Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Scanned Thoughts: Wolverine and the X-men #38
One day at my old high school, the baseball team organized a mass streaking party where at least 70 hormonal teenagers ran through every hall of the school with their dicks flopping around and their breasts bouncing freely. It was a beautiful thing. It was like free porn without the annoying pop-ups and spam email. But it was the next day where shit got awkward. The police, FBI, and maybe even the CIA showed up because apparently the idea of teenagers being naked scares the shit out of the government. I like to think the reaction SHIELD would have to the recent events in the X-men comics would be slightly more understandable. But they kind of lost their credibility when they revealed that they had been stockpiling Sentinels at the end of X-men Battle of the Atom. That would be like bringing Nazi cos-players to a peace negotiation with Israel. It's both a dick move and fucking stupid. But at some point, SHIELD has to confront the X-men and that's what they finally do in the pages of Wolverine and the X-men #38. But before I even review this comic, I intend to work under the assumption that the government in the Marvel universe is just as pone to fuck shit up even worse as the government in the real world.
Like Lady Gag at a Mardi Gra parade, that confrontation is not very subtle. Maria Hill, Dazzler, and an entire fucking fleet of SHIELD hardware descend on the Jean Grey Institute with the kind of diplomacy that would make even the North Koreans think it's overdone. Needless to say, Wolverine and the rest of the Jean Grey Institute staff aren't too happy to see them. SHIELD might as well be that guy from a frat party who set the living room on fire and came back to borrow a keg. But Maria Hill has never one to avoid difficult situations. She is probably the only one who could debate Chuck Norris and Jack Bauer and come out intact.
Yet despite this massive show of "We're gonna fuck you up like Mike Tyson fucked up Evander Holyfield's ear!" Marie Hill claims that SHIELD didn't come to fight. Wolverine isn't exactly buying it. Like every other X-man involved in Battle of the Atom, he remembers that SHIELD is packing Sentinel hardware now and since they've been somewhat trigger-happy in the past, that doesn't sit well. The tension in this scene is very nicely done and Dazzler's presence (or Mystique for those who were stupid enough to skip Uncanny X-men #9) adds some additional charisma to the scene. It's a moment that should have happened at the end of Battle of the Atom, but like a prostitute showing up late to a hotel, it still gets the job done.
The conversation that follows is as tense as it is awesome. Maria Hill doesn't apologize for having mutant-hunting Sentinels in her arsenal. Hell, I don't think this woman has apologized for jack shit since she her mother made her apologize for cutting her hair so damn short. She takes a play right out of the playbook of Rush Limbaugh and Mitt Romney in that she blames the victim, but she does it in a way that doesn't feel like a dick move.
Maria Hill rightly points out that the X-men have been causing a metric fuckton of headaches since Avengers vs. X-men. Not only is Cyclops and his revolutionary team regularly giving the finger to SHIELD, but they're also fucking with the space time continuum at a time when Age of Ultron has made it very taboo. Storm, Iceman, Wolverine, and Rachel Grey aren't buying it, but Maria Hill basically tells them, "Tough shit, motherfucker." She also tells them she has weapons that she's not afraid to use against the X-men if they decide to make her their enemy. It's the kind of menacing threat that would have made Teddy Roosevelt himself proud. But the X-men make it clear they're not going to tolerate having big ass targets on their backs. So in the end it's a very tense yet very balanced scene. It was definitely worth the wait, given the underwhelming way Battle of the Atom ended.
After leaving what could have easily become an X-men vs. SHIELD world war, Maria Hill actually has some kind of optimism. I imagine optimism for her is like emotional range for Kristen Stewart. But she notes that nobody got stabbed and in any tense conversation with Wolverine, that's a win. But she also knocks Dazzler for not being more productive than a typical pretty blond in a skin-tight outfit. SHIELD isn't a porn site last I checked so Hill is not wrong. She basically challenges Dazzler to do something about this shit so that they don't have to launch more Sentinels and risk more stabbing from Wolverine. And since she doesn't seem to know that she's dealing with Mystique and not Dazzler, she might as well be daring a crack head to amputate a leg for a lifetime supply of crack.
As all this unpleasantness with SHIELD is unfolding, the Jean Grey Institute is welcoming two new students, Joseph and Josephine Blackmore. There's nothing that spectacular about them. One of them has gray skin, three faces, and looks like a Mount Rushmore cos-player. The other has pink skin, a squid-like head, and looks like an extra on the set of an anime porno. They're understandably shell shocked by everything they're seeing. And Broo is doing his best to be the lovable poop-skinned creature to make them feel welcome. But they're just not used to the idea of being in a school that seems to get attacked and destroyed every other month. I'm guessing they didn't go to an inner city public school so they don't know how good they have it.
But beyond them pissing themselves at the idea of being in a school with a living front lawn, the Blackmore twins also get to interact with some of the other Jean Grey Institute students that haven't really didn't get to play much of a role in X-men Battle of the Atom. They get to meet the lovable yet insecure Eye Boy, the egotistical yet awesome Kid Gladiator, and the menacing yet disturbingly sexy Shark Girl. They don't talk much about SHIELD bringing an armada to the school. They basically just talk about the shit students talk about, like the school paper, extracurricular sports, and where to hide their porn. That last one was implied.
