Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny X-men #15
I know the X-men have always been about confronting stereotypes, but some stereotypes won’t go away no matter how much anyone confronts them. Black men will always be better at basketball and white men will always be worse dancers. Get over it. And while the Rosie O’Donnell’s of the world don’t want to hear it, women love to shop and have a nice girl’s night out. And men are always going to find some way of turning that into a perverse fantasy. Again, get over it. Uncanny X-men #15 has been billed as an issue that offers insight into how the women of Cyclops’s revolution spend an off-night. It’s not their fault they’re spending it at a time when Marvel’s Inhumanity event is creeping into multiple titles. Like getting stuck in traffic with explosive diarrhea, it’s just a matter of bad timing. But it’s still the sexy women of the X-men going shopping and taking a break from fantasizing about Cyclops’s penis. It definitely has plenty of potential for awesome.
But part of that potential doesn’t involve watching Magik meditate. If I want to watch pretty girls sit and stand around for no reason, I’ll peak in on a yoga class. She’s not really into it that much. It’s part of some kind of training that Dr. Strange is giving her. On top of that, this is the Dr. Strange of the past. For some reason, she feels the need to time travel to get help for being a walking demon seed. While I rarely condone time travel outside of Dr. Who or Back to the Future, I guess I can make an exception. Even so, not much happens here other than Dr. Strange reminding her that if a future involves a world that’s intact, then that future doesn’t suck. It’s not unreasonable logic, but it contributes jack shit to the story.
Once she returns, Magik is confronted by Tempus and the Stepford Sisters. They want to go on a girls night out. They even invite O5 Jean Grey along for the ride. Apparently, there isn’t much to do in a secret Weapon X base aside from flirt with teammates and make idiots of themselves in the Danger Room. Plus, they kind of need new clothes. They mention how limited their wardrobe is at this base and for some women, that might as well be as bad as a malignant tumor at the base of their spine.
That’s not as sexist as it sounds, even coming from a drunk like me. It’s purely pragmatic. Normal, practical shit like shopping for clothing is the kind of stuff that gets glossed over in comics in favor of fighting giant robots or watching Tony Stark hook up with beautiful women with green skin. While that kind of menial shit may not make for an epic battle worthy of Michael Bay’s last four movies, it does help humanize these characters. And when these characters can do shit like travel to Limbo, stop time, and read minds that’s kind of a big deal.
Having money is also a big deal because last I checked, people still charged money for clothes. This leads to the second reason why the girls enlisted Magik. They think a demon seed who once took on Dormammu is the only one who could survive waking up Emma Frost. That’s not an unreasonable assumption in the slightest. They don’t have money. She does. For a girls night out and new clothes, they’re willing to risk enraging her. So yeah, they’re pretty fucking desperate. I think their concerns were somewhat eased when they saw Emma Frost sleeping in a position that was probably very convenient for the Cyclopses, Sebastian Shaws, and Namors of the world. It may actually be one of the best panels of the year, at least according to my penis.
But the idea of going shopping on a girl’s night is probably the best request they could have made to Emma. Plus, they need money and she reminds them that she was once the White fucking Queen. She has so much money that she always keeps a big fucking bag of it nearby just in case. She even recruits Kitty Pryde to join them, treating it like a mission because in Emma’s view she is badly in need of some added fashion and O5 Jean is badly in need of protection from the Stepford Sisters. Since I know jack shit about fashion beyond underwear and sweat pants, I’ll gladly yield of Emma Frost’s expertise.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the girls splurging on overpriced shit or trying on the kind of crazy clothes that wouldn’t be welcome outside Mardi Gras. It just skips right ahead to long after the girls have bought everything they needed and they’re just cruising around London looking for a bite to eat. This was disappointing. Usually, I don’t care to watch beautiful women shop unless they’re in a Victory’s Secret trying on thongs. But I was hoping to see more of these girls bonding because if they can’t bond over shopping with limitless money, then there’s no hope for Cyclops’s revolution. Is that really hoping for too much?
The only bonding they really do is over a quick meal. Tempus talks to O5 Jean about why the Stepford Sisters hate her. And while this does turn into a nice bit of trolling from O5 Jean, it doesn’t really do much more than what was done in All New X-men #19. It establishes some clear conflict between O5 Jean and Celeste, but not much else. There’s no interaction with Emma Frost. There’s no interaction with Magik or Kitty. There’s nothing dramatic or heartfelt about it, which is actually pretty surprising given Brian Michael Bendis’s track record. Not only is it disappointing, it’s way too fucking rushed. It’s like there’s no time to really show them enjoying a girls night out. It basically makes the premise of the whole issue fall flatter than Kristen Stewart’s acting.
