Friday, July 18, 2014

All-New X-men #30 Preview - Romance or Fling?

I know I don’t come off as much of a romantic. My ex-girlfriends, my therapists, and most of my former pets will say that the most romantic I’ll ever get occurs around a bottle of Jack Daniels and a plate of bacon. But I do consider myself a romantic at heart. I enjoy that warm and fuzzy feeling I get when I see a good love story develop, be it in comics, real life, or a porno. It’s true, porn can be romantic if done correctly (and with the proper application of lube). But a good, well-developed love story is like a perfectly tender steak. It’s delicious as hell, but difficult to cook.

There have been many relationships developed in comics that have been epic love stories, but there have been many more that are built solely on the shaky foundation of WTF. I’ve gone on many drunken rants on numerous relationships on this blog from Cyclops/Emma and Jean/Wolverine to Superman/Wonder Woman and Wolverine/Storm. I don’t doubt that my rants are about as romantic as a prostate exam at times, but I feel there is merit when I say that most comic book relationships are hit-or-miss with far more misses. If it were a baseball player, they would be selling insurance in Alaska by now.

That said, Brian Michael Bendis has a solid track record when it comes to developing relationships. He has shown a rare talent to take established relationships like Peter/Mary Jane and novel relationships like Peter/Kitty Pryde and make them feel epic. This skill has translated nicely into All-New X-men with the way he has handled relationships like O5 Cyclops/O5 Jean Grey. However, he has had his share of misses, as anyone who read All-New X-men #15 can attest. And for a time, it looked like he was going to take another shot with O5 Cyclops and X-23 in All-New X-men #20. That didn’t pan out because O5 Cyclops felt that spending more time with his badass space pirate father was more important than hooking up with some hot teenage girl. I’m not sure which should take priority so I’m going to call that a push. But now Bendis is looking to try again, this time with O5 Angel and X-23.

Now when it comes to comic book romances, I’m of the opinion that they can all be made to work if done right. Some are just way harder than others. There really aren’t many universes where a relationship between Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike doesn’t end in a blood-soaked disaster. But O5 Angel and X-23 is one of those ideas that can either overdose on WTF or trigger a massive onslaught of boners. On the surface, it’s not that outrageous. It’s the circumstances that have the WTF. And in an unlettered preview released by CBR, we get our first glimpse of just how far Bendis plans to take this. From the looks of it, he’s going to piss off every abstinence advocate in the state of Texas.

• Past, present and future collide as the Future Brotherhood exacts their final judgment on the All-New X-Men.
• Plus, Angel takes control!

So in the span of 10 issues, X-23 goes from swapping spit with O5 Cyclops on the cover to swapping spit with O5 Angel. Granted, she never actually kissed O5 Cyclops. All they really did was hug. They never hit up a club, went on a date, or tried to cop a feel. They really didn’t get a chance because O5 Cyclops left before that could happen. But with O5 Angel, X-23 is jumping at the chance. They’re actually going out and doing the kinds of things that make televangelists cry. On the surface, this isn’t all that fucked up. They’re teenagers for crying out loud. It’s the characterization that will probably piss a lot of fans off.

Not long ago, X-23 was pretty fucked up and pretty traumatized. Now, after she recently got finished stabbing Xavier Jr. in the back, she’s hooking up with some guy she barely knows. For most teenage girls, that’s not too crazy. Hell, that’s the opposite of crazy. But X-23 isn’t normal. She does not have Taylor Swift’s history of going from guy to guy. Now she’s not just clubbing with a guy, acting way more normal than she really is. She’s getting cozy with someone who really has no fucking clue how to relate to her.

This is my main issue. Unlike O5 Cyclops, O5 Angel really doesn’t have much in common with X-23. He’s rich as fuck, never lost anyone, and doesn’t know much about hardship. Not only that, he’s been a total fucking pussy at times in this series. He’s the one that tried to go back to the past when he was outvoted. X-23 is one of the most badass characters in Marvel who doesn’t pack a big ass gun. Now she’s hooking up with this guy? It would be like Axel Rose hooking up with Carrie Underwood.

That’s not to say it can’t work. I think it’s kind of cute how things pan out. X-23 isn’t completely OOC. She gets into a fight at a club and rips a guy’s nipple ring off. That sounds like the kind of shit she does every Thursday night. But how romantic does it really get here? This is one of those developments that could either become what Peter/Kitty Pryde was in Ultimate or it could just be a brief fling like Wolverine seems to have with Domino every once in a while. It could go any number of ways and I’m sure X-23 fans will find some reason to be really pissed about it, not that I blame them either. But I’m willing to just grab a joint and a bottle of whiskey, kick back, and take a wait-and-see approach before I deem this new romance worthy of jerking off to. Nuff said!


  1. when we see x-23, in one of your x-men supreme stories again, I am confident you'll treat the character better than bendis did in the last issues.
    i am, in terms of the use auf laura, dissappointed as hell.
    hope the character will soon be treated better by other writers.

    have a nice day
    a fan in berserker rage

  2. It might be a fantasy sequence as Angel doesn't have wings in the last few panels.

    1. It isn't a fantasy sequence. I'll quit drinking for a month if it turns out to be a fantasy sequence. That's how confident I am that this is actually happening. Bendis doesn't do dream sequences. Just not his style.


  3. It's a relationship doomed to fail because Angel has to go back without any memories of "the future" for the sake of the timeline.

  4. Not sure what to make based on a few unworded preview pages. I'm going to hold any 'nerdrage' until the whole thing gets released.

  5. Angel you lucky SOB! Present you got to bang Psylocke now past you gets X-23?

  6. i'm disappointed that eventhough O5 Scott managed to "soften" X-23 with his hugs, O5 Angel managed to "get" her first... having a solo series does not mean you should be entirely absent from the other comics, i mean, just look at Wolverine's omnipresence (he should die sooner)... O5 Scott should've made an arrangement that he will go for a father-son bonding every d@mn weekends only, so he can continue to pursue his lovelife with either Laura (a brunette) or O5 Jean (a redhead) and probably one of the Cuckoos just to have a blonde one... i'm so disappointed at Laura for going out with O5 Angel, very out-of-character, she should've sulked a little longer and waited for O5 Scott to came back... what's next? i'm pretty surprised O5 Jean hasn't jumped on O5 Beast yet... c'mon, Cyclops has had enough, just make both the adult and young Scotts happy... :(

  7. Eh, it doesn't really bother me. Keep in mind that I say this as someone in a polyamorous relationship, but sometimes sex is just sex. Does it really surprise anyone that after the fight last issue and then this fight that X-23 might be feeling a little bit frisky?

    I also say all that as a big fan of Laura. This seems perfectly in-character for her to me. She's a primal person who so often has to resist her primal urges. When she gets the chance to cut loose without consequence, you better believe she's going to indulge herself.

    Keep in mind too that I'm assuming this isn't supposed to be True Love or anything like that either. Warren probably thinks it's a lot bigger a deal than it is. Laura -- if written halfway decently -- will not be starry eyed over the winged kid. She was just getting some dick. Sex really isn't all that a big deal to her. Am I the only one who remembers that she used to be a prostitute?

    1. I never looked at it from that angle. I was at first raging like every other X-23 fan but after reading your post you know what you might be right. I think Bendis has been doing a terrible job writing her but if he goes the direction your stating then he'll be ringing her back in and I might actually enjoy reading this series (I only read it because my husband is a hardcore Cyclops fan) so fingers crossed.