Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny X-men #26

We all do favors in our day-to-day lives. It’s one of the only ways human civilization can function, being able to cooperate with one another. Sure, it still leads to shitty things like wars, genocide, and reality TV, but it has helped us progress to the point where we have abundant internet porn so I won’t say it’s a total burden. But every now and then, someone will ask a favor that will make us want to choke on our own piss. And when those favors come in the form of a will from a dead loved one, that piss is more bitter than usual. That’s what the X-men have been experiencing in wake of revealing Charles Xavier’s last will and testament.

First, they found out that he secretly married Mystique. That alone was harder to swallow then ten gallons of piss. Then they find out that Xavier had been secretly monitoring a dangerous mutant named Matthew Malloy for much of his life. Never mind that he somehow managed to hide this during all the other times he was dead, evil, or MIA. I doubt those kinds of details are ever considered when shitting all over 50 years of convoluted continuity. But now that Xavier is dead, the X-men must continue what he started or their entire function as X-men is completely fucked. I’m expecting plenty of Xavier’s loved ones to be choking on plenty of piss in Uncanny X-men #25. But since this is the last will of their mentor, they might as well hold their nose and pretend it’s cheap vodka.

They might be able to take some comfort in the knowledge that Maria Hill will be drinking her share as well because she’s still trying to keep SHIELD in the mutant-policing business. After the epic clusterfuck that Dark Beast pulled them into with the Sentinels, I would think that Maria Hill would avoid mutant issues like a hypochondriac avoids a gas station toilet. But after the big fucking crater Matthew Malloy left in South Carolina, she’s going to take another swing at it. Sure, she might leave a few more craters and she admits this one of her worst nightmares that don’t involve killer clowns. But hey, nobody can accuse her of not being persistent. It’s admirable when Rocky Balboa doesn’t. Not so much when a government agency with a history of fucking up a certain issue.

I still think Cyclops would gladly trade places with Maria Hill at this point because after hearing the full extent of Charles Xavier’s will in the previous issue, he’s understandably pissed. Xavier now wants the X-men to continue his legacy of mind-fucking Matthew Malloy into not blowing everything up. Sure, that goes completely against everything Xavier taught his X-men about teaching mutants to accept who they are. But this is a case where he had to make an exception and keep it a secret from everybody. Why? I’ve given up trying to figure it out and so has Cyclops.

It’s a pretty emotional moment in that it gives Cyclops a chance to fully react to Xavier’s will. But the impact is pretty limited because Cyclops is the only one that has such a reaction. It’s not even a completely understandable. He’s pissed that Xavier would lie to them like this and wait until he’s dead to tell them. I’m not sure why he would be more pissed now than he would all the other times he’s lied. Xavier has gone behind the backs of the X-men before and he’s gone so far as to mind-fuck them. It just feels like he’s being pissed for the sake of being pissed. What makes it feel even weaker is that the rest of the team are on board with doing as Xavier asks. They pretend they’re okay with Xavier doing this. They treat it like we’ll treat boy bands one day, as one of those things we just wish never happened.

Usually, this is the perfect opportunity for Beast to do something that would make him even more of a douche. But this time, it’s Iceman who takes advantage of this opportunity and he really swings for the fences. Whereas everyone else just yells at Cyclops to go along with Xavier’s last wishes, he just keeps trying to throw in more jabs about how he murdered Xavier. Never mind that he wasn’t in control of himself. Never mind that he’s standing right next to Wolverine, a guy who murdered his own son without the influence of the Phoenix. Never mind he’s standing next to Beast, who has helped murder entire universes. He just has a permanent rage boner for Cyclops and only Cyclops.

Iceman swings for the fences with his douche-baggery on this one. Everyone else is more understanding in getting Cyclops to go along with Xavier’s will. Firestar even shows sympathy, noting just how tortured Cyclops is. She has this thing called empathy. Iceman clearly never even heard of it because when everyone else asks what he would do, he actually says he hopes Cyclops dies in battle. That sounds like the kind of shit seen on a 4chan message board, not from someone who was once Cyclops’ friend. It puts Iceman into a whole new world of douche that even Beast has never entered. I thought nobody could be as big an asshole as Beast, but Iceman just made him his prison bitch.

All this outrage and douche-baggery still centers around Matthew Malloy, who is probably the least douchy character in this conflict. For a guy who just blew up an entire town and killed thousands of people, that’s saying something. It helps that he does come off as sympathetic. He doesn’t understand what’s happening with him. He’s still trying to figure out his powers. With Xavier having suppressed them for so long, he might as well be a 12-year-old trying to play quarterback in the NFL. The problem is he still doesn’t have much personality. He’s just perpetually shell-shocked the whole time. Given the circumstances, that’s understandable. But it still makes him feel like more a prop than a character.

