Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: X-men #4

Put on your socks and grab your cocks because you're about to read the ramblings of comic book blogger with a drinking problem, among many others. I don't hide my deficiencies on this blog, nor do I pretend they don't affect me when I read and review a comic. But if you want sober, insightful reviews, there are plenty of other blogs and websites operated by total pussies that can accommodate your tastes. I'm here to accommodate those who want deranged, drunken ramblings to assess their favorite comics. These are the wonderful people I cater to and for them, I have once again soaked my brain in illicit chemicals and crafted a review of X-men #4. What follows may not be intelligible or logical, but these are my fucked up thoughts on X-men #4. Enjoy!

So what sort of trouble will Jubilee get into today? Will she French kiss Dracula? Walk down a busy street in Saudi Arabia while wearing a bikini? Actually, she doesn’t get into any trouble that involves someone needing to pull her ass out of the fire again. I’ll give readers a moment to let that sink in because I’m sure that’s like Mitt Romney saying, “Being rich is overrated. I’m giving all my money to the poor.” But I’m being serious in a semi-sober way. Jubilee isn’t in any danger this time. She’s just spending a day at the beach in California with Wolverine and her new adopted son, Shogo. She even makes a passing reference about her being a vampire. It’s small and it took four fucking issues to even come up, but much like a lap dance from a hot stripper with ADHD, it’s still satisfying.

For those who think a day at the beach is way too boring a premise for a comic book (who are probably the same people who have never been to Cancun during Spring Break), there is an equally satisfying story that involves a plane going down over the arctic and a group of beautiful X-women showing up to save the day. It’s basic. Stopping a plane from crashing in a comic book is like reheating leftover pizza. It’s so familiar and common that it’s hard to get too excited about. But in this instance, it works and for reasons that don’t require an extra hit of LSD.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that the X-men aren’t just a metaphor for minorities, outcasts, and anybody who still listens to Celine Dion. They are actual heroes. That means that they have to divide their time between fighting the bigotry that Fox News calls “liberty” and saving lives that can’t be saved without the aid of superpowers. And recently, the X-men have sucked at time management because so many of their stories consist of limiting how fucked they are in wake of M-Day, the Hellfire Club, and Avengers vs. X-men. So to see the X-men just say, “Fuck it. Let’s just go stop a plane crash and save innocent lives,” is refreshing. It also helps that this contingent of X-men includes only women, ensuring that lives will be saved and boners will be served. It’s the best two-for-one deal that doesn’t involve bacon.

Jubilee and Wolverine’s stint at the beach isn’t the only activity they have planned that doesn’t involve blowing up sentinels. Wolverine also drives Jubilee down her old neighborhood and past her old house. It makes for a nice moment where Jubilee reflects on her early life, which fans not familiar with her or too lazy to Google her might not know. She reflects on how she had it so good, a pretty girl in Beverly Hills, before her life went to shit. But unlike most pretty girls, she doesn’t break down and whine about it. That alone makes her more mature than 95 percent of the teenage girls I’ve ever known and more than equips her to handle a kid. That or I just catch way too many teenage girls on their period.

Whatever time of the month it may be for the rest of the X-women, they’re more than equipped to handle a crashing plane. But like the overachieving Asian girls in advanced math classes, these X-women have to go the extra mile. That includes Storm coming up with a plan, Psylocke using her powers to hook a fully loaded passenger jet like a fish, and Rogue copping a feel to borrow some powers so she can mount the plane like a cowboy. I swear that’s not as sexual as it sounds, but damn it if it doesn’t give me a raging boner. Oh, and they all have to do this while standing on top of the X-jet in the kind of blistering cold that would freeze a lesser man’s nuts off. It’s enough to emasculate any man, but the boner helps.

I imagine trying to hook a passenger jet is still not as hard as trying to feed a baby. I’m not sure that makes Jubilee’s efforts to feed Shogo any more heroic, but it’s another one of those little details that don’t always get explored in comics. There’s no need for crashing planes and killer robots here. It’s just Wolverine and Jubilee sharing lunch at a food court in a Beverly Hills mall. Hell, it might as well be a 90210 rerun minus the teen drama. There is drama here, but it’s not of the teen variety. It comes mostly from Wolverine, who essentially tells Jubilee that she has grown a lot from the timid teenage mall rat the X-men found years ago. And because of that, she’s more than equipped to handle a kid. So what if she’s a teenage vampire? That still makes her a better parent than Honey Boo Boo’s entire family by default. And it’s not like being a teenage mother will make her any more an outcast than being a mutant or vampire.