It's nicely captures the more light-hearted spirit that has made Wolverine and the X-men such an enjoyable series since it began. This school has always been about these young students and ever since the bullshit Dog Logan arc, they really haven't done much. But as nice as it is to see the more schoolish aspects of this series, it's nothing that hasn't already been done before. The Blackmore twins aren't the first ones to get a harsh introduction to the Jean Grey Institute and they probably won't be the last. But it feels like this is a tore we've already been on and we don't need to hear the perky tour guide read from the same script again.
The Blackmore Twins quickly get lost in all the other various interactions between the young students. They talk about class, exams, and when SHIELD is going to bomb the Jean Grey Institute. I wouldn't be surprised if Kid Omega has a betting pool going. But like any school not run by incompetent administrators, the kids aren't allowed to just lounge around and chat. This isn't an Oakland or Los Angeles public school. But unlike even the overfunded, overbearing public schools, the Jean Grey Institute has a much more effective way of getting students to where they ought to be. By that, I mean they have Iceman turn into a giant fucking ice monster. Seeing as how his girlfriend recently broke up with him and his pussy supply has been cut off, he has plenty of reasons to be pissed off. It's like my old English teacher whose husband left her for a male prostitute in Denver. He just has to take his frustrations out on someone else until she can successfully sue his bleached asshole for damages.
But handing out detention slips the same way DMZ hands out the N-word in his music had another purpose that for once had nothing to do with teachers circle jerking each other by fucking with their students. Wolverine wanted Kid Omega to put that oversized psyche of his to hack the SHIELD network to find out where they're storing all their Sentinels and Sentinel related goodies. It's like getting the Asian math whiz to do the principal's taxes. It's horribly dishonest, but it works. He is able to uncover the location of the facility, which is just what Wolverine needs. He doesn't know that Maria Hill is going to let Dazzler fuck with the X-men so he's just assuming that he'll need to stab something to be proactive. It's not completely unreasonable and very much in line with his past strategies. But I could do without the mention of the Hellfire Brats they're keeping at the Jean Grey Institute. Since they were the ones that unleashed the Sentinels back during Schism, I can only assume that it'll lead to an unmitigated disaster sooner or later. Probably sooner.
If it sounds way too fucking easy to hack the SHIELD database, then congratulations for overestimating the competence of government run IT. Obviously, these same people have not visited HealthCare.gov lately. But in the fictional world, we have to assume they're somewhat more competent because it turns out Dazzler let the Jean Grey Institute hack them. She intends to let Wolverine find the Sentinel facility. And remember, this is Mystique disguised as Dazzler. She has every intention of fucking with Wolverine and being a hot blond in the process is just bonus. It seems every time I think Mystique couldn't possibly be sexier, she surprises me and my penis. It's a beautiful thing.
But in letting Wolverine locate the Sentinel storage facility, Mystique also opened the door for others to find it as well. She may or may not remember that Wolverine's team wasn't the only one who got attacked by Sentinels in X-men Battle of the Atom. Cyclops's team was also there and he gets just as big a boner destroying Sentinels as Wolverine, although at least Cyclops can claim he has used that boner to satisfy both Emma Frost and Jean Grey. And since Cyclops always has to remind everyone just how big his balls are, he decides to attack the facility on his own. Maybe it's not too ballsy since he's been crushing Sentinels since he was 16-years-old when most kids are intimidated by having their drivers license. But it's still mutant-hunting sentinels organized by Mystique. It should prove to be a good test for his penis and his balls.
And this isn't the only plot Mystique has to fuck with Wolverine and the Jean Grey Institute. Remember the Blackmore twins? Well if they seemed way too generic to warrant being part of this story, congratulations for reading this comic sober. It turns out nobody should have had any sympathy for these overwhelmed young mutants in the first place. They weren't new students. Hell, they may not even be real mutants. They're SHIELD agents disguised as mutants looking to infiltrate the Jean Grey Institute. They're armed, overwhelmed, and being led by Mystique. There's no way it could possibly end well for either of them. But still promises to be entertaining as hell to watch as it kicks up a new shit storm.
I never was a fan of spy movies. They're very hard to watch while stoned. However, they can be pretty awesome if done right. This issue felt like an extra epilogue of sorts to X-men Battle of the Atom. It deals directly with the aftermath of SHIELD making heavy investments in Sentinel technology while also squeezing in a few jabs at Anthony Weiner. And I say that's a pretty potent combination for awesome. But it also essentially told the same story about new mutants/secret agents entering the Jean Grey Institute for the first time. That's all well and good, but this isn't the first issue of a relaunched series like Amazing X-men. It's the fucking 38th issue of the book. If people don't understand how awesomely insane the Jean Grey Institute is by now, they never will. There was a lot of talking and teasing, but not much else. But Wolverine and the X-men #38 was a nice complement to Battle of the Atom while setting the stage for some awesome conflicts down the road. I give it a 7 out of 10. So now two unlucky SHIELD agents are infiltrating the Jean Grey Institute and Mystique is probably having multiple orgasms at the prospect of using them to fuck with Wolverine. And she gets to do it while being a hot blond no less. That sounds like the American wet dream if ever there was one. Nuff said!