Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny X-men #9

I love comics. I love getting wasted. And I love doing them all at the same time. I’ve found that there are very few things in life that can’t be made more awesome with the proper mixture of booze and comics. It’s like peanut butter and jelly, chocolate and marshmallow, or beautiful women and thongs. Alone by themselves they are great, but it is only together when they are awesome. That’s why I love to offer the perspective of those who prefer to indulge their love of comics in a less sober mindset. What you’re about to read are the deranged thoughts that emerge from my reading of Uncanny X-men #9. So grab your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, make some smores, and hire a stripper because I’m about to mix it up in a way that only a seasoned drunk can.

In a series that already has a lot of hot blonds, the addition of Dazzler is like mixing cocaine with whiskey. It just makes something that’s already awesome even more awesome. But now Dazzler isn’t just another pretty blond wannabe pop star that tries out for American Idol and blows one of the judges to get a favorable vote. She’s a full-fledged SHIELD agent and that’s why she showed up at Fabio’s home shortly after Cyclops let him leave his team. Needless to say, his parents weren’t thrilled to find out that he was had a unique and interesting trait that would make it difficult to get a boring ass job for the rest of his life. And when Dazzler wanted to talk to him (and by talk I mean arrest and/or detain), Fabio’s dad pulled a gun on her. In the same way that’ll get your ass shot with real cops, Dazzler fucks him up by playing one of her old albums and demonstrating the physics of a flash bang. It’s destructive and messy, but fuck if she doesn’t make it look sexy as hell.

Not everything can be sexy and explosive though. Every now and then, a comic has to deal with some of the more mundane shit we see in everyday life. For the X-men, that includes training. And I guess training at the new Xavier school involves Yoga without the sexy Yoga pants. I have to say I’m very disappointed that I didn’t get to see Emma Frost in Yoga pants, but maybe that’s not a good idea when you’ve already got a boner and a fifth of vodka in you.

It’s still mundane training, but it also gives their newest mutant, David, to show off his new mutant powers that got him shot in the last issue. As we already saw, his powers involve being able to manipulate machines. So he demonstrates it by having the X-jet take off. It’s impressive and he’s a little clumsy with it, but that’s to be expected. He just became a mutant just got shot. He can be forgiven for being a little clumsy. Although I’m curious as to why nobody has asked why the fuck they even need a jet when they have another pretty blond in Illyana to teleport them everywhere. I guess it doesn’t hurt to have a backup in case she gets a bad case of demonic PMS again.

Training isn’t the only mundane aspect of this comic either. After David’s little demonstration, one of the Cuckoos, Irma/Mindee, shows up and reveals that she dyed and cut her hair. For some women, that’s the same as amputating a digit and her two sisters certainly treat it like that. I really don’t see the point of this development or why the fuck Mindee would do something like this. I guess Bendis has been getting way too many blond jokes about this book and wanted to mix it up. That or she wanted something that would allow Chris, who was flirting with her in an earlier issue, to tell them apart so he could keep flirting. Or maybe this is just another one of those cases where women do shit that men will never understand and the best we can do is get drunk enough to forget how frustrating it is.

Some of these mundane plots may not be exciting as a battle in Limbo or an attack on a sentinel factory, but I actually found this sub-plot to be refreshing. Don’t get me wrong. I love seeing Cyclops lead a team of inexperienced young mutants into battle, but you can’t forget they’re inexperienced young mutants no matter how much weed you smoke. They need to train at some point. And they need to actually do shit that is easier to relate to. I’ve fought killer unicorns while tripping on LSD, but that doesn’t help me relate to these characters all that much. It only ensures I will never ever get into horse racing.

Eventually, the mundane has to give way to more serious shit and you can’t get much more serious in the Marvel universe by being detained by SHIELD. Now I’m no lawyer for the ACLU, but I’m pretty sure it’s a dick move on the part of the authorities to just arrest some teenager who did nothing wrong without a warrant or without giving him access to a lawyer. And only did they arrest Fabio, they fucking handcuffed him to a chair while Dazzler interrogated him on the SHIELD helicarrier and not in the way you can make awesome S&M porn out of. I get that she wants to know the location of Cyclops’s base, but I think there are less douchey ways of doing it. And Fabio didn’t know the location anyways. But that never stopped Dick Cheny from ordering that a suspect be water boarded. I imagine the shit a hot blond SHIELD agent would do is a lot more painful and a lot kinkier.

Luckily for Fabio and unluckily for my penis, Cyclops and his team show up to save him. During the interrogation, Maria Hill and Agent Coulson realized that by taking Fabio with them they essentially gave the NSA their Facebook password because Cyclops’s team has Cerebro. They can track mutant signatures like Fabio. And while it’s pretty fucking pathetic they didn’t realize that until after they handcuffed the poor kid to a chair, I can’t be too shocked. They’re an overpaid government agency and even in comics, you can’t always expect competence.

But you can always expect Maria Hill to be pissed the fuck off. I think Cyclops and the rest of the team understands that and being the generous outlaws they are, they had Magik teleport Maria Hill to a tropical beach. That’s like Eagles fans pooling their money together to buy Eli Manning six Swedish supermodel prostitutes. It’s a unique kind of pwnage, but pwnage none-the-less. The rest of the SHIELD agents aren’t as lucky since Tempus just freezes them in time. The only benefit they’ll get is being able to punch out early and get overtime.

Then the team confronts Dazzler and while it could have turned into another mutant-on-mutant battle, it’s actually somewhat more mundane. Cyclops confronts Dazzler, who he hasn’t seen since she took a break from her dimension hopping in Xtreme X-men. They aren’t overly hostile, but Dazzler makes it painfully clear that she has little sympathy for him. She still treats him like a criminal and gives him shit for killing Charles Xavier. And I think it’s also a pretty safe bet that she didn’t give any shit to Tony Stark for shooting the Phoenix Force with a big gun, but I’m not drunk enough to have that debate again.

This time, the scene was too mundane and it’s not just because Dazzler let them walk away with Fabio without a struggle of any kind. She’s still bitching to Cyclops the same way every other Marvel team has been doing and this after they seemed to have an understanding during their last encounter in Xtreme X-men #7.1 (a comic you should totally read by the way). That took place after Avengers vs. X-men as well and now she’s all in with SHIELD? I think that’s just fucked up. Cyclops calls her the Uncle Tom of mutants and she calls him the Sirhan Sirhan (the guy who shot RFK). Unless you believe in shitty conspiracy theories, that’s a very poor comparison. I know Dazzler is a hot blond, but she’s smart enough to know that.

After leaving Dazzler behind without a fight or anything that would give anyone more respect for blonds, Cyclops decides to throw in one more act of pwnage. He brought David along for this little rescue mission, now going by the codename Hijack, and he intends to test the limits of his powers. And since they’re on a big ass flying aircraft carrier, those limits better be pretty fucking limited. It’s a nice way to let the new kid shine. I imagine that after getting shot by the police in the previous issue, he has little qualms about pissing off law enforcement now. Personally, I would have flown the helicarrier over Antarctica. But I’m guessing that David hasn’t been harassed by drug cops as much as I have.

Overall, it makes for a pretty shitty day for Dazzler and an awesome day for justice, civil liberties, and minorities. A part of me still feels bad for her, but it’s probably the same part that is okay with seeing the fucking New York Yankees win another World Series. She’s demoralized and defeated. Never mind that she really didn’t do jack shit to stop Cyclops from taking Fabio back. But she attempts to get past it by sharing a cup of coffee with Agent Coulson. Unfortunately, that coffee isn’t coffee and that isn’t Agent Coulson. After fucking a lot of things up in All New X-men, Mystique has done my penis another favor and taken her shenanigans to Uncanny X-men. Not only that, she drugged a hot blond that was acting like a bitch. I know she’s supposed to be the sexy bad girl, but I can’t help but salute her and for once it’s not just with my penis.

After reading this comic, I can’t help but be seriously disappointed with Alison and I never thought I would say that about a pretty blond. But I also can’t help but smile and take a bong hit at how these young mutants are developing under Cyclops’s care. They actually get to pwn SHIELD, save fellow mutants, and expose the bullshit they have to go through with the authorities. It’s all the revolution without the dirty hippie protests. And Mystique drugging Dazzler at the end was a nice bonus. It may be the only appropriate time when a pretty girl being drugged doesn’t turn into some shitty human interest story on Oprah. I give Uncanny X-men #9 a 7 out of 10. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make a donation to the ACLU and give Bill O’Riley the finger. Nuff said!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Broken Showcase: Hunger #1 Review

The following is my review of Hunger #1, which was posted on

There was once a time when Ultimate comics were considered Marvel’s gold standard. It wasn’t just another series full of new iterations of well-known characters. It was a brand, not unlike Apple or Rolex, that denoted a certain level of quality. For years, that brand was very strong, introducing stories and concepts that would later find their way into Marvel’s 616 comics and the 2012 blockbuster the Avengers. However, in recent years that brand has deteriorated to a point where it keeps trying to be the next Apple iPod, but instead it has turned into the ill-fated Microsoft Zune.