This isn’t the only drama that unfolds in this issue. While the spectacle of the X-women saving a passenger jet is pretty basic shit, not everyone on the team is treating it like a slumber party at Ryan Gosling’s house. From the beginning of the operation, there has been some serious tension between Rachel Grey and Storm and it’s not the kind of tension that makes for good lesbian porn sadly. The battle with John Sublime and Arkea is still fresh in their minds and Rachel hasn’t forgotten that Storm was prepared to kill Omega Sentinel to stop Arkea. For some reason, she has a problem with that and with her being the leader. Just because she’s boning Wolverine doesn’t mean she has authority by default, although I imagine it still goes a long way.

It’s a great scene, even if it is somewhat underdeveloped. This team of X-women doesn’t exactly carry themselves like a team just yet. By all intents, they just happened to be hanging out when the Arkea conflict began. And story didn’t end with them painting their nails and deciding they should form their own team. It’s only now that the idea has dawned on them and some have real issues with it. Storm has been the leader of the X-men before, but given that she has recently been divorced and the X-men’s last leader is now a wanted fugitive, it’s not unreasonable to question or qualifications. It’s a nice moment to have while Rogue, Psylocke, and Kitty Pryde are making saving a passenger jet look both easy and sexy.

For Jubilee and Wolverine, they’ve had enough action for one day. They’ve had their share of moments and Jubilee has made it clear that she is going to raise Shogo. For two characters that have always been closely associated, it’s a very good day and they didn’t even have to kick Apocalypse in the nuts. But Wolverine isn’t done making it better for Jubilee and her new son. While she’s sleeping near a pool, he actually calls up a real estate agent and offers to buy Jubilee’s old house. It was for sale and Jubilee said she didn’t want it back. But just in case she changes her mind, why not make it an option? For Wolverine, a guy best known for being an ill-mannered asshole, it’s a pretty awesome gesture. I couldn’t even get my favorite teacher in school to buy me beer. Yet Wolverine bought Jubilee a fucking house. How’s that for a dedicated teacher?

But I guess it just wouldn’t be a fitting X-men comic if something didn’t go horribly wrong. It also wouldn’t be a fitting X-men comic if there weren’t two beautiful female heroes in skin-tight outfits helping teenage boys through puberty. Hooking the plane and keeping it from crashing was the easy part. But along the way, Rogue started having too much fun with Psylocke’s powers and got knocked off the wing. Normally beautiful women being reckless leads to much darker results, but this time Storm was able to fly out into the cold and save her friend. It’s the mark of a good leader and dirty male fantasies. I’m not sure if this seals the deal with them being a team or Storm being a leader, but I say it makes a very strong case. And as someone who has had to deal with his share of lawyers, I say case fucking closed!

So the X-women save the day and Jubilee has a nice moment with Wolverine. It’s one of those few rare good days for the X-men in the Marvel universe. If you’re expecting some ominous threat to emerge or for some twist that the plane was being flown by Sinister, stop holding your breath unless you’re taking a bong hit. There’s none of that shit this time. It’s just a simple comic with a simple resolution that ends with Jubilee getting a nice Facebook worthy picture with Shogo. And it doesn’t even involve any photobombing. If that doesn’t make for a good day in the life of the X-men, I don’t know what does.

I consider myself a man of simple tastes. Give me a bottle of whiskey and mid-priced hooker and I’m a happy guy. The same applies to comics. Not every issue needs to be some epic struggle that threatens to rip the universe a new asshole. And not every issue of X-men needs to involve Wolverine getting pissed off to the point where he carves up someone’s intestines and bitches about how much he hates Cyclops. Sometimes an issue that just shows the X-men being heroes and Wolverine being a halfway decent guy to one of his students is awesome enough. X-men #4 had basic heroes and Wolverine NOT being a total asshole. It’s as simple a combination as steak and whiskey, proving once again that simplicity can be pretty damn awesome. I give X-men #4 a 9 out of 10. This is a comic that tells the story of beautiful women being heroes without showing their breasts and a teenage girl dealing with motherhood without it being bullshit abstinence propaganda or some shitty reality show. In other words, suck it MTV. Nuff said!


  1. I enjoyed this issue very much, and it's great to see Logan and Jubilee hanging out. There's a lot going on with the X-Men in general but sometimes it's nice to read a story that doesn't involve mutants battling other mutants or killer robots or shape shifters or god only knows what else is thrown at them. Jubilee hadn't been among my favorite characters in the beginning because I always thought she was a rip off of Boom-Boom (I know they have different powers) but ever since she got her powers taken away and she got thrown around in different situations, I took to liking her more. Having her being a young mom made her more down to earth but I have to ask, as I must've missed it somewhere... when did she apparently stop being a vampire? I thought that was her biggest deal before becoming Shogo's mom.

    1. Yeah, I think it's a minority opinion to like Vampire Jubilee. I haven't seen too many fans speak in support of Jubilee being turned. But I think it has been good for her. Her powers haven't really done much for her in a long time. Making her a vampire has taken her in a new direction and now having Shogo adds another element. That's what has made this issue and this new series as a whole so awesome.