Thursday, August 15, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: Wolverine and the X-men #34

Give a man a comic book and a beer and he's happy for a good half-hour. Give that same man more beer and a blog, and you give him more reasons to drink and more reasons to read comics. It's the perfect cycle of addiction. Some may think that booze and comics go together like lizards and socks, but I say fuck those people for having so little imagination. I know you people don't just come to this blog to see a calm, insightful assessment of a comic. You come to see a raving drunk review a comic with words that you wouldn't use outside your brother’s bachelor party. I'm here to review Wolverine and the X-men #34 and I'm not going to be polite about it. So if you're easily offended or work for the FCC, you might want to pack up your purse, put a tampon up your ass, and go somewhere else. I hear North Korea is nice this time of year.

That said, what kind of comic offends people who are against giant mutant islands and a giant ice Voltron attacking the Hellfire Academy? The awesome kind, that’s for sure. Kade Kilgore, the prepubescent Black King of the Hellfire Club who probably doesn’t have any hair on his scrotum yet, got pwned big time in the previous issue. Like many aspiring young boys, he learns to think with his penis and he offered Idie a chance to be his Black Queen. She ended up fucking him over, leaving him pwned and unconscious. And when he woke up, the X-men were attacking the Hellfire Academy with said giant island and ice Voltron. Not one to take pwnage like your typical internet troll, Kade and his fellow Hellfire Club brats fight back with an army of island sized mutants of their own. Because apparently these things are easier to get in the Marvel universe as an overpriced pair of shoes on QVC.

The battle that follows is every bit as epic as it sounds. Even with all the LSD in Amsterdam, I could not have come up with a more awesome way for the X-men to attack the Hellfire brats. It’s not like the final battle at the gates of Mordor in Lord of the Rings. It’s more like Power Rangers meets Wrestlemania. It sounds like it should be a serious battle that has readers more nervous than an unneutered dog at Bob Barker’s house. Instead, it’s more fun than skinny dipping at the Playboy Mansion.

It’s part of the unique style of Wolverine and the X-men. It’s not a book that gets overly serious. This is best shown when Iceman, who is piloting the giant ice Voltron, is tempted by Kitty Pryde to cop a feel if he fights harder. Only in Wolverine and the X-men could a battle against the Hellfire Club involve a guy’s girlfriend using her breasts as a means of inspiring the team to fight harder. Some might be offended. Some might get teary-eyed at Jason Aaron’s commitment to including breasts in this saga. He even throws in a fastball special with Wolverine because like boobs, there’s just no substitute for the most classic kinds of awesome.

Kade and the rest of the Hellfire Brats watch this epic battle unfold and they watch as it quickly turns against them. The X-men are pissed. The past few issues have done a nice job of showing how frustrated the team has gotten with the Hellfire Club. They didn’t just take two of their students. They managed to effectively hide from the X-men and basically undermine everything they were trying to teach a new generation of young mutants. They couldn’t have pissed them off if they dug up Charles Xavier’s body and ripped his brain out. I’m sure they would have done that if the Red Skull hadn’t beaten them to the punch. Because of this, the X-men are fighting a lot harder and the Hellfire Club is losing.

Seeing this, Kade’s fellow brats want to pull back. They can sense that this is a losing battle and a waste of time. But Kade, his underdeveloped balls probably still hurting from what Idie did to him in the previous issue, refuses to retreat. He wants to keep fighting because he can’t leave this battle with the knowledge that he got pwned by a girl in a sexy Black Queen outfit. His dick would never forgive him. But his dick once again fucks him over because by staying, he gives enough time for Broo to catch up with him and maul him. I normally don’t endorse mauling kids that aren’t insane Justin Bieber fans, but I gladly make an exception for the Hellfire brats. There have been many satisfying moments in this arc, but this one put a smile on my face I normally don’t have outside a strip club.

In addition to the battle unfolding outside, there’s yet another awesome battle unfolding within the halls of the Hellfire Academy. Idie and Kid Omega, who have been following their raging teenage hormones to all sorts of trouble since this arc began, are battling their fellow students for survival. It’s not quite as epic as seeing two island-sized mutants battle, but it still carries plenty of weight because all this started when Kid Omega went after Idie when she defected. Now he’s fighting alongside her while she’s wearing a Black Queen costume. I can’t speak for Kid Omega, but I’m pretty sure he would say all the crap he endured at the academy was worth it. Toad is fighting with them too, but he’s still getting his ass kicked by Husk. And like Kade, he’s penis probably hates him because it’s letting her kick his ass. But he’s Toad. He’s probably as used to losing as the Cleveland Browns.

