Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny X-men #10

Take a comic book fan, some booze, a bit of weed, and some dick jokes and blend them together. What you get is something that will be as appetizing as a triple bacon cheese burger with Jack Daniels for some or deep fried bustle sprouts dipped in horse piss for others. I take it upon myself to both feed and disgust comic book fans with my thoughts on certain books. So if you’re hungry, get your fork and plate ready because I’m about to post my thoughts on Uncanny X-men #10. If you have a weak stomach, either get a trash can or get some more bacon in your diet.

Now if you don’t find a couple of teenage girls fighting appetizing, then I’m guessing even bacon won’t save your stomach now. Because the first few pages of Uncanny X-men #10 reminds readers that having mutant powers and looking hot in skin tight outfits does not an X-man make, although it’s pretty damn close. New students still have to learn how to kick ass and that’s what Tempus has to do with Magik as a sparring partner. Because why not pit a 16-year-old Australian girl against mentally unstable Russian who recently took on Dormmamu? That’s like teaching a teenager how to drive by having them race in the Daytona 500 while all the other drivers are on meth. It’s not a fair fight, but then again the X-men are almost always on the ass end of unfair fights so I think it’s a good lesson. Plus, Emma Frost gets to chide her ex a bit. She hasn’t castrated Cyclops yet so I’m guessing she’s not as bitter as she could be.

While the rest of the young, aspiring X-men are learning how to kick ass and look sexy doing it, Magneto is just sulking by himself. And when a man is sulking without his porno stash readily available, nothing good ever comes of it. This is no exception. He’s clearly still pissed about his powers being broken, which STILL hasn’t been fully explained just yet. But I’m willing to overlook that if it leads to something more compelling.

However, I’m not sure if what happens here is as compelling as it is confusing. Magneto’s sulking is interrupted by a text message from someone who clearly has a poor understanding of how to use mayonnaise on a sandwich. I’m guessing their talking in code or something, but I can’t tell if Magneto is scheduling another secret meeting with Maria Hill or if he’s trying to order lunch from retarded deli. It turns out to be a message from Maria Hill and another instance of Brian Michael Bendis giving a shout-out to his home state of Oregon. But if this was meant to convey a James Bond type spy mentality, it failed. All it did was make me hungry and I don’t like to feel hungry until after I’ve had my daily joint.

The training with the young X-men is much less obscure and references much less mayonnaise. Tempus was still getting her ass kicked by Magik and like most teenage girls, there’s only so much pwnage they can take before they start ignoring the rules. But instead of offering the teacher a pair of her panties like some of the girls in my junior year of high school, she uses her time powers to freeze Magik before she could land another blow. It’s a perfectly reasonable “to hell with this shit” moment, but it throws in an additional twist that sadly doesn’t involve panties.

To this point in Tempus’s brief stint with the X-men, her powers have only involved her stopping time. On its own, that’s a pretty awesome power. She used it to pwn the Avengers a few issues back and she has proven to be more useful than a bottle of lube at a peep show in Amsterdam. But this time when she freezes Magik, she disappears when Tempus tries to free her. It causes a big “oh fuck, we just lost our teleporter!” moment. But then she shows up a minute later and we find out that she was just sent a minute into the future. This freaks Tempus out, but reveals a new skill for the X-men to utilize. They now have a mutant that can send people into the future. Is it a mere coincidence that this happens just before Battle of the Atom takes place, which happens to involve time travel? I suppose it’s only a coincidence if you also believe what the DEA says about weed turning people into mass murderers.

I still consider the DEA only slightly less trustworthy than Maria Hill at SHIELD, who has had a pussy boner for arresting Cyclops since the beginning of this series. Despite the coded messages involving deli meat, Magneto manages to decipher it and meets with Maria Hill in broad daylight in a park. I’m guessing that meeting at a gay bar in Los Angeles would have been too subtle. She tells him flat out that his role as SHIELD’s mole in Cyclops’s operation has yielded less returns than Anthony Wiener’s mayoral campaign. And unless he’s willing to give them something she can use to jam a pylon up Cyclops’s ass, they’re finished.

It’s actually more compelling than it sounds, at least as much as seeing the X-men gain another means of fucking up the timeline. Magneto being SHIELD’s mole is a story that began in the very first issue of Uncanny X-men and it hasn’t really been addressed that much. It’s good to see that the editors at Marvel don’t smoke as much weed as I do and remember details like this. It also shows Dazzler continuing her role with SHIELD, although at this point she may still be Mystique in disguise because fucking with both SHIELD and the X-men is like a three-way with two supermodels for her. And Maria Hill, being the stubborn bitch that she is, manages to get her way and it appears Magneto finally gives her something else to work with. Whether it’s something that will sufficiently fuck Cyclops over is left unclear.

