Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: All New X-men #24

People will go to great lengths for the ones they love and/or the chance to cop a feel. It’s no coincidence that some of the most epic stories ever written involved a friend and lovers fighting for the ones they love and/or trying to get laid. That’s a big part of what makes The Trial of Jean Grey such a compelling story. Who among us hasn’t been driven to save someone we care about whether it be from a surprise drug test, asshole gym teachers, or hostile alien invaders? For some people, their loyalty has a limit. I know people whose desire to help me is only as long as their desire to keep binge watching re-runs of That 70s Show on Netflix. But for the O5 X-men and their new friends, the Guardians of the Galaxy, their dedication to saving O5 Jean Grey literally spans the galaxy. That’s both love, loyalty, and balls. So I can’t be too critical of the O5 and the Guardians as they continue their quest to save O5 Jean Grey in All New X-men #24. Thankfully, that’s nothing a little extra alcohol can’t fix.

Unfortunately, there’s not enough alcohol in the universe to make Gladiator’s grandstanding more bearable. He’s like that douche-bag jock in high school who everyone knows cheats on his exams because he’s dumber than a sack of brain-dead ferrets, but he just has to go the extra mile and do it so blatantly. He might as well be waving his big alien dick in the faces of every X-man and everyone whoever even slightly liked the idea of justice and fairness. He just tells O5 Jean, “You’re guilty of galactic genocide. Plead guilty so we can skip the appeal process and start tormenting you. I’ve got such a boner right now and I’d rather not waste it.” Maybe the O5 and the Guardians of the Galaxy should have brought some Viagra. I don’t know of any conflict that can’t be resolved with free boners. But I guess it’s a little too late for that.

But not everyone enjoys having the massive dick of injustice shoved in their face like Ron Jeremy on a meth binge. King J’son of Spartax acts as a surprise witness of sorts, coming to O5 Jean’s aid and pointing out to Gladiator just how full of cosmic shit he really is. It’s not enough that Gladiator flat out told him that he intended to fuck with O5 Jean and the Earth again after they agreed with plenty of other alien buddies present that they would avoid that shit. Gladiator is basically turning it into a show trial that might as well be a 12-part series on how big his dick is. King J’son understands that if Earth can frustrate Thanos, then it can frustrate any alien no matter how big their boner for revenge may be.

While King J’son points out the foundation of utter bullshit that this trial is build on, it’s also worth pointing out that he’s not doing this because he’s Ally McBiel. He actually might have been content to let Gladiator have his show trial. But then he found out in the previous issue that his son, Starlord, has gotten involved. And since Starlord has a way of frustrating him even more than Thanos, he decides to get a step ahead of the curve. He even brings up how the Shi’ar already punished Jean Grey pretty badly, slaughtering her entire fucking family when they didn’t have anything to do with her going Dark Phoenix. I mean isn’t that enough? But again, the Shi’ar just have to go the extra light-year to be douche-bags. Even if it is for bullshit reasons, it’s nice to have a little balanced injected into the trial.

The verdict probably isn’t going to change. King J’son’s little Mel Gibson speech isn’t going to do away with the Shi’ar’s rage boner for Jean Grey and everything associated with her. That means her friends have to come to her rescue. And they’ve assembled quite a bit of manpower. Kitty and the O5 X-men now have both the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Starjammers on their side. If they’re going to fuck with the Shi’ar, that’s right up there with the 1992 Dream Team. That being said, it’s Angela who plays the part of Michael Jordon because despite this manpower, they still need strategy to get through all the defenses in the Shi’ar home world. So she does something that would have made Han Solo proud.

Since she happens to be the only one on the team that the Shi’ar have never heard of, she pretends to be a lifeless space corpse. The Shi’ar must not have good internet porn because they seem to make a hobby out of collecting lifeless space corpses they can’t identify. That means they actually bring Angela on board their ship. And yes, this is the same Angela that’s a fucking hunter of Heaven who probably learned how to kick ass from Jesus, Mohammed, Abraham, and Vishnu. It’s not a fair fight is what I’m saying. But fuck if it isn’t satisfying. It’s so satisfying that it earns her a marriage proposal from Gamora of all people. And Angela actually considers it. I think I speak for every man with a functioning penis right now when I say, "Please Marvel! Please give us a hot alien chick lesbian wedding!"

From hot alien lesbian women to more legal bickering, the bonerific moments nicely balance out. Gladiator and King J’son are still in a cosmic dick measuring contest. At this point, it looks like they’ve forgotten about the case and just keep bitching at each other. For all I know, they engaged in a cosmic version of a "You’re mama’s so fat joke" contest. But this may be by design because while they’re bitching, some of the Shi’ar take the imprisoned O5 Jean for a walk. I guess even the Shi’ar’s fucked up version of injustice has limits. But this tiny bit of mercy actually bites them in the ass because for reasons that aren’t clearly shown, O5 Jean manages to escape from her blue prison ball. She then manages to rough up her guards and slip away. Considering she just learned that these assholes murdered her entire family, they should feel pretty damn lucky. And while it may not be clear how she got out, it’s pretty damn clear who helped her. King J’son may be a douche-bag. But he’s not above fucking with Gladiator’s little show trial and setting his pissed off teenage prisoner free. It may be downright devious, but it still earns him some badly needed points.

