Thursday, February 27, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny Avengers #17
I don’t attempt to explain how my drunken thoughts become semi-thorough reviews. I also don’t attempt to explain how my drunken words seem to piss off every judge in every traffic court in this time zone. Because of that, I tend to have a negative view of those who are overly judgmental. But when someone giving the judgment has real, actual power I still have to respect it because if I don’t, I get thrown into a jail cell with a cell-mate that likes pissing on my face to wake me up. I imagine if some of the judges I know had the power of a Celestial, then I would really be fucked. And in Uncanny Avengers, the Apocalypse Twins did something much worse than just crashing a car into a Dunkin Donuts at two in the morning. They fucking murdered another Celestial. Now Earth is about to be judged in the same way an exterminator judges cockroaches. All the mutants have already been saved. And despite multiple character deaths, the Uncanny Avengers have to find a way to save Earth and their timeline. That’s why I’m hoping Uncanny Avengers #17 contains some advice on legal loopholes because my driving record really can’t take much more.
While the main battle is going on in space, the rest of the Avengers back on Earth, and even a few of their enemies, are trying to buy time. I guess in some respects, it’s like me claiming that I came down with a bad case of explosive diarrhea before my court date. But I wouldn’t recommend anyone try that without having a gallon of hot sauce handy. The Avengers are attempting something a bit more basic and less disgusting. They’re trying to put up a shield around the entire planet so Exitar, the Executioner, can’t step on it like a wounded cockroach. They’ve even enlisted Dr. Doom to help. Hell, for all I know they could have gotten Goldman Sachs to finance it. Then again, I would imagine they’ll still charge a fuckton of fees and interest because unlike Dr. Doom, they know how to go the extra mile.
With the Earth remaining intact for a bit longer, Thor and Eimin remain locked in the battle of the magic axe and the magic hammer. It every bit as awesome as it sounds. Hell, it could be the cover of a heavy metal album from the 80s. Thor showed in the previous issue just how pissed he was and how little holy fucks he gave. And why shouldn’t he? Some of this shit is his responsibility. He was the one that used Jarnbjorn and he let it get stolen by Kang and the Apocalypse Twins. So he has to do the same thing that rich assholes with tiny dicks do with their cars and overcompensate. But in this instance, it’s pretty fucking awesome. Nobody should be questioning the size of Thor’s penis in seeing the way he beats up Eimin. But she’s still an apocalyptic bitch every step of the way. Like an woman bragging about how she banged all her ex-boyfriend’s brothers, she knows she has already won on some levels. And even a big penis can’t protect him.
Conversely, the battle against Wasp and Reaper isn’t quite as epic. In the previous issue, Reaper stopped Wasp just as she was about to break the temporal dam that was keeping Kang and his fellow future death squad from joining the battle. This asshole already killed Rogue. Now he goads Wasp into killing him, knowing she’s going to have a problem with that. This reminds me somewhat of the story about these two drunks who got into a fight and one of them was dump enough to throw a loaded gun at the other like it was a rock. It’s weapons grade stupidity at its finest, but Reaper was already dead for a while. I don’t think it bothers him in the slightest that fucking with Wasp.
Reaper may be an asshole, but his battle with Wasp does add a little variety to the epic clash going on with Thor and Eimin. Just having superheroes fight is no longer enough these days. This is an era where cat videos generate as much attention as a battle between Superman and Hulk. There needs to be a little something extra and Reaper’s fight with Wasp adds that. It’s a little bland and unrefined, but it does at some sense of balance. If it were part of a sobriety test, I might even be able to pass it. But that would depend on how many shots of tequila I’ve had.
With these battles not going particularly well, the Avengers attempt to step up their efforts. That involves using the fucking Hulk to hold the force field generator together. I don’t care what those stupid Duracell commercials say. Hulk beats any fucking battery. How many other batteries can smash shit and save the world? And unlike my Wii controllers after only a few weeks, this shit actually works. The force field goes up and it keeps Exitar from crushing Earth, but only in the sense that an umbrella protects a baby from a tornado. It may provide some temporary relief from the rain, but it isn’t going to last long unless that umbrella is made out of adamantium. Even Iron Man knows that and basically concedes that the fate of their asses now lay in Thor’s ability to beat up Eimin and kill a Celestial. At this point, I wouldn’t blame him if he started drinking again.
This window to save the world isn’t very wide and might as well be on an old warehouse in downtown Detroit. Thor does manage to gain the upper hand on Eimin and take Jarnbjorn. He even boasts that he will take down the Celestial if he has to. Never mind the fact that killing a Celestial is what got Earth on their shit list to begin with. But as he showed during his bar fight with Apocalypse earlier in the series, Thor isn’t too big about thinking that far into the future. And this time, he doesn’t have alcohol as an excuse. And as a drunk who has needed plenty of excuses, I can say this is not a good sign.
Thor may need more than just a drink because that global force field that the Avengers put up fails faster than the last two Ghost Rider movies. And this is all the Avengers had to offer. They didn’t exactly have time to come up with a backup plan on how to stop a fucking Celestial. It’s getting pretty bad and not just in the way most people experience on a Monday morning with a hangover. This means the Avengers on Earth are effectively useless at this point. And when Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are useless, it’s a pretty fucking bad day.
