Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: X-men #8

When it comes to being devious and evil, I agree with the feminists for once. Women are every bit as capable as men. Not having a penis does not prevent anyone from torturing and maiming others while dancing to Kids Bop music. That’s not to say there aren’t some variations. Like shopping for clothes and choosing a shade of paint for the living room, women have a different approach. So it makes sense to explore their approach in a series that focuses on all the major X-men who don’t have a penis. Brian Wood’s adjectiveless X-men has kept the testosterone to a minimum since he began this series. Now he’s in the process of introducing some estrogen powered evil with a new Sisterhood of Mutants. He already brought Lady Deathstrike and Typhoid Mary into the mix. How much more sinister can he get? Is it enough to give feminazis a pussy boner? I’ll be the judge of that with my review of X-men #8.

That’s not to say that Brain Wood has given up on giving male fans traditional boners. Why else would the story pick up with Psylocke chasing down an intruder in a tank top and shorts? It’s as sexy as it sounds. Plus, she’s wielding a katana. For some reason, that makes her even more sexy. She coordinates with Rachel Grey, who apparently sleeps in her uniform if she even sleeps at all. They don’t know who would be stupid enough to break into the Jean Grey Institute, but they apparently know what they’re after. Psylocke finds the intruder in the mainframe room, most likely stealing Kid Omega’s internet porn stash. It makes for a nice sexy chase, but sadly it doesn’t pan out as most lesbian pornos do. The intruder, who happens to be Typhoid Mary, gets away and Psylocke decides that since she’s probably not going to get any more sleep tonight, she goes after her.

While Psylocke prepares to exercise her ninja skills in a way that will probably trigger more boners for male readers, Rachel reveals that the intruder stole the Box, a very badly named thing that apparently holds all their sensitive files. It’s like a bunch of Nigerian scammers stealing all the bank account numbers and pin numbers for a certain bank. It’s bound to cause a lot of damage. And Psylocke also makes it clear to Rachel that she needs to keep Storm in the loop. That may sound reasonable, but Rachel and Storm have been getting along about as well as Cowboy fans and Eagles fans lately. The whole setup of this all-female X-men team is still in flux and Rachel Grey isn’t exactly on board with Storm’s leadership after what happened with Omega Sentinel. And sadly, they’re not going to resolve these issues with nude oil wrestling.

As Psylocke tracks the intruder, Rachel Grey has to call in an old favor from John Sublime and not the sexy kind either. She tells him that the Jean Grey Institute had a break-in. I doubt he was surprised. Hell, I doubt he would have been surprised if he found out someone blew up the institute again. But she adds that among the shit that was stolen was a sample of his sister, Arkea, who took over Omega Sentinel and had a pussy boner for wiping out all life on Earth. It was actually the first mission this all-female X-men team had so it offers some nice connection to the rest of the series. However, that connection might be too concise because when Rachel calls, he happens to be meeting with Lady Deathstrike. He’s kind of an ass is what I’m saying.

And that’s a bit of an issue because there have been some vague hints that Rachel Grey might be looking to jump Sublime’s bone. They have been very poor hints that are more devoid of chemistry than Kristen Stewart’s acting. I get being subtle, but there comes a point where subtlety just become bullshit. I expect that from politicians, traffic cops, and probation officers. I don’t expect or enjoy that in comics. And like I said, Sublime is kind of a dick. He’s rubbing shoulders with Lady Deathstrike and not in the fun way either.

I’m really not sure why he’s even meeting with Lady Deathstrike unless he’s interested in boning her and Rachel together. That might just be too much even for an ancient pack of sludge. All he really does is just warn Lady Deathstrike that Arkea is not something to toy with. Lady Deathstrike thinks it’ll help upgrade her systems. It makes some sense after Arkea made Omega Sentinel so deadly. It also makes sense that smoking lots of meth will help someone lose weight. That doesn’t make it a good idea. Don’t get me wrong. I want to like John Sublime. He hasn’t exactly been a complete asshole since this series began, but he couldn’t be any less trustworthy without changing his last name to Madoff. He has done nothing in this story to make him compelling or likable. When Typhoid Mary arrives with the sample in hand, Sublime freaks the fuck out. But I still find it hard to root for him.

It also doesn’t help that Sublime can’t fight worth a shit or persuade devious women to listen to him. He must suck at picking up hookers. Lady Deathstrike unsurprisingly ignores his warnings and opens the container that has Arkea. It’s not much of a fight. He’s more a pretty boy than a fighter because the two women subdue him in ways that probably would cost extra at a German S&M club. But he’s not completely inept. He’s still able to take the containment device. That’s when he realizes that he got all pissed off for no reason. Now I guess he knows how PMS feels. It turns out Arkea wasn’t in the hardware that Typhoid Mary stole. So Lady Deathstrike can’t use her to upgrade herself. It seems like her plan is a complete failure.

