I imagine Colossus wishes he had some blow right now or at least a premium bottle of vodka. He's having a nightmare and not the kind when spiders crawl out of your junk and start biting your eyeballs either. It's not the most elaborate dream sequence, nor should we expect it to be without the aid of some damn good shrooms. But it does highlight his ongoing efforts to reconnect with his sister. Magik is crying out for his help (again, in his dreams). And it feels genuine. At no point does it imply that it could become incest porn. In this day and age, that counts for a lot.
Colossus wakes up from his nightmare, but immediately wishes he hadn't because he's in Sinister's lab. For most people, that's like a nightmare involving spiders, zombies, final exams, and high school gym class all rolled into one. It's that fucking terrifying. Colossus is trapped and so is Nightcrawler, who still keeps trying and failing to be as cool as Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction while reciting bible verses. Now, they're in line to be Sinister's lab rats, which is only slightly less horrifying than being the Hulk's proctologist.
But why does Sinister need lab rats? Does he EVER need reasons? Well this time, yeah. He does. He's actually trying to cure the plague caused by the Terrigen Mist. It's probably the most decent thing he's done since cloning a hot redheaded woman. Sure, his experiments involve killing an innocent mutant by subjecting him to a concentrated dose of the mist. Is it a dick move? Yeah, most definitely. But is it really any worse than people who get stuck testing laxatives for pharmaceutical companies? I'd say it's close.
While Sinister is giving something that the animal rights crowd can jerk off to, the rest of the X-men are still busy fighting that demon army invading the institute. Again, Hamberto Ramos' art really shines here, nicely depicting some visceral and satisfying action. But again, it's hard to really feel any sympathy for the X-men. I get that the Terrigen Mists suck, but who the fuck thought it was a good idea to build a school in fucking Limbo? You're not just asking to get attacked by demons. You're smearing chocolate on your nuts and dancing to Justin Bieber music. What the fuck did you expect?
But I digress. This visceral battle is finally decided thanks to the efforts of O5 Jean Grey. Yes, a whiny teenage girl was able to overcome an army of demons. There's just something inherently fitting about that. In addition, O5 Jean once again shows she's got the firepower that makes her deserving of being on the front lines with X-men. Her powers have been evolving to ball-busting levels since All-New X-men began and it's moments like this that progress all the more impressive.
She's way more competent than most teenage girls ever try to be and she does it without bitching about her lack of likes on Facebook. That's way more impressive than anything Old Man Logan does, who just admits he enjoys stabbing demons no matter how old he is. Not judging. Just saying one is more impressive than the other.
The battle ends and everybody takes a moment to stop shitting themselves. Then, they remember that if they want to keep living in a school in fucking Limbo, then they have to save Magik. Colossus, and Nightcrawler. She still has Limbo by the balls last they checked. They need her to occassionally squeeze them to keep the demons off their back.
So after listening to Old Man Logan's bitching for a while, they teleport back to Manhattan where Nightcrawler disappeared. Then, Old Man Logan finally stops bitching and starts tracking a scene. Iceman finds the time to make a wildly inappropriate comment about him and O5 Jean Grey, but let's face it. We were all thinking the same wildly inappropriate thing. But I'm a drunk. What's your excuse?
In as forced a transition as a Russian election, the X-men make it to Sinister's lab because I guess Manhattan real estate agents in the Marvel universe are allowed to drink on the job. He's still taunting Colossus with how he's going cut up their corpses and resist the urge to jerk off as best he can. Before anyone's pants can come off, the X-men show up and Old Man Logan does what he does best, stabbing Sinister right in the chest. It would've been more satisfying if he aimed for his balls, but I remind myself that this is Old Man Logan. His aim, among other things, probably ain't what it used to be.
Another visceral battle ensues, this time between the X-men and the Marauders. It's not quite as flashy or as fucked up as a battle against demons, but Hamberto Ramos still makes it work. It's chaotic, but in a good way like an orgy in a pool of chocolate is chaotic. We don't get to know much about these Marauders to be all that satisfied when the X-men kick their ass. But they're working for Sinister. That puts them just a few levels below that of a typical demon so they're way past the point of sympathy. This is more the point of pouring another glass of whiskey and just enjoying basic X-men ass-kicking, hoping you get drunk enough to ignore the plot holes.
The X-men eventually win and they finally rescue Magik and their home in Limbo by default. It makes for another nice moment between Colossus and his sister, one that's still absent of any incest. We saw how that shit played out in Ultimate so I'm glad to see Lemire avoiding it here. The X-men have a shitty enough image with being sterilized and diseased. They don't need the incest shit as well. Leave that kind of shit to the Inhumans.
This leaves only Sinister, who is still a raging dick-cheese for getting a boner over the possibility of dissecting Colossus. But again, he at least tries to justify his experiments, saying he wants to make mutants stronger to resist the plague. He's still being a dick about it, but we still shop at Wal-Mart despite them being dicks to their employees so who are we to judge?
Then, Sinister decides to add some extra lube to his dickish nature. He reveals that he's been doing these fucked up experiments for a while and to date, only one has managed to not die a horrible death. And low and behold, that test subject is Cyclops. Yes, my fingers didn't slip and I didn't snort paint thinner again. Sinister says Cyclops is alive and one of his test subjects.
Now, take this with a grain of salt and half a bong hit because this is Sinister, remember? This is the same guy who uses clones the same way Dr. Doom uses Doombots. Like botched DEA raids, it's best to assume excessive paranoia. But let's face it. If anyone was going to survive the Terrigen Mists and being more despised than Joel Shumacher, it was Cyclops. This guy survived being married to Jean Grey and being Emma Frost's fuck buddy. He can survive a fancy fucking cloud.
So...is it awesome?
Well, I'm glad I did that extra line of blow. It didn't affect the quality of the comic. I'm just glad I did it. This issue didn't answer any of the gaping plot holes, but it did finally stabilize the shit storm that has been unfolding in the past few issues. So it's definitely awesome to that extent. Again, Hamberto Ramos' art really shines. And Jeff Lemire finds ways to inject some personality into the characters. Beyond that, it's only an incremental improvement over the previous issue.
At the very least, it offers the tantalizing possibility that the truth will finally be revealed in the next issue. Anyone experienced with transvestite hookers know how dangerous tantalizing possibilities can be. That's still, of course, assuming that the Cyclops we see on the final page isn't a clone. If he is, I think Peter Parker will kick himself in the nuts out of frustration. But until this series fills those plot holes with something other than demon battles, then this series will continue to be hindered. And I'm not sure I have enough blow to keep up.
Final Score: 7 out of 10