Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: Amazing X-men #4

Some people claim they’ve been to Hell and I’m pretty sure that at least 80 percent of those people were recovering from a hangover, stuck in traffic, or forced to watch the third X-men movie. Personally, I believe hell is being out of beer and weed while stuck in endless traffic while being forced to listen to Justin Bieber music at max volume for all of eternity. But that’s just me. The Hell depicted in Amazing X-men looks more like a cut scene from Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean. Except in this instance, Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp’s sex appeal has been replaced by Nightcrawler. Women will deny it, but I’m convinced they see him as an exotic stuffed animal whose tail can be put to so many creative uses. How could women not want to sleep with him? He died nobly and now he’s cheating death again to save his friends from his asshole father, Azazel. So as I review Amazing X-men #4, I expect a lot of soaked panties by the end. And ladies, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s healthier than getting all hot and bothered by a young Bill Clinton.

And at this point, anything would be healthier than Wolverine’s current predicament. After he and Northstar got roughed up by some of Azazel’s Orlando Bloom wannabes, they ended up in a vast winter wasteland that resembles Hoth or even certain parts of the northeast from this past winter. As someone who lives in this area, I only wish that were a joke. But Wolverine and Northstar are Canadian. They’re built for the cold the same way my liver is built for liquor. Nightcrawler continues to provide narration, if only to remind people of Wolverine’s strength. It’s nothing most readers don’t already know, but since they’re in the actual Hell I guess it’s worth noting.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Iceman and Firestar are dealing with the much hotter parts of Hell. They got stranded in a fiery pit and surrounded by demons. It’s a piece of Hell right out of Dante’s Inferno. Iceman tried to deal with it by freezing it. That’s right, he managed to freeze Hell over without getting Glen Beck to admit he’s full of shit. But that didn’t work out for very long. Hell is hot last I checked and heat meets ice. So now he’s weakened and they’re still under attack. This mean’s Firestar, who seemed interested in jumping his bone in the first issue, has to try protect his ass. Now I’m starting to understand why some people think Iceman is gay. But if Firestar wants to get Iceman’s boner pointed at her, she definitely helps herself by pushing her fire powers up to 11 and burning Hell to a crisp. I guess that’s going to be a thing now, saying Hell will be burnt to a crisp before Rick Santorum stops hating on gay people.

Both these situations suck in a way that’s more than fitting of Hell, but I would still argue that Nightcrawler is in the worst possible situation. He has to wrestle a pissed off, wet, snarling Beast. It’s not enough that Beast has become a weapons grade douche-bag in the X-men comics over the past few years. Now he’s trying to choke Nightcrawler to another death and probably smells like a hairy dog that just took a bath in its own piss. I can honestly think of no worse Hell that doesn’t involve Justin Bieber music. Nightcrawler, being the awesome guy that he is, tries to reason with him. This only leads to him having to teleport Beast all around the busted up pirate ship and getting puked on in the process. It sounds worse than wrestling a pissed off transvestite hooker on meth. I guess that only shows just how much this guy deserved to be in Heaven.

In reaching out to Hank, this triggers another quick flashback. There have actually been a number of these since this series began. They all focus on memories from each character about moments where Nightcrawler revealed to them his awesome. Some have helped add some emotional depth to his return. Others, like Storm’s, just show that even a man with blue fur and a tail can get women horny by being awesome enough. And Nightcrawler certainly fits that description perfectly.

This flashback in particular focuses on a fun night that Nightcrawler had with Beast back in the All New, All Different days. Cyclops, Jean, Storm, and Wolverine were going out to a bar and Wolverine even promised he wouldn’t start a bar fight. Now I don’t believe that for a second, but Nightcralwer and Beast stayed behind because them going out looking like a couple of cookie monster cos-players would have attracted more unwanted attention than Tom Cruise at a gay bar. But they find a way to have fun without starting a bar fight, which I find hard to believe as well. They create their own more awesome version of chess, which Beast easily wins. But it shows that these two men who share the burden of having blue fur forged a good friendship. Too bad one of them had to become a Cyclops-hating douche-bag.

The flashback succeeds in snapping Beast out of his snarling, strangling mentality. Like Storm, he has a pretty emotional reaction to seeing Nightcrawler alive again. He’s so overjoyed that he almost strangles him again. I’m not sure if he gets as horny as she did, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. Once Beast is able to hide his boner, Nightcrawler tells them that they’re currently up against his asshole father. He has a whole fleet of pirate ships and he’s looking to plunder Heaven like I plunder a liquor cabinet. To stop him, they’ll have to out-pirate his ass. It should even help him work out a few daddy issues in the process. But do to that, he’ll need a bigger crew and he’s got plenty of friends who are almost as pissed off at his father as he is.