Shell shocked or not, he’s still at the top of Maria Hill’s shit list. Since Cyclops was once at the top of that list, that’s not saying much. To her credit, she does try to do more than just throw bombs or killer robots at the problem. She’s not John McCain. So in an effort to be a little smarter, she enlists help from Exodus and Headlok, who happen to be part of SHIELD’s psi division. Not even sure how long they’ve had that because it sure as hell would’ve come in handy when Dark Beast was screwing them over. But I digress.

They make a concerted effort to attack Matthew psychically, just as Charles Xavier had done. Since SHIELD has no psychic on the level of Charles Xavier, it doesn’t turn out very well. It turns out like most government operations turn out, but it does yield one important detail. Matthew is a mutant. That means SHIELD has to deal with mutants again. It also means that Maria Hill will be having more nightmares about mutants. On the other hand, some of those nightmares might involve Cyclops so that means she’ll at least get a few wet dreams out of it. Not saying it balances everything out, but it’s something.

It’s setting up for a powerful convergence between SHIELD and the X-men on Matthew. That’s why it’s more than a little jarring and disappointing when another unrelated side-plot enters the picture. It’s not related to Xavier, Matthew Malloy, or secret marriages. It’s just the New Xavier students training with the Cuckoos in the Danger Room in a scenario that pits them against the Avengers. It’s not even that novel because they actually faced the Avengers earlier in the series when they tried to arrest Cyclops and he told them to piss off. Since they don’t have Cyclops do to that with this simulation, they’re understandably inept. I know they’re teenagers, but this wasn’t supposed to be a story about how inept teenagers are against the Avengers. It’s supposed to be about the last will and testament of Charles Xavier. That or somebody got way too stoned when they made the solicits for this.

As out-of-place it might be, it does lead to a meaningful conversation between Triage and the Stepford Cuckoos. Triage rightly points out that training to fight the Avengers sort of has some unpleasant implications. The Avengers are supposed to be the good guys. That’s how the world sees them. That’s how their PR team keeps it, even if some of them secretly meet to destroy other universes from time-to-time. So if they ever did fight them, then that would make them villains by default. It doesn’t matter if it’s overly simplistic. Triage understands that the people of this world have minds organized like Fox News in that overly simplistic explanations are the only acceptable explanations. The Cuckoos paint it a different way, saying they’re training to protect themselves. But Triage still isn’t buying it.

It’s not clear if anyone wins the argument, but Triage does seem to get his point across. Nobody seems to know what Cyclops’ “mutant revolution” is supposed to look like. Just preparing to fight the Avengers sets a bad precedent. Now that’s not to say he’s completely right here. Cyclops actually went to a rally in a previous issue and told everybody that the Avengers aren’t the enemies. He hasn’t tried to fight them. They come to him. But it’s something nobody talks about or thinks about. It gives the impression that there really is no clear understanding about Cyclops’ mutant revolution at this point. It would be so much more relevant if it actually fit cohesively into the ongoing story about Xavier’s will. Instead, it just reminds everybody that they really have no idea what the fuck Cyclops has planned for them in the long run.

Nobody seems to have a plan on dealing with Matthew Malloy either. That’s what makes this glorified student debate feel even more out-of-place. As the X-men are making their way towards Matthew, SHIELD shows up and basically tells them what they already know. They don’t wait until they can enter the story in an interesting way. They just catch up in time for Beast to tell them how fucked they are. It’s probably the longest Beast has ever gone without being a total douche. He just tells them that Matthew Malloy’s mutant signature reveals that he’s powerful enough to consume an entire state and shit out the entrails. Again, this is shit we already know and don’t need to be reminded of. Even I don’t smoke that much pot.

This issue really didn’t accomplish much other than make me want to punch Iceman in the jaw and kick him in the balls. I honestly thought only Beast was capable of being more of a prick, but Iceman just joined him in the douche-bag Hall of Fame. Thankfully, nobody else had a chance to carve their own bust because the plot really stalled. All they did was react to Xavier’s will and that’s about it. Matthew Malloy is still a walking death machine. Maria Hill is still enduring migraines over all mutant-related issues. The only really compelling part of this story was the debate with Triage and the Cuckoos. But given the circumstances of the story, it felt really out of place. If it’s supposed to be a prelude to the upcoming AXIS event, then it’s the comic book equivalent of premature ejaculation and that’s not enjoyable for anyone. Uncanny X-men #26 gets a 5 out of 10. I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to add another name to my list of characters I want to drop kick into a vat of cat piss, but Iceman has joined Beast as permanent members on that list. And I really don’t like having people I have the urge to beat up while I’m sober. Some just do way too much to deserve it. Nuff said!