Rather than being Marvel’s gold standard, Ultimate is now a line where quality has been sacrificed in favor of creative anarchy. Marvel now bills Ultimate as a series where anything can happen, even if it shouldn’t. This has led to stories built around shock value rather than an engaging plot. A very recent issue of Joshua Fialkov’s Ultimates had an evil Reed Richards performing brain surgery on a still-conscious Tony Stark. And the sad part is that’s not even close to the most shocking thing Ultimates has done. This is a series that has utilized cannibalism, incest, and sex tapes. And therein lies the problem that Hunger #1 faces before it even begins. It’s attempting to make a shocking change in a series where the audience has already been desensitized to shock tactics.

That’s not to say that Hunger #1 doesn’t have appeal. It definitely does and it delivers on that appeal to an extent. In many ways this issue and the concept of this series is less about the ongoing events in the Ultimate comics and more about the aftermath of Age of Ultron. This issue ties directly into the universal upheaval revealed in Age of Ultron #10, which showed Galactus tearing his way into the Ultimate universe. However, it takes a while for us to actually see that story.

Like going into a movie that has way too many bad previews, the first half of Hunger #1 follows the utterly unappealing story of Rick Jones. In the Ultimate universe, he was chosen by the Watchers to be the protector of the universe. And in this comic he approaches that responsibility the same way most teenagers would approach a part-time job at a McDonald’s. He spends most of this comic complaining endlessly about his responsibilities and carrying on like every juvenile stereotype ever portrayed in a John Hughes movie. He’s no Peter Parker or Miles Morales. He’s just a kid who whines incessantly about not getting his way.

It’s hard to really care about Rick Jones in a story that is supposed to be about Galactus entering the Ultimate universe. However, Rick isn’t the only Ultimate concept that is utilized in Hunger #1. After the Watchers drag Rick back to his responsibilities, they take him to the middle of an inter-stellar battle between the Kree and the Chitauri. Ultimate fans and fans of Joss Whedon’s Avengers should recognize the Chitauri, who actually come off as much more likable than Rick Jones. Even though they’re fighting a war that involves them sacrificing their own people, at least they carry some emotional weight in the story. It’s way more compelling than watching Rick Jones ditch his job so he can grab some burgers on Earth.

This battle between the Kree and Chitauri leads to a direct confrontation with Gah Lak Tus, which is the Ultimate incarnation of Galactus. It also brings back one of the more unique characters of the Ultimate universe that didn’t rely on shock tactics. In Ultimate, the concept of Galactus is different in that Gah Lak Tus is a massive swarm of world-destroying robots that have decimated life of countless planets for reasons that are very different than the mainstream Galactus. It’s a novel concept that was once consistent with the Ultimate policy of being the gold standard. And it would have made Hunger #1 a lot more engaging if it didn’t take half a comic of Rick Jones whining to get to this plot.

By the time the events of Age of Ultron #10 finally converge, the impact is overdue. Nonetheless, it is still very satisfying to see Galactus literally tear a hole through space and force his way into the Ultimate universe. And his presence immediately affects Gah Lak Tus. In what is definitely the most compelling moment of the issue, the Gah Lak Tus swarm tries to consume Galactus. But in the end they actually merge to become one being with the Gah Lak Tus swarm now acting as heralds. It effectively delivers what Hunger #1 promised, but only for those patient enough to endure the forgettable filler that preceded it.

And that’s the biggest problem with Hunger #1. Only one third of this whole comic is compelling. The plot with Rick Jones was needlessly juvenile and the war between the Chitauri and Kree felt like it was just shoehorned into the story to add a few obligatory explosions. It’s akin to throwing darts at a dart board blindfolded, but still hitting the target a few times. It’s not a bullseye, but it still delivers something appealing.

The promise of Hunger is definitely there, but the realization of that promise is lacking. Just throwing Rick Jones, the Chitauri, and Galactus into the story isn’t enough in the same way that just tossing ice cream and milk in a blender doesn’t make a good milkshake. It still needs to be effectively blended. And Hunger #1 failed to do that until the final third of the book. And for an Ultimate universe that has been lagging almost as badly as Lindsey Lohan’s movie career, that’s just not enough.

Final Score: 4 out of 10

Friday, July 26, 2013

X-men Supreme Issue 80: The Lotus and the Warrior PREVIEW!

It's a big day for Marvel, Wolverine, and the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. Today, Marvel Comics and X-men fans everywhere celebrate the release of The Wolverine. It's a movie that one of the most iconic stories in the history of Wolverine, namely the story told by Frank Miller and Chris Claremont about Wolverine's life in Japan, and brings it to life. However, history has shown that the X-men movies are not always good about adapting iconic X-men stories. I could create a whole new website centered completely around pointing out all the things that are wrong with the X-men movies andWolverine's characterization. But I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to tell his story here in the pages of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series.

So far, Wolverine has already learned a number of distressing revelations in his visit to Japan with the rest of the X-men. He and the X-men were attacked immediately after they landed, but like other stories in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, his faded memories caught up with him. This time the memories were so vivid that he actually remembered that he was fluent in Japanese. It allowed him to learn that the Yashida Clan, an organization that has always had close ties to and Wolverine's through numerous incarnations of X-men, is pursuing Weapon X technology again. Their endgame isn't clear, but an encounter with the deadly Lady Deathstrike shows that this conflict has deadly implications. And unlike the X-men movies, I intend to make these resolution very satisfying.

So far, two issues of The Lotus and the Warrior arc have been released. Only one issue is left and it's only fitting that I will be releasing it in wake of the Wolverine movie. Again, this is not a coincidence. I always intended to write a story about Wolverine and Japan in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. I felt it was fitting to tie it in with the movie. But unlike every X-men movie made to date, this arc isn't just about Wolverine. There are other stories following other X-men, including the story of Betsy Braddock, who has made her X-men Supreme debut in this arc. And after the final chapter, her life and Wolverine's life will never be the same! As always, I've prepared an extended preview of the next and final issue to The Lotus and the Warrior arc.

As soon as this psychic procedure began, Betsy’s whole body reacted. Sparks flew into her bio tank and the wires going into her head crackled with energy. This sudden surge caused her whole face to tense. It looked like she was in sheer agony. The bruises on her face started festering and actually grew under the strain. It was not a pretty sight. At one point Betsy’s eyes shot open and she screamed within the tank.


When Matsu’o heard this, he finally turned around. What he saw was horrific. Betsy looked like she was being burned alive. Kwannon didn’t look much better, her body contorting more violently with each passing second. It was unbearable to watch. His daughter and his goddaughter were suffering and it was all because of him.

“Damn it, Harada! You’re killing them!” exclaimed Matsu’o, “Stop this right now!”

“Calm yourself, Matsu’o. That isn’t a request!” said Harada firmly, “The procedure is working.”

“You call this working?!” he exclaimed.

“Like I said, it’s bound to get messy.”

Matsu’o was filled with dread, now unable to tear his eyes away from Kwannon and Betsy. More sparks flew and a few small fires erupted near the servers. Engineers scrambled to put them out while technicians struggled to keep the lights from flickering. It was hard to tell if either woman was healing. Even if they were, the pain they suffering was apparent.

While his Yashida associates looked worried, Harada saw before him a glorious moment. Their clan was about to obtain the ultimate weapons program. HThis was going to work. His family legacy was about to be realized.

‘It’s exactly as my uncle described it. Agony with a touch of beauty. Oh if Kenji Oyama were alive today, he would be proud! It’s a shame he and the rest of his family had to die. Yet through his disgrace, the honor of the Yashidas shall be restored!’

The experiment appeared to finally be settling. Betsy and Kwannon were still in a world of pain, but the Yashida science team had it under control. The data was coming in and it looked promising. It looked like they were going to get their weapon.

“Just little bit longer, brothers!” urged the chief scientist, “We’re almost finished!”

With so much focus on the experiment, Harada and his acolytes didn’t notice some unusual activity unfolding in the rafters above the test area. On nearly every walkway overlooking the central area, legions of Yashida ninjas kept a close watch. They were to act as security throughout this experiment and Harada made it clear that he would accept no interruptions. Unfortunately for them, there was only so much they could observe.

On the third level rafter, three ninjas watched the scene below unfold. It was quite a spectacle, watching the scientists scramble to keep everything together. They were so drawn to the sight they didn’t notice two figures literally emerging from the walls behind them. One was Shadowcat and the other was Gambit. Using Shadowcat’s phasing powers, they made their way through the walls and into the perfect position.

“Mind if Remy does the honors, petite?” whispered Gambit.

“By all means,” said Shadowcat politely.

The ninjas didn’t hear them because of the noise. They only noticed when they heard footsteps behind them.

“What the?!”

“Bonjure to you too,” grinned Gambit.

Before their reflexes took hold, Gambit took out two of the ninjas with his bow staff. One was slugged across the face with the metal tip while the other was jammed in the stomach, causing him to keel over so the Canjun to finish him off with an uppercut. The three other ninjas present attempted to counter. They reached for their katanas, but they didn’t have a chance to draw them. Shadowcat came in, dropping one of them with a roundhouse kick and another with a kick to the knee and a punch to the face. The last one got his katana out, only to have it knocked out of his hand by Gambit’s bow staff. He was then taken down by a kick to the gut.

