Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny Avengers #21
We live in an era where everything is a remake, reboot, or rip-off of something else. Now I’m not going to go on some hipster douche rant about how this is wrong and somehow an affront to real artistic expression. I don’t give a shit how many times Transformers, Terminator, or Robocop is rebooted or ripped off. If it’s entertaining and fun, I’m going to get drunk and enjoy it, damn it. Now that has been a bit tougher lately when it comes to time travel stories. They’ve been flooding comics and movies so much lately that it makes me want to kick Dr. Who in the balls. Uncanny Avengers is part of that trend in they ripped off the second greatest X-men story of all time in Days of Futures Past to fix the fucked up future that the Apocalypse Twins created. Given that this is the same year that Days of Futures Past became a mediocre movie, it’s pretty shitty timing. But given the quality of Uncanny Avengers, and the possibility that it can bring back dead characters like Rogue and Captain America, I’m going to try and overlook that. Uncanny Avengers #21 promises to get out of yet another shitty future and fix the damn present for once. That shouldn’t sound like such a novel concept, but here we are.
What is a novel concept, however, is Rogue not hating the Scarlet Witch so much that she wants to lock her in a room with a bunch of hungry dogs once owned by OJ Simpson. Not long ago, I was buying a few extra bottles of tequila after it looked like Rogue and the Scarlet Witch ended up killing each other. Well, thanks to yet another liberal application of time travel, they’re both alive again. And armed with the knowledge of the future, Wolverine and Sunfire catch up with Rogue before she can gut the Scarlet Witch. How they convinced her that they were from the future and they needed to listen is never stated, but pretty fucking outrageous. I imagine Gambit used that exact same excuse to convince her to try anal. But it still works.
They end up walking in on her and Wonder Man shortly after they’ve finished bumping uglies. It would have probably been less awkward if they were still naked, but I’m guessing Marvel still thinks two people being naked is somehow more obscene than someone getting impaled. They basically give them the spoiler version of what happened in the future. At times, the Scarlet Witch has a big WTF face and that was before Rogue hugged her. But now they’re all apparently on the same page finally. And it just took another apocalyptic future. I want to say better late than never, but when time travel is involved, that’s the shittiest possible excuse.
More awkward conversations are skipped over and I’m not just talking about the details Rogue probably asked for about Wonder Man’s ass. Somehow we don’t get to see how they convince him and the Scarlet Witch that this new plan is going to save their asses when a fucking Celestial is about to destroy the planet. But this is where some of the events from before start to change thanks to this new foresight. Captain America, Rogue, Wonder Man, and the Scarlet Witch naturally decide not to go with their previous suicide plan to attack the Apocalypse Twins. Instead, they catch up with the rest of the Avengers, who tried and failed to stop the Celestial in the previous timeline. They know as well as anyone that fighting a Celestial is like trying to fight the Hulk with a feather-duster so they’re open to ideas. And their idea is actually pretty simple. They all just give Rogue their powers. So that means they make Rogue really fucking powerful and they all get to cop a feel from her. I would be totally fucking on board with that plan.
This foresight and the promise of touching Rogue is all great news for the Avengers. I’m sure Tony Stark couldn’t agree to it fast enough. But for the Apocalypse Twins, they’re pretty much fucked and pretty pissed off. The changing timeline is already affecting them because now the Scarlet Witch is gone and they needed her to rapture the mutants off Earth. Since they couldn’t possibly be that inept or unlucky, they assume what every narcissistic asshole in the Marvel universe assumes. Somebody fucked with the timeline. It might be narcissistic, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. And since their adopted father is Kang, they know who to be pissed at.
It actually begins a very significant shift for them because in the previous doomed timeline, they were always in control. They never panicked in the slightest and never looked more frustrated than pot smoker on valium. Yet now this elaborate plan that worked so damn well before is falling apart. To say it’s a satisfying sight would be to say that seeing Jessica Alba naked is just okay. And it only gets more satisfying because Havok, Wolverine, and Sunfire add to the Twins’ frustration by going after the Tachyon Dam, guarded by Reaper. It’s one of those scenes that I can point to whenever someone asks why I insist on reading comics while stoned. It just makes the satisfaction all the more fulfilling.
Havok and his team go to work shutting Reaper up, pissing off the Apocalypse Twins even more. As this unfolds, they also find out that Jarnbjorn, the axe that is capable of killing a fucking Celestial, is now missing. So all the shit they need to control to keep their plan from blowing up like the fucking Hindenburg is slipping out of their grasp. I can only imagine how pissed they would be if they found out that Rogue paid a quick visit to the Jean Grey Institute to absorb more powers. I’m just going to assume there isn’t enough weed in Colorado to calm them down.
For Rogue fans, this is basically the most awesome kind of porn that doesn’t involve Jenna Jameson and a bucket of lube. Once she has all these powers, she goes to work stopping the Celestial. There’s even some nice inner monologue that shows her dealing with all this power and the responsibility of stopping a fucking Celestial. She refers back to Xavier and everything she learned from him, which is fitting given how Uncanny Avengers began with his funeral. It’s pretty intense and yet she still finds a way to look sexy doing it. Anyone who has dry eyes and loose pants after seeing this isn’t human.
