Thursday, November 27, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Wolverine and the X-men #12
Some people have multiple personalities that change as often as Lady Gaga’s dress sense. One day they’re loving and caring. The next they’re angry and hostile to the point of wanting to snap the neck of puppies. These people are usually not the kind of people who should be in positions of power where their authority is wielded on the whim of whatever meds they are or aren’t taking. That’s part of what makes someone like Storm such a perfect headmaster for the Jean Grey Institute. More than any other X-man, she has been the emotional and spiritual rock for generations of mutants. Her loving, compassionate grace is more consistent than Peyton Manning on game day.
But what happens when that rock of stability turns into a badly hung over Wolverine? That’s exactly what the inversion has done to Storm in the events of Avengers and X-men: AXIS. Thanks to yet another case of the Scarlet Witch’s bullshit, she and some of the other X-men have gone evil. Now she’s about as compassionate as a hungry grizzly that shits typhoons. And she is still the head of the Jean Grey Institute. May Odin and every other god in the Marvel universe have mercy on the poor souls of the students.
Almost as jarring as Storm going evil is Kid Omega suddenly not being the insufferable douche-bag he’s been for the last decade. He certainly went out of his way to exercise his douche-baggery in the events leading up to Wolverine’s death. He took over the Phoenix Corporation, quit the Jean Grey Institute, and generally shrugged off Wolverine’s death the same way Chuck Norris shrugs off a hangover. Now he’s partying it up at the Hellfire Club. It’s basically like an orgy at the Playboy mansion and cocaine bender with Charlie Sheen. An douche-bag teen should be in heaven, but that’s not how Kid Omega feels anymore.
He’s at this party, surrounded by the kind of rich assholes he would love to mind-fuck just to give himself a boner. Yet he doesn’t feel inclined to do any of that shit. His inner monologue details the extent of his inversion, something that has been explored in other tie-ins. It’s been explored better because all it really shows here is that Kid Omega is no longer exercising his douce-bag tendencies, but it’s still nice to see the nuts and bolts of the inversion.
What isn’t nearly as nice is seeing the Hellfire Brats again. Yes, the pre-pubescent asshats who turned the entire concept of the Hellfire Club into an exercise in absurdity/pedophilia are still alive and I’m still pissed off about it. And no, they haven’t changed at all. They’re still the same insufferable assholes. But they do at least remind Kid Omega that he tends to cause a lot more property damage at these parties. Hell, he did just that a few issues ago on his own birthday. But now he might as well be the bathroom attendant cleaning vomit off the floor from guys who can’t handle their blow. It does help reinforce the extent of Kid Omega’s inversion, but it doesn’t make seeing the Hellfire Brats again any less infuriating.
At this point, no more reinforcement is needed to show that Kid Omega is not his usual asshole self. But we get it anyways, even though most of us are starting to get sick of it and looking for more potent weed. After rubbing elbows with the Hellfire Brats, Kid Omega meets up with some old friends from the Jean Grey Institute, including Idie and Broo. For some reason, they actually accepted his invitation to a party at the Hellfire Club. That would be like Reed Richards agreeing to go to a strip club with Dr. Doom. It should raise more than a few red flags, but that’s besides the point.
Their reactions to Kid Omega’s invitation and attitude are funny. I’d be shocked too if I met my old algebra teacher and found out he became peaceful, non-violent hippie who didn’t hide a bottle of whiskey under his desk in between classes. It just falls too flat. Kid Omega attempts to paint it as something Wolverine would’ve wanted. But given how he’s gone out of his way to piss all over Wolverine’s grave in recent issues, it really has no impact. It’s not terrible. It’s not egregious, given the inverted circumstances. It’s just not all that interesting without the aid of LSD.
But guess what is more interesting? How about Storm doing whatever the fuck she wants to do, even if it means swapping spit with some guy she doesn’t know who happens to be at the party with another woman? That’s the sort of shit we would expect from Emma Frost or Mystique, but not Storm. Even if her lover did just die, this is now how she usually copes. Hell, if I recall, she was still at the stage where she was sleeping with Wolverine’s jacket and his empty bottles of whiskey. Now she’s already at that stage where she’s getting over a tragedy by getting under whoever moistens her panties. I’m shocked and incredibly turned on.
She doesn’t just kiss the guy either. She actually kisses the woman too. So yes, Storm has now basically become her own porno fantasy and my penis couldn’t be happier. There doesn’t need to be any monolog for this shit. Her actions are more than enough to reveal the extent of her inversion. This is not the same loving, compassionate Storm that so many people love and respect. This is a Storm who operates by the, “I’ll do and fuck whatever and whoever I want in that order.” It’s shocking, but sexy as fuck.