With the five ninjas down, Shadowcat and Gambit had their window. They saw there were saw plenty more ninjas to deal with.

“Whew! These Yakuza be invitin’ everyone to the party!” commented Gambit.

“Although it looks like some didn’t RSVP,” said Shadowcat as she gazed anxiously at the two subjects in the bio tanks, “This is some plan. We’re outnumbered and surrounded.”

“No worries, petite,” he grinned confidently as he took out a fresh deck of cards, “This always be Gambit’s my favorite part!”

Taking three cards in each hand, Gambit charged each one of them so that they were glowing brightly. With skill honed from years of thieving, he threw each card at one of the light fixtures hanging overhead the main text area. When they exploded, they filled the area with a deafening bang and took the lights out with them. Within seconds the whole test area was covered in darkness, the only light now coming from glow of the two bio tanks.

“The lights! Somebody get the lights!” exclaimed one of the chief scientists.

“What happened?! Were they overloaded?” said one of the technicians.

“No…they weren’t,” said Harada Yashida grimly.

While the Yashida science team scrambled, Harada and his Yashida associates went into full alert. Some were already trying to escape while others were looking to their leader for answers.

“What is going on, Harada?” said one of the leaders.

“Is it not obvious? We have intruders!” he replied, drawing his decorated samurai sword.

“Intruders?!” exclaimed Matsu’o, “You told me you were prepared!”

“On the contrary, Matsu’o. I anticipated this. Weapon X isn’t just about reclaiming my family’s legacy. It’s about confronting old enemies. If I’m not mistaken, one should be close by!”

Matsu’o was in a panic and so were the rest of the Yashida elites. Apparently, they weren’t as prepared as Harada. Not being an elite, he was shoved back into the glass barrier while others made their escape. All the while, Harada remained remarkably calm. Gripping his sword, he held it up and used his powers to infuse it with energy. This also created a brilliant light that helped illuminate the area.

“I know you’re out there!” he demanded, “You ran away in shame! Now face me with honor!”

Almost immediately, Harada got a response. In the wall behind him, there was an ominous snikt. Two sets of claws drove through the wall, surprising a few Yashida elites and ninjas who had been nearby. In a swift slash the wall crumbled and a figure all too familiar to the Yashida Clan entered.

“Shiroi Akuma!” said one of the Yashida elites with dread.

“That’s Wolverine to you, bub!” he snarled.

And in the spirit of the Wolverine movie, I think it's only fitting that I throw in another update to the pics section. In the movies, one of Wolverine's most important relationships was the one he had with Jean Grey. Granted, that relationship was horribly done and mismanaged. But in X-men Supreme and in the comics, that relationship is special. As such, I've added in a few pictures to the Wolverine and Jean Grey X-Couples section. Enjoy!

Wolverine and Jean Grey Pics

There are a lot of major upheavals in store for the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, but it's rare that I can schedule those upheavals with the release of a major X-men movie. I may not be a fan of these movies, but I am a fan of telling compelling stories about these characters. Wolverine is one of the most iconic comic book characters in history for a reason and I think his story in Japan is a big part of that. I hope to do it justice with X-men Supreme. And because of that intent, it's very important that everyone take the time to provide feedback about my work with X-men Supreme thus far. If you wish to chat with me, please contact me at any time. Until next time, take care and best wishes! Excelsior!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: Wolverine and the X-men #33

When I need to deal with the long list of issues my therapist bitches about, I grab some whiskey and a comic book and deal to my heart’s content. My liver may hate it and so does my landlord, but I’m willing to give both of them the finger for the sake of entertaining and informing the wonderful readers of this blog. What follows is my twisted coping skills combined with a full review of Wolverine and the X-men #33. It's a book that may give me nightmares about how much high school sucked before I found a good weed dealer, but it’s also a book that’s in the middle of a big arc involving the Hellfire Academy and Mystique in a sexy teacher's uniform. Read on if you've got your booze and lube ready.

While I would argue that Mystique in a sexy teacher’s uniform is the biggest appeal, seeing Kid Omega get the shit beat out of him is a close second. He spent much of the previous issue as a prisoner that served as a prime example to the other students how certain forms of douche-baggery would be rewarded and how other forms of douche-baggery would be punished. He took it in a way that would have made Rocky Balboa proud, but he’s still a douche. He still needed Toad to step in and save his miserable ass from Sauron and a version of Mojo with tits. While Toad is to X-men what Scott Norwood is to Buffalo Bills fans, he does at least show some semblance of balls. He’s still a janitor, but he’s a janitor who can kick ass. He won’t co-star in any Jason Stathem movies, but he will break Kid Omega free.

Kid Omega represents the kind of self-centered douche-baggery that the Hellfire Academy discourages. But Idie, who also ditched the Jean Grey Institute, nicely narrates the kind of douche-baggery that the Hellfire Academy fully supports. This whole issue has her narrating and it’s done in a way that is insightful and compelling.

She basically explains to the reader that the Hellfire Academy teaches them to love themselves, hate everyone else, and take anything they want if it makes them feel good. It’s basically everything that every major religion opposes. And she actually demonstrates it with her fellow classmates by killing random Hellfire guards for Kade Kilgore’s amusement. It’s a gritty scene, but one that offers a painful reminder that Idie has already killed. It was what triggered the Schism between Cyclops and Wolverine (that and them debating about which one Jean Grey would want to bone). Now she isn’t as bothered by killing. And this is a fucking 14-year-old girl. It’s hard not to feel for her and that’s the biggest strength of her story.

It’s hard to feel quite as intrigued for Toad and Kid Omega for reasons I’ve already covered. While they do manage to escape, it’s one of those things that’s easy to shrug off. If they had gotten the shit kicked out of them, I doubt many readers would lose sleep over it. After they make their escape, they go after Idie. They then run into Dog Logan along the way who does…absolutely jack shit.

I may be easily confused when I’ve smoked one too many joints and I may have as much affection for Dog Logan as I have for venomous spiders, but this was just fucked up. Dog Logan just walks away, saying they’re even now. I don’t even know what the fuck that is supposed to imply. I know Dog Logan’s introduction to the Hellfire Academy happened recently in this same series, but his story was so boring that I think I just got stoned and watched reruns of X-men Evolution. If there is an explanation, it’s not a very good one. And if Dog Logan never shows up in this series again, I doubt a single fuck would be given.

The main star of this comic is Idie. She’s the one that’s worth giving a shit about and she’s the one that is easy to grow fond of after what she has endured recently. And she has more than her share of admirers, one of them being Kade Kilgore himself. After having distinguished herself as being more than capable to horribly maim people with a pussy boner, he now invites her to do so as the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. He even has the distinct Black Queen lingerie ready and fitted for her. Now I’m not sure if it’s more creepy that Kade Kilgore had that lingerie ready for her or that he’s a 14-year-old boy with enough money and power exercise all sorts of perverse pre-pubescent fantasies. But the whole concept of the Hellfire brats is fucked up to begin with and for that reason, it’s hard not to genuinely worry that Idie is getting in over her head.

Kid Omega and Toad are already way past that point, but unlike Idie you just can’t give as many shits about them. While Dog Logan may have let them go for no fucking reason, the rest of the Hellions aren’t quite as generous. They just got done maiming Hellfire guards for Kade Kilgore’s amusement. Their bloodlust boner is still hard and who better to take it out on then someone who was a douche-bag before he ended up at the Hellfire Academy?

To make matters worse, Paige is among them and Toad has been romantically involved with her in recent times. Well involved might be too loaded a term because it really was never thoroughly explored just what the fuck was going on between these two. Given what Toad can do with his tongue, that’s probably for the best. But if this was supposed to create any sort of emotional upheaval in the same way the Idie plot has done, it failed miserably. It basically amounts to Toad getting soft on a woman who was very pissed off at him while Kid Omega does the heavy lifting and takes a few punches to the face. So I guess it’s only partially satisfying in that respect.

This shit is happening at the same time Kade Kilgore is tempting Idie. He knows about it as well and Idie apparently takes him up on his offer. She actually puts on that ridiculously revealing Black Queen outfit that no woman would wear outside Comic Con or my masturbation fantasies. She even talks about finalizing the deal by killing Broo, who was already overprotective of her for reasons that probably had to do with Brood mating rituals. But this is where Idie finally reveals that the Hellfire Academy failed in its mission to turn her into a sociopath.

It happens when Kade Kilgore foolishly reveals that he was the one that shot Broo in the head. He’s a teenage boy. I don’t expect him to think before he talks, especially in front of a girl wearing a Black Queen outfit. This is what reveals Idie’s plan all along. She willingly joined the Hellfire Academy, embracing their concept of being a total dick along the way, just so she could find out who shot Broo. Now take for a moment to consider how she managed to maintain her cover and not be completely corrupted by the likes of Mystique, Sabretooth, Sauron, and the Hellfire Club. This is a fucking 14-year-old girl and she went through all of this, just to get back at the asshole who shot her friend. It’s not logical. Again, she’s a fucking 14-year-old girl. But it’s some pretty amazing shit and it’s hard not to cheer for her in ways nobody would ever cheer for Kid Omega.

