Wednesday, February 24, 2016

All-New X-men #5: Nuff Said!

I’ve heard some people say that the reason teenagers get into trouble is because their brains are underdeveloped and their experiences are too limited for them to have solid judgment. I want to think this is true to some degree, but I also believe that the bulk of teenage-fueled mischief is fueled by a potent combination of being uniformed, unintelligent, and overly horny. On top of all that shit, the O5 X-men have to deal with being from another fucking time period. So I think they deserve at least a partial pass for their mischief.

They’ve already gotten into plenty in All-New X-men, but Dennis Hopeless has done a decent job of making them the more lovable brand of teenagers. They’re not the kind that throw eggs at a car or take shits in a hot tub. They’re actually trying to do the right thing, not yet realizing just how fucked they are. All-New X-men #5 has them continuing this noble effort. I feel like I should start a betting pool for when their spirits are inevitably crushed.

O5 Angel’s spirits might not be crushed, but his girlfriend’s face is. He spent the latter part of the previous issue watching Blob basically treat X-23’s head as a tap-dancing lesson. In Blob’s defense, they interrupted his meal. In Blob’s counter-defense, he was about to eat an endangered animal so he’s still a fucking asshat, even by Chris Brown standards.

O5 Angel, who is supposed to be packing cosmic power, ought to be pissed. Blob just fucked up the girl who willingly lets him see her naked. That should enrage anyone. Instead, he just sort of flutters his wings and tends to his wounded girlfriend while letting Blob just walk off. I get that he’s concerned, but to not even cuss out the asshole who just beat up his girl...that takes a microscopic set of balls.

Blob has a golden opportunity to just shrug off this minor inconvenience, go somewhere quiet, and dine on his meal of endangered meat with the same glee that Ted Cruz probably has when he bathes in the tears of poor people. But he just fucked up an X-man and watched her micro-dick boyfriend just stand there while his piss dried. I can’t blame him for feeling a little emboldened.

So Blob ends up finding O5 Beast, who is just beginning to appreciate the utility of social media, crowdfunding, and internet porn. That last one is just a given. While this is a nice reminder that these X-men are from a time before sending pictures of your dick was disturbingly easy, it doesn’t exactly give him an advantage over Blob any more than a cell phone would give me an advantage over Teddy Rosevelt in a boxing match.

Not gonna lie though. Given the oversized douche that O5 Beast grows up to be, I kind of found myself rooting for Blob when he started throwing punches.

Not everyone in the team is in Paris just to fuck up Blob’s latest illegal meal. Some are taking the time to see the sights that Paris has to offer and do a little introspection. Idie takes advantage of this better than most and I’m not just talking about smuggling French pastries in her bra. She visits the cathedral in Notre Dame and no, I’m not talking about the football stadium. Here, she’s looking to have a conversation with God and no, I’m not talking about Lemmy Kilmeister either.

Now this is an unexpected, but welcome development for Idie. It’s been a long time since she has done something other than be that cute girl who didn’t become a complete afterthought after Hope fucking Summers ditched the X-men. For a while, she had been a conflicted, yet very religious young girl, even after other conflicted religious people tried to burn her at the stake. It’s a part of her character that was forgotten. While nobody gives a shit that Hope fucking Summers has been forgotten, this is one of those traits that’s worth remembering.

Idie’s conversation with God is probably going to be one-sided. The fight against Blob is almost just as one-sided. That fight eventually finds O5 Cyclops, who decides to enjoy his time in France by buying...a soccer ball. Seriously, in a country of expensive wine and artery clogging deserts, this is what he thinks is worth getting? Not judging, but Paris does have more to offer.

The soccer ball does end up serving a purpose, which is something I know Americans have a hard time believing. It leads O5 Cyclops right into the fight, albeit under some mysterious circumstances. Those circumstances don’t mean dick for now. All that matters at this point is Blob is kicking O5 Beast’s ass and why would anyone want to miss that?