Firestar and Iceman would certainly make valuable assets. One literally froze Hell over and the other burned it. Hell must have had enough temperature extremes to want to spit on Al Gore’s face at this point. But they’re no longer being attacked by demon monsters thankfully. While Iceman was passed out and letting Firestar remind him that he still has a few balls that need to descend, a few bamfs showed up and transported them to a cave full of bamfs. It’s definitely a step up from demon monsters because these are bamfs that are playful, cuddly, and they love whiskey. They’re basically the perfect pet for a drunk like me is what I’m saying.

But before they can get too cuddly with the bamfs, Nightcrawler shows up and this time he doesn’t need a flashback to stop them from losing their shit. It’s not quite as emotional a moment as it was with Beast and Storm. To be fair, he didn’t really interact much with Firestar. That doesn’t stop him from being a gentleman and introducing himself. And just like that her panties are now wet for Nightcrawler. Sorry Iceman, but at least you’ve got a horny stalker in Warbird to go back.

Instead of a flashback, Nightcrawler provides something else that does more than add some emotional weight to the story. It actually fills in a plot hole that has been outstanding for a few years now. Namely, where the fuck did the bamfs come from in the first place? They just showed up randomly back in Wolverine and the X-men #1. All they did was teleport around and steal Wolverine’s whiskey. There was no explanation as to what they were and finally, Nightcrawler gives it. He explains that these bamfs are surrogate brothers of sorts. Apparently, they were born from a giant maggot and a changling in the pits of Hell, which I’m sure is the same way my last three ex-girlfriends were born. They were spit out as infants and while Azazel fed blood to some to make them his little helpers, Nightcrawler rescued a few and fed them something else to make them his helpers. I imagine it must have been bacon because they’re pretty damn loyal.

It may have taken way too fucking long, but this explanation is extra satisfying. It not only explains why the bamfs resemble Nightcrawler and Azazel. It also explains why they were at the Jean Grey Institute in the first place. Nightcrawler sent them there to find help. And they succeeded while looking adorably cute in the process. After hearing their origin, I now wish I could adopt one. A pet that I can drink whiskey with and teleport across town with sounds like the perfect companion for a drunk. And since there’s no law against teleportation while drunk, it would do wonders for my police record.

Nightcrawler’s crew continues to grow, but he’s still shorthanded. And Wolverine and Northstar are still freezing their nuts of in Hell’s coldest region. They’ve been making their way across this icy wasteland to a point where they’re ready to collapse. Even burly Canadians have their limits. But this only triggers another flashback for Wolverine and this one brings a few more tears of joy to my eyes because it takes place in a bar. Wolverine and Nightcrawler are sharing a drink and talking about death. Wolverine seems content in that he’s going to die alone and full of whiskey. Nightcrawler doesn’t think that’s something to look forward to. Clearly, he doesn’t understand the power of whiskey, but he gets his point across.

So when Nightcrawler shows up and saves his friend and former drinking buddy from becoming a Canadian popsicle, it makes for another beautifully emotional moment. The bromance between Nightcrawler and Wolverine is well-documented. It could even be its own gay porno series. But since this arc arrived, Wolverine has been intent on finding Nightcrawler. Yet in the end Nightcralwer finds him. There’s something beautifully poetic about that. I guess it relates to shit like brotherhood and friendship, but this is the reunion of Wolverine and Nightcrawler. That’s the kind of shit that even Walt Whitman can’t properly articulate.

Having had their bromance moment, Wolverine and Nothrstar officially join Nightcrawler. Now his crew is completed. They are officially pirates of the afterlife taking on Nightcrawler’s asshole father. I used to think there wasn’t enough weed and booze in the world to make pirates awesome again. Well now I’ve saved myself a ton on whiskey and joints because the end of this issue seals the deal for me. Pirates are awesome and Nightcrawler is basically the anti-Johnny Depp. They’re still grossly outnumbered and outgunned by Azazel’s forces, but that will only make kicking his ass all the more satisfying.

After reading this issue, I was left with two distinct feelings. First and foremost, I want a pet bamf. I want one that can drink whiskey with me and teleport me into strip clubs. Second, pirates are officially awesome again. Sorry Johnny Depp fans, but even he can’t pussify this new band of pirates. This issue essentially fixed the major flaw that occurred in the previous issue. It didn’t just focus on one set of characters. It focused on the whole team. It also used the same flashback trick to show how Nightcrawler had endeared himself to the team. And it only made me love him more, which I think was the point. Now he has united his team and even given an explanation about the bamfs. This issue brought coherence back to the story without a hangover. And for a drunk like me, that just makes it even more special. Amazing X-men #4 gets a 9 out of 10. Disney may have made pirates intolerably fucked up with Pirates of the Caribbean, but this is one pirate venture they can be proud of. For something this awesome, we should all celebrate by downing some rum and chasing some booty. Nuff said!

1 comment:

  1. interesting review.
    i have to wait till this series gets published in germany. but good artwork and dialogues.
    Looking forward to it.