As all this is transpiring at the Hellfire Academy, it’s easy to forget that the rest of the Jean Grey Institute staff has been trying to find them since the arc began. They spent most of the previous issue failing miserably. Then Wolverine managed to track down Lord Deathstrike with the help of the bamfs and whiskey (because most problems can be solved by whiskey). So for much of this issue he’s been battling Lord Deathstrike, trying to get him to reveal the location of the Hellfire Academy. In addition, Rachel, Beast, and Storm enlist help from Karoka, who happens to be one of Dr. Frankensteins old pets. This aspect of the story was nicely explored in the last issue, but this issue it comes off as a little flat. It’s fun seeing Wolverine fight Lord Deathstrike and all, but it just feels way too convenient that they had Karoka as a lead all along and didn’t fucking realize it. And since they’re not hormonal teenagers, they have no excuse.

The battles at the Hellfire Academy remain the most compelling aspect of the story. Having revealed her plan, Idie goes about putting it into action while Kid Omega and Toad continue to get their asses kicked. Kade Kilgore is surprised at first, but he quickly recovers and becomes only mildly disappointed that he won’t have a cute girl to be his Black Queen anymore. He tries shooting Idie after she attacks him. But he seems to forget that the Hellfire Academy trained her to give less than a fuck about maiming people so she continues to battle him. And at one point, she even has him at her mercy.

This leads to a moment that feels like the culmination of all the emotional upheaval that Idie has been experiencing throughout this series. Despite her narrations that clearly say that she has been taught to fight without mercy, she decides to spare Kade Kilgore. That means after going to a school intent on turning her into a young Dr. Doom, she doesn’t give in. I’m tempted to say, suck it, Captain America! But that wouldn’t be appropriate. The scene isn’t as detailed as it could have been, but the message is clear. Idie may be a killer, but she’s not a douche-bag. And that sets her apart from her peers and the rest of the X-men for that matter.

So rather than stick around and torture Kade Kilgore, Idie leaves him to ponder the feeling of being beat up by a girl and catches up with Kid Omega. He immediately thinks he’s in love with her, but that may just be a direct result of her wearing the Black Queen outfit. I’m pretty sure if a girl walked up to me wearing that while I was getting my ass kicked, I would probably ask her to marry me. So they leave Kade behind. It’s not clear if Paige kills Toad, but I don’t think anyone really gives a shit about that at this point. The end of this issue tempts us with the utter destruction of the Hellfire Academy. Idie and Kid Omega already get the ball rolling. Now the X-men are on their way with Karoka. I think it’s just about time for the Hellfire brats to start crying for their mommies.

I usually have mixed feelings about people who go to elaborate lengths to get back at someone. It’s one thing for an ex-girlfriend to just sell all your shit on Craigslist. It's quite another for her to seduce your boss, get him to marry her, kill him, take over the business, and then use that power to make your life a living hell. But the extent Idie goes to in order to get revenge on the Hellfire brats for shooting Broo is nothing short of admirable. Sure, she had to channel her inner sociopath and entertain the horemonal attractions of a pre-pubescent boy, but it got the job done. And by telling the story from her point of view, Wolverine and the X-men #33 is very compelling. Watching Kid Omega and Toad get the shit beat out of them isn't quite as compelling, but it’s still more fun than a joint and truck of illegal fireworks. That's my final verdict for Wolverine and the X-men #33 and if you don't like it, feel free to spend a day or two with one of my ex-girlfriends. But don't expect to leave with your balls intact. Nuff said!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny Avengers #10

When new comic books come out, a fuckton of chemicals in my brain mixes with a fuckton of chemicals I ingest to create the kind of assessment you won't find outside a bar fight at Comic Con. I've taken it upon myself to give comic book fans the perspective of a drunk for their comics because I've always felt that drunks offer the kind of twisted insight that reveals those special details that a sober mind misses. This is what my drunken mind came up with after reading Uncanny Avengers #10. If you're sober enough to handle it, please read on and prepare to be confused, amazed, and offended.

This issue actually begins the same way a Michael Moore movie begins, with a solemn monologue that berates America in ways that make registered republicans cry like little girls around a nest of spiders. But this time, it’s Rogue who leads the monologue so it’s way sexier than Michael Moore. She also makes a very valid point at how much of an asshole Captain America has become. Like the real America, he’s not so much concerned with being right rather than saving lives. Because so long as he doesn’t have to hear anyone say those dreaded four words, “I told you so,” he’s okay with invading a sovereign country, pissing off cosmic forces, and throwing people in jail for bullshit reasons. But I digress.

This monologue, while awesome, doesn’t really lead into how the Uncanny Avengers confront Apocalypse’s old man-servant, Ozymandias. He’s now out of work, having been replaced by two younger and stronger Apocalypses. I guess now he knows what it feels like to be one of Hugh Hefner’s ex-wives. The team is basically willing to carve as many assholes as they need to find the Apocalypse Twins. And since Sunfire, a former horsemen, has a serious axe to grind, they casually shrug off everything from the Geneva Convention and get their answers. So I guess Rogue’s monologue does have some connection. Like the modern America, Captain America and his associates are okay with torture so long as they find some way to justify it. And they didn’t even need Dick Cheny for this. I think that says a lot.

But torturing former associates of Apocalypse isn’t their only tactic. Havok, who is supposed to be the leader of this mismatched, embittered team of superhumans, has split the Uncanny Avengers up to investigate different areas. He and the Scarlet Witch are tasked with investigating an Akkaba Temple in Guatemala. I’m sure this is just Havok’s way to get a little alone time with another one of Magneto’s daughters. He wasn’t content just boning Polaris. He needs to go for her more powerful, less sane sister. You can’t fault the guy for not having extreme tastes.

It’s clear that Havok’s penis is the last thing on the Scarlett Witch’s mind. As they explore the temple, she confides in him how proud/attracted she is of Havok for keeping the team together. But she also discloses that she has little hope that humans and mutants will ever co-exist. Between the shit the Red Skull pulled in the first arc and Cyclops running a full blown mutant revolution, the odds are stacked against them to say the least. That and she is Magneto’s freakin’ daughter. But it makes for a genuinely nice moment where the Scarlett Witch, at least for a moment, doesn’t seem like that same crazy bitch that fucked an entire species over on M-Day. It’s hard to tell if she’s at that point where she’s willing to bone Havok, but she makes it clear that she supports him and maybe will support his penis if he plays his cards right.

This nice Hallmark moment is eventually interrupted when one of the new horsemen that was revealed at the end of the previous issue finally makes their big entrance. The first one up is Banshee, who has a good reason to want to rip Havok’s ears out through his anus. His younger brother, Vulcan, was the one that fucking killed him. Not only that, his older brother, Cyclops, killed Charles Xavier. And since neither Summers brother is present, he settles for the next best thing, which is like an Olympian saying they’re okay with a bronze metal. But Banshee makes up for it by abducting the Scarlett Witch. For those of you keeping track, this marks the second time the Scarlett Witch has been abducted in Uncanny Avengers. Somebody really need to put a collar on that bitch.

The next horsemen to show up is someone who actually took a dirt nap very recently. In an earlier issue of Uncanny Avengers, the Grim Reaper crashed Havok’s infamous “M-word” speech. And for that, he deserves a pat on the back and a beer. Then Rogue killed him on live TV, which is not a bad way to go all points considered. But I imagine he’s still pissed off and so now that he’s a horsemen, he takes it out on Simon, his pacifist brother. Now I personally would have chosen to attack Rogue while she was taking a shower, that way I could get my revenge and a boner in the process. But I guess this works as well if he’s more interested in dealing with family issues rather than getting boners. It’s also a lot easier because Simon made it clear to Havok and the Scarlett Witch, who he was supposed to be monitoring, that he’s not into fighting anymore. So he might as well be a baby rabbit and Grim Reaper might as well be a wolf on crystal meth. It’s not a fair fight, but at least it doesn’t end with another beautiful woman getting abducted.

As for Captain America himself, Mr. I-need-to-be-right-no-matter-what is doing his part by teaming up with Wasp. They have a nice little conversation as well, but it’s not nearly as productive, or relevant for that matter, as the others. He just talks to Wasp about how much his chat with Immortus fucked him up. That’s about as interesting as me describing every beer I had at my birthday party and detailing every second of the hangover that follows. It really doesn’t amount to much other than Captain America suddenly realizing where they can find the Apocalypse Twins.

By this point in the comic, a clear theme has emerged. Hell, that theme has been persistent since Uncanny Avengers began. Rick Remender is taking a page right out of Chris Claremont’s playbook and trying to squeeze in as much inner monologue as possible. Now Claremont knew how to make it work and Remender does as well most of the time, as he has shown in other parts of this issue. But when a scene consists mostly of Captain America and Wasp describing how fucked up they are, that’s not the kind of shit that needs to waste precious ink. I would much rather see more panels of the Grim Reaper teaching Simon why Ghandi was full of shit than just seeing a boring conversation like this. I’m not saying that these conversations aren’t good for the story, but at least with Havok and the Scarlett Witch it actually had some emotional weight. We already know that Captain America is fucked up and rapidly turning into an all-American douche-bag. We don’t need to read about him talking about it.

