I know I make a lot of jokes about how much I hated high school. Some people may laugh at them. The thing is…they’re not jokes. High school was every bit as horrific as I described. I would rather get a prostate exam from a horny gorilla than relive high school. I suspect that one of the reasons that X-men comics resonate so much with me is that it’s based around a fucked up school for mutants that gets blown up on a regular basis. I saw so many fucked up things throughout my high school career that the idea of a school of outcasts with superpowers just works for me. That says a lot about me and the state of public education in this country.
In some ways I envy the mutants that attend the various schools the X-men have run over the years, even if they do get blown up. The lessons they learn are much more useful. I may not ever encounter a killer robot Sentinel, but I’m pretty sure the skills involved in fighting that shit is way more useful than memorizing Calculus equations. I also sympathize with these young mutants because adjusting to a new school while also adjusting to rapidly changing biology is akin to performing brain surgery while standing on hot coals. So I imagine that if the mutants at the New Xavier School or the Jean Grey Institute ever applied for a job, they would laugh their asses off when asked if they’re good at functioning under pressure.
The nuts and bolts of those lessons have been touched on in Wolverine and the X-men a few times. Wolverine’s mid-term consisted of a survival test in the Savage Land. Still beats the hell out of a history exam. But the lessons for the students at the New Xavier School, run by fugitive and professional Wolverine humiliator, Cyclops, have not been explored. With the dust settling with X-men Battle of the Atom and an influx of new students in the Original Five X-men, it’s not a bad time to explore some of those lessons and that’s just what we see in a preview of Uncanny X-men #14, courtesy of the fine folks at Comic Book Resources.
I don’t claim to have gone to the worst high school in the world. And without making light of how hard these new mutants have had it lately, I’ll still say that I would switch places with them in an instant and not just because I want to get a closer look at Emma Frost’s cleavage.
It’s a tough lesson for everyone, but one that definitely has some merit if they’re going to be fighting more killer robots and demons from Limbo. It also touches on something that All New X-men #18 glossed over, namely how the O5 X-men were going to function at the New Xavier School. The timing is still a little fucked up. O5 Angel doesn’t have his new uniform on so perhaps this took place during that 41 hour transition period mentioned in All New X-men #18. I don’t like to make assumptions, but given how many details Battle of the Atom glossed over, I’m not going to shit bricks over this.
But Bendis has made it clear from the onset that the O5 aren’t going to be the focus of Uncanny X-men. They have their own fucking book for that. Uncanny X-men focuses on different characters and some of those characters have had about as much face time as Mitt Romney in this series. One of those characters is Benjamin Deeds, who they call a mutant chameleon, but his mutant power might as well be whining and bitching. That’s really all he has done since he showed up. He’s badly in need of a little depth. Since the Stepford Cuckoos are stuck on who hates Jean Grey more and Emma Frost has made busting Cyclops’s balls her new hobby, I think it’s time for some new sub-plots. As much as I would love to see a comic that consists solely of Cyclops pwning Wolverine, I understand that there are other ways of making an X-men comic awesome. It might not be as satisfying, but I’m always open to new characters learning how to kick ass. Nuff said!