O5 Iceman and Kid Apocalypse are missing out, but for good reason. O5 Iceman is in a country that’s exceedingly gay friendly and doesn’t pressure men or women to shave anything below the neck. So when he meets a cute guy at a shoe store, he tries to put his gay on. He doesn’t exactly succeed. Neil Patrick Harris, he is not. Then again, very few of us are, gay or straight.

It’s another important moment, just like Idie at the church. O5 Iceman just recently came out as being pro-cock. However, he hasn’t really done much with it. He’s now trying to do what his older self never dared to do, pretending he liked vaginas more. It might piss off One Million Moms, but that only makes this development more important in making O5 Iceman more interesting.

Kid Apocalypse even gets involved in the interest, albeit in a very non-gay way. One Million Moms may still hate him for his name, but that’s their fucking problem. He and O5 Iceman have a nice conversation that offers some telling hints of the upcoming Apocalypse Wars. It also touches on O5 Iceman’s reluctance to discuss his newfound love of cock to O5 Beast, his best and oldest friend. It’s a tough position for both of them. One might get screwed in a good way and one is destined to get screwed in a bad way. Not sure that balances things out, but it’s a productive conversation that usually doesn’t happen between teenagers.

Their conversation is a lot more productive than the one Idie has with God in the cathedral. Not to piss off One Million Moms even more, but this is a conversation that any non-mutant minority could easily have with God and win. She says she was taught that God looks at mutants the same way John Goodman looks at a plate of kale. She basically tells God that this is divine horse shit. There’s no “mysterious ways” crap. It’s just soft, steaming horse shit that others love to smear on those who are different.

Idie doesn’t go full-fledged Christopher Hitchens on God, but it’s still a very powerful conversation that Marvel usually doesn’t have the balls to make. Idie believed in that Jesus Hates [Insert Minority Here] crap until she became a minority. The fact that she finally decides to speak up is a great moment for her. It might make Glenn Beck cry, but I guess that’s just a nice bonus.

Eventually, Idie tables the rest of her conversation with God and joins the fight against Blob. O5 Iceman and Kid Apocalypse do the same. It’s a somewhat chaotic and disorganized way of getting everyone involved, not to mention slow at times. But in the end, they still clash with Blob on the streets of Paris in a nice, albeit underdeveloped spectacle, courtesy of Mark Bagley’s art. It’s no Juggernaut vs. Hulk. It’s not Juggernaut vs. Squirrel Girl either. But it still has that classic feel of the X-men fighting one of their classic villains.

While this battle is unfolding, we don’t get to see as much of it as is teased. Instead, we catch up with O5 Angel and X-23, who haven’t been doing shit since O5 Angel decided that his balls were too small to fight someone who just fucked up his girlfriend. X-23 being durable and tough as fuck, she recovers. Hell, if Logan can get all the flesh blown off his bones and go back to banging Japanese hookers by the end of the day, then X-23 can certainly survive getting her head crushed. She’s fucking Wolverine now. She shakes that kind of shit off in ways no Taylor Swift song can ever match.

However, this is just too much for O5 Angel’s undersized balls to handle. Despite getting a cosmic upgrade. Despite sleeping with Logan’s daughter and living with all his limbs still attached. He’s still too much of a pussy to stay with X-23. He says he wants to break up. Keep in mind, he’s doing this while Blob is still has a huge rage boner in the streets of Paris. So not only are his balls that small, but his sense of timing is just as bad.

That said, this was a relationship that always felt more forced than a Russian democratic election so I can’t say I’m that broken up about it. I get more emotional when I run out of beer. Not that O5 Angel and X-23 didn’t have its moments, but those moments are too forgettable to get worked up about. it awesome?

