Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Extraordinary X-men #3: Nuff Said!

The current state of the X-men is a lot like tentacle porn where mutants are cute, big-breasted schoolgirls wearing pink panties. We know what's going to happen. We know it's going to both disturb and arouse us. Some will be disgusted. Some will be turned on. Some will be unable to stop themselves from masturbating. But it's entirely predictable. For the moment, it just makes sense to assume that mutants and the X-men are utterly fucked in the current Marvel universe. That should make the events of Extraordinary X-men #3 less shocking, right? Well for those foolish enough to stay sober when reading comics, I'm here to answer that question.

First, the X-men fight an army of demons. Shocking? Fuck no. The X-men deal with super-powered teenagers who might as well be demons. They’ve fought a queen of goblins who also happens to be an evil clone. This shouldn’t shock anybody who doesn’t have an exceedingly shitty weed dealer.

Shocking or not, it reveals one of the main complications of X-Haven. It’s located in fucking Limbo, aka the South Beach for demons. It means the X-men have more to worry about than killer robots for once. It still makes for some visually stunning displays by Hamberto Rameros. Those with really good weed dealers will appreciate it even more.

It also gives Iceman a chance to show that he’s learned some new tricks during the 8-month gap and no, I’m not talking about tricks that involve anal beads. Apparently, he’s now capable of controlling Icemen armies. He’s like Jamie Madrox and Frosty the Snowman now. Not saying that’s a bad thing. In fact, it’s probably the most useful skill he can offer X-Haven, aside from leading its annual gay pride parade. It makes for more stunning visuals. Rameros can expect a hand-written thank-you note from my weed dealer now.

Demon action is all well and good, but how about a little melodrama? That’s what O5 Jean and Old Man Logan supply in abundance. And for once, it’s not done in a way that caters to those with very fucked up tastes in porn. There’s no romantic overtones here. Don’t expect to jerk off to this conversation. It’s not supposed to get your dick hard. It’s supposed to give you a case of the feels.

And it does. Old Man Logan doesn’t even believe she’s real at first. She manages to convince him and endures entering his shitty excuse for a trailer. There are probably meth labs that are nicer than this, but O5 Jean doesn’t care. She tries to convince the old geezer to rejoin the X-men. She also mentions that Cyclops is dead, which Storm already mentioned in the last issue. Does she give more details? Fuck no. Did Brett Ratner proved that people don’t mind killing off an iconic character off-panel? I guess someone didn’t get the fucking memo.

The conversation is intense. Again, it’s not done in a way meant to get your dick hard. Old Man Logan makes clear he doesn’t trust himself. Joining the X-men just puts him in a position to kill them again and he’d rather not put himself through that shit again. He’s already dealing with graying hair, wrinkly skin, and a growing prostate. O5 Jean, being the nosy bitch she is, reads his mind and gets the Wikipedia version of Old Man Logan’s world. It’s about as pleasant as having root canal by Freddy Kruger. But it sends the message. Old Man Logan is destined to gut the X-men.

It’s good drama, but it’s still not as fun as watching the X-men fight demons. It’s a lot more strenuous than fighting giant robots. Even with Iceman’s army of Icemen, it’s not an easy fight. These X-men are under-staffed, outnumbered, and overwhelmed. All the while, the Inhumans are probably having a circle jerk in their fancy palace while watching the TV show that glorifies them while ripping off mutants. All the X-men have is a pet Sentinel. That’s right. The X-men have been reduced to teaming up with killer robots. You happy now Disney?

The action is still solid. Some of the new mutants in X-Haven even get to contribute. That adorable little girl that Storm and Iceman rescued in India earlier shows her gratitude, using her powers to turn demons against one another. I’m not sure how the fuck it works, but Hamberto Ramos’ art makes it a sight to behold. Normally, a cute girl manipulating demons is seen as a sign of the Apocalypse. Here, it’s just awesome.

What’s almost as epic? How about a teenage girl arguing with a temperamental old man? It’s not a Sienfeld rerun. It’s a real clash between O5 Jean and Old Man Logan. He tells her it doesn’t matter what they do. He’ll end up killing the X-men. She’ll end up dying. They can’t do shit about it. Spoken just like a bitter old fart.

But O5 Jean is a stubborn teenage girl. And if history has shown us anything, it’s that stubborn teenagers usually win out over bitter old farts. It also makes for a nice moment where O5 Jean promises to keep Old Man Logan in check if he gets overly murderous. She probably throws the puppy-dog eyes in, which no old fart can resist. Sorry O5 Jean, but that’s just not fighting fair.

The demon battle continues to rage. It’s still visually stunning, albeit chaotic. Wasn’t this shit a direct result of Magik getting jumped by Sinister? Well, those of us who sober up from time to time remember that. And no, this story offers no details on that. It offers no details and anything. Nothing about Cyclops. Nothing about the mutant/Inhuman war. Nothing about Sinister. It’s just more X-men fighting demons. Not that I have anything against X-men fighting demons, but a little context couldn’t hurt.

Instead, we get Storm having another vision of Professor Xavier. Is he really there? Is she going crazy? Does Limbo have an even better weed dealer than I do? Again, some details would be very helpful, but we get jack shit and everything in between. If nothing else, it gives Storm an excuse to be a real badass, as though she needs any.

In addition to extra badassery, they finally get some reinforcements when O5 Jean and Old Man Logan arrive. They probably don’t call expecting to arrive in the middle of a fucking demon war. But should they be shocked, given all the shit they’ve endured? Fuck no. If anything, they just get pissed off. Maybe they should just imagine that all these demons are actually Inhumans. That’ll make it easier for everybody. it awesome?

Well, let's channel our inner divorce lawyer and make a list. Intense action? Check. Heavy drama? Check. Wolverine being a dick. Double check. It tics all the right boxes. It has all the basics we've come to associate with X-men comics. So what's the deal? Well in the same way basic porn doesn't cut it after a while, a lack of the advanced, refined shit is lacking. At most, Extraordinary X-men #3 will give you a semi-boner. For Cyclops fans, it'll give you another reason to punch the nearest brick wall. But there are still too many goddamn plot-holes. Like smoking only half a joint, you'll only get somewhat high. But you'll still get high and that still counts for something.

Final Score: 7 out of 10

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