealing that they don’t watch Fox News and don’t attend a private school run by Pat Robertson. O5 Iceman doesn’t even try to hide the fact that they’re from the past. And these girls are totally okay with it. Granted, I’ve used the time traveler pickup line before. It doesn’t exactly soak the panties, but it does keep girls interested. Even when they suspect bullshit, they’ll still stick around to smell it and sometimes that’s all a guy needs.
Now it’s time to give bulimics everywhere a true gift. Because once O5 Jean finds out that Hank had a crush on her, she confronts his non-furry self and they have another awkward chat. But this chat gets downright sickening because O5 Beast admits that he’s in love with her, but left her to Cyclops. Then O5 Jean, in a move that could probably fuck up the entire Marvel universe Age of Ultron style, says she’s not in love with Cyclops. Then she fucking kisses him.
It’s as disgusting as it sounds. It really does in one scene destroy all the awesome momentum that this comic built up over the past 14 issues. This comic, which was until today my favorite, just flat out fucked a dead horse and gorged on entrails. This is exactly what I was afraid of when All New X-men came out. It would do to Cyclops and Jean what One More Day did to Spider-Man and Mary Jane. Never mind that the relationship between Cyclops and Jean has some very vital contributions that would undermine the whole Marvel universe. This shit is all coming about in one fucking issue. Even X-men Forever took a few issues to build up this bullshit. Bendis just shoehorned it in here with the kind of reckless disregard that the NSA shows towards the 4th amendment. It really is disappointing on a truly disgusting level.
The only other action in this book involved O5 Cyclops and O5 Iceman playing hero for a routine car chase. Compared to a battle against Mystique and Hydra from the previous issue, it’s nothing short of yawn-inducing. It certainly impresses the girls and it does provide the obligatory explosions that damn near every comic book has to have on some level. But like Beast’s bullshit emotions, it feels like it’s just shoehorned into the story. It’ll impress the three girls and they probably would be willing to show them their breasts at this point. But it won’t impress the readers. It can’t without the promise of breasts.
When all is said and done, Wolverine finally shows up to remind O5 Cyclops and Iceman that they are on an adamantium leash and they need to get the fuck back to the institute. But not before he gets a phone number from a cute girl. They still have yet to understand that everyone in the fucking world has a cell phone now and they use it for damn near everything. So the chances of them being able to have phone sex are really low. But getting a number is still a win, at least for a teenage boy.
And while Wolverine is dragging them back to the institute, we get a brief glimpse of Dazzler. Or maybe it’s Mystique. She did kind of drug her in ways that get certain athletes in trouble at certain colleges in the previous issue of Uncanny X-men. It’s not clear because she doesn’t do jack shit other than just leer at the two O5 X-men in secret. It’s not creepy, but it is fucking pointless.
At this point, I’ve lost my entire appetite to the point that this comic would make an awesome weight-loss product if it wasn’t so sickening. On her way back to her room, O5 Jean crosses paths with Rachel again and once again, they don’t do jack shit. They just have an awkward look and that’s it. Then she takes out the wedding invitation that Cyclops gave her at the end of All New X-men #7, which hasn’t even been mentioned until now. Given what she just did with O5 Beast, it’s not even clear what it means at this point. But it’s so fucked up now that I’m too disgusted and sober to make sense of it.
Now let me be clear. I’m not merely repulsed by the idea of Jean and Beast. I’m of the opinion that any pairing can work of done right. But like X-men Forever, this shit was just way too fucking contrived. And it takes Jean Grey, who already sensed how Cyclops felt about her in All New X-men #4, and basically has her forget all those feelings and throw herself at the first person who shows interest that isn’t Cyclops. That doesn’t make her the emotionally vulnerable girl that has been so lovable throughout this series. That makes her a bitch. Maybe if Bendis had at least hinted that O5 Beast had feelings for her, it wouldn’t be this fucked up. But as it stands now, this development is utter shit and a big fucking taint on what to this point had been a nearly flawless series.
For 14 straight issues, All New X-men has raised the bar in terms of awesome. In just one issue, that bar has been driven into the ground and up the ass of WTF. This was bullshit. For the first time, a cover for an issue of All New X-men wasn’t a ruse. And it couldn’t have happened at a worse fucking time. Jean Grey and Beast shit failed in epic fashion in the pages of X-men Forever. But at least that shit took more than one issue to become a contrived, nauseating, bullshit development that completely fucks up both characters, relationships, and the entire timeline of the Marvel universe. On top of that, the interactions with Rachel and Jean were utterly glossed over. These two characters, who had a fuckton to talk about, just exchanged awkward glances and left. I couldn’t be more disappointed with this comic if it was covered in horse diarrhea. This really does pain me, but All New X-men #15 gets a 1.5 out of 5. The art is shitty, the story is shitty, and the characters are fucked. For Brian Michael Bendis, that’s an epic fail that almost robs this whole fucking series of the awesome it has built up. And a fail like that is just too shitty for words. Nuff said!