Well in the sense that this team of young, time-and-plague-displaced mutants haven’t had their spirits completely crushed, yeah. I’d say so. I’d also say that this issue tried to juggle more balls than it should’ve, but not to the extent that it came off like a drunk Johnny Knoxville trying to win a bar bet. There were some nice personal moments. O5 Iceman is still struggling to embrace his new gay persona. O5 Cyclops is struggling to make soccer relevant. O5 Angel is struggling with balls that have been busted one time too many. There’s some intrigue, but not on the level that’ll make anyone’s assholes sore.

All-New X-men #5 was all about a classic fight against a classic, albeit B-rated X-men villain in Blob. Sure, it wasn’t the kind of fight that felt as explosive as the Hulk shitting napalm, but it felt like a nice reprieve in the sense that it didn’t involve killer robots. Not only that, they didn’t resort to whining about Cyclops at any point. That alone should give All-New X-men #5 some added appeal. The only ones who will be really disappointed were those deeply vested in the O5 Angel/X-23 relationship. I don’t know how big that fan club ever got, but let’s face facts here. Anyone who breaks up with Wolverine without getting killed should be grateful as fuck. Just ask Mariko Yashida.

Score: 6 out of 10


  1. I have to admit that of the current X-Books out right now, All New Wolverine is probably my favorite. That said, I applaud All New X-Men for its more character centric approach and how they've handled things so far. There's definitely been quite a bit of whining, but the cast feels more three dimensional to me than in Extraordinary or Uncanny. I'm hoping Angel and X-23 break it off. I enjoyed her awkward flirting with Scott, prior to his teenage space quest. He also needs to get back at Jean for screwing around with Beast and turing Iceman gay. Joking aside, I'm glad their working on developing Bobby's new identity a bit more, though I doubt it will be anywhere near as poignant as what X-Statix did with Phat or Vivisector.

    1. I won't say that All-New X-men is the worst X-book. I'll even agree that the characters do have their moments. But the context and extent of the just really drags this book down and makes it hard to read while sober. Just saying.


  2. Dunno other then uncanny I'm finding all the x-men titles kinda boring and even uncanny only has potential it hasn't really taken off in my opinion. I really like Warren and I feel it's been a long time since anything significant has been done with his character. I'm not really a fan of any of the O5 X-men (though I really enjoyed the scene when O5 Angel told off his team for not wanting to go back until O5 Jean decided to fuck with his head) so I'm hoping Uncanny does something. Fingers crossed for Apocolypse wars. Anyways awesome review as always! Can't wait for the next!

    1. To be fair, Uncanny X-men has just begun. All-New and Extraordinary have a few more issues to work with. What makes Uncanny so much more appealing is the lack of whining. Between O5 Angel whining about X-23 and pretty much everyone whining about Cyclops, I'd gladly pick Uncanny out of these other two. I just can't get behind that much whining.


  3. I agree that Warren needs some development and I feel like of all the current titles, All New X-Men is focusing the most on fleshing out the characters. With Extraordinary and Uncanny it's pretty much just assumed that you know who everybody is. I'm glad that All New has been less about the action and more about the team figuring stuff out about themselves. I'm curious to see how Apocalypse Wars goes, I have a theory about what might be going on, but it's a total long shot.

    1. No argument here. O5 Angel hasn't been doing anything other than acting as X-23's personal bitch. Granted, that's not a bad role for some characters, but for O5 Angel, who was so worked up when the O5 decided to stay in the future, he needs more than that. Considering how he grows up to be Arcangel, I think it's time he start growing out of his whiny bitch phase.


    2. It would make for some interesting personal drama for Warren if he was able to "wake up" so to speak from Jean's brainwashing and get really pissed off about it. He had a big chip on his shoulder from the start and he's giving up the most by staying in the present. He's lost his fortune, and even if it wasn't Apocalypse this time around, he's been transformed into a weird(er) monster person. Anyway, I want to figure out how to successfully post on here from my wordpress account. I've actually been reading your reviews for years and I've been feeling inspired to post.

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