  1. What's your final score Jack?

  2. it's nice to see Firestar and Kitty have sympathy for Scott... two people who have known Scott less long than Iceman... two women who have soft heart for Iceman... and yet Iceman is still as cold as, well - ice, pun intended... maybe the fact that Scott was corrupted by the Phoenix has not yet sank in his thick skull... and he said back then that they (the Original Five) were the Beatles... yeah right... i hate the fact that Cyclops killing Xavier is always raised like it was intentional... are they on their right senses?

    1. Doesn't change the fact that Scott wanted that power and believed the Phoenix actually cared about the mutant predicament.

      Thanks to Scott, Hope wasn't the mutant messiah, but the X-Men's sacrifice to the Phoenix in hopes that it'll grant their wishes which soon came to be thinking it will create the perfect world and for free.

      Scott was already crazy before the Phoenix possessed him and being possessed was like karma. His bad choices pretty much led to this, even though the Phoenix was still coming, but it doesn't change the fact that he was welcoming it and gift-wrapping Hope for it.

    2. read comics, dude...

      Scott never wanted the Phoenix for himself, but to mold Hope to be its host, to jumpstart the mutant population ruined by Scarlet Witch... it was Tony Stark's invention that split the power of the Phoenix into the five X-men... it could have been anyone, but the point is, Scott did not take the power just because he likes it...

      Hope is the mutant messiah, dude... haven't you read the story? the Phoenix Force went to earth because it has a host and it is Hope... Hope with the Phoenix plus Scarlet Witch's power managed to jumpstart the mutant population... proving Scott's theory to be correct all along... if Cap and his fanatic Avengers weren't too busy poking the X-men with a stick, they could've consulted Scott first, rather than barging in his doorsteps demanding to put his granddaughter in their custody...

      in AvX Consequences, Tony Stark even admitted that Cyclops was right that the Phoenix Force would rekindle the mutant population...

      Scott was doing pretty well having 1/5 of the Force... things go to hell as he gained more... so killing Xavier is not his plan, he was clearly corrupted, dude...

    3. And there lies the problem. If you do indeed read comics (dude) you'll remember that back when Cyclops had only 1/5 and was fairly in control of himself, Hope had a change of heart. She felt she was ready and willing to take on the Phoenix Force. Cyclops on his part dangled the power in front or her before snatching it away. He then went back on his beliefs and scoffed at haven even thought of handing such power over to a teenaged girl and told Hope that she might as well leave. Then the Avengers came to take Hope away and Cyclops (again) went back on his word, which Hope points out, refuses to let her leave and well you know the rest. For about intentional or unintentional. Just imagine if Cyclops had given the power to Hope right then and there. The mutant race would be restored without a dead Xavier.

      That's my issue with ol one-eye. He's a flip-flopping hypocrite. Always changing his viewpoint so that he's invariably cast as the one in the right. He'll goad a little girl into committing murder and secretly organize a death squad one minute then criticize someone for using excessive violence on a rogue Sentinel. But I actually don't completely think that's his fault. There's something taxing about being a leader. There's something about being the person everyone looks toward and expects to be infallible and otherwise absolutely perfect. It really takes a toll on you. Everyone from Cap to Reed to Xavier (when he was alive)has suffered from this.

      As for the issue:
      a) kinda not liking how its made so that everyone agrees to honor the last wishes just so Cy gets to be the odd one out.
      b) really not liking how anyone who disagrees with Cyclops is considered an idiot douche. And that goes for this comment section too. I don't even care for Iceman (or Wolverine, ugh) but I grew weary of him being portrayed as unreasonable and vilified while conversely Cyclops is constantly victimized. Sidebar: are we really comparing Daken to Xavier? Forserious?

      How bout we all do each other and agree to disagree, eh?

    4. The problem with that is that Marvel had FIVE chances to prove to me that someone other than Hope was even capable of giving up the Phoenix Force on their own, but didn't bother to show it. 5 not-Hope hosts, and NOT A SINGLE one was able to just give up the power without having it beaten out of them. Marvel forgot the rule of 'Show, Don't Tell'. If they wanted me to believe that Scott should have given it up, and was capable of doing so, then they needed to SHOW one of the other 4 doing so on page to prove it was even possible, yet they did not.

