Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny X-men #21


Being really stubborn is one of those traits most people think is one prolonged dick move. A roommate refuses to sweep up the condom wrappers outside his room, a girl refuses to stop shaving her leg in the kitchen sink, or a teacher won’t let anyone chew gum during an exam are just some traits that reinforce this notion. But there are times when being stubborn can be a good thing. The founding fathers were stubborn in getting the fuck away from Great Britain. Martin Luther King Jr. was stubborn in pissing off racists. Pamela Anderson was stubborn when her doctors said she couldn’t possibly make her boobs any bigger. Plenty of good has come from this attitude because sometimes, people are actually justified. Now I’m not saying Cyclops has been right in everything he has done since Avengers vs. X-men, but he comes off as the kind of guy who is stubborn for the right reasons while Maria Hill comes off as the obsessive bitch who won’t even entertain the possibility that there are more pressing issues than throwing Cyclops back in jail. Maybe it’s not fair to call her stubborn. In the previous issue, she revealed that she secretly wants to bone Cyclops. I’m not going to say that’s wrong. I’m just going to say it doesn’t make her sympathetic. It just makes her horny. I don’t expect anyone to address their horniness in Uncanny X-men #21, but I do expect everyone involve to keep being stubborn.

Regardless of whether Cyclops is on the warpath for the right reasons, he arrives at the Jean Grey Institute already horribly fucked. He doesn’t get a chance to be reasonable, like that would do anything against the former friends who still lump him with Dr. Doom. His powers go haywire again and he starts randomly shooting up the place, which I’m sure the Jean Grey Institute does daily drills on anyway. As far as I’m concerned, he’s just skipping a step because I doubt Beast would have helped him anyways without giving him too much shit. But then Magik’s powers go haywire too so they can’t just say Cyclops was trolling them, although I’m sure they’ll still use it as an excuse to bust his balls. The Hank McCoys of the world can never have too many.


By the same token, Storm can never have too many opportunities to unleash the full force of nature up the asshole of whoever happens to be pissing her off. Given that she hasn’t been all that forgiving to Cyclops or Magik either, she doesn’t hold back. By that, I mean she ends the fight with the same effort that I put into making my bed in the morning. It seems a bit uneven, especially for two mutants as powerful as Cyclops or Magik. But keep in mind, they’re fucked up and can’t control themselves. That’s like having Iron Man run into a war zone naked. Some of their greatest strengths have been nullified. That makes them to Storm what baby seals are to Ted Nugent. Some might have a problem with Storm being callous in how she handles Cyclops and Magik. I’m not saying I’m okay with it. But I don’t have to agree to admit that she was still pretty damn badass.


Now Cyclops and Magik are unconscious and subdued. If ever there was an opportunity to turn Cyclops over to the authorities or at least tattoo a dick on his face, this is it. There are so many sadistically cruel things they could to pay them back for starting a mutant revolution, protecting mutants being harassed by the authorities, sheltering the O5 X-men when they were under siege from the future Brotherhood of Mutants, and…actually, those are all bad examples. I’m just saying that if this were a frat party, Cyclops and Magik would be lucky to wake up with their eyebrows still intact.

While I’m sure Beast and Storm are entertaining all the devious possibilities, they don’t get a chance because Dazzler (who is still Mystique in disguise) shows up on the front lawn of the Jean Grey Institute with an entire SHIELD Hellicarrier and a very pissed off Maria Hill right behind her. She doesn’t start barking orders the way Maria Hill would. I’m sure Maria Hill would probably demand that she be in a locked room with Cyclops for an hour with no cameras and some lube. I guess she figured that Dazzler would be more polite about it and the X-men would be less inclined to get pissed off. It might be the first tactically brilliant move Maria Hill has made since admitting that Cyclops makes her feel all hot and bothered between her legs.


