Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny Avengers #25
We've all been on road trips where we know we're driving into a big fucking storm that's looming over the horizon. We look at it the same way we look at pigeons coming out of a car wash. We know it's coming and we know it's going to piss us off, but we have to keep driving. It's not always possible to wait it out. We're either short of gas or owe way too much money to a Tijuana brothel. Both the X-men and Avengers are on such a trip and the storm in question came directly from the asshole of the Red Skull. It's been teased, taunted, and tempted since Uncanny Avengers began, but it's finally happening in the form of an event called Avengers and X-men: AXIS. The Red Skull has gone full Nazi on the mutant race. He's already taken Magneto. Now Rogue, Havok, and the Scarlet Witch are getting a taste of authentic Nazi style torment in a classic Nazi concentration camp. Uncanny Avengers #25 promises to finally stop with the teasing and give us our first glimpse of some real titties. I know Marvel hasn't always delivered on their teases, but I'm always willing to give them a chance just as I'm always willing to give titties a chance.
There's really no teasing with the Red Skull though. This guy is a total uber-Nazi. He's not subtle about how much of an asshole he's willing to be. He showed up in the previous issue just as Havok, Rogue, and the Scarlet Witch rescued Magneto from his death camp. He makes it an obscenely unfair fight, exploiting the powers of Charles Xavier to mind-fuck fuck them into submission. It's like winning a game with cheat codes, but then again that has never bothered a Nazi before so why should it bother the Red freakin' Skull?
But it's not enough to just win easy with a TKO via telepathy. Magneto still has his helmet, ensuring he stays coherent enough for the Red Skull to troll him in the worst possible way. He practically covers his dick in steak sauce and waves it in front of a hungry grizzly, taunting Magneto at how he's going to use the Scarlet Witch to create his Eternal Reich, which is basically the kind of Reich that Hitler would want if someone gave him a barrel of crystal meth and a hit of LSD. He even has the balls to demand that Magneto bow in submission in exchange for keeping his daughter's mind (mostly) intact. It's a given that he'll never keep his promise, but the fact he has the balls to even pose such an option demonstrates the kind of Nazi he really is.
Magneto's response is expected. He doesn't make deals with Nazi assholes. He lets the Red Skull rough him up just enough to keep him distracted so he can use Ahab's metal spear to fuck up his already fucked up face. I want to say it's satisfying. But seriously, who the hell brings metal weapons to any battle against Magneto? The guy was standing right there. It's like giving a pile of cocaine to the Grateful Dead. What the fuck did they think was going to happen?
By breaking the Red Skulls concentration, Havok, Rogue, and the Scarlet Witch are free and ready to kick some Nazi ass. To this point, they've all had their assess handed to them by the Red Skull's S-men. I like to call them Nazi X-men, but that's just me. They've all done plenty to deserve the kind of ass-kicking that should only be reserved for the O.J. Simpsons and Scott Petersons of the world and like Bristol Palin's last period, they're overdue. It's not that terribly epic and it's not as one-sided as many probably wish it were, but it feels more balanced than any battle with the S-men to date and that's saying something.
It really doesn't end up needing to be epic. In fact, it really doesn't try to be because a much greater is established when the Scarlet Witch begins to narrate the scene. It's actually even more overdue than the S-men getting their asses kicked, having the Scarlet Witch offer a little insight. So much of this shit storm began when she lost her shit. Her perspective matters a whole hell of a lot when they've been dealing with the aftermath since George W. Bush's second term. Her perspective here gives some powerful weight to the fight, exploring how she hates being around her father and how she hates the effect she has on him. She knows what he wants to do to the Red Skull and everyone like him and she while she understands why he wants to do it, she would rather not become as fucked up as he is. Just being around him is too damn tempting to be that kind of an asshole. It's like me being around fireworks when I'm drunk. Nothing good comes of it.
Well no amount of fireworks can do the damage that the Scarlet Witch endures when she comes face-to-face with something that actually puts her on the same page as her father. No woman with severe daddy issues ever likes to be too understanding of their, but witnessing Nazi atrocities can nullify a lot of those issues. She gets a look at the kind of mind-raping torture that the Red Skull is subjecting to mutants and just like that, this becomes a Sunday picnic with her and her father. Except this is a picnic where they get to kill Nazis. That's a pretty awesome picnic.
This effectively drops napalm on a forest fire because it pisses the Scarlet Witch off enough to make the battle against the S-men as unbalanced as we all wish it had been from the beginning. For a while, it had been a stalemate with only Ahab throwing a few quips at Rogue, no doubt out of anger that he won't show him her tits. But once Magneto and the Scarlet Witch enter the fight again, the S-men might as well be trying to win a fight against the 1985 Bears armed only with a feather duster and a dildo. I'm not going to say it's as satisfying as I hoped it would be. I'll just say that it's still possible to jerk off to for anyone without too much whiskey in their system.