So it ends up being even more disappointing when their girls night out is cut short by some commotion outside. It’s not a Sentinel attack. It’s not even a sneak-attack by the Purifiers. But it does attract a bigger crowd than Russell Crow taking a shit in public. Since they’re used to giant robots randomly attacking them, the Stepford Cuckoos cause the crowd to disperse so they can investigate. In addition, they try to figure out what could possibly fuck up an innocent girls night out. O5 Jean reveals it’s part of Global Terrigenesis, which is basically some crazy shit that happened in the current Inhumans storyline.
I’m usually all for greater connections between series in Marvel. Like the lube used in pornos, the cohesiveness of the Marvel universe is part of what makes it awesome. But in this instance, it feels way too fucking random. There’s no hint that the X-men were aware of the shit that had been going on with the Inhumans or that it’s worth interrupting their girls night out. They just investigate as if it were another stray Sentinel and that makes it hard to feel as though this makes the Marvel universe more cohesive. It just gives the impression that whoever organized these connections had really potent weed.
This little anomaly associated with Global Terrigenesis created a crystal cocoon of sorts. It’s sort of like the cocoons in Aliens, minus the face raping aliens. And when it breaks, a new Inhuman emerges who was probably just minding his own business, tweeting pictures of his dick. He looks like Dick Cheney just shot his face up, but he’s not overly hostile at first. He’s a guy. Who could possibly be hostile to a group of attractive young women being led by Emma Frost? Then he finds out that these beautiful women are mutants and just like that his boner disappears faster than the CEO of Goldman Sachs at tax time.
The girls find out that he’s an Inhuman. They find out way too fucking easy, as if Inhumans are as well known to the Marvel heroes as Facebook. Before they can even offer to help, he reveals his disgust towards mutants. The girls don’t take it too personally. They seem to attribute that to him just being a douche while also being from Latveria, which I guess is the Marvel Universe’s equivalent of the Jersey Shore. There’s not much action or conflict. There’s just talking. Boring, uninteresting talking in an effort to not make this guy a new enemy to the mutant race. It still ends up going horribly wrong.
Without much provocation or any interesting conversations, the guy just snaps and uses his new Inhuman powers. And they’re not event at impressive. He just explodes in a giant purple fireball and that somehow knocks everyone out cold. While that may be a pretty potent power, especially for anyone waiting in line to get the new iPhone, it’s pretty fucking dull. It’s almost as dull as the actual encounter between the girls and this lone Inhuman. There’s no charisma or drama like there has been before. There isn’t even a shocking twist of any kind. Once the girls pass out, he doesn’t even try to cop a feel. He passes out as well, AIM and a bunch of nameless associates drop by to take the kid away. That’s about it. It’s as exciting as it sounds. Even a hit of LSD won’t make this very interesting, although the unicorns that appear on the page are always fun.
When they wake up, they’re basically like, “Oh…he’s gone and there are the cops. Oh well. Wonder if my DVR recorded the last episode of the Big Bang Theory?” They don’t really do much with this knowledge once they make the cops go away. They just acknowledge that there’s a sudden surge in Inhumans and that may affect mutants somehow. Again, there’s no sense of drama or foreboding. This whole issue seems less about showing these characters in their more personal moments and more about just informing the X-men that the Inhuman population is on the rise. I’m pretty sure just an email or a random Facebook posting would have been more efficient. The approach in this issue just wasted all the potential that a girls night out with these characters could have realized.
This was an entertaining issue, but in a limited capacity. It was certainly entertaining to see the girls of Cyclops’s revolution interact and talk about things that didn’t relate to Cyclops’s penis. It just didn’t lead to much more than some trolling of the Stepford Cuckoos and some integration with the events of Inhumanity. That’s all well and good, but it’s more of an appetizer rather than a full meal. It’s like light beer at the halftime of a football game. It just isn’t enough. This issue was still a nice change of pace from previous issues, but shit like Magik’s short attention span with Dr. Strange and the limited conversations between the girls as they went out didn’t amount to much. Maybe I was hoping for too much. It’s not like I expected all the girls to get naked, smother themselves in bacon grease, and wrestle each other with their tongues. I reserve that for very special dreams. But I was expecting more and this issue didn’t deliver. I give Uncanny X-men #15 a 5 out of 10. Not much happened, but everything that did happen wasn’t so egregious that it would make someone shit their spine. And that’s really the most we can hope for these days. Nuff said!