Thursday, April 16, 2015

Scanned Thoughts: Legendary Starlord #11


There are just some problems that cannot be fixed, no matter how hard anyone tries. And I’m not talking about making a shitty internet connection bearable. Human beings just aren’t conditioned to endure shit like that. I’m talking about issues that are a clusterfuck of circumstance. Kitty Pryde has been in her share of clusterfucks, some of which ended up with her in a fucking bullet that got launched into space. But after getting involved with a number of guys named Peter and fucking it up along the way, she finally found a Peter she could enjoy in Starlord. There’s a good dick joke in there, but it’s just too easy.

The problem is Peter Quill’s father is a cosmic-level douche-bag. How big of a douche-bag can he be? He tried to murder his son at least once a week and he froze a whole planet in amber. And he did this without the Black Vortex. Giving him power like that would be like giving King Joffrey the Ultimate Nullifier. More than anything else, this latest crossover between the X-men and the Guardians of the Galaxy established that Starlord’s father is a monumental douche of galactic proportions. And with Mr. Knife closing in for the kill in Legendary Starlord #11, time is running out. All Starlord wanted to do was have some fun with his girlfriend and watch Rocket get drunk with Groot. Was that really so much to ask?

Since the both the Brood and the Slaughter Lords are involved, I guess that question doesn’t need an answer. Kitty Pryde gets things going with a few painful reminders about her weakness for cute boys named Peter. It all started with her and Starlord pissing off his father by stealing the Black Vortex. Then it ended up with her getting encased in amber. I have had my share of shitty dates, but that definitely ranks in the top five. At least Kitty didn’t wake up in the back of a pickup truck next to a goat and used bottle of lube.

She and Starlord are trying to protect Spartax from the Slaughter Lords, who are trying desperately to do Mr. Knife’s dirty work for him so he can continue pleasuring himself to the screams of his son and his son’s girlfriend. Magik even joins in the fun. But even a demon-powered teenage girl can only do so much against the Slaughter Lords and the Brood. Again, Starlord’s father is just that big an asshole.


There’s some really nice inner musings here by Kitty Pryde. Numerous characters have had a chance to show their thoughts in this story. Usually, this stuff is easy to overdo, like putting wasabi on a taco. But it definitely helps give weight to the story here. It also allows Kitty Pryde to assess just how bad the situation is. They’ve got the Brood, the Slaughter Lords, and Starlord’s father. On top of that, some of their friends are still stuck in amber. Forget having a shitty date. This is right up there with divorce, a tax audit, and being sued by Rupert Murdoch.

That’s not to say that all is lost. In the midst of this cosmic shit storm, Captain Marvel manages to make it back to Spartax. It’s another example of perfect convergence between the issues. She was able to get the Black Vortex away from Mr. Knife, but ended up getting chased by Gara, who got drunk on the Black Vortex eons ago. So her day has sucked just as much. Even so, having the Black Vortex in their possession goes a long ways towards ensuring that Mr. Knife won’t use it to fuck them over even more. It still attracts a larger shit storm, but it’s one they can still navigate.


Gara makes sure they don’t get too lazy. Because the Brood and Mr. Knife weren’t enough, she decides to kick up more shit by demanding they give the Black Vortex to her. Since this woman looks about as trustworthy as used car salesman at a lot owned by Cobra Commander, they’re not exactly inclined to give it up. And since Gara has a few billion years of experience with this thing, she’s willing to fight dirty. The X-men and the Guardians of the Galaxy try to hold her off by throwing Magik at her. Again, a demon-powered teenage girl can only do so much. Believe me, I’m just as shocked that I have to keep pointing that out.

The intensity of this battle, along with the lingering threat posed by the Brood and the Slaughter Lords, leads some to think that a little extra cosmic power might be warranted. At this point, they might as well be playing Contra without cheat codes. It’s a losing battle with so many enemies. And since they have the Black Vortex, why the fuck not?

Well that kind of logic breaks down when O5 Jean Grey decides to take a dip in the cosmic pool. However, any X-men fan who has been alive since the mid-80s knows she has shittier luck than most when it comes to cosmic power. She wants to do it to save Spartax this time. Her heart is in the right place, but 5 billion D’brai would argue that’s not enough.


It’s a tense moment and one that could’ve easily turned the Black Vortex into the 1,988,584th rip-off of the Phoenix Saga, but that’s not what happens. O5 Jean comes close to submitting, but Starlord stops her. He and Kitty Pryde agree that her history with cosmic power is just too spotty. While she might take offense to that, I don’t think she would deny it. She might be an irrational teenager, but she even she’s not willing to be this reckless. She should probably stick to weed, beer, and porn like most teenagers.

But someone still needs to tap a little of that cosmic power to tip the balance. Otherwise, they might as well be pissing into the cosmic wind. They all agree that they stand no chance against the Brood, Gara, and the Slaughter Lords without cosmic power. So being the responsible boyfriend, Starlord decides to volunteer. It’s fitting in many ways. It’s his father who’s causing this shit. He’s the one trying to show Kitty Pryde that he’s different from the other Peters she’s dated. This could be his chance to earn a permanent place in her panties.