But there’s a fine line between devious and cunning. While King J’son doesn’t even bother trying to walk that line, the O5 and their inter-stellar friends are practically Olympic gymnasts. After Angela took care of an entire Shi’ar ship and soaked Gamora’s panties, she let the others join her and hopefully discussed her wedding plans with Gamora. They then trick whatever underpaid alien mall cop is in charge of letting ships through the otherwise massive blockade that Emperor Palpatine himself would have envied. Not only that, this same underpaid alien mall cop tells them that O5 Jean escaped. So that basically saves them the trouble of busting her out. Now they just have to track her down. Wait, let me phrase that another way. They have to track down an overwhelmed teenage girl on a planet of hostile aliens. They might as well be tracking a rat on crack in New York City during New Years Eve. I guess Gamora and Angela’s wedding plans will have to wait.

They manage to land the stolen Shi’ar ship without getting shot at or costing another underpaid alien mall cop their job. They then devise a strategy for finding a scared teenage girl on a hostile alien planet. It basically amounts to X-23 tracking her scent and Drax helping her. I don’t know if X-23 has ever tracked anyone on a hostile alien planet. But since she’s Wolverine’s clone, I’m sure the universe isn’t big enough to contain the amount of fucks she does not give. While this may be a bit simplistic, it’s not the core of their battle plan.

Before they venture out into a planet where they’re basically target practice, Corsair tries to convince O5 Cyclops to stay behind. It’s not completely unreasonable. He knows his son gets pretty emotional when it comes to pretty redheaded telepaths. And when he gets emotion, he tends to screw up. Any parent knows that a pretty girl is the second easiest way for a teenage boy to make an ass of himself behind alcohol. But O5 Cyclops does what most teenagers do and refuses to listen. A pretty girl that may or may not want to let him touch her boobs is in trouble. Not even a hostile alien planet could hold him back.

But they don’t end up getting too far in their search. As soon as they step out from the stolen alien ship, Gladiator and the Imperial Guard are there to greet them. Apparently, the Shi’ar don’t take kindly to having one of their ship’s hijacked. They must not be big fans of Grand Theft Auto. It sounds like one of those situations that could be one of those tense stare-downs where someone at least tries to reason with Gladiator. The man is putting a time-displaced teenager on trial for crimes she hasn’t even committed. Surely at some point he has to realize how fucked up that is. But thanks to Rocket Raccoon, they skip that step.

There’s no more legal bullshit or lectures on Shi’ar law. It’s just the Shi’ar versus a kick-ass team of X-men, Starjammers, and Guardians of the Galaxy. I love Judge Judy as much as the next guy, but this shit is way more entertaining. It’s a bit condensed though. It kind of has to be with so many characters participating in the action. But it still gets the point across. Gladiator wants to put on this bullshit show trial with Jean Grey? Fine, but they’re going to make sure it hurts.

The battle has some pretty awesome moments that involve Drax and Angela giving Gladiator’s jaw a hard fist-massage. But again, those moments are somewhat lacking because so many characters are involved. The whole scope of the battle isn’t explored. But again, that’s to be expected. With so many characters participating at the same time, it can’t focus on every little battle. That would make this comic way too hard to read while drunk.

But some moments do stand out, namely O5 Cyclops getting a nice potshot in on Gladiator. It’s actually a telling moment because Gladiator tells O5 Cyclops that he’s a lot like his older counterpart in his tactics. This probably doesn’t resonate during the heat of battle, but it does send an interesting message. By being in the future and experiencing these conflicts, O5 Cyclops seems to be adopting some of the tactics his older self has learned to use so effectively, minus those that kept Emma Frost satisfied. That probably won’t sit well when he finally has a chance to sober up and think about how far he’s willing to go for this woman who ends up dying on him twice.

This battle could have probably occupied several future issues in terms of his scope and scale. However, it all ends abruptly when O5 Jean Grey shows up and basically says she doesn’t want to be rescued. In a sense, that’s kind of a dick move. Her teammates come all this way to save her ass and now she’s basically telling them they wasted their time? That’s pretty fucking cold, even for a pretty redhead. But it’s not entirely as cruel as it sounds. While on the run, O5 Jean had some time to think about all those horrible images that Gladiator showed her when she went Dark Phoenix. And that must have made an impression because she’s now willing to plead guilty to these crimes. It’s a powerful moment, but one I think is very fitting for Jean Grey. She doesn’t hide from her responsibilities or her duties. And she feels that she is ultimately responsible for what she did as Dark Phoenix.

