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!

19 comments:

  1. At least battle of the atom is coming soon :)

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    1. And I sure as hell hope it does something to make this issue less nauseating.

      Jack

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  2. I hope this fucking "battle of the atom" bullshit sends them all back. If Jean stays, great, but it's redundant to keep around two pairs of characters you're doing fuck all with in the first place. This book has been all about Jean from the get-go. Warren left because no one was doing anything with him and Bendis still isn't doing anything with him in Uncanny. The art was complete shit and the "non" interactions with Rachel was a cop out. I hate Rachel almost as much as I hate Kitty, but to leave it blank is shitty/bad writing.

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    1. They're not all going back. Hell, I doubt any of them are. Otherise, what's the point of getting new uniforms as Bendis promised? I just want Battle of the Atom to do something that will make up for this shitty excuse for an issue. It really is utter crap that feels like a completely different series compared to the 14 previous issues. Bendis is usually so good with details. Just leaving the Jean/Rachel moment untouched is incredibly OOC for him, almost as OOC as the bullshit with Beast.

      Jack

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  3. And you summed up my feelings quite perfectly, man.

    I'm.... wow, I'm livid. And I'm SOBER.

    If it had been Warren, the original third wheel, I'd have been interested in seeing where they took it. But *HANK*?! Not only has this never been so much as touched on in the past, but to ram it all into one stinking issue?

    And the whole Rachel thing?! WTF?! Seriously!? that's it!?!?!??!

    AvX broke my heart, and drove me away from Marvel. At a friend's insistence, I came back and gave All-New X-Men a try. For 14 issues, my opinion was slowly turning around. That maybe, just *maybe* Bendis might able to salvage this crap. But Hank/Jean?! And then to have this juvenile issue... from the artwork, to the storytelling, this entire thing felt like I was watching a sitcom.

    I *hate* sitcoms. I haven't willingly watched one since i moved away from home.

    Well, looks like I'm going to be purely a DC man from now on. The DCNU may have its problems, but at least I can rely on the Bat Family to remain consistently entertaining.

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    1. Well maybe that's your problem. You're sober. This issue gives anyone a solid excuse to start drinking. I was really hoping that Bendis wouldn't do the same shit that Chris Claremont did with X-men Forever. But not only did he do it. He made it fucking worse and I didn't think that was possible. It completely ruins a series that to this point has been so well-crafted in the prior 14 issues. I was ready to call All New X-men one of the best X-men comics of the past 30 years. This issue alone makes me want to shit all over it.

      Jack

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    2. Agreed. I'l folow "Battle for the Atom" or whatever the upcoming event is being called. But unless it wows me beyond wowing, I may finally be done with X-Men. It's like the entire franchise has devolved into bad fan fiction. Emphasis on bad. I'm not insulting a *good* fanfiction writer. :)

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    3. Well here's to hoping that Battle of the Atom doesn't suck. And if it does, that just gives me more incentive to make sure that X-men Supreme doesn't suck.

      Jack

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  4. I think the lighter feel of this issue is largely because of the fact that Battle of the Atom starts next issue. This is the calm before the storm, so to speak. Jean seems desperate to end up with 'Not Scott' in an attempt to stave off a future where she ends up dead (not to mention what happens to everyone else) and being skeeved out by her daughter with the guy she is trying to avoid ending up with seems kind of natural. Warren took off (I think young Hank would have been better for that too make the drama greater), Bobby is too immature, and Logan scares the crap out of her, so Hank is the only other 'Not Scott' male character left on the cast.

    Rothstein-Smash

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    1. If that was Jean's intent, it's not clear in the slightest. For all we know, Bendis is treating Jean as though she aws always in love with Beast and was just looking for an excuse to not be with Cyclops. And that's just shitty writing and I usually can't say that about Bendis. This guy, who put so much work into the Peter/Gwen/MJ relationship in Ultimate Spider-Man, has no excuse. Either he was drunk or he just didn't give a damn. Either way, it seriously hurts the series in a big way.

      Jack

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  5. I don't understand how being with Hank will change her future. She already knows that when she goes back, Prof X will mind wipe them, so why is starting a relationship in the present that will get wiped out change anything for her life? Confusing.

    As for the Rachel Summers, Jean Grey thing... yes, I would like to see them talk, but I don't think it was a cop out necessarily. With all the weird things she's seen about her life and now she sees her future "daughter", I could see someone avoiding the situation because its too much to handle right now. They will loop back and talk though. I have a feeling all of the big interactions and talks that we want to see like Jean and older Scott, Jean and Emma, Jean and Rachel will happen in BotA.

