Thursday, March 20, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Wolverine and the X-men #2
Being a drunk has its perks. It offers a convenient excuse for doing dumb shit. I can wake up naked in the bathroom of a middle school with a flute up my ass and have at least some reason for being in such a state. Now I’m not saying a district judge will accept that as a valid excuse, nor will the principal of said middle school drop the charges. But I say booze is a much better excuse than irrational teenage hormones. And I say this as a former teenagers whose hormones led him to do some pretty stupid shit, some of which involved crazy glue, dog shit, and lighter fluid. I can only imagine how fucked up it can get when mutant powers are thrown into the mix, but even that excuse only goes so far. And some like Kid Omega don’t even try to make excuses. So I’m not expecting to find them in Wolverine and the X-men #2. I’m okay with irrational bullshit. I just prefer that there be more of an excuse beyond being an omega-level douchebag.
There are plenty of excuses necessary to explain some of the shit in the previous issue. The most pressing comes from the ominous message that was blared on every computer at the Jean Grey Institute like a bullshit mortgage pop-up. Since the events of Avengers vs. X-men are still fresh in everyone’s mind and the school is named after someone who died at the hands of the Phoenix Force, this is like showing gay porn to Pat Robertson. It’s in poor taste. But the source of this message isn’t as ominous as it is intriguing.
The first pages officially introduce us to the Phoenix Corporation. It sounds like a shady real-estate business in Arizona, but it’s actually an organization built around the imagery of the Phoenix. Hell, if McDonald’s can build an empire on a couple of arches, why can’t an organization build theirs around a majestic cosmic bird? Beats the hell out of using some shitty check mark for a logo. Oh wait, bad example. But as fitting a logo it might be, not much is revealed about the Phoenix Corporation. They seem to know the history and mythology of the Phoenix. They’re also well-aware of how close the world came to being shat on by a pissed off Phoenix Force during Avengers vs. X-men. But they seem to see it differently than just that crazy bird that keeps killing Jean Grey. That alone makes them more open-minded than half the X-men fans on message boards.
However, their ominous message didn’t exactly reach those who shared the same open mind. Wolverine, who only knows the Phoenix as that shit that killed Jean Grey before he could bone her and gave Cyclops used to pwn him on a cosmic level, is exceedingly pissed. He treats this the same way he would treat someone who dug up Jean Grey’s corpse and pissed on her face. He storms out of the Jean Grey Institute ready to kill the first person look at him cross-eyed. It takes a massive lightning bolt from Storm to get him to think with more brain cells than a hungry lion on a cocaine binge. She reminds him that he’s not the only one who cared about Jean Grey, even if he is the only one that wanted to bang her that badly.
This nicely demonstrates a certain facet of Wolverine and Storm’s relationship, which has been under-developed and downright glossed over at times. Storm is able to stand up to Wolverine and get him to slow the fuck down when he gets a rage boner. She also is able to point out when he’s making shit too damn personal. That might have been okay when he was just the loner who ran off whenever he felt like it and came back stinking of booze and hooker spit. But he’s the headmaster of a fucking school now. He can’t be that big of an asshole anymore. He can still be an asshole, just on a more administrative level. Wolverine still tries to make excuses, saying he has to fight for Jean now that she’s dead and her time-displaced counterpart ran off with Cyclops. But even a drunk like me knows that’s a shitty excuse. And if he wants to keep seeing Storm naked, he’ll ditch those shitty excuses.
This probably would be a good time to squeeze in a little make-up sex. That would probably get Wolverine to calm down and help him deal with his rage boner in a healthier way. However, he and Storm don’t get a chance because they find out that Kid Omega ran off. Seeing that message from the Phoenix Corporation pissed him off in a completely different way. In the previous issue, he already showed how much he wanted to ignore the future he saw where he became the new host for the Phoenix Force. He didn’t even want to graduate. He was too content being an immature douche-bag. Yet for some reason Wolverine put him in charge of a class. I guess the message from the Phoenix Corporation just sent him over the edge so he got as far away as he could, which happened to be a dumpster near a diner. It could be worse. It could be a dumpster behind Jeffrey Dahlmer’s house.
Kid Omega clearly doesn’t appreciate his future. Growing up to be the host for the Phoenix and not dead is a pretty damn good future by most accounts. Genesis seems to understand that. He even shares that sentiment with Fantomex, who is still choosing to stay in the World and away from everything that reeks of Wolverine’s bullshit. But he has to understand the same thing that Genesis understands. While Kid Omega is destined to host the Phoenix, Genesis is destined to become the fucking Apocalypse. That’s like knowing he’ll grow up to be the next Hitler. It’s not a pleasant feeling and it’s something he has been trying to avoid. And Fantomex, the guy who did his best to keep him from that future after shooting him in the head, doesn’t do jack shit about it. Yet Wolverine still wants this guy to work at the Jean Grey Institute? I still can’t wrap my head around that shit, no matter how many bong hits I take.
The future may suck for plenty of people, but the present takes priority at the moment. After Wolverine and Storm stop fantasizing about the ways they’re going to punish Kid Omega, they investigate the source of that signal. The find out that it came from some tiny little nation called San Lorenzo, which sounds like a prison for Mexican pimps. This nation happened to be caught in the crossfire of the big clash between the Phoenix Five and the Avengers during Avengers vs. X-men. It should’ve stayed a wasteland for homeless people, hoarders, and Michael Moore movies. But somehow the Phoenix Corporation managed to rebuild it practically overnight. So naturally, it’s got a pretty high profile and it raises a lot of fucking red flags. Even in comics, no organization is that efficient.