I would much rather read about the results gained from torture and I think the fine folks at the CIA will be pleased to see that torturing Ozymandias yielded results. Wolverine, Thor, Sunfire, and Rogue beat a location out of him, probably through means that would make the last two Saw movies look like G-rated Pixar spin-offs. But they location they get looks like parts of downtown Detroit, but it ends up concealing a gateway that leads them to a place that looks like something that J. J. Abrams rejected from the last Star Trek movie (but he may save it for Star Wars). They find that the Apocalypse Twins are packing some pretty impressive hardware and since Thor was stupid enough to lose Jarnbjorn, which he used to fight Apocalypse in a flashback a few issues ago, they’re especially fucked. And before they can even clench their assholes, they get their first taste.

Another one of Apocalypse’s horsemen shows up and this time it’s someone that even Thor’s asshole dreads. It’s the fucking Sentry. He may be a Superman rip-off, but fuck if he isn’t one of the hardest hitters in the entire Marvel universe. He died during Siege, but now he’s armed with some Apocalypse mojo and he uses that to literally beat Thor’s ass across the galaxy. And no, I’m not exaggerating as I tend to do when I’m tripping on acid. Sentry is strong enough to fucking do that. Plus, he did bone Rogue at one point. That alone puts him above Thor and pretty much everyone else in the Marvel universe or any universe for that matter.

Sentry’s attack basically scatters the team, which leads to Wolverine being swallowed by a giant fucking worm. Again, that’s not me exaggerating. I ran out of acid last week. And the rest of the team is basically scattered or running scared because they know they have no fucking chance at beating Sentry. Their best bet at this point is to do what they tell us to do in grade school when we’re on fire and tuck and roll. As someone who has seen many mishaps with fireworks, I can say that doesn’t do jack shit.

I can also say that Sentry makes it clear to Thor that he’s the god of jack shit when he beats him all the way to an alien planet that has green gamma lava. I’m sure it’s like regular lava, but a billion times more awesome. And he uses that to basically turn Thor into that pathetic little kid that could never hold onto his lunch money. I’m not going to say that Thor deserved it because he has been way less of a douche than Captain America or Iron man lately. I’ll just say he’s way overmatched and that’s probably the point.

So three horsemen have been revealed. That means there’s only one left and this one has been crafted specifically to fuck with Wolverine. Granted, that’s not too hard to do. This is a guy who gets pissed off when someone steals his whiskey. The Apocalypse Twins could have just hired a transvestite to look like Cyclops and that would have been enough. But they have to take it a step further and throw Wolverine’s son at him, as in the son he fucking killed in Uncanny X-Force.

It was one of the biggest moments of Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force one, and there were a fuckton of them. Wolverine murdered his own son and unlike Cyclops, nobody gave him shit about it. But unlike Charles Xavier, Daken fucking deserved it. Now he has come back to life and is ready to confront his daddy issues with Apocalypse-powered mojo. The problem is this scene, which should have carried more emotional weight, doesn’t amount to much. Wolverine just looks at Daken the same way I look at the Pizza guy when he’s 20 minutes late and Daken tells him that all hope is lost. That’s like the Pizza guy telling me he got stuck in traffic. We’ve heard that shit before. It’s a weak way to end the comic, but seeing Sentry kick Thor’s ass more than makes up for it.

I'm convinced that whenever Marvel kills one of their characters, a baby seal is sodomized by Rush Limbaugh. I'm also convinced that whenever Marvel brings back a dead character, a cute blond stripper with low self-esteem gets a free boob job and the world is just a little bit happier. This comic didn't just bring back a slew of dead characters, albeit in evil forms. It effectively mixed in the interpersonal drama that makes it clear that Rick Remender writes awesome comics and he probably does so completely sober. For that, both he and Uncanny Avengers #10 deserve to be awesome. This is what I've concluded in my completely unsober state of mind and if it bothers you, then I'm assuming you're not drunk enough. Nuff said!

Monday, July 22, 2013

It Was All Building To This: Justice League #22

The following is my review of Justice League #22, which was posted on

Colonel Hannibal Smith of the A-Team was right to love it when a plan came together. A well-orchestrated convergence of details and timing is a beautiful thing. Every great story demonstrates this to some degree. From Shakespeare to Michael Bay movies, the value and appeal of a story is predicated on its ability to bring multiple elements and plots together into a single, unified product.

However, there’s a trade-off for the kinds of plans that the A-Team are so good at crafting. There’s an exceedingly narrow window for convergence in a story. Move too fast and key details are lost, which is akin to Murdock crashing the helicopter. Move too slow and those details lose their meaning, which is akin to Mr. T taking a wrong turn during a car chase with mobsters. DC often sets itself apart from Marvel by saturating their stories with details. That’s what was presented with Flashpoint and that’s what has been promised with “Trinity War”. Justice League #22 marks the beginning of “Trinity War” and a convergence of numerous details that have been unfolding between the panels.

In this story, characters such as Shazam and Pandora, who have been background characters since the New 52 began, finally play an active role in a much larger story. Those who have been following Justice League finally get some payoff for the Shazam origin story that appended the end of every Justice League comic for the past year. In wake of Shazam’s defeat of Black Adam, he must make a fateful decision on what to do with the ashes of Black Adam. It is this decision that creates the circumstances that put the Justice League and the competing Justice League of America in the deserts of Khandaq. And it feels all the more fitting that this decision is rendered by a pre-pubescent boy whose understanding of global politics doesn’t extend beyond World of Warcraft.

But that isn’t the only plot that leads to the convergence of the Justice League and the JLA. Pandora, whose story has been unfolding in other books, also enters the picture when she approaches Superman about her mythical box. Having been a shadow in the New 52 since its inception, it’s refreshing, albeit overdue, to see her contribute to a major story. And it’s partially because of her actions that Superman ends up throwing the first punch in the “Trinity War”. In addition, visions with Madam Xanadu offer a telling insight into how badly this war ends. It doesn’t feel like a spoiler, but it does give the reader an idea of how badly this could go.

The clash between the two leagues and the subsequent impact on the reader can either be this issue’s greatest appeal or its greatest flaw. In the past, DC’s strongest events involved stories that casual readers could pick up and understand what was going on even if they hadn’t been following the issues leading up to it. This was part of what made Blackest Night so appealing to many readers and stories like Infinite Crisis fodder for angry readers on message boards. Justice League #22 is not quite on the same level as Blackest Night, but it is in the same zip code.

Readers who have been following Justice League and nothing else will feel rewarded for their dedication. Readers who have been following only Justice League of America will feel just as rewarded. But casual readers who haven’t been following either series closely will still get something out of this one issue. It doesn’t offer every detail about Pandora or Shazam or the Justice League’s recent activity in Khandaq, but it offers enough to make the story both coherent and epic. It’s basically a comic that fans of Avatar and Pulp Fiction could get behind.

That said, casual fans may still be at a disadvantage. Without knowing the details surrounding Shazam or the recent story about Superman and Wonder Woman’s activities in Khandaq, the impact of this story might be lost. Taken from the perspective of someone who is just curious about DC, who also happen to be the segment of the market that comic book publishers covet the most, this issue takes the form of just another superhero mash-up. And in a market where events like Marvel’s Civil War and Avengers vs. X-men are still fresh in peoples’ minds, this may be a major turnoff. Lately, it seems as though big events can only happen when heroes fight each other. It’s getting to the point where readers might suspect that the villains in comics are getting lazy.

But what keeps the first issue of “Trinity War” from echoing the same sentiment as Avengers vs. X-men is the ending. Even casual readers will feel the impact of the ending because it gives a clear and definitive message about the story. It’s not just about two teams of heroes fighting. Someone devious is pulling the strings and with DC’s upcoming villain month, it reassures readers that the villains in comics are not getting lazy. They’re just working smarter and not harder.

There are lots of appealing aspects about “Trinity War” and Justice League #22 demonstrates nearly all of them in a neatly contained package. The challenge now is to not overwhelm the readers with too many details and tie-ins, which DC has a nasty habit of doing. For now, at least, Trinity War is off to a promising start. Everything that has been unfolding in the DC universe is starting to come together and like the A-Team, there’s a lot to love about a plan that comes together.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

Sunday, July 21, 2013

San Diego Comic Con X-men Panel: Nightcrawler Lives!

Another year has gone by with me spending too much money on booze to fly out to San Diego Comic Con, but I still manage to stay sober enough to keep up with the events. Every year the fans, the cos-players, and the people who masturbate to those cos-players show up to unite in their love of all things geek and learn a thing or two about the next sinister plot that comic companies are planning.

And there has been a fuckton of amazing shit this year. DC Comics and Warner Brothers announced that rather than a Justice League movie in 2015, we'll be getting a Batman/Superman movie. It's not Justice League, but it's the next best thing. Marvel Studios announced that the next Avengers movie will be titled Avengers: Age of Ultron. And Fox proved that they didn't learn a damn thing from the failure of X3 when they announced that they were going to fuck up Days of Futures Past by making Wolverine the center of attention...yet again.

