Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Age of Apocalypse #5: Nuff said!

Let’s face it. A future where Apocalypse rules the world in ways Kim Jong Un jerks off to sucks. A future where Apocalypse rules the world and Dr. Doom is a god a double orgy gangbang of suck. It’s nowhere nearly as sexy as it sounds, but it has been as bleak and as dire as any 90s grunge band as a tie-in with Secret Wars. With the release of a new super virus, it’s poised to get dark in ways that Kurt Cobain himself couldn’t match. But can Age of Apocalypse #5 do this and still be awesome without this being 1996? I’m here to get drunk, get stoned, and find out, although not necessarily in that order.


So Apocalypse is dead, a doomsday virus has been unleashed, and they’re already living in a world where Doom is god. This is basically a trifecta of “We’re fucked!” and in an already apocalyptic future. On top of that, Dr. Nemesis managed to set it up so that he becomes the grossly, overpowered overlord of this shit stain of a future. He’s not as imposing as Apocalypse and I doubt Oscar Isaac could make him compelling, but he’s kicking plenty of ass. The X-men, Apocalypse’s Horsemen, what’s left of humanity…they don’t stand a chance.

It still makes for a nice, flashy clash the likes of which would be right at home in the 90s, most likely in an MC Hammer music video. Not much explanation is given to Dr. Nemesis’ powers, but not much is really needed. He’s been plotting since the beginning of the series. That plot just finally paid off. I’d say he deserves to flex his nuts.


And flex them he does. He flexes them in ways that even Apocalypse would respect. At one point, he just lets every one of the X-men and Apocalypse’s henchmen shoot him point blank. All they succeed in doing is giving him a minor itch. It’s like Rocky Balboa giving Ivan Drago a free punch. It’s pretty damn badass and that’s something I don’t think anyone would ever say about Dr. Nemesis…that and he would make a good babysitter.


Dr. Nemesis is kicking all this ass just as the virus that killed Apocalypse is starting to spread. And if it killed someone like Apocalypse, what hope do they have? Even Dr. Oz wouldn’t be able to pitch some bullshit treatment that anyone would take seriously.

The X-men still come up with a plan. Dark Beast is going to try and concoct a cure back at Sinister’s lab. Simple solution, right? Fuck no. Dr. Nemesis shows up and flat out off’s Dark Beast the same way I off a half-empty can of beer. It’s cold, but it’s oddly appropriate. That and seeing Beast get pwned does give me somewhat of a boner these days. Not gonna deny that.


So what’s Plan B? Or is it Plan F at this point? It involves Emma Frost soaking in all the knowledge from Dark Beast’s mind. I didn’t know she could do that, but that shit sure would’ve come in handy during mid-terms during my junior year. She and Blink decide they’re not going to fuck with a guy who just killed Dark Beast without giving him a chance to blame Cyclops. Probably a smart thing to do.

But Dr. Nemesis isn’t done just yet. He’s not content just offing annoying characters that haven’t been likable since the last Harry Potter movie came out. He actually wants to challenge Doom. And given the extent to which he’s flexed his nuts, I think he deserves a shot. He’ll get his balls busted, but for killing Dark Beast he still deserves a shot.


It’s still probably a good idea to keep Dr. Nemesis from pissing Dr. Doom off when he’s playing the game in god mode, but there’s still the matter of the killer plague. Emma Frost has Dark Beast’s brilliance, but she needs more than that to fix this mess. And wouldn’t you know it? The key happens to be Jean Grey, the woman who can tie a ruffle Emma’s obscenely revealing panties no matter which universe she’s in. This was already in the works going back several issues. Now these two women have to help each other. There’s something oddly appropriate about that. Pretty sure I can jerk off to it later tonight if I’m in the mood.