Again, the Scarlet Witch's insight into this struggle is what really gives it some emotional weight. She muses about how much hatred Magneto deals with and how much it affects her. She even feels tempted to try and calm him down before he starts to make the Hulk feel inferior. But against the S-men and the Red Skull, she holds back and allows Magneto to be the kind of Nazi-killing badass he strives to be. Sure, it makes him the kind of guy nobody wants to be around on a bad day, but it does ensure that Nazis and their buddies have something to fear and I think that's a fair trade-off.
Once the Scarlet Witch helps him rough up the S-men enough, Magneto defeats them as only he can. It's not as bloody or as brutal as it could've been. Then again, he's not a Nazi so that much is to be expected. With the S-men out of the way, he turns his attention to the Red Skull. Now with this, he could take all the metal within a 10 mile radius and force it up the Red Skull's ass while forcing him to watch a Justin Beiber concert. That would be pretty fitting for a Nazi of his caliber. Or Magneto could just beat the living shit out of him with his fists and enjoy the satisfying feeling of beaten Nazi flesh on his hand. Both would be equally satisfying, but he choose the latter and it's a beautiful sight. A Nazi getting the shit punched out of him by someone they tormented is almost on the level of 100 nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence. Almost, being the key word there.
It's so satisfying that Havok, Rogue, and the Scarlet Witch don't try to stop him at first. But the Scarlet Witch, who understands her father's rage better than anyone, does attempt to keep him from going overboard. It sounds like a crazy notion, somebody going overboard when beating up the ultimate Nazi. But the Scarlet Witch sees in her father someone who just loves doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons. He claims he's doing this to avenge Charles Xavier, but it's painfully clear that he just loves beating the shit out of Nazis. While that's completely understandable, it doesn't make him much better than 99 percent of the guys who ever played a game of Wolfenstein.
Even after getting beaten up, the Red Skull continues to troll Magneto in ways most people wouldn't even do on a Fantasy Football message board. He goes so far as to say that Xavier's greatest fear was that he would die and leave the X-men in his care. He just had that little faith in him. So the Scarlet Witch really has no chance at stopping him from shutting the Red Skull up by crushing his fucking head with a pile of bricks. Sure, it disappoints his daughter and would probably make Charles Xavier cry. But fuck if it isn't more satisfying than a bag of cocaine and a three-way with a couple of Playboy playmates in Charlie Sheen's room.
Nobody is really that surprised by what Magneto did. Hell, if anything I think they're surprised he didn't beat up the Red Skull a little longer so he could really enjoy it. But they're still disgusted and horrified. It could be argued that he's no better, using this kind of violence and brutality to stop assholes like the Red Skull. I still think an exception needs to be made for Nazis on the level of the Red Skull. There's only so much non-violent hippie crap can do against a guy who likes to bathe in the blood of minorities and jerk off on their corpses. But because of the Scarlet Witch's musings, it has all the right emotional impacts. It's not just Magneto beating a Nazi to death. It's an insight into just how much Nazi atrocities have fucked him up and everyone he loves.
It could've made for a somewhat inglorious end to this latest Nazi atrocity, but that just wouldn't be fitting enough for someone as cunning or as ballsy as the Red Skull. Despite having his head crushed and his S-men defeated, the Red Skull is still in a perfect position to kick up a Nazi-style shit storm. In fact, he's in an even better position than before because for some reason, Magneto beating him to death awakened Onslaught. That's right, this much maligned relic from the 90s has returned, minus the shitty boy bands and dial-up internet. And now he's armed with the Red Skull's Nazi-style douche-baggery. It's essentially the first shot for AXIS, Marvel's next big crossover event. And after facing the Red Skull in Onslaught form, I'm sure everyone in the Marvel universe will miss battling Thanos.
This issue did something important that the last issue probably should've done. It explored the pants shitting horror of Nazi atrocities from the Scarlet Witch's perspective. We already know how Magneto feels about Nazis. We already know how he deals with atrocities the same way the Hulk deals with anger issues. But the Scarlet Witch, who makes clear on multiple occasions that she doesn't want to wade into her father's Nazi-hating douche-baggery, is someone who has never had to confront Nazi level bullshit. Now she has and it helped make this story feel both satisfying and gripping. Plus, she finally beat the shit out of the S-men and those assholes were due.
The ending made it kind of pointless because it just did exactly what the Red Skull wanted, but that didn't make the emotions and the impact less meaningful. It still gets me very horny for the events of AXIS and I think the appearance of the new Red Skull/Onslaught design should have everybody seeking a clean pair of underwear. I give Uncanny Avengers #25 an 8 out of 10. The Scarlet Witch has finally learned the same lesson that Magneto and every Battlefield player has already learned. Nazis are assholes and it's okay to get really pissed off at them, so long as she doesn't tear reality another asshole, this might be the healthiest way to deal with her many issues that don't involve therapy and overpriced prescription drugs. Be that as it may, I still think weed would be better for her. Nuff said!