As big as those announcements are, this is a fucking X-men blog last I checked. And I focus on the big X-men news. So when Marvel held their X-men panel today, it came with a few major announcements. And the biggest announcement by far was that once again, death is as permanent in the Marvel universe as Larry King's wedding vows. Because everyone's favorite fur fetish, Nightcrawler, is coming back to life after being dead for nearly four years. And I say fuck yes to the nth degree!

Fans of the X-Men poured into room 6DE at San Diego’s Comic-Con International to hear the creative teams behind their favorite mutants speak at the Marvel Comics X-Men panel.

Moderator Arune Singh began the panel with the creative teams behind the X-books onstage: senior editor Nick Lowe, Brian Michael Bendis (“All-New X-Men”), Paul Cornell (“Wolverine”), Gerry Duggan (“Deadpool”), Peter David (“X-Factor”), Sam Humphries (“Uncanny X-Force”), Chris Hastings, and Brian Posehn (“Deadpool”). Singh told the room editor Jeanine Schaefer will be joining them later, and that Frank Cho and Terry Dodson may also appear later on, interrupting his introduction to cheer Schaefer as she ran up to the stage.

“This is the best panel you’re going to see all convention!” Singh told the packed room to cheers and applause.

They then began by speaking about Marvel’s brand new September and October “Battle Of The Atom” event happening over the X-books, featuring art by Frank Cho, Stuart Immonen, David Lopez, Chris Bachalo, Guiseppe Camuncoli, Esad Ribic.

“The X-Men from the future show up and tell them they have to get out of here, right now, just go,” Bendis said. Of course this does not happen, and the events that follow kick off the crossover, something Bendis promised would have “Major implications for the line.”

“It’s the first X-Men event that Brian [Bendis] is working on with us...and it’s the first one Brian Wood is working on,” Lowe said, adding that it will be the past, present and future of the X-Men colliding.

Singh also showed the image for Steve McNiven and Rick Remender's “Uncanny Avengers” “Ragnarok Now” story, which showed Scarlet Witch’s shattered hat.

Cornell then said in “Wolverine” the character has lost his healing factor, “An original idea, I know!” he joked as the room laughed.

Drawn by Alan Davis, Cornell said that Wolverine will first be grappling with the idea of dying, then defending himself as every foe he’s made decides to go after him, something that Cornell told the room would end in a major shift for the book and character.

“It’s a Wolverine you’ve never, ever seen before and you have no idea what’s coming,” Schaefer said.

“And we killed Peter Parker twice, we’re serious!” Singh joked as the room cracked up.

“It’s a guy whose whole fighting style is ‘Throw myself in front of bullets.’ When he doesn’t have that anymore, what does he have?” Schaefer added, she and Lowe telling the room that his loss of powers will be consistent over all the Marvel books.

“Uncanny X-Force” was next, Humphries telling the fans that “Runaways Artist Adrian Alphona will be drawing a solo story starring Spiral in issue #12, telling the story of her hunting down a young girl. Ramon Perez will also be working on the book.

The room cheered as Duggan and Posehn’s “Deadpool” issue #18 cover flashed up on the big screen.

“We kill Wolverine. Spoiler,” Duggan joked. Posehn said that issue #20 was his favorite upcoming issue so far, Duggan asking the audience “Do you like some Kirby crackle?” to applause and whistles.

Lowe laughingly recalled how the editors had to “Re-examine their life decisions,” after reading the scripts for the upcoming issues that took a “Dark turn.”

“We haven’t dropped the ball yet,” Posehn joked to audience laughter, adding, “But don’t go on the internet.”

Looking at the end of “X-Factor” which showed X-Factor literally closing shop, story drawn by Neil Edwards, David laughed, “That has nothing to do with the story, but it’s a good cover!”

He then said he was so happy to have written the book and to hear fans come up to him and saying how they loved how he turned around B and C-level characters in the book.

“It’s one of the steadiest books in all of comics...’X-Factor’ is this unstoppable, strong and steady book,” Lowe said of sales. Singh added that David will have another new book coming out from Marvel soon.

David also took the time to praise artist Leonard Kirk’s work, telling the audience the industry doesn’t always appreciate a “real solid artist like Leonard,” before leading the room in a round of applause.

Dodson joined the panel in time for Singh to announce he will be joining Brian Wood’s “X-Men.” Schaefer said of the decision to make the team all women, a first for Marvel, “It just made sense.”

“We decided to call it 'X-Men' because they were X-Men, they weren’t X-Women, they were always X-Men,” Schaefer added, telling the room Marvel was very supportive of female-led books and that it was a passion project for her.

“We’ve heard female-led books don’t sell, but...all you have to do is point at ‘X-Men,’ point at ‘Captain Marvel’’ve proven the critics wrong,” Singh said to thunderous applause.

Hastings then announced his new book, “Longshot Saves The Marvel Universe,” wherein Longshot, “Gets very lucky,” Hasting said to audience laughter. With artist Jacopo Camagni the first issue will be out in November.

The room bursts into applause again as Singh asked who in the audience wants Nightcrawler back in the Marvel Universe. The room cheered again as the panel announced Nightcrawler will be in the brand new series “Amazing X-Men” by Jason Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness.

“Firestar is going to take her place as a major X-Men character for the first time,” Lowe added, pointing to her on the cover of the first issue along with Azazel. The panel then called Aaron and had the room cheer into the phone.

“We’ve been having to keep this a secret pretty much since Jason was writing ‘Wolverine And The X-Men,’” Lowe said, adding that this book will answer where the little blue and red Bamfs have been coming from. “Nightcrawler is dead, but that’s not the end of his story,” Lowe continued, explaining Azazel is a pirate that is stealing something the X-Men need and Nightcrawler needs to stop him. The team on the book will also include Northstar, Wolverine, Beast, Iceman and Storm.

The panel then threw the floor open to the floor, everyone saying each fan’s name as they came up to the microphone. The first fan asked if the X-Factor characters will be in other books. Lowe said the characters will show up in other Marvel Comics books and places, “In very important roles.”

The next fan wanted to know what characters they want to kill or bring back. “Kill Jim Balushi?” Posehn joked.

“I’m happy with Nightcrawler and I’d like to kill Wolverine!” Cornell laughed. Bendis said Peter Parker to both.

“I’d say bring back Uncle Ben but I already did that, and killing -- is Pixie still around?” David asked as the room cracked up.

“I love Maggot!” Schaefer said as Lowe rolled his eyes and the room cracked up again.

A fan wanted to know if in “Battle Of Atom” there would be new future X-Men yet to be revealed. “There’s a lot of things to be revealed,” Bendis said.

The next audience member to the microphone wanted to know why more mutants haven’t sided with Cyclops. “We’re just at the beginning to see how a lot of mutants are going to react to this, to how some of these new mutants aren’t seen as ‘pure’ mutants by older ones so there’s some racism in their ranks,” Bendis told him, adding all that will begin to be revealed in the next few issues.

Another fan said he wanted to give his well-wishes to David, who explained to the room he had suffered a stroke and had to relearn how to walk. He also said he was surprised how many people and fans gave him messages of support and prayers, including a temple of Buddhist Monks because they, “Liked my run on ‘Hulk!’” David said as the room laughed. He then thanked the comics community for the love and support as the room cheered.

That fan then asked the panel what superpowers they would want.

“Flight!” David said. Lowe wanted teleportation, Bendis wanted “the power of a nap,” Hasting wanted teleportation "without the smell," Cornell wanted Storm’s powers, Posehn wanted “invulnerability to sadness,” Duggan wanted Kitty Pryde’s powers, Dodson wanted Multiple Man’s powers and Humphries wanted the Phoenix Force.

“Should we just kill you now?” Lowe joked as Humphries laughed.

The next fan asked about the possibility of a “Deadpool Max.” Duggan said there was no plans at the time.

“As far as Max, I feel like we’re pushing it already,” Posehn added with a laugh.

Lowe told an X-23 fan the character will show up again, though he wouldn’t say where. He then laughed along with the audience as Bendis pointed to himself.

A fan from the earlier Ultimates panel wanted to know why Brian Wood’s “Ultimate Comic X-Men” was glossed over at the panel. Bendis said they glossed it over because anything they said about the book, “Would be a spoiler” for what’s coming up.

Bendis also reported that Aarons had text him back from the grocery story, reading the text out loud.

“Please tell everybody there I’ve been waiting years to do a story with Nightcrawler...and does anybody there know what a shallot look like?” Bendis said as the room yelled back that a shallot was a “green-looking onion.”

Posehn told a “Cable And Deadpool” fan that somewhere down the line they wanted to have Deadpool and Cable meet up and, “They might be wearing trench coats and they might have Tommy guns, form another time,” the writer said as the panel laughed.

Speaking more about bringing Nightcrawler back, Bendis said they took the idea of resurrection very seriously and didn’t want to do it cynically or do it just for the shock.

Bendis also told there was something coming down the line called “The Utopians” which will have some female X-Men and other mutants readers haven’t seen yet.

The last fan to the microphone was a young boy who reprimanded the group for killing Peter Parker, the audience laughing as the panelists shrugged and Singh brought the panel to a close.
Now if only Marvel would stop killing these characters off in the first place. But then again, these gimmicks would actually have to not work for them to do that. And until drunken fans like myself realize that, we're destined for more of this shit. But if it means more awesome comics and more reasons to kill my brain cells, I'm all for it! Nuff said!