Now this could mark a major turning point that I’ve been predicting while high on shrooms. Since All New X-men began, O5 Jean has been trying to avoid her future in every possible way. She has gone to some pretty fucked up lengths, including flirting with O5 Beast. But now here she is, her future being shoved in her face, and she’s not running from it anymore. That’s way more maturity than most teenage girls demonstrate. I know teenage girls that wouldn’t admit to getting drunk while hung over. It shows just how effected O5 Jean is by these revelations and that could have some pretty fucked up ramifications for her moving forward.

It took a few issues, but fuck it paid off. The O5, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Starjammers formulated a plan that led to a clash between them and the Shi’ar that was so laced with awesome that if it were oil, George W. Bush would’ve invaded it by now. While there wasn’t quite as much drama with this issue compared to the previous issues, it set the stage for some pretty gut-wrenching moments and I’m not talking about the kind that involves dry heaving. The Trial of Jean Grey has been steadily building something special. At times, it has been too steady. Or maybe that’s just the cocaine talking. Whatever the case, the payoff is finally starting to unfold and it couldn’t be more satisfying if it came with a free blowjob from Megan Fox. The passion truly came through in this issue and the pressure finally got to O5 Jean just as her friends entered the crossfire. If that’s not epic, then the dictionary needs to be fucking overhauled. I give All New X-men #24 a 9 out of 10. O5 Jean is coming to terms with her future. The rest of the O5 is trying to survive the present. And Gamora and Angela are finding new ways to become sexy as hell. It’s the kind of awesome that both makes my penis happy and pisses off the Christian Right. That’s a win-win if ever there was one. Nuff said!


  1. I feel like it's either being completely ignored, but Jean Grey didn't kill an entire planet. The Phoenix essentially took a piece of Jean Grey's conscience, took her form, tried to be her for a while before killing all of those aliens, and then killing itself. The real Jean Grey was at the bottom of Jamaica Bay in suspended animation. Also, I'm just going to go ahead and say that I think that Scott's dad is a Skrull.

    1. Well according to AvX, the dark phoenix was the result of jean going insane (thank to the helfire club) with the god-like power of the phoenix.
      Beside the phoenix force is something that back then writers had to make up so they could resurrect her, because after getting a 10 digits body count, she either would have to become the bloodthirsty anti-hero instead of wolverine, or look like a huge hypocrite.

  2. @Anonymous
    Well now we're going into the whole "What makes a person" argument. I'd like to take the argument that even though most of Jean was in a cocoon at the bottom of a Lake a fragment of her consciousness was the blue print for the Phoenix's human form and then rampage. Therefor even though she was a subject of circumstance, Jean did have something to do with it. Does she deserve to be put on trial? Probably not. But to say it wasn't "Really her" takes us into the argument of what she "really is"

  3. The Phoenix has been retconned so much I'm not sure anyone can keep it straight anymore....

    First, Jean does it, then it is some clone inhabited by the Phoenix, then Jean IS the Phoenix, and the Phoenix IS Jean, and always was, so Jean did do it, then the Phoenix...well, you get the idea.

    I doubt we will discover how Corsair came back before the Cyclops solo (a better place to explore it than some throwaway line in the current crossover, IMO). I'm leaning towards 'not a Skrull' though.

    Of note to me is that Corsair is on the 'Get Scott with someone other than Jean' ship.

    I also wonder if Scott threatening Gladiator like that leads to the terrible thing Jean saw one of them doing. Normally Scott wouldn't be capable of something like that, but a combo of him going over the edge and Kellark's arrogance could lead to it (Like a blast directly into the eye sockets - they probably aren't as untouchable as the rest of him).


  4. Interesting fact here is that Corsair does not approve of Scott/Jean. I can see him playing a part in retconning/ending that relationship for good lol.

  5. Jean isn't the Phoenix. She is only related through genetic template.
    Classic X-Men, Hidden Years, and First Class all established Jean having a connection to the Phoenix before Uncanny 100/101.
    The Phoenix told her that it was aware of her since her conception in Classic 8.
    Classic X-Men #42 had 12 year old Jean's subconscious mind manifest as the Phoenix on the astral plane. It was a part of her mind when she was 12 years old.
    X-Men Hidden Years 8/9 had the Phoenix Force take note of Jean's unlimited potential while the X-Men were on a space mission. As it scans Jean, she has a vision of becoming Phoenix but she forgets the vision as it fades.
    In an X-Men First Class issue, Jean is briefly merged with an alternate future Phoenix version of herself but she is confused and doesn't understand what is going on.In some ways the Phoenix was always with Jean.
    In Endsong #3, Jean says that she is always Jean and always Phoenix.
    In Morrison's run it was established that Jean is the Phoenix by mutation and that her birth introduced cosmic strands into the gene pool.
    But my question is, will this Jean (Past) be the Phoenix or Kid Omega?