The story then takes a radical shift that would make Sean Hannity shit his pants if his head wasn’t stuck so far up it. Another feature that the early issues of Uncanny X-men showed was the support Cyclops’s little Che Guevera speech was getting. It has actually been shown in other comics as well, namely All New X-men. Some regular humans actually like Cyclops’s message. The man has boned both Emma Frost and Jean Grey. He also recently pwned the Avengers. Even if you’re an avid Fox News viewer, you have to give the guy some level of respect. And now it turns out there’s a huge pro-mutant rally on a college campus in Michigan.

It’s actually a unique sight in X-men comics. Usually when there’s a rally with humans involving mutants, the message is that humans would prefer that mutants throw themselves in the nearest volcano. But in this world of NSA spying and Congressmen tweeting pictures of their dicks, some people aren’t exactly convinced when the government tells them they should hate a certain person. Just look at Edward Snowden and he never banged Emma Frost. This sort of pro-mutant rally is something that feels like it has been happening in some dark corner of the Marvel universe. Yet it has never been revealed like this and the X-men are almost as pleasantly surprised as I am.

Despite their first inclination that this is the same trap that sent Tommy Chong to jail, Cyclops takes a team and teleports with Magik to the campus. I imagine it’s like One Direction appearing at a tween slumber party for the audience. They look shocked and excited, but it’s hard to tell because of the very flat art style. But that’s nothing a few hits of LSD doesn’t cure if you don’t mind Emma Frost coming to life and yelling at you. What Cyclops is doing here makes total sense, although I don’t doubt there’s a touch of ego involved. He needs to reinforce the notion that the government is full of shit and they shouldn’t treat him like a criminal when innocent mutants get shot for no reason. And unlike most Marxist rallies at college campuses, this one actually has some relative substance.

But the speech Cyclops gives here actually tones his ego down to a point. He addresses the crowd, but he doesn’t just wave his dick in the air boasting a about how he pwned the Avengers and how he’s doing way more to protect innocent mutants than them. He actually tells these clearly gullible college students who probably get stuck with some very lousy weed that they shouldn’t bash the Avengers or any hero that makes the world a better place. And these are the same people who just a few issues ago tried to arrest his ass. Many do accuse Cyclops of having a bloated ego and he does to a point, but he also has some humility too and it shows here.

I also think it’s worth pointing out here that the students at this rally point out something that I’ve already pointed out on this blog in a less-than-sober mind. When Cyclops had the Phoenix Force, he used that power to make the world a better place. Then the Avengers attacked him and it all went to shit. Nobody else seems to have made that connection that the Phoenix Five only became dangerous when the Avengers starting attacking it. And if a bunch of debt-slave college students can figure that shit out, then the rest of the Marvel universe has no fucking excuse.

It would have been a great opportunity for Cyclops to make this abundantly clear to the public at large. But as is often the case when the X-men try to do something publicly, they get attacked by a giant robot. I only wish that was a joke, but anyone who has been reading X-men comics for more than a few months knows full well that it’s never long before giant robots start attacking the X-men. And this killer robot, called the Blockbuster Sentinel, isn’t looking to take Cyclops into custody. It’s looking to kill him and probably doesn’t give a damn that a bunch of innocent college students will get caught in the crossfire. It’s hard to say if this is SHIELD or some shady government agency, but the lack of concern for innocent college students leads me to believe they may have voted for Mitt Romney.

This issue did a great job of revisiting some of the key plots that made the early issues of this series so awesome. It also introduced some new dynamics with Tempus. It was still somewhat basic. I know a killer robot attacking the X-men will never get old, but it’s hard to know if this is something SHIELD has done or if someone with too much time and money watched too many reruns of Battlestar Galactica. The art may be lousy, but the fundamentals are sound. There’s a lot to like about Uncanny X-men #10, but it feels too short in the end. So I give Uncanny X-men #10 a 7 out of 10. It’s all about revolution and pissing off republicans. And what’s wrong with that? I’m not a revolutionary, but I will say it’ll enchant the inner Che Guevera in all of us. Nuff said!

1 comment:

  1. I was a little confused by the Tempus/Illyana thing. Bendis made a big deal about Illyana taking Limbo inside her, and she was shown having a chat with a past version of Dr. Strange. So she can time travel. I'm wondering if it's a combination of their powers interacting that made Illyana "jump" in the bubble. But I got the impression from the previous issue that Illyana was able to go through time all on her own because of the Limbo thing. I was also waiting for an "eye roll" panel when that one kid asked "How do you know, Celeste?" (about the Aussie chick running away) um maybe because she's a fucking telepath. The interactions weren't all that clear and everything felt like "we'll explain it later." Which is something Claremont used to do, but then never fucking explained anything. Maria Hill and Magneto apparently have a relationship, Dazzler's "Hi Erik" seemed odd even for Mystique. Emma's "i'm mad at you but not telling you why" thing and Scott's "i'm about to say something" but then doesn' just feels like EVERYTHING that happened in this issue didn't have a resolution, and with the "crossover" I'm wondering if it ever will.