    5. while i'm all for your "agree to disagree" invitation, i needed to rebutt because of your flawed argument...

      the first is the one you just read above... Phoenix hosts cannot just give it up because if they can, and if they are in their right minds, then they should've given up the Phoenix Force the moment is possesses or chooses them as its avatar...

      second... even if Scott managed to give up the PF to Hope, how does Xavier's death be thwarted? Scott only had 1/5 of the power and Hope needed 100% of it to jumpstart the mutant population... what jumpstarted on that argument is your conclusion...

      third... what about the "criticizing someone for using excessive violence on a rogue Sentinel"? i might have overlooked that part but calling Scott a hypocrite is flat-out wrong... that's your issue with Cyclops? but don't you have any issues with Wolverine as a bigger blatant hypocrite than Scott? or maybe Captain America, Storm, Beast and more recently, Iceman? these characters, like them or not, were bigger badder hypocrites than good ol' one-eye, dude... not unless you're too blind to see that...

      as for this issue:

      a. agreed on the part that Cyke was made to be the odd-man-out... it's pretty surprising that no one reacted like Scott when it should've been Xavier's oldest students should react like what Scott did... Iceman did become a complete full-blown asshole by bringing up Xavier's death, and even wished Scott dies in battle... what a friend...

      b. are you freakin' serious? it was Cyclops who was terribly villified eversince the start of AvX! all he wanted was for the mutant race to survive... yet Scott was perceived as a lunatic in that arc, because majority of the characters did not know the prophesy of Cable... Cable confirmed to Scott that Hope is the messiah that will jumpstart the mutant population and the Avengers will try to prevent it from happening... anyone who disagreed with Scott is a douche because at the end of the day, when all the dust had settled, Cyclops was freakin' right all along...

      he was right that Hope is the mutant messiah... he was right that the Phoenix Force can save the mutant race... and he was freakin' right that Cap and the Avengers are not doing everything they can to help mutants (that's the reason why Cap formed the Uncanny Avengers using Havok as his poster boy), but Captain Hypocrite still wants Cyclops arrested for Xavier's death (not unless if A+X #13 is canon)...

      agree to disagree, dude... got it... :)

    6. Alrighty then, clarification time:

      1) Its my belief that under certain circumstances (ie having only 1/5) one can indeed give the up the PF, (and they should have) as the panel I described illustrated.

      2) Though I can't completely get behind Cy, I actually don't have THAT much of a problem with him. Its mostly his decisions. In fact, like many, I honestly don't think that he had control over himself when he went 100% and killed Xavier. I'm just saying that had he given up the power right then and there when he had the chance, and ordered the rest of the Phoenix 5 to do the same (he's the boss remember?), we would never have reached that point to begin with. Is all.

      3) Due to his past actions, such as the ones I listed, there is no force on Earth that will convince that Cyclops isn't a hypocrite. That's a given. In fact, if you like I can provide several more instances of said blatant hypocrisy. Its quite a pile. On that note, ever hear the saying a million people doing something wrong is still a wrong? Just because other people are hypocritical doesn't excuse Cyclops for being hypocritical. But as I clearly wrote before, I don't think that's his fault. I believe that's simply one of the tolls that naturally comes with being a leader. Where did I say that I don't have any issues with Wolverine, of all people? You actually think I DON'T see everyone from him to Cap (especially) to Reed to every politician ever as a big, fat hypocrite? Good god...

      a) In regards to Iceman, can you say "out-of-character?" "I hope he dies in battle." Right, because that's totally the kind of person Bobby is. That's totally something he'd say. See right there, I dislike how almost anyone who doesn't side with Cyclops to a certain extent is portrayed as overly unreasonable, particularly at the cost of the character's overall personality. And once again, this is coming from someone who does not, I repeat does not believe that Scott willfully killed Xavier.

      b) I'm fully aware of that situation with Cable, thank you very much. I also don't need any explanation regarding the AUD, which Cyclops wasn't impressed with. For my point, in terms of Cyclops giving the power over to Hope as he's supposed while still in control of himself, see beginning of this and my last post.

      Pretty sure those A+X issues are canon. Its actually kind of funny, Rogers finally has since come to admit that he doesn't believe that Cyclops intentionally killed Xavier. But alas, in order to maintain his self-righteous boy scout image, he nevertheless demands that Cy must have a trial and stand before a jury of his peers before being let of the hook. Am I the only one who loved that apron?

      Well, so much for agreeing to disagree. Then again, what's a comment section without rhetoric and potentially never-ending arguments? Peace ;)

    7. now here lies THE problem...