So he takes a look inside the Black Vortex and he sees his cosmic version. And I gotta say, it’s pretty damn awesome. He doesn’t become a monster. He doesn’t go batshit crazy and decide snuff out an entire star system out of sheer boredom. He just becomes a supremely powerful, supremely confident cosmic badass. He’s basically like Han Solo, Captain Kirk, and Chuck Norris all rolled into one, plus cosmic power. He could both save Spartax and upstage his father. There couldn’t possibly be any downside to it. Hell, he could end this conflict while jerking off if he wanted.


However, there is another part of that vision into his cosmic awesome that makes him think twice. In addition to being a cosmic-powered badass, he also becomes a cosmic-powered douche-bag. He’ll save the day. He’ll upstage his father. He might even become the most celebrated cosmic figure since that three-titted woman in Total Recall. But in doing so, he would lose Kitty Pryde. Apparently, slutty women of every alien race find cosmic-powered douche-bags sexy. And with that kind of power, Starlord just can’t resist being the asshole that pushes Kitty away.

It makes for another powerful, emotional moment in which Starlord rejects this power. As much as he and everyone who ever saw Star Wars wants to be a badass, he’s not willing to break Kitty Pryde’s heart. Now is it selfish? Yes, to some degree. Does it sound like the kind of exaggerated romantic ploy that belongs in a bad Hugh Grant movie? Kind of. But it makes Starlord show more humility than he’s shown in a long time. It’ll give some women a pussy boner, but it still leaves the situation unresolved.


There’s still the matter of the Slaughter Lords and the Brood. The X-men and the Guardians of the Galaxy want to save Spartax and they need cosmic mojo to do it. This is where things get a little choppy. Gara, who has had a rage boner since she showed up in this story, takes a moment to lecture them on how fucked they are if they try to tamper with the Black Vortex. She knows because she fucked with it billions of years ago and ended up destroying her entire race. It’s a story that was already explored early in the Black Vortex crossover. Getting a reminder really doesn’t add much to it. She tells them noting that they didn’t already learn in the Phoenix Saga. If they fuck with this power, they may save Spartax. But they may end up turning countless other planets into the equivalent of downtown Detroit.


There’s some light debate on the merits of using the Black Vortex at this point. It’s nowhere near as spirited as earlier debates. That’s a bit of a problem because the stakes are much higher now. They’re not just looking to take this cosmic power for a cruise down the cosmic highway and show off to whatever the space equivalent is for cute cheerleaders. They’re trying to save a planet and stop Mr. Knife from wielding a cosmic-powered rage boner. It’s a debate that should be a lot more emotional, but it falls flatter this time.

In the end, it does lead to a meaningful decision. While Starlord and O5 Jean Grey might not be able to handle this power, Kitty Pryde decides she’s willing to risk it. She doesn’t have as big a history of murdering 5 billion aliens or being a space-outlaw douche. She is probably in the best position because she has the most incentive. She’s trying to help her boyfriend’s home planet. She’s trying to piss off her father. Short of carrying his child, Kitty Pryde has every conceivable reason to wield the power of the Black Vortex and not screw up. It still feels like Gara and Starlord don’t do or say enough to dissuade her, but it’s still a moment that carries a lot of weight.


So without any more meaningful debate, Kitty Pryde decides to take the jump and embraces the power of the Black Vortex. This time, we don’t get any visions of what could happen if she fucks up. We don’t see her sitting by a pool while a bunch of male strippers named Peter serve her martinis. Instead, she becomes this cosmic-powered ghost who looks like she’d haunt the nightmares of Mr. Knife and bless the wet dreams of every man named Peter in the history of the universe. It’s not quite as spectacular as Jean Grey embracing the Phoenix Force or Thanos wielding the Infinity Guantlet. But it is eerily beautiful in its own special way and the emotions behind her choice still carry plenty of weight. The only problem at this point is that Starlord probably has to hide the most awkward boner of his life.


This issue wasn’t epic in that it didn’t have the same cosmic-powered smackdowns that previous issues had. There was a lot more talking and a lot less planets being turned into a giant Jurassic Park prop. Granted, that talking was meaningful. Nobody ever got off-topic and started discussing the NFL draft or anything like that. And it did move the story forward. Once again, the overall Black Vortex story remained concise and focused. Given the size and scope of this story, it deserves a steak dinner and a blow-job. That still didn’t keep it from dragging a bit more than previous issues. And the absence of Mr. Knife and the rest of the team didn’t help. At times, it felt like only half a pizza. It’s still better than no pizza, but not as good as it could have been.

Even with all the talking and repetitive whining, this issue made a solid contribution to the Black Vortex story as a whole. It also played up the emotional undertones between Starlord and Kitty Pryde. Even though some of those undertones felt too Twilight-esque at times, it still felt genuine. The emotions don’t feel overly forced, but they’re not going to make anyone think they did an extra line of blow. It was still enough to make Kitty Pryde’s decision at the end feel meaningful. It took a while and it was a bit predictable, but it still felt right. That’s why I give Legendary Starlord #11 a 7 out of 10. All Starlord wanted to do was enjoy his time with his girlfriend and not have to save the galaxy. His dad is just that big of a douche and the Black Vortex is just that much of a cockblock. I think a lot of men can relate to some degree. It still beats being dragged to a shitty Johnny Depp movie. Nuff said!

4 comments:

  1. Good review. I wonder if Kitty (or some new version of her) will be that Singularity character in the upcoming "A-Force" series?

    Also, do you think Thane is dead or do you expect to see him in the finale to this?

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