It’s a tense situation at the Jean Grey Institute. It’s also been tense in Madripoor, albeit for a very different reason. Blob, who we learned got his powers back with the help of MGH in the previous issue, is finding out the hard way that he sucks at taking drugs. He’s got a bad case of withdrawal that probably involves him thinking that scorpions are crawling out of his urethra. He was having fun, getting into a bar fight with someone who probably just looked at him for a nanosecond too long. Then like a crack addict who just smoked his last rock, he gets sick as hell and needs more. For a guy this big, he sure is a lightweight. Any experienced drug user knows that only a dipshit takes the last dose before hitting his dealer up again. Only a dipshit would start throwing up the moment those scorpions get too hostile so I’m guessing Blob would be a real buzzkill on a trip to Tijuana.


Since he can’t get a hole of Mystique, he goes straight to the source, which happens to be Dazzler. Now this isn’t entirely unrealistic. There are a lot of high end sources that utilize pretty blonds. As anyone who has ever willingly eaten a life tarantula to get their attention can attest, they get away with way more shit than anyone else. Being a lightweight drug addict in serious withdrawal, there’s a lot of fucked up shit he could do to her. Any pretty blond that has passed out drunk at a frat party knows they’re lucky if they wake up with the same panties on.

But Magneto steps in before Blob can do anything that would make him a spokesman for roofies. Where the fuck did Magneto come from? Why is he showing up after leaving Madripoor on such a shitty note? I have no fucking clue. But he basically gives Blob the kind of pep talk that the people at DARE only think they give teenagers. There’s even a nice little flashback to an early panel of Uncanny X-men that shows Magneto working alongside Blob when he wasn’t just a degenerate drug addict. Unlike the DEA, he spares Blob further indignation and lets him go. He’s more concerned about Dazzler because he’s just that nice a guy. Then again, when a drug addict is the only other comparison, that’s not saying much.


Thanks to Magneto, Dazzler wakes up and she’s understandably confused. The last thing she probably remembers is accepting a cup of coffee from Agent Coulson, who happened to be Mystique. Now she’s the posterboy for roofies because that one dick move landed her in a coma and made her Mystique’s personal Jessie Pinkman for making MGH. She’s obviously confused, but Mystique isn’t around to lie to her. Magneto already knows the full story because Mystique foolishly told him, thinking he would be on board. She didn’t think that a guy who survived the holocaust would have a problem with using a mutant for a sick experiment to make MGH. Seriously, I’d love to know what her logic was for that.


Mystique has no idea how her shitty logic has failed her. She and Maria Hill are locked in a tense standoff with the X-men, who are somewhat reluctant to turn Cyclops and Magik over to SHIELD, if only because it wouldn’t give them a chance to tattoo a dick on their faces. Beast insists that he be allowed to analyze them first, which I suspect is just code for wanting to stick breast implants into Cyclops. Mystique, still trying to use the influence of a pretty blond, says that’s a shitty idea. But Maria Hill must be in a merciful mood because she gives Beast one hour to do what he needs to do. Should be enough time to stuck at least one breast implant into Cyclops, right?

Neither of them end up getting their chance because that mysterious Mysterio rip-off who has been behind the Sentinel attacks for way too fucking long finally makes his move. He even actually talks. Hell, it could be a women or a transvestite under that helmet. We have no way of knowing. But the fact that he/she/it/they are finally saying something is the first non-teaser we’ve had of this asshole since he showed up. And I’m guessing it’s a he because he has some big fucking balls to basically turn the whole SHIELD helicarrier against them. He could have just sat back and let them assume Cyclops just attacked them to be a dick. But now he has to show that he’s capable of fucking with them as much as he is with Cyclops. It’s not smart, but fuck if it doesn’t send a message.