      1 & 2 - it is YOUR belief that at the time Cyclops only has 20% of the Phoenix Force, he can give it up on his own capability... but clearly, it does not work that way...

      another thing, eventhough he is the leader, it does not mean his members will absolutely follow him, considering the fact that all 5 of them has 20% of the PF... good example is when Emma goaded Namor into attacking Wakanda behind Scott's back... well, i did say that Scott was doing pretty well in wielding 20% of PF but you have to admit that by possessing just 20% of it is the start of corruption... it only goes to show that Scott has the most resilient willpower out of the 5 of them...

      i could let this argument slip if the taunting of Cyclops to give up his share of PF to Hope has a possibility... Scott is just taunting Hope, no more no less...

      3 - as i've said, i might have overlooked on Scott's supposed hypocrisy... can you expound on this "criticize someone for using excessive violence on a rogue Sentinel" thing? is this the rogue sentinel on Schism? because for me, Scott has more realistic approach in dealing with problems compared to other team leaders... remember how Reed roasted Cap and Tony in their Illuminati meeting with regard to Civil War? that, in itself, proves the hypocrisy of those two... my point was, how can you have issues with Cyclops when other characters basically put Scott's "hypocrisy" like a baby? i'm not using other characters to excuse Scott... i remember Cap in A+X saying he will not be rubbing elbows with cold-blooded killers, and Scott immediately pointed out Wolverine... oh, i do like the apron and the indestructible frying pan, if i may add...

      a. i don't know but the way i see it, Bobby's douchebagness oozed when they were discussing to grant Xavier's last wishes, and Bobby still injected his late argument of Scott killing Xavier, not just once by the way... when he, of all people, should be the one to understand Scott's predicament since he is one of Xavier's oldest pupils... the fact that Scott gained sympathy from Firestar, Kitty and Nightcrawler just added the weight of Bobby's douchebagness...

      get ready for this potentially never-ending arguments... it might just happen... peace, bro... no harm done... :)

  3. Who cares if it was intentional? The guy didn't INTEND to run over your 5 year old in the street. He was just drunk, right? Doesn't reduce the fact that the kid is dead and he's walking around, and in Cyclop's case, walking around free not having to go to trial or pay any penalty. Blah blah blah Cyclops was under the influence of Phoenix. Which he was using fine and doing with it what he wanted for how long? He was trying to reform the world in his image before he killed Xavier and he wasn't "corrupted" then. No one has any insight that his killing Xavier was not just part of that use of power since Cyclops decided to atone for the killing by breaking out of jail and never taking responsibility. Zero sympathy, especially since he should have known better, being married to the person that did it all before.

    1. Your premise isn't compatible because of the medium of comics. To make your metaphor accurate you'd have to add that you the 5 year old has died before, you know that he'll come back to life, the drunk driver wasn't drunk but had been drugged by one of the people judging him, and everybody judging him also ran over children, some of them not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and the legal system and all of their friends straight up didn't care when they did it and only started caring after Scott did it. Add all of that and then your metaphor will be closer to correct but everything else in your comment will unfortunately still be wrong.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Yeah, what the hell? "He was just drunk, right?" Presumably on alcohol he chose to drink and with a car he chose to get behind the wheel of while plastered. That's not at all comparable to a possession by a fucking cosmic entity.

      Your claim that "No one has any insight that his killing Xavier was not just part of that use of power" is complete bunk too since Rachel Fucking Summers -- you know, the universe's premiere expert on the entity, as well as its longest-running host in history -- said that it's not as simple as "Scott murdered Xavier." The Phoenix magnifies aspects that belonged to the person before they were possessed, sure, but if it's not magnifying everything, including their better judgment that would guide them to avoid extremes, then they are not operating in their right frame of mind and are not responsible for their actions.

      If Rachel Summers thinks that way, I'm going with her insight over your baseless ranting, Bobby Drake.

    4. Looks like someone said something not-hateful about Cyclops again, and revealed the mutant power to summon butthurt losers over the internet.

  4. As usual you make good points.

    - Why didn't SHIELD simply nuke Matthew Malloy? I'm not saying its the right answer but they've done far worse for situations much smaller

    - If Iceman doesn't do something very spectacular to help the X-Men out (particularly Scott) next to Hope Summers, this will put him officially at the bottom of my shit list

  5. Jack, your review is absolutely great, and especially spot on about the epic fuck nugget Iceman has become, but Hank hasn't been plotting the destruction of universes. He participated in plotting the destruction of alternate Earths only, which would have actually saved those Earths' universes.

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