Thursday, February 6, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: X-men #10
There are some things that men are inherently petrified of and for most of human history, religion and government have conspired to exploit those fears, sometimes with the help of big business. Chief among those fears involves women. And no, I’m not talking about the mysterious workings of the female orgasm or the innate discomfort men endure whenever a woman discusses her period. I’m talking about the overwhelming fear that in some dark meeting place in some remote location, the women of the world conspire to use every man’s boner against him. It’s paralyzing, knowing that women can control men by simply controlling their penises. I personally have much more pressing fears, namely my landlord and the DEA. But I admit this fear has crossed my mind a few times. Yet it’s because of that fear that the concept of an all-female team of supervillains is so awesome. That team has been assembling for the past few issues in Brian Wood’s X-men. And X-men #10 promises to put that team one step closer to turning every man’s penis into a puppet string. In other words, be afraid men with working balls. Be very afraid.
Considering how chaotic and disorganized the previous issue was, it’s nice to get a quick recap from the perspective of Lady Deathstrike, who kicked up this shit storm from the beginning. The basic details are simple, but important to recall. Lady Deathstrike took over the body of a rich Columbian woman with a nice ass named Ana Cortes. She tried to break into the Jean Grey Institute to learn more about Arkea, the crazy primordial sister of John Sublime. She managed to obtain a sample of Arkea from Emora the Enchantress and even gave Akrea a new body with her assistant Reiko. And in return for serving Arkea, they would get some kick-ass cybernetic upgrades. It’s not completely unreasonable. I’m sure there are plenty of men and women alike who would sell their souls to Mephisto himself to get the latest iPhone a year in advance.
This recap helps add some context to Monet, who got her ass kicked by the Enchantress in the previous issue. She found out that hard way that perfection only goes so far against magic, especially when it’s being wielded by a hot blond demigod with a great rack and a pussy boner for Thor. She got roughed up so badly that she was declared dead by the authorities in Dubai, who I guess were on a coffee break from arresting rape victims who reported their crimes. I wish that shit actually happens. But Monet doesn’t have to deal with Middle Eastern justice. She is awakened by Gabriel Sheppard, who has been assisting the X-women since the Sisterhood returned. He helps her recover her balance, but not her pride. He also takes it upon himself to ensure that Akrea doesn’t spread like the clap at Flavor Flav’s birthday party. He’s basically a glorified janitor for the X-women. I think radical feminists everywhere will give their tentative seal of approval for this moment.
Monet then meets up with Storm and the rest of the X-women, who are still trying to track down spikes in Arkea’s activity. They’re the ones that put her down before so they’ve taken it upon themselves to deal with her again, even though she has made friends with a fucking Asgardian. And now they have Monet helping them. She adds a bit of muscle, but beyond that it helps solidify her new role with the team.
It’s easy to forget after a few too many bong hits that she only recently came back to the X-men and admits she hasn’t exactly been using her time wisely. I take that to mean she spent too much time in overpriced spas and watching Downtown Abby rather than helping her fellow X-men save the world. It has been a while since Monet has had this kind of role and while I think she’s basically the Kristen Stewart of the X-men at the moment, it’s nice to see that she’s willing to put the extra effort into being part of the team again.
With Monet adding her knack for perfection to the X-men’s arsenal, Arkea understands something that the rest of the Sisterhood can’t seem to wrap their heads around. Pissing off the X-men is a bad idea. It’s like beating up on a polar bear’s cub and stealing their food. Even for someone as powerful as Akrea, she understands that the Sisterhood needs to be more resourceful if they’re to stand a chance. She also makes it clear that she’s the alpha female of this team at the moment. Lady Deathstrike, Typhoid Mary, and Enchantress bitch about it at first, but Arkea makes it clear that she has the plan and the resources necessary to turn that angry polar bear against the X-men. And if they want to be around to see it, they need to quit their bitching and obey her. There’s something very S&M about her attitude, but neither I nor my penis will argue with results.
The X-men still have allies of their own, namely John Sublime. He’s the one that initially warned the X-men about Arkea and he’s the one that helped them defeat her. It would have been perfectly fine if that was the extent of his role, but for some reason there has to be this fucked up romantic sub-plot between him and Rachel Grey. This is what really left me scratching my head with the previous issue and for once it wasn’t because I was in withdrawal. At no point in this series or any previous X-men series did Rachel and Sublime flirt, kiss, or even make dirty jokes to one another. Yet they talk to each other like two people who have been going out on dates, dry humping in the back seat of a car, and texting naked pictures of themselves to one another on a weekly basis. Maybe this shit all happened off-panel, but even if it did it has absolutely no emotional resonance.