All this upheaval is completely lost on Emma Frost and the rest of the students at the New Xavier School. Cyclops and Magik left them behind because bringing students along on a trip to the Jean Grey Institute, where the entire staff wants Cyclops crucified and boiled in acid, was seen as inappropriate. He figured that leaving them with his ex-girlfriend/ex-stripper/ex-White Queen of the Hellfire club was safer. I honestly think it’s a toss-up here. But even though she doesn’t have her powers at full strength, she still has a distinct feeling that something is going horribly wrong. I don’t think it takes a psychic to make that assumption. In the Marvel Universe, that’s as safe a bet as Peyton Manning beating the Cleveland Browns. But there’s something else they notice in addition to Emma’s sneaking suspicion. We don’t find out what it is, but knowing they’re luck, it’s probably a drone meant to spy on Emma Frost in the shower. At least, that’s what I would use a drone for.


Shit at the Jean Grey Institute continues to go bad. More of the Jean Grey Institute staff joins the battle, including Firestar, who is only wearing a bathrobe. It shows that while the institute may prepare for being attacked, they probably don’t prepare for a full-blown attack by SHIELD. Knowing Maria Hill, I’m surprised that doesn’t happen more often. But during the attack, Beast somehow finds time to study Cyclops and Magik. And somehow, he is able to glean from this information who is behind this shit. The Mysterio rip-off even recognizes Beast, saying he’s ready to teach him a lesson. I normally don’t root for villains, especially ones that wear fish bowls on their heads. But given how many lessons Hank McCoy needs to learn for his shit lately, I’ll make an exception. It has me even more excited who this villain is. If he hates Hank McCoy, he can’t be too bad.


It had to happen sooner or later. Someone had to outsmart Cyclops, the Jean Grey Institute, and SHIELD. I say it had to happen because these people put themselves in the kind of situations that places a big target on their backs and an invitation just above their assholes. For nearly a dozen issues now, Cyclops has been looking for a hidden enemy controlling the Sentinels and Maria Hill has had her head so far up her ass that she didn’t think it was possible that her helicarrier could be taken over a second time. Was Battle of the Atom really that long ago? Either time really does flow differently in the Marvel universe or Maria Hill needs to cut back on the weed. But after so many teasers and side-tracks, we finally get a hint as to who the Mysterio knock-off might be. I don’t want to jump to conclusions without going on a few more drinking benders, but it finally feels like Uncanny X-men has a legitimate plan that doesn’t just involve the mounting sexual tension between Cyclops and Maria Hill. I give Uncanny X-men #21 an 8 out of 10. It would have been nice to get a little more detail, but I’ve been to enough strip clubs to know it’s not a good idea to get too greedy. And like my uncle said, better a hangover from booze than a concussion from a pissed off bouncer. Nuff said!

29 comments:

  1. Astra? Could that be the one in the helmet?

    As for the X-Men, yeah, being full of themselves all the time while living mostly in isolation would make them the easiest to manipulate.

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  2. Hmm. My guess is that it is someone related to Xavier somehow. That would be a nice, tidy lead in to the last will and testament that'll be coming up in a month or so. That, or someone else related to the O5 Xmen. It'd please me immensely if it were Moira somehow, pissed that Cyclops killed her dude AND that Beast fucked up the timestream. I vote Moira, crazy raised from the dead Moira, but Moira nonetheless.

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    1. She would go after the O5 in that case. This fella is doing his best to stay away from them.
      Is it me or there are three Scott's running around in 616 right now ? O5 , Rightclops and Corporal Shades.

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  3. I'm pretty sure it's going to be Cassandra Nova. The outfit looks pretty similar to the armor she had in New X-men. She stole Trask's DNA. Cyclops killed Xavier before she got the chance to do it. It'd make the most sense. I'd be more pleased if it was actually Moira McTaggert, and somehow someone like Sinister merged her DNA with Mystiques in order to bring her back to life. Then we find out Raze and Xavier Jr. actually are Moira's kids and not Mystique's.