Friday, July 19, 2013

X-men Supreme Issue 79: The Lotus and the Warrior Part 2 is LIVE!

The past and the present are clashing again in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series and with less than a week before the big premier of the upcoming Wolverine movie. A big threat has emerged in Japan and the X-men are being lured right into it. And a newcomer to X-men Supreme, Betsy Braddock, is already caught up in the conflict. As has often been the case whenever Wolverine's past enters the picture, Weapon X is involved. And as I revealed in the previous issue, the Yashida Clan has ties to Weapon X. The way this all comes together is finally starting to take shape and in the process, I can utilize some of the themes that Frank Miller and Chris Claremont used with Wolverine's story in Japan.

A big theme about Wolverine's past with Japan has to do with the people he grew close to and the emotions built around those people. The most famous is Mariko Yashida. She's a woman who has had a significant influence on Wolverine's life in the comics, even though she was only alive for a brief window. I think she represents a key aspect of what made Japan such a key story for Wolverine's character. And that's what I hope to capture in this issue of X-men Supreme. I once again dig into the past and reveal the emotions that have plagued Wolverine on more than one occassion throughout this fanfiction series. It will set the stage for a confrontation that will lead to another painful revelation. That revelation will have a serious impact on Wolverine's present as well as his past. And that revelation begins with this new issue.

X-men Supreme Issue 79: The Lotus and the Warrior Part 2

In addition to this new issue, I also have another update for the pics section. And this time, it comes in the form of another commission by my good friend, Brian Brinlee. Once again, he has submitted another beautiful piece that brings a major scene from the X-men Supreme fanfiction series to life. And in this one, he takes on the first appearance of Exodus, who made his X-men Supreme debut in X-men Supreme Issue 35: War Crimes. As always, I deeply appreciate Mr. Brinlee for his work and if anyone else is interested in submitting artwork for X-men Supreme, please contact me and we'll discuss the details.

X-men Supreme Official Panels

I'm planning some big things for Wolverine in wake of the upcoming movie. I've made sure that this arc will do more than just tell a story about his past. It will have significant implications for the future of Wolverine and the X-men Supreme fanfiction series as a whole. There are a lot of conflicts that tie the past and the present together in the history of X-men. I do want to capture that in the pages of X-men Supreme. And to make sure I'm doing a decent job, it's vital that everyone take the time to provide feedback. Please post your comments directly in each issue or contact me at any time. I'm always happy to listen to feedback or just discuss X-men in general. Until next time, take care and best wishes! Excelsior!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: Cable and X-Force #11

A flood of new comics came out this past week and I consumed them the same way Charlie Sheen consumes cocaine. Comics may not make your dick shrivel and cause you to wake up naked in a Columbia whore house with a tattoo of a middle finger on your ass, but they can be just as much fun. So when I get fucked up on comics, I write about my fucked upedness here on this blog so that my internal organs have some consolation. What follows are the fucked up thoughts I have about Cable and X-Force #11. My internal organs beg you to read on.

In the previous issue, Domino gave Cable advice straight from an episode of The Office and encouraged him to delegate. He can’t prevent his visions from happening on his own. He has a team. No need to be Bill Lumburg and micromanage. Being X-Force shouldn’t involve TPS reports. Well since Cable was taken prisoner by the Avengers, he has no choice now. So the team has split up so they can prevent Cable’s sinister visions on their own accord. But instead of teaming up with Colossus, who she recently swapped body fluids with in a hotel, Domino teams up with Boom Boom. Granted, I wouldn’t mind seeing them bump uglies in a hotel, but first they have to rescue a mutant in a hospital that goes batshit and kills a bunch of people when his powers manifest. The mutant is drugged out of his mind and out cold so that makes it easier to work with and gives Boom Boom time to bust Domino’s balls about Colossus. It’s a great bit of girl talk, minus the pillow fights and pointless conversations about One Direction.

Domino probably wishes she were working with Colossus for another reason as well. At least with Colossus, she didn’t have to worry about him dealing with the impulses of a rebellious young blond. Hell, she could have used her tits to keep him in line. But that shit won’t work with Boom Boom, who just can’t resist blowing shit up to get the job done. She didn’t have to blow a lot of shit up in order to carjack an ambulance for the mutant they’re rescuing. She did it anyways. She doesn’t need a reason. She’s a cute blond girl in a comic book. She can get away with damn near anything. It pisses Domino the fuck off and probably ruins any chance that they may hump later on, but it’s still more fun than a drunk stripper at a dildo factory.

Cable and X-Force has been a lot of fun lately, except for scenes involving Hope fucking Summers. Yes, that bratty little ripoff character is still breathing. And sadly, she’s still part of this story and stealing ink that could otherwise be used to show Boom Boom blowing shit up. In the previous issue she tracked down Blaquesmith in hopes of locating Cable. He ended up dragging her into another apocalyptic future. I still would prefer more pages of Boom Boom blowing shit up.

I could dedicate 10 posts a week to how much I hate Hope fucking Summers. After the previous issue and many issues before it, she has proven to be an unapologetic little puissant who desperately wants Cable’s approval for damn near everything. She’ll even ditch the X-men and everybody who sacrificed a fuckton to protect her so she could save the mutant race. She has no redeeming qualities, even for a teenage girl. So it is somewhat satisfying to see Blaquesmith pwn her bitchy ass in yet another apocalyptic future. Not sure which future this is, but I’m going to assume Hope fucking Summers had something to do with it because there can be no good future for any Marvel universe as long as her bratty little ass is still alive.

But enough about bitchy rip-off characters. Let’s get back to the real draw of the issue, which is Domino and Boom Boom blowing shit up while saving an unconscious mutant. It’s every bit as awesome as it sounds and couldn’t be more awesome without them doing it naked and covered in bacon grease. As it turns out, blowing up a lot of shit and stealing an ambulance will get the attention of the police. Domino, who usually prefers swift and silent missions, is several levels of pissed off at Boom Boom. She does her best to make up for it by blowing up more shit. It may sound like trying to clean the hood of a car by shitting on it, but it works. It’s just what you would expect from a team of mutant outlaws. And isn’t that what X-Force is supposed to be? I say fuck the hell yes!

They end up ditching the cops and they still have the unconscious mutant safe in their grasp. Nothing can stop them now short of another attack by the Avengers. Hell, after the last issue, that would have been painfully predictable. But this time, something more powerful stops X-Force cold in their tracks. It’s not the Avengers. It’s not Apocalypse. It’s not even the Phoenix Force. It’s fucking traffic.

It sounds painfully trivial for a comic book and it is to some degree. But that’s part of what actually makes it satisfying. We’ve already seen X-Force take on the Avengers and fight mutant creatures from a fast food chain. Why not have them struggle against something much more real? Normal people might not have to deal with the Avengers and mutant monsters at a fast food factory, but they sure as hell have to deal with traffic. Anyone who has tried to do Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving knows that it can stop even the most determined of souls. It’s one of those mundane things we don’t see enough of in comics and that’s what makes it so great to see it here.

What’s even more awesome is how Domino and Boom Boom deal with it. Whereas Domino would assess the situation and come up with a more tactical solution, Boom Boom solves this problem the same way she solves most of her problems that don’t involve finding a bra that fits. She blows it up. She acts on the impulses that can only be appealing when a pretty blond does it and pretends to be some sort of super-villain on the bridge where the backup starts. At first it doesn’t do shit. Then she starts blowing shit up and people get the message and run, hoping that their insurance covers mutant attacks (and it probably won’t).

It has been a while since Boom Boom has been a major player in an X-book. She didn’t contribute much in the previous arc aside from looking hot in a bikini. But as vital as that contribution was, she really hasn’t acted like she’s part of X-Force yet. In this issue, she carries the X-Force mantel with pride and utter recklessness. It’s so beautiful it’ll bring a tear to your eye and a boner to your pants. Boom Boom’s characterization is spot on, making her the perfect foil for Domino’s tactical style. Hell, throw Eddie Murphy into the mix and it would be the perfect plot for a buddy cop movie.

Unfortunately, Boom Boom’s reckless impulses don’t clear the traffic fast enough. Just as Cable’s vision foretold, the unconscious mutant’s powers manifested. And his powers somehow involve turning shit into water, including half a fucking bridge. Depending on where he was in Cable’s vision, that shit would probably maim more than a few people, especially if he happened to be at Sea World or on a cruise. In this instance it leads to him, Domino, and Boom Boom falling right into the East River. I suppose there are worse outcomes, but not many.

This time, Domino’s skill in planning saves the day. She somehow thought wise to both wear a parachute and keep an inflatable raft nearby. Now this comes off as a little contrived. Domino says this was part of her contingency plan and for all we know, she had plenty more. But it still comes off as overly convenient and lacks a sense of struggle that the story could have had. While the mission itself was successful, the way Domino and Boom Boom succeeded left a lot to be desired. But you’ll still probably have a boner.