This surprises Kid Omega and probably gives him a hell of a boner. He doesn’t really do much. To be fair, he’s not in a position to do much either. This is Storm. This is one woman even Kid Omega doesn’t fuck with outside his darkest masturbatory fantasies. She makes it clear that she’s here to do whatever the fuck she wants to do and if he doesn’t like it, he can go suck a tornado’s dick. And when a couple of bouncers show up to try and kick her out, she kindly turns them away by kicking their asses.
Again, no monologue is needed for this shit. Storm’s actions do plenty to send the right message. This is an inverted Storm. She doesn’t give a flying fuck anymore. And anyone who dares fuck with her buzz can expect a concussion and a full-blown monsoon up their ass. It’s jarring, especially after all the grace and elegance she demonstrated in recent issues. And maybe this reveals some of the flaws within AXIS itself because it flips these characters so severely that it really doesn’t feel genuine anymore. This Storm might as well be an evil clone. But seeing as how there are enough Madelyne Pryors in the Marvel universe, I’m not going to say the concept is completely without merit.
Kid Omega is pretty shell shocked, but even in his inverted form, nobody really gives a shit about his opinion. It’s when the other students from the Jean Grey Institute that shit really gets serious. They calmly ask Storm if she’s okay. She responds by hitting them with a fucking hurricane. Now even for an inverted Storm, that’s pretty extreme. That’s like fighting an ant hill with napalm. There’s no discussion or debate either. She just tells them to fuck off and then helps herself to money in one of the cash registers. It’s another instance where the inversion becomes so extreme that it fails to have the same impact. We get it. She’s not herself. But there’s a fine line between being inverted and an evil clone. This story is basically dry-humping that line. It still gives me a boner, but only to an extent.
Finally, Kid Omega decided to do something. Unfortunately, doing something for him usually means doing something that ends up pissing everybody off. Even in his inverted form, Kid Omega finds a way. He uses a little telekinetic gun-slinging, along with some traditional mind-fuck to calm Storm the fuck down before she goes Hurricane Katrina on all of them. It works, but only to the extent that it pisses off the Hellfire Club’s insurance company. It doesn’t snap Storm out of her inversion. In fact, she decides to thank him for stopping her by punching him in the jaw. And even if it’s misguided in these circumstances, nobody would argue that Kid Omega hasn’t done plenty to earn 100 punches just like it.
It’s this moment that’s really the most telling. By having Storm and Kid Omega clash, it establishes a clear dichotomy with this inversion. Basically, an inverted Storm is way more powerful than an inverted Kid Omega. An inverted Storm is also way sexier and way easier to jerk off to. Anybody who denies that is lying through their teeth. And it’s this moment where Storm stands over an emasculated Kid Omega where we see just how strong these inversions truly are. It should make everybody a lot less inclined to piss Storm off, regardless of whether she’s inverted.
After Storm successfully shrinks Kid Omega’s balls the size of a peanut, she ditches him. This leaves Kid Omega behind with a very irritated group of Hellfire Brats. They told him to not fuck up another one of their parties. And even though this wasn’t his fault, he’s the one that gets the blame. It’s not fair, but nobody is going to feel too sorry for this kid. Let’s face it. Even if this party had gone as well as any traditional Hellfire orgy, he would have found a way to fuck up another one. As far as I’m concerned, Storm just saved them all and the insurance company a lot of frustration.
Even if nobody feels sorry for Kid Omega, it does put him in a position to better-understand what’s going on. He seems to know that something is very fucked up with him and Storm, but he still hasn’t connected the dots. And he’s supposed to be an omega level telepath, even though that label has become about as meaningless as an honorary degree from Arizona State. But even without the knowledge of Dr. Doom and the Scarlet Witch’s spell, he has a better idea of what’s going on here. He basically know knows what we all knew several issues ago. He’s way behind the curve and he’s really not in a position to do much else about it. So in that sense, not much gets accomplished other than ruining another perfectly good orgy.
I look at this story the same way I look at a dog that accidentally ate a bag of weed. It’s a spectacle, but not in the same sense that clown car crashing into a bakery is a spectacle. The strength of this story is its ability to make the concept of an evil Storm and a non-douchey Kid Omega entertaining. It works, but only in the sense that a firecracker works. It has its moments. It’s fun from a very shallow standpoint. It’s just not much more than that.
There’s no real impact on the ongoing events of AXIS. There’s nothing profound revealed about Storm, Kid Omega, the Hellfire Club, or the recent death of Wolverine. It’s just highlighting the fucked up nature of an evil Storm and a non-douchy Kid Omega. In this, Wolverine and the X-men #12 succeeds. It doesn’t make that concept feel fucked up to the point that no amount of bong hits can make it entertaining. It’s not going to leave anybody’s jaw on the floor either. Those who fantasize about Storm being a dominatrix might have something to work with here, but I imagine those fantasies have no place outside seedy European clubs. I give this comic a 6 out of 10. It’s good. It neither induces vomiting nor inspires multiple nerdgasms. For those who don’t have access to a clown car or know a good bakery, this comic will do the job. Nuff said!