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    1. Cassandra Nova doesn't really have the motivation to do that anymore. The only reason she ever attacked the X-Men was because Charles Xavier cared about them. According to Grant Morrison's original character description, mutants and humans were beneath her. They were simply things she could use to hurt Xavier. The Universe was, in her mind, the womb and only she and Xavier mattered. It was a dominance/kill or be killed primal motivation. Then at the end of Imperial Xavier and Jean were re-teaching Cassandra Nova to be a person via psychic lessons and Nova was placed in the little old girl called Ernst.

      Chuck Austen and Joss Whedon fucked up Nova's character by making up the whole "trapped in a prison" plot.

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    2. Sound logic.
      As long as it's not a resurrected Juston, I am pretty much ok with anyone.

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  4. Well, considering that the current theme for villains is timeravelers. I would go with that. Someone who has been part of the X-men and Shield, knows how those systems work. Maybe even 05 Hank from the future, that came before the first future Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
    It's weird how He/She jerked Scott around for a while. Gathering data on someone already in Shield archives.

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  5. I'm hoping for Kaga being the villain from that five issue Warren Ellis penned Astonishing X-Men arc "eXogenetic." That guy was harvesting Brood DNA and Mutant DNA to make Meat Sentinels with far more destructive powers. Hell, Kaga had giant Juggernaut, Magneto, and Archangel Brood/Mutant Meat Sentinels in storage.

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    1. Pretty reasonable guess. The suit for the radiation problem, if not for the hands and weak sentinels, I would have agreed with you.

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    2. Damn, that would have been great having Kaga come back to harass the X-Men for wrecking his shit. That and it would make the most sense since Cyclops really pissed him off the most out of the entire Astonishing team. Well, Emma did tell him to just send them hate mail like everyone else in her typical dismissive, passive aggressive attitude.

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  6. Well, Dazzler's out. Now things should get more screwed up for everyone, not least Mystique.

    I am curious about who made/programmed those Sentinels, though.

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  7. I have a sinking feeling this guy in the fish bowl is Xavier. Like his brain in that fish bowl of a helmet. OMG that is going to be the lamest reveal if that is right.

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    1. Red Skull has that piece of Xavier. So no worries.

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  8. IceColdEmmaFrostMay 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    It's Hijack, or a future version. Cyclops and Illyana got Hijacked and if he had access to Nova's nano sentinels it wouldn't be too difficult to believe. We've already seen him take over the helicarrier and talking to machines was his thing, so it fits. He also knows where the school is so that thing in the sky could be another SHEILD vessel coming after Emma's team. If it is it'll make this arc feel more fleshed out b/c this issue felt really short. Magneto helping Dazzler is a little weird, but I'm glad it's resolved. If it isn't another helicarrier coming towards Emma I think it'll be Dazzler and Magneto.

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    1. O.O This makes so much sense, it actually becomes ridiculous. The computer panels really trick you into thinking he is hacking into everything. Also how they switch pages between the two of them. This sounds like the best bet.
      Way to prove Scott's reasons to kick him off the team though.
      Everyone, except Shield, apparently know where Uncanny base is located.

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    2. That it's Hijack from the future and not the one currently been tracked by Shield.
      Not sure how Hank knows him though.

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    3. Not sure about the logistics of this, but Hijack being the mystery villain is a much better idea, and would make much more sense. It would also tie into the narrative better. Especially if it is future Hijack fucking around with Hill and Cyclops as revenge. The only clincher is Beast knowing the identity. Maybe some Voice Identity software on his computer? Or Hijack not masking his voice for the first time?

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    4. IceColdEmmaFrostMay 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Beast could be recognizing the nano sentinel tech from Cassandra Nova. It's the only logical way that Hijack could hack Scott and Illyana.

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    5. That would definitely take care of the Beast angle. I think we have a consensus. Let's hope for it being true because I really rather it not be Xavier or Cassandra Nova. I really did like Here Comes Tomorrow where Cassandra Nova Xavier and Martha "No Girl" were X-Men. Here Comes Tomorrow was definitely my favorite New X-Men arc, if not in the top three; even though Beast is possessed by Sublime and is decapitated.