This leaves only the Hellfire Academy’s staff as the last line of defense. Once the battle between island-sized mutants becomes sufficiently lopsided, the X-men storm the school and take on the academy’s teachers. This includes Mystique, Wendigo, Sauron, and a few other heavy hitters that may not be giant islands, but fuck if they aren’t as dangerous. The battle they wage is plenty epic, albeit somewhat condensed. The battle isn’t quite as detailed as some of the other conflicts, but with so many epic struggles in this issue that’s entirely forgivable. I don’t ask a sushi chef to juggle more knives than he can handle so why should I ask writers like Jason Aaron to make every battle worthy of a Sylvester Stallone movie? Just because I’m a drunk doesn’t mean I’m unreasonable.

But no matter how epic or dramatic the battles in Wolverine and the X-men may be, there will always be time for more of the colorful, cartoonish humor that makes this series so awesome. We already got a nice taste when Kitty Pryde offered Iceman her boobs as a reward for kicking ass. This time Doop, the globular X-man who speaks a language that only Klingons could comprehend, provides the humor by taking on the female version of Mojo that the Hellfire Academy employed. Since this is a creature that jerks off to torture porn, this battle is probably giving her multiple orgasms. But Doop puts a stop to that in a way akin to your parents taping over your favorite porn and replacing it with footage of your grandmother taking a shit. It’s vulgar, it’s offensive, and it’ll probably make Glenn Beck cry. For that reason, it’s funny as hell and awesome as fuck.

It’s looking increasingly shitty for the Hellfire brats. Kade manages to fight off Broo, but he’s still more fucked up than Rocky Balboa at the end of Rocky IV. Yet he still refuses to retreat. It’s one thing to be kicked in the nuts by a pretty girl dressed in a Black Queen outfit. But being attacked by her pet on top of that is like getting a rectal exam from Andre the Giant. His fellow Hellfire brats are showing signs of no longer giving a shit about Kade’s ego. He’s not just losing the battle. He’s getting his ass kicked at every turn.

Unfortunately, Broo doesn’t stick around to finish mauling him. Rather than take another chance, he meets up with Dr. Starblood, who basically just ditches the battle entirely. He’s like the punter on the Detroit Lions. He really has no incentive. So he offers Broo a chance to join him in an escape pod and journey with him into the universe where he can maul other creatures. For a Brood, that’s like Donald Trump offering a kid a paid trip to Disney World. It’s probably not altruistic in the slightest, but it’s a fucking trip to Disney World. Why the hell wouldn’t you go? This may upset some Broo fans and I admit that he was lovable at times. But I think he has served his purpose with Wolverine and the X-men.

On every front, the Hellfire Academy is getting their asses kicked. The only ones that seemed overmatched at some point were Idie and Kid Omega. They had to attack their fellow students, some of which showed signs of reluctance. It may just be the lousy teaching style of the Hellfire Academy’s teachers, but I think it says something when they’re unable to rough up a douche-bag like Kid Omega. Yet he and Idie are able to beat them with the help of the X-men’s own personal Karoka. I won’t say it’s a very satisfying scene because I have sympathy for students stuck in a school that teaches them to be sociopaths. But it’s still yet another colorful act of pwnage that can’t be found outside Wolverine and the X-men.

Yet despite all this pwnage on every possible front, Kade Kilgor refuses to surrender. But in an act that shows Broo may have given him a serious concussion, he looks at the battle and becomes elated. He suddenly believes that he has won. He claims that this was exactly what he wanted to happen. Maybe there’s something he’s seeing that readers are too sober to notice. Or maybe he really has completely lost his shit. And it doesn’t appear that his associates agree with him. As he’s trying to twist all this pwnage into a victory, his teammates turn their guns on him. I still would prefer that he get mauled to death by Broo, but at this point I’m just enjoying the sight of the Hellfire brats getting pwned to care.

Once again, a comic book reflects how Charlie Sheen has ruined an entire generation’s concept of winning. But once again, Jason Aaron finds a way for it to be awesome as fuck. This comic has giant islands fighting each other, a giant ice Voltron, a Brood mauling a homicidal pre-pubescent kid, and Idie in a Black Queen outfit. This comic was like bacon flavored Jack Daniels in that it combined multiple awesome elements into one neat little package that anyone can get drunk off. Anyone who finds something to bitch about in this issue is either brain damaged or way too sober. Wolverine and the X-men #34 gets a 9 out of 10 and Jason Aaron gets a free lap dance if I ever meet him in a strip club. Nuff said!


  1. This looks like a good turnaround for Wolverine and the X-Men, restoring some of the sense of awesome fun the book had lost over the past couple of issues (although I'm still a bit disturbed by 14 year-old Idie prancing around in stripperiffic Hellfire fetish-wear.)

    1. I think in the age of Miley Cyrus, people are more comfortable with young girls getting overly sexualized. Don't blame Idie. Blame Billy Ray Cyrus. Thanks for the comment!