But like Donald Trump’s fiancĂ© seeking a prenup, Lady Deathstrike doesn’t give up that easily. She goads Sublime into revealing that he suspects that Arkea may have shown up in other locations. He thinks he has leverage. He knows the locations and Lady Deathstrike wants to know so she can do exactly what he told her not to do. They seem to be at a standoff. But Sublime seems to forget that Typhoid Mary is psychic. She’s like Emma Frost in that she’s not going to ask permission to rip vital information out of his head. So she does just that and probably damages his bladder control in the process.

Armed with this information, Lady Deathstrike and Typhoid Mary leave Sublime to drool mindlessly into the floor while they go seek out Arkea. He probably would have lingered on the floor in an expanding puddle of piss like me after a bad night in Tijuana if Psylocke hadn’t showed up. She managed to track Typhoid Mary to their base and helps troubleshoot Sublime’s damaged brain, saving his bladder control in the process. Now he’s stuck helping the X-women again. If it gives him a chance at seeing Rachel Grey naked, I don’t think he’ll mind.

And if the X-women are going to get reinforcements, then Lady Deathstrike and Typhoid Mary will need them as well. Women can be just as competitive as men, last I checked. Just go to a clearance sale at a Victoria’s Secret for proof of that. They find help in Enchantress, a hot blond who made it her mission in her immortal life to manipulate Thor with her magic and her vagina. However, neither were powerful enough because she ended up getting exiled and de-powered. She’s understandably bitter and doesn’t take too kindly to Lady Deathstrike and Typhoid Mary at first. But when they promised to help her give a giant middle finger to all of Asgard and become more powerful than before, she gladly offered her help. She knows a little something about another meteor that might contain pieces of Arkea. So that means Lady Deathstrike and Typhoid Mary have a hot, vindictive blond on their side. And just like that, they become both deadlier and sexier.

I would have loved to learn more about how much deadlier and sexier these devious women planned to be. Instead, we get more of a somewhat random side-plot that has been going nowhere faster than Anthony Wiener’s political comeback. Jubilee hasn’t really been involved with the main plot. She has just been making friends with Roxy, who happens to be gay and got an overly Christian reaction from Mercury when she flirted with her. I’m not sure what to make of this, but Roxy seems to be very horny because she flat out kisses Jubilee. It really doesn’t make much sense. I usually don’t care when two pretty girls kiss, but for this story even my penis can’t make sense of it.

It’s almost a relief when Monet drops in and tells Jubilee they have a mission. So at the very least, this scene connects with the larger conflict at hand. It’s still somewhat confusing. I’m not sure why this side-plot with Roxy has to be part of a story about the Sisterhood. I’m also not sure why Jubilee has to be the one that Roxy wants to pick carpet cleaner with. They’re two wildly different sub-plots that don’t fit together particularly well, but it doesn’t take away from the main story.

That story escalates when Enchantress leads Lady Deathstrike and Typhoid Mary to the crater where the meteorite fell. But once they find it, things get a little less friendly between the three deviant women. I know it seems hard to believe, three unstable women with a history of anti-social behavior not getting along. But now Typhoid Mary feels she’s entitled to more than just being a hired gun who looks hot in skin-tight pants, although I would strongly argue that point. She wants Lady Deathstrike to help integrate her diverging personalities in addition to helping Enchantress regain her power. It could have become a hell of a cat-fight that could only be more awesome if they did it in their underwear. Unfortunately for my penis, Lady Deathstrike is more than happy to sweeten the deal. She says she has the resources to give them both what they want, thereby strengthening the foundation of the new Sisterhood of Mutants. And everyone with balls would be wise to take notice. I certainly did.

This was a solid issue. It wasn’t all that exciting, but it did move the story forward in a compelling way. It also added a hot blond in the Enchantress. That’s just a bonus in my book. There were a few minor skirmishes and some unexpected tensions, but this issue wasn’t meant to be epic. It was meant to set the tone for the Sisterhood of Mutants. And in that sense, it succeeded. Now I’m still not sold on John Sublime or him having a boner for Rachel Grey. I’m also not sold on this sub-plot with Jubilee and Roxy. These details are interesting, but they don’t fit into the narrative in a concise manner. It’s like mixing cocaine and booze without effectively blending them. It’s going to mute the effect and it also wastes perfectly good booze. The Sisterhood is shaping up to be pretty damn awesome, but it needs to be more cohesive. It doesn’t need duct tape or crazy glue. Just a little spit and scotch tape will do. I give X-men #8 a 7 out of 10. A very powerful female force is steadily emerging. As someone with a penis, I’m both horrified and aroused. It’s a strange feeling, but that’s part of what makes it awesome. Nuff said!

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