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    6. Dude you're smart

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    7. IceColdEmmaFrostMay 25, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      Thank you :)

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  9. I like Bendis but I think this episode is so slow. Since Uncanny X-Men 11 until 21!!!! and we don't know yet who is creating sentinels

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    1. I have to agree, Bendis really should have given some more small reveals and hints at the mysterious Fish Bowl's identity to make that final reveal all the more shocking, while making perfect sense to the readers once Fish Bowl's identity is finally revealed. That is the trademark of a true, professional writer.

      The big reveal should be a shocker, but still stay in line with various hints dropped along the way. That way the big reveal is all the more poignant. That way on rereads, the reader is able to link all the hints and bits of clues together and think "ah that makes perfect sense, why didn't I guess that the first time!" Otherwise, with no clever hints and clues, the big reveal feels like some failed M. Night Shamalyan twist.

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    2. IceColdEmmaFrostMay 25, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      This book has suffered from being pulled into too many crossovers and that's completely slowed down it's own development. I'm really glad that Bendis isn't using this book to cover any of that BOTA part Deux bullshit. We have all these new characters that we barely know and storylines that began in the first story arc that still haven't gone beyond where they were when they started. Marvel needs to STOP including this book in crossovers for it to survive and go anywhere.

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  10. i would've wanted the villain to be an Avenger villain... just to make the X-men much more attached to the Marvel Universe...

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    1. IceColdEmmaFrostMay 25, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      Fuck the Avengers. if you want Avenger/Xmen crossovers go read Uncanny Avengers.

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    2. That's a bit harsh and unfair. The Avengers were portrayed unjustly, as well. They behaved out of character and even held grossly incompetent conversations where they bantered with bad pop culture references and who's hooking up with who, instead of actually assessing the situation and dealing with it like the mature, professionals they are.

      Bendis wrote a sizable chunk of the Avengers vs. X-Men crossover. So I think it is a bit unfair for you to say AvX and other crossovers which Bendis himself wrote several issues for, derailed Uncanny X-Men. He also is writing All-New X-Men, which Bendis seems to be far more invested in. I think it's a case of priorities, and Bendis has decided Uncanny can take the hit to allow him to focus on other books.

      Remember Bendis had been writing the Avengers since 2005 where he was the one to come up with the idea for the Scarlet Witch going crazy and then writing her depowering mutants in House of M. In both of those cases, he was the sole writer. So Bendis also shares guilt for derailing and postponing Uncanny X-Men.

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    3. IceColdEmmaFrostMay 27, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      Out of 21 issues only 12 have been self contained. The rest have necessitated buying other books/being in a crossover. It's even less if you consider that #16 was a jumping off point for Magneto's own series. Between the launch of All New Xmen, Battle of the Atom, Inhumanity, and other bullshit the storylines the "main" thread of this book hasn't been consistent. And adding in an Avengers villain isn't going to help matters at all! It isn't "unfair" it's a fact. House of M and other great big marvel events that he's been involved in have been criticized for the fact that nothing happens for a number of installments, so it shouldn't be surprising. The frustrating thing is that this book has potential and could actually be on a level of enjoyment that Morrison's book was, but it's highly inconsistent and does get derailed. It was 11 issues before we found out what the fuck one of the team member's power was!

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  11. "Okay Scott Summers... Lets see if you have any constructive to add for once in your..."

    Beast, you annoying prick you... Scott was your best friend for... what? 20 some years (in story). He's led your sorry blue ass on more life and death world saving missions, than you can count. He has saved your life constantly, and he has never ONCE tried to villainize you for your choices (except may for the bringing the O5 to the present, but only because HE WAS RIGHT). Beast has gone from being angry at Scott not saving his butt during the Dark X-Men and X-Force stuff, to just being a complete petty tool. Someone please just reveal he's really just Mister Sinister in disguise all this time... Oh, wait, no, Sinister at least has respect for Scott.

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