However, Wasp’s day still gets better somehow. She finally gets a little help against Reaper’s bullshit. Captain America, who really fucked up his all-American good looks in killing Emiel, shows up to aid her. I imagine he’s extra pissed off about his face so he unloads on Reaper, freeing Wasp to destroy the temporal dam. It’s a more basic, less dramatic fight than before. But with the whole planet about to get crushed, I’m okay with setting some of the drama aside and letting them just fight it out. It’s like that point in a bar fight where everyone is so drunk that there’s no more strategy involved. The only goal is to hit anything that moves, be it someone’s ass or poster on the wall that gets knocked off. It’s chaotic, but it’s a natural progression.
The battle between Captain America and Reaper is still pretty flashy. And Reaper is still annoying as hell. This actually becomes a bit of a distraction. Reaper’s dialog doesn’t really come off as menacing or powerful or anything that awesome. He’s like that guy in a crack house who has had so much crack at this point that the only thing he can do is just keep talking. He’s not saying anything coherent or useful. He’s just talking to hear himself talk. I guess he’s also like Rick Santorum in that respect. At least most people expect Rick Santorum to say meaningless shit. Reaper just talks and I’m too drunk to give a shit about what he says.
But this doesn’t make what he does any less impactful. He ends up killing Captain America. Let me say that again. This guy fucking kills Captain America in a way that Rush Limbaugh would probably claim Obama is responsible for in some twisted way. It’s a bloody, messy, and somewhat inglorious end. But it still has a powerful impact. It may not have the same impact as it did in Civil War and I doubt this shit will make the front page of USA Today. One death is all Marvel gets with USA Today. But it’s another crushing defeat and Wasp still can’t destroy the dam. In fact, it’s not even clear if she ever succeeds because this is where the flow of the story gets a little choppy. But when the world is about to end and Captain America is dead, that’s to be expected.
And with Captain America dead, why the fuck does the Earth even need to exist anymore. With Cap dead and Wasp somehow unable to destroy the dam, it’s left to Thor to reason with Exitar. He fails in the same way I failed to get out of my last three parking tickets. But failure in this instance doesn’t mean I have less money to spend on booze and weed. Failure this time means the entire fucking planet is destroyed. That’s not a metaphor or an exaggeration. That’s what happens. The entire fucking planet Earth is destroyed. Even the Watcher himself sees it and looks like a five-year old girl that just saw her father shoot her pet dog in the head with a shotgun.
Now the world has been destroyed before. In fact, there aren’t many times in the history of Avengers where the world hasn’t been on the brink of destruction. Pretty much everyone who follows comics for more than a few months has come to expect this. That’s why its destruction doesn’t come as too great a shock. In fact, some might just shrug and say, “Oh, they succeeded. Law of averages I guess. Now where did I leave my keys?” But because this story spent so much time building up this battle and developing this plot, it has just the right impact. It’s not definitive because this isn’t the final issue of the series. But it has some sort of resonance. It’s not like watered down beer. It still has an effect and that’s what makes it awesome.
For Thor, this doesn’t just mean he failed. It means that bar fight he started with Apocalypse basically fucked the entire planet and its future. And even from a drunk’s perspective, no amount of beer or bar fights is worth that. He immediately flees to Asgard in defeat while Eimin pilots the massive mutant ark away from the exploding planet. So every human is now dead, but all the mutants have been spared. It’s the worst possible failure for the Uncanny Avengers that doesn’t involve Captain America kissing a Nazi. On the flip side, it does solve a pretty significant problem for mutants. A lot of the bullshit they dealt with came from the human race. Now they’re gone. I guess that means their lives are that much simpler.
We don’t get to see them celebrating about how they never have to deal with the likes of Congress, bankers, and Glenn Beck again. But we do get to see Thor lamenting at how he failed and at how a simple bar fight turned so ugly. Usually, the worst a bar fight gets involves the police asking questions about why there’s so much blood on the hood of so many cars and why there’s now a goat missing from the petting zoo across the street. But this one destroyed the entire fucking planet. And while Thor laments, Odin attempts to comfort his son. And by comfort, I mean he takes a big steaming piss on Thor’s pain. He basically said that humanity did this shit to themselves. They kept fighting and bickering with one another, never coming together in the way they needed. And he’s right on some levels. Like a judge armed with high definition security video of me taking a piss in the middle of a busy intersection, he’s right in his assessment of the situation. And that only gives the destruction and conflict of this issue more impact.
So the world has been destroyed. The Avengers failed. The Unity Team failed. Thor failed. And Captain America got fucking impaled. Hell, that sounds like a song that Charles Manson would write. Now with the exception of anybody who lived on Mars under a rock with their ears cut off and their eyes gouged out, pretty much everyone understands that this isn’t the end. The world isn’t going to stay destroyed. Captain America isn’t going to stay dead. That would just fuck way too much shit up in the other comics. Plus, this is a story that already involves a fuckton of time travel so betting that it’s going to be rectconned is the safest bet since the failure of Stephen Baldwin’s acting career. Yet despite this expectation, the destruction and death still has an impact. There is actually time and effort put into the emotions surrounding all this destruction. Even if it does get retconned, it resonated with the story because it’s something that has taken over half a dozen issues to build. And like two hours of masturbation, the payoff is awesome and not nearly as messy. Uncanny Avengers #17 may not help me with my driving record, but it did provide a climactic battle worthy of an extra shot of whiskey. I give Uncanny Avengers #17 a 9 out of 10. The world may be destroyed, all life may be gone, and hope may be lost. But I always try to look on the bright side. At least in this world, I never had to pay that massive pile of credit card debt and those unpaid parking tickets. And I consider that a win. Nuff said!