There is one minor problem, as if there are any minor problems in an apocalyptic future. Getting Jean Grey to save the day involves restoring the power that Dr. Nemesis took, courtesy of a lobotomy. And that involves the kind of brain surgery that would make even Dr. House sick. Needless to say, Cyclops and his brothers aren’t on board with this, given their role in how she ended up lobotomized in the first place. But Sinister shows up to convince them that this is a good idea. How he does this, I’m not sure. Just be glad this guy isn’t a used car salesman because I’d be broke as fuck.


The surgery begins. And it’s up to the rest of the X-men to keep Dr. Nemesis occupied. So they have to fight a grossly overpowered douche-bag in an apocalyptic world while Sinister does brain surgery on Emma Frost and Jean Grey? It couldn’t be more unreasonable without asking them to make a Fantastic Four movie that doesn’t suck. But fuck, they do it. They take on Dr. Nemesis in another flashy, epic battle that should have those craving 90s nostalgia reaching for their flannel and roller blades. Wolverine, Cyclops, Havok, Sabretooth…hell, everybody gets in on the action.

There’s even a touch of drama thrown into the mix, which you won’t find in an MC Hammer music video. This battle does have casualties, one of them being Burner. It’s not as callous as Beast, then again Burner isn’t an unrepentant asshole who jerks off to thoughts of Cyclops getting shot in the head. It’s not just epic. It has a genuine impact and fuck if that isn’t satisfying.


But you know what’s even more satisfying? How about Jean Grey waking up, her brain intact again, and ready to kick the everloving shit out of Dr. Nemesis. And she does it with the fucking Phoenix Force for good measure. Finally, there’s a ray of hope for the X-men and the endangered human population. Sure, the Phoenix has a knack for eating planets and shitting out smoldering ashes, but is it really worse than living in a world ruled by Dr. Doom or Dr. Nemesis? I say fuck no.


And since being emboldened and repowered wasn’t enough, Jean decides to use the Phoenix Force to cure the plague rather than take a cosmic shit on the world. I don’t think anyone would’ve blamed her if she decided this shitty apocalyptic future wasn’t worth saving, but for once she’s able to make the right choice while being jacked up on Phoenix power. That’s like me getting shit-faced drunk and making the right decision to call a designated driver. Some might complain that this is just some contrived, Deus Ex Machina shit to end the story. To those people, I say go back to jerking off your cat and snorting burnt Doritos. Jean Grey saving the day after a battle like this is pretty damn satisfying.


That’s not to say fixing all this shit didn’t come at a cost. It did. By curing the virus, Jean removed the X-gene. Now I know some will start bitching and moaning that she did exactly what Wanda did with House of M. Again, I say that’s bullshit for two reasons:

One, Jean did this to save mutants and humans from extinction.

Two, she didn’t lose her shit like Wanda did.

So it actually makes for a happy, satisfying ending…in Age of fucking Apocalypse no less. No, I’m not THAT high. I’m serious. It makes for a happy, satisfying ending. I’m almost tempted to sober up to make sure I haven’t suffered severe brain damage, but when an ending is satisfying, why bother?


So...is it awesome?

Well, it’s a happy ending in an apocalyptic world, one that completely defied expectations. It’s shocking, but in the most pleasant way possible. If it were a song, Kurt Cobain never would’ve written it. Sure, mutants were de-powered, but for once it wasn’t because the Scarlet Witch lost her shit. And the only ones that died were Dark Beast, Sinister, and Apocalypse. Honestly, I can live with that. It had heart. It had family elements. It had Emma Frost NOT being a total bitch. It had Jean Grey doing something OTHER than dying. It was dramatic, eventful, and fun. When was the last time anyone could say that about an apocalyptic future that didn’t involve Linda Hamilton getting naked?

Final Score: 9 out of 10

4 comments:

  1. Aren't saber tooth and Wolverine dead too?

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  2. What the...? Did they just have a sort of happy ending to a story for Scott and Jean? Doesn't that break some kind of cosmic law? This story got better as it went. Outstanding review Jack. Spot on as always.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I was pleasantly surprised too, especially after some of the lousy endings we got in other tie-ins. Who would've thought the most upbeat would be Age of Apocalypse?

      Jack

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