I know I’m basically repeating the same criticism I had in X-men #9, but the same goddamn problem persists in this issue. Why the fuck would Rachel Grey have any sort of inclination to John Sublime or vice versa? Granted, Rachel has Jean Grey’s rack and Cyclops’s sex appeal, but to portray them as a serious love interest is like Adam Sandler trying to play a part in an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It doesn’t work and it isn’t compelling in the slightest. I’m okay with love interests forming in any comic, but only if there’s some actual fucking development.
The conversation with Rachel and Sublime was a complete waste of time. Storm and Monet’s next lead on the Sisterhood wasn’t much better. But at least they got to dive out of a moving jet and hang out on a fancy yacht owned by Lady Deathstrike’s meat puppet, Ana Cortes. They claim they tracked Akrea’s single to the ship, but they find jack shit when they arrive. So really it accomplishes almost as much as Sublime and Rachel’s overly contrived relationship. It just shows that the X-women are still failing miserably to track the Sisterhood. At least their actions make some fucking sense.
Speaking of strategies that make sense, Arkea makes it clear that she has a bold and downright crazy plan to deal with the X-women and it doesn’t involve using Cyclops’s penis. Now safe within another Sisterhood hideout, she makes good use of the information that Lady Deathstrike stole from the Jean Grey Institute by finding a few familiar females that also have an incentive to horribly maim the X-men. And she wants to bring both of them into the Sisterhood. But who could be powerful enough or dangerous enough to take on the X-men? How about Madelyne Pryor and fucking Selene Gallio, the Goblin Queen and the Black Queen.
So now we know who this whole resurrection plot is referring to. I suspected that Madelyne Pryor would be a strong candidate, but Selene? Fuck, that’s like adding napalm and gasoline to a fire. It’s so awesome and dangerous that even the Sisterhood has reservations about bringing them aboard. These are two women that have a history of trying to unleash zombie hoards and make deals with demons. Then again, I suspect the same for some of my ex-girlfriends so maybe they’re tapping into just the right kind of womanpower. It’s enough to evoke both fear and excitement from the brain to the genitals.
Sadly, we don’t get to see Akrea and the Sisterhood recruit the Goblin Queen and the Black Queen back from the dead. Instead, we only see some of the younger X-men, as led by Jubilee, hanging out on a nice tropical beach. But they’re not there to work on their tan or take pictures of topless sunbathers. At the end of the previous issue, Akrea did a little something extra to keep the X-men busy. She reactivated a bunch of rusted old Sentinels that were withering away on the ocean floor. They’re even coordinating with Omega Sentinel, who also is trying to establish herself in the X-men like Monet. She’s just playing it on easy mode by going after the Sentinels.
And they do eventually arrive. The Sentinels show up on the beach like a shark attack, but they’re still old and rusted. So the prospect of the young X-men fighting them doesn’t give the impression that they’re in a lot of danger. They’ve got plenty of firepower and training to take down these things. It’s not just playing the game on easy mode. They might as well be using cheat codes. I would much rather see the Goblin Queen and the Black Queen showing up on the final page. Instead, I only see another Sentinel attack. It’s like watching a rerun of my favorite porno after I’ve jerked off. It really doesn’t do much other than remind me I need to wait a while before the real fun can begin.
This issue didn’t bring a whole lot of new developments to the table, but it did move the story forward in a more concise manner. It also revealed who would be resurrected to join the Sisterhood and the prospect of Madelyne Pryor and Selene Gallio joining the fray is just too awesome for my penis to articulate. Even though we don’t get to see them, the mere possibility that those two could join an already bonerific team of villainous women makes this issue worth-while. However, the WTF involved in the Rachel Grey/John Sublime sub-plot and the rusted old Sentinels attacking a beach just fell flat. It’s not going to keep me from getting excited about the future of this series. But it only allows me to give X-men #10 a 5 out of 10. Two more dangerous women who look awesome in a thong are about join the Sisterhood. On behalf of my penis and all men who admire devious women, I say thank you Marvel. Nuff said!