It sounds like a place worth checking out and possibly blowing up. Unfortunately, Kid Omega beats them to the punch. They find out that Kid Omega also managed to locate the source of the Phoenix Corporation. Seeing as how he’s the future Phoenix, that makes sense on some levels. And when he arrives, he finds out that they have a pretty slick complex, complete with beautiful women dressed in Phoenix outfits. Since Kid Omega is a teenager last I checked, I imagine that only adds to the appeal. That doesn’t stop him from being a douche when he arrives, but it does make an impression.
Kid Omega is eventually confronted by a very unsexy presence in the form of some imposing old man who looks like he could either be a pedophile or the next Unabomber. But this man is remarkably articulate for someone so creepy. Kid Omega tries to rough him up, overestimating his firepower as every teenager does on prom night. But the man grabs him like a rat that just had its hind legs broken and shows that he’s also capable of mind-fucking an omega level psychic. This mindfuck includes having him confront his future self. His future self also happens to be douche, but one that understands that he was a much bigger douche as a teenager. I won’t say it’s too satisfying to see Kid Omega get pwned like this. I’ll only say that when teenagers get humbled, they tend to not respond very well. Doing so would require a little something called maturity and that’s a skill most teenagers simply don’t have. Kid Omega is one of them.
Once Kid Omega is sufficiently humbled, he passes out like I do after a case of bourbon and three bong hits. The whole point of this humility isn’t clear, but for Kid Omega I’m okay with there not being a point to it just yet. He was way overdue for some humility anyways. He should consider his omega-level ass lucky because Storm and Wolverine show up, courtesy of the bamfs, to save him. They see this guy and they probably reach the same conclusion that Kid Omega reached. He’s creepier than a pervert in a panty factory. So they attack, but this man’s creepiness is more than matched by his ability to mind-fuck.
In the same way he tormented Kid Omega, he does the same to Storm. Except he doesn’t show her a terrible future where she grows up to become a Phoenix powered douche. He just reminds her that she’s still horribly claustrophobic. It has been a while since someone used Storm’s claustrophobia against her. I always thought it was a dick move and horribly underhanded. But when faced with the prospect of getting a lightning bolt up the ass, I can’t say I blame the guy. He’s still creepy as hell though.
Storm and Wolverine probably thought that this mission could be finished in time for their afternoon sex. So they thought it would be okay to leave Armor in charge of the students. I imagine the students at the Jean Grey Institute are all used to their teachers ditching them for one reason or another. But while Armor tries to pretend she has the same authority as Wolverine, Idie comes in and basically tells her she’s fucking crazy and this whole situation is fucked. I want to say this is a typical teenager overreacting to a situation, but this is one instance where I say it’s appropriate. It also makes me love Idie even more and I didn’t think that was possible after the past few issues.
She essentially points out what all the other students have probably been thinking to some extent. Since Wolverine basically gave all the other teachers permission to ditch them, the students at the Jean Grey Institute have about as much guidance as a blind monkey in a shit storm. If Storm and Wolverine somehow get caught up or get too busy with jungle sex and whiskey, they’re all pretty much fucked. They really don’t have a leader that isn’t old enough to buy booze. Idie thought Kid Omega could be that leader and now he’s gone. She’s right to be upset and damn it if it doesn’t make her more adorable somehow. I must really be drunk to think a pissed off teenage girl could be so adorable. That or my blood/alcohol content just became toxic.
I’ll worry about my blood later. Right now, the main concern is the creepy old guy that has already mind-fucked two X-men. He took down an omega level telepath. Then he took down Storm. That’s like banging Rihanna and beating up Chris Brown within the same night. Wolverine is understandably pissed. First he messed with his student. Then he mind-fucked his girlfriend. That should be more than enough to send him into a berserker rage the likes of which he only gets when someone steals his whiskey. But the creepy old man is able to continue beating him. Yet this guy is no Sabretooth. He doesn’t taunt Wolverine or point out that he’s still the same guy who tried to hire Fantomex as a teacher. He’s actually very humble in his ass-kicking, which is rare for anyone who can match wits with Wolverine. But when he gets around to mind-fucking him, he shows why he’s able to keep such a healthy perspective for a guy that looks like a registered sex offender.
The creepy guy shows Wolverine the same thing he showed Kid Omega. Genesis, the friendly yet creepy teenager they’ve been harboring at their school, grows up to be Apocalypse in the least surprising revelation since Ricky Martin came out of the closet. And the one person capable of stopping him is a Phoenix powered Kid Omega. That’s why Kid Omega is so important to the future, even if he is a total douche. The Phoenix Corporation seems to understand this. They treat Kid Omega as a rock star, albeit one that passed out from too much heroine. But they’re prepared to help him take down Apocalypse because any future where Apocalypse rules isn’t a future anyone wants. It doesn’t just mean Genesis is doomed to his destiny. It means Wolverine and the Jean Grey Institute did a piss poor job trying to prevent it from happening.
The first issue of this new era of Wolverine and the X-men may have been underwhelming and chaotic, but I never let one thin layer of shit ruin multiple layers of awesome. That would be like throwing away a gallon of hot fudge just because one walnut fell into it. This issue effectively introduced a new threat to the Jean Grey Institute and it happens to be a threat that’s more unique and compelling than the Hellfire Brats or fucking Dog Logan. The Phoenix Corporation doesn’t come off as a poor extra in an old Superfriends cartoon. It actually seems more complicated than that. Plus, it has some awesome uniforms and sexy women wearing it. They humbled Storm, Wolverine, and Kid Omega all in one issue. That alone makes them pretty damn awesome and it makes Wolverine and the X-men #2 worthy of an 8 out of 10. They probably knew they were going to cause trouble when they reminded Wolverine of just how much he wanted to bone Jean Grey. Yet they did it anyways. That’s pretty badass in my book. If I didn’t blow all my money on booze and weed, I would totally buy stock in the Phoenix Corporation. Nuff said!