Rogue succeeds at stopping the Celestial from crushing the Earth like Flavor Flav crushes a crack rock, but even with all that power she’s absorbed, she still needs more. Maybe she should try flashing her boobs at the Celestial anyways. Even if it doesn’t help, it couldn’t hurt either. But before they get that desperate, we find out Wasp enlisted some extra help for her in the form of Sentry. Somehow, she managed to convince him that letting a Celestial destroy the planet, which contains people he swore to protect, is a bad idea. That or she flashed him his boobs and that was enough.
He provides the extra muscle to stop the Celestial’s attack. That gives a chance for Thor to put Jarnbjorn to good use, which involves slitting the Celestial’s throat. There are simply no words to describe how awesome that is. It happens pretty fast and on an epic scale too big for even a seasoned stoner. And that’s part of the problem because just as before, a lot of crazy shit apparently unfolded off-panel. First, Wolverine and Sunfire convinced Rogue that killing the Scarlet Witch was a bad idea. Then Wasp somehow convinced Sentry, who is still a Horseman of Apocalypse, to help her. I get that persuading someone to help isn’t that entertaining and often reminds us of why we hate car salesmen. But it forces readers to make way too many assumptions and for some like me, I’m always going to assume it involves flashing tits.
The tables turn on the Apocalypse Twins on every possible front. Not only is the Celestial wounded, but Reaper is now down for the count as well. That fight was somewhat glossed over, but that’s okay. Reaper might as well be the slutty cheerleader in a slasher movie. Wolverine, Havok, and Sunfire successfully beat his sorry ass to the surprise of absolutely no one. They then do what Wasp and Captain America failed to do before and destroy the Tachyon Dam, yet another part of the Apocalypse Twins’ plan going to shit. I swear if this becomes any more satisfying, I’m going to have to label it an orgy.
It could have been the most epic victory the Avengers and X-men have ever achieved, albeit with the aid of time travel. But unfortunately, I had to stop short of making this orgy on the Playboy/Hustler scale because while the Apocalypse Twins have now failed miserably, Kang the Conqueror has succeeded. With the dam destroyed, he is now able to finally travel back from the future. At this point, more time travel should make me throw up, but I did enough of that with the previous few issues and my stomach needs a rest.
But how exactly does this succeed for Kang? Well, apparently all this fucked up shit, time travel and all, was part of a ridiculously elaborate plan. And when Thor killed a Celestial, that was basically his endgame. So before Thor can send this wounded Celestial away to some other place in the universe that nobody minds fucking up, Kang drops in and throws a cyborg Hulk at him. He does it with a smug grin and a throbbing erection. Now Thor, he claims, his dead and he has the energy of a fucking Celestial at his fingertips. As ruthless plans go, this is pretty fucking confusing. But hey, it’s hard to argue with results.
In addition to him, he brings in the rest of his dimensionally displaced team to join the fun. Since their timelines are now probably fucked beyond repair, they need someone to take it out on and Kang needs someone to distract the Avengers. Granted, there’s only five of them and none of them can say they have power levels on the same scale as a Celestial. But at the very least, they’ll frustrate and piss off the Avengers long enough for Kang to do what he needs to do. It’s another act of stunning convergence, taking elements from previous issues and incorporating them into a climax that could only be matched with multiple gangbangs. It’s part of what made Uncanny X-Force the epic piece of awesome it was and now it’s happening here in Uncanny Avengers. True awesome need not be confined to one series.
So now Kang has done it. He has the power of an entire fucking Celestial at his disposal. As expected, he boldly proclaims his brilliance as though he were in some sort of shitty MTV reality show. It still feels needlessly convoluted, going through the trouble of taking the Apocalypse Twins from birth and using them to gain the power of a Celestial. Again, it still works. I can’t deny that. It just feels a contrived and confusing. I know that’s part of who Kang is, but this just takes it several steps farther. Even Donald Trump would say he’s overdoing it at this point. I really want to appreciate that kind of ambition, but as epic as it is, I’m left more confused than excited and I don’t think it’s because of the weed for once.
Well I won’t say that the future is now fixed, but I will say that the present is sure fucked. A lot of shit came together in an obscenely awesome way. Everything going all the way back to the bar brawl that Thor had with Apocalypse and the catfight Rogue had with the Scarlet Witch came into play here. It created a level of cosmic epic that I simply cannot use while sober. I might even have to invent a few. But as awesome as the action and scale of this story was, parts of it still felt incomplete and not just because of the agonizing cliff-hangers towards the end. It feels like it skipped a few steps, getting Wolverine, Thor, Havok, Sunfire, and Wasp to convince the others that they’ve seen how they fuck up and they need to fix it. I imagine that is somehow part of divorce laws in the Marvel universe. It also seems to skip a few steps as to how Wasp convinces Sentry to help them out and I doubt just flashing him her tits would have been enough. That made the overall pacing of the story feel very ADHD at times, but fuck if it wasn’t better than a double dose of Ritalin and LSD. Uncanny Avengers #21 gets a 9 out of 10. We’re finally out of yet another apocalyptic future. Now we’ve got an apocalyptic present to deal with. I’ll still take it because I’m really that sick of all this time travel bullshit. Nuff said!