It’s that unsatisfying resolution that may also remind readers that this issue didn’t address a number of dangling plots from the previous issue. There was no mention of Cable, who the Avengers took into custody. There’s no mention of the other members of X-Force, who may or may not be on similar missions. Granted, it’s probably a bitch trying to squeeze those details in and it would take precious ink away from scenes with Domino and Boom Boom. But it makes the issue feel choppy in terms of the overall arc.

Instead of more information about Cable’s fate and that of his team, we get more Hope fucking Summers. I would almost prefer a kick in the balls at this point. She’s still in the future with Blaquesmith. Not much is explained and not much of it is very interesting either. It’s just Hope fighting what looks like a fucked up version of Warlock. Then for reasons that only a sober mind might understand, some future version of Silver Samurai shows up. It’s really hard to tell where the fuck Blaquesmith is going with this. But I’m pretty sure I don’t give a fuck and it’ll still end with Hope fucking Summers being an even bitter cunt.

This issue had too much Hope fucking Summers, but plenty of beautiful X-women kicking ass and looking damn sexy doing it. So I think it balances out perfectly. We still don’t know what the fuck is up with Cable or what the rest of his team is up to. But the mission of X-Force continued successfully in this issue. It kept with the overall theme of trying to save the world while the Avengers want to royally fuck them up. It’s a beautiful thing and throw in the sexy dynamic between Domino and Boom Boom, it’s downright awesome. That’s what my damaged brain has surmised and I’m not hanging it. Nuff said!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Scanned Thoughts: All New X-men #14

When new comics come out, that's just another excuse for me to get fucked up and write fucked up shit about what I read. Every now and then, I'm able to write something insightful. Most of the time, it comes off as the ravings of a drunken madman. Either way, people seem to enjoy reading that shit so that's what I do on this blog. What follows is a drunken madman's interpretation of All New X-men #14. Read on if you dare!

The first page may make drunks like me start dry heaving because it’ll bring back unpleasant memories of Avengers vs. X-men. The last time Marvel fucked with the Phoenix, the collective assholes of the entire Marvel universe were torn in ways that would make a gay porn star cringe. Well they seem to be at it again, this time having Lady Mastermind mind-fuck O5 Jean into going Dark Phoenix on everyone. And she’s not even wearing her sexy Phoenix costume. That’s like being served a bacon burger you know has been spit in, but without the bacon. It’s doubly infuriating and for raging alcoholics reading this, you might want to nail down any furniture that can be easily thrown.

What happens at first is predictable. Wolverine, who I imagine is equally burned out on the Phoenix, decides to stroke Brett Ratner’s cock again and be that guy who has to kill Jean Grey. O5 Cyclops stops him, but it’s still painful at how unsurprising this is. Especially considering the fact that stabbing the Phoenix is akin to trying to piss on a forest fire. It doesn’t do shit.

But before you get too drunk with rage, Brian Michael Bendis shows an act of mercy that couldn’t have been more appropriate without packing this comic with a coupon for a free blowjob by a Tijuana hooker. It turns out that Lady Mastermind actually wasn’t the one mind-fucking Jean Grey. It was the other way around. O5 Jean was actually the one putting on the Phoenix show. But as she already demonstrated in the previous issue, she’s as experienced a telepath as I am a brain surgeon. So the others picked up on it, which they didn’t enjoy. But she apologized. All was forgiven and they went ahead and started beating the shit out of Mystique’s team and Hydra. I don’t know if this qualifies as a twist, but it’s more satisfying than a lap dance from Jessica Alba so I’ll take it.

But Lady Mastermind isn’t about to be upstaged by a novice, even if it is Jean Grey. She mind-fucks people in the same way a 13-year-old with a stash of Playboys jerks off. So rather than fuck with the O5 X-men by using the Phoenix, she uses the image of Professor Xavier. It’s not quite as terrifying as the Phoenix, but it definitely resonates with the X-men…for about five seconds. The O5 may be a bunch of inexperienced teenagers, but they’re not fucking stupid. They figure out really quickly that this is Lady Mastermind’s work. It still allows Mystique to shoot Wolverine in the gut (which is only half as satisfying as seeing him get shot by Cyclops), but it doesn’t slow the O5 down. They still shrug it off and proceed to kick ass.

At this point Lady Mastermind has done plenty to piss off O5 Jean Grey. And anyone who ever survived high school knows that pissed off teenage girls are a force not to be fucked with. Give said teenage girls telepathic powers and it’s safe to assume that everyone is fucked. Yet that doesn’t stop Lady Mastermind from trying to piss her off more, parading images of Emma Frost and Cyclops smooching in front of O5 Jean Grey. She might as well have smothered herself in the blood of baby seals and jumped into a den of hungry polar bears.

O5 Jean Grey, who only a few issues ago was crying and hugging Kitty Pryde, finally flexes her inner badass and mind-fucks Lady Mastermind in a way that I’m sure made her panties wet. It frees the rest of the team from further mind-fucking so they can focus on more important things, like roughing up Sabretooth or beating up Hydra. It’s as basic as you can get in a Marvel comics, but in a series that has been so heavy on teen drama, it’s immensely satisfying.

But like my ex-girlfriend, they don’t go down easily. The O5, who in a recent issue botched a simple Danger Room scenario, effectively coordinate to take down Mystique and Sabretooth. And they do it in a way that actually makes them look like a competent team. Now maybe Cyclops’s visit to the Jean Grey Institute added motivation for them to shape the fuck up and stop being whiney teenagers. Bendis is usually pretty good at pointing out what either motivates characters or pisses them off. But in this instance it’s somewhat glossed over. It’s still satisfying though. Seeing O5 Jean Grey make Sabretooth whine like a little bitch put a smile on my face and a boner in my pants.

One issue that Bendis didn’t gloss over, however, is that unpleasant little detail of Mystique having used the O5’s image to commit a long list of crimes. And as we saw a few issues ago, the Avengers were about as thrilled with that as Eagles fans were thrilled with their team’s record last year. So when they apparently swoop in and tell the O5 they’re still in deep shit, it’s an awkward moment. But it’s one of those awkward moments that turns out to be another bad dream, like showing up to work without your pants on or finding out you accidentally hit on your best friend’s mother while drunk.

Lady Mastermind tried to get away with one more mind-fuck, using the Avengers to leave the O5 deadpanned at the very least so she could get away. This time Kitty Pryde put a stop to that with her fist. So first she gets humiliated by a teenage Jean Grey. Then she gets decked by Kitty Pryde when she’s trying to escape. I think it’s safe to say that this bitch is right up there with Amanda Bynes in terms of being fucked up and burned out. At least she didn’t tempt anyone to murder her vagina.

And wouldn’t you know it? Right after the O5 X-men were mind-fucked into believing the Avengers were coming, they actually show up. It leads to a gloriously awkward moment between O5 Iceman and Thor. It also leads to a beautifully sincere moment between O5 Cyclops and Havok. While Havok may still be a total douche, it’s nice that he’s trying to get along with at least one incarnation of his brother. And while Captain America is still pissed at the situation Mystique created, he doesn’t give America any worse a name because O5 did manage to subdue Mystique and kick the asses of Hydra. I think that short of taking a piss on Hitler’s corpse, this will earn them some brownie points with Cap and the Avengers.

The only disappointing aspect with this scene is that we never get another scene with O5 Cyclops and Mystique. Back in All New X-men #7, they had some nice moments. Granted, Mystique was just fucking with him, but O5 Cyclops seemed reluctant to want to fight Mystique in the previous issue. There wasn’t even a second of hesitation in this issue. It’s one of those other details that Bendis glossed over, at least for this issue. It could definitely come up in another issue.

In fact, Bendis practically set it up in the very next scene. Once again, SHIELD proves that they can’t build a prison for shit. Maria Hill, who Mystique impersonated a while back, wanted to personally see to it that Mystique was sufficiently fucked over for her shit. Well, she’ll have to get back in line because once again, Mystique escaped. She even managed to steal a SHIELD helicopter. I’ll say it again. SHIELD can’t build a prison for shit. I wouldn’t trust them to watch my dog for the weekend, let alone imprison someone like Mystique. But beyond that, it means that Mystique is free and will probably find new ways of fucking with the O5 X-men, especially Cyclops. I’m still convinced that O5 Cyclops was checking out Mystique’s ass in All New X-men #7. Then again, who doesn’t?

O5 Jean Grey was undeniably badass in this issue, more so than she has been in any issue of All New X-men to date. But the comic ends with a firm reminder that she’s not quite on the same level as her adult self was under Grant Morrison. She’s not ready to tell Emma Frost to piss off, take control of the school, or look damn sexy in skin-tight black pants. She’s still a vulnerable teenage girl and she’ll keep being that way until she can prove she’s worthy of those skin-tight black pants.

All New X-men has been heavy on drama and teen angst. It’s like a CW show without vampires and slutty cheerleaders. Bendis has made it awesome thus far, but this time he threw in some good old fashioned fun. I mean who doesn’t love seeing the Original Five beat the shit out of Hydra, Mystique, Sabretooth, and Silver Samurai? And for once, Jean Grey wasn’t helplessly overwhelmed. That should make the feminazis out there bitch just a little bit less, but not nearly as much as we would all like. All semi-normal folk need to know is this is another awesome issue of All New X-men so says my drunken decrees. Nuff said!