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    1. Well why start a relationship with ANYONE by that logic? If her mind is just going to be wiped clean, why bother? It's bullshit. And it comes out of fucking nowhere, even more so than X-men Forever. That's why it's total bullshit. And I hope Battle of the Atom gets things back on track because at the moment, this issue completely fucks nearly every good thing that All New X-men has done to date.

      Jack

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  6. Another things that's bugging me is that Beast had to have known that Jean was listening to his thoughts, so was he being honest, or is this another way to stick it to Scott? Beast is a genius, so he's not an idiot and he's known her most of his life. It'd be kinda fucked up for beast to do, but he's been doing a lot of "Dark beast" kind of things lately.
    I can understand Jean looking at her future through everyone else's eyes and saying "I don't want this." But she also doesn't have herself to talk to. The other O5 have their future selves to talk to and can clear up any questions etc. Jean doesn't have that luxury, she's seeing her life through other people's eyes, and I think she's only getting part of the story. If she had her older self to talk to I think things would be different. Wolverine, Rachel, Scott, Beast they all have this "St. Jean Grey" idealist view of Jean. It'd be easy for Jean to think "I can't be that. I don't want to become that." As much as people would expect a bitchy confrontation, I think the BEST person for her to talk to would be Emma. Emma would be honest with Jean. Flaws and all.

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    1. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this was part of another plot by Beast to be an even bigger douche. He hates Cyclops. He's made that clear. Never mind the fact that all he ever did was piss and moan about Cyclops's decisions. Never mind the fact that he never so much as hinted at a better way. Now he wants to fuck him over by stealing the love of his life? I wouldn't put it past him. There is next to nothing redeemable about this asshole anymore. I guess he's somewhat less fucked up now that he doesn't look like an overgrown cat. But him trying to hook up with Beast is just total bullshit. Hell, I would rather Jean hook up with Kid Omega at this point.

      Jack

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  7. This issue was just... GOD AWFUL. Up until this, I was enjoying this title very much. I loved seeing the O5 X-Men in the 21st century with everything that's been thrown at them. But then the roller coaster ride that's been this series has come to a horrific CRASH. I don't hate Beast but he's not among my favorites, but having him paired with Jean is one of the most random pairings out there. There was no real build up to it. I honestly thought that cover with Beast and Jean was a joke, one of those attention grabbing issues where what happened on the cover wouldn't happen in the issue itself... and this time, it actually DID happen. Makes me wanna puke.

    The Rachel/Jean missed opportunities? Wow, seriously? WTH? You'd think after all they've been through together (not 05 Jean, obviously, but the Jean we all grew up reading and loving) Rachel would be beyond thrilled to see her mom when she was first cutting her teeth as an X-Man, and not to mention alive and pre-Phoenix. Why even bother wasting pages with these two if they don't even say a WORD to each other?

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I agree. My head is still throbbing from this crash of an issue as you called it. I wouldn't have minded if the chemistry between Hank and Jean had been developed. But Bendis just pulled this whole romance out of his ass while utterly glossing over the Rachel/Jean encounter. It's a total piece of shit from a series that had been devoid of it to this point. It's a real shame and I hope that Battle of the Atom does something to make me forget this stench.

      Jack

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  8. I got this issue for my Fiancee because he's a huge Cyclops fan. I'm not but even I find the whole Jean and Beast thing pretty fucked up. I mean present Beast knows she's been working on her telepathy. He knows what being this type of mutant means (they have Kid Omega being watched by Rachel constantly because of this) your telling me he wouldn't be careful about what he thought around her? His reasons for bringing the old x-men always seemed sketchy and a little reckless. Maybe it was all an excuse for him to hook up with Jean. By the way I love your reviews, by far my favorite are the ones of Wolverine and the X-Men, you may dislike my favorite character a lot but I have enough of sense of humor to think your reviews are hilarious just the same.

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    1. Thanks for the comment! Glad you enjoy my reviews. I think there are enough boring people who review comics. I think it's important to get the assessment of a drunk. And as a drunk, I would fight Beast in a bar fight any day of the week. It's bad enough he has been such a douche in criticizing Cyclops over the years. Now he's trying to steal his girl after fucking with the timeline. If this guy were a pet, he would be the kind of pet that shits on the carpet no matter how many times you dicscipline it. And this was by far one of his worst hours.

      Jack

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    2. beast is like the school loser hating on the prom king.going so far as to time travel just so he can bang the prom queen.jean grey is A list comic ass and beast is just a jealous creepo.cyclops aka the Bradley Cooper of the x-men is getting royally fucked.

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