Right now, Magneto and his team of asshole X-men are trying to stop the Dark Riders, who are in the process of giving the Inhumans an extra blowjob by taking out mutant healers so they can die off even quicker. Cullen Bunn has used little ambiguity in setting up who we want to root for. Uncanny X-men #5 sets very clear boundaries. It won’t prevent more Inhuman blowjobs, but it’ll show that X-men can get shit done and they are willing to be assholes.
Now when you’ve been buried in an ancient tomb and tricked by a pack of mutant-murdering bandits, you don’t have to be an asshole to escape. You just have to have a fuckton of power in your fists. That’s what Monet has and that’s what she uses to get her team out of the tomb that the Dark Riders trapped them in.
Why did they think it was a good idea to piss of a team of X-men willing to be assholes? Well there is some merit to it. They needed part of that team distracted so they could go after Triage on Genosha. It makes some sense, misdirecting the bulk of the team. And some should be enough to kill a mutant who has barely been around longer than Bernie Sanders’ presidential bed, right?
In some circumstances, that might be the case. In circumstances when Magneto is the one protecting Triage, I say fuck no. The Dark Riders gambled that they could go through Magneto if they separated him from his team. Somewhere along the line, they forgot that he’s still fucking Magneto. They might have been better off playing Power Ball.
It makes for the kind of brutal fight we’ve come to know and love from Magneto. They try shooting him. He fights back as only he can. The Dark Rider’s do manage to wound Triage. Granted that wound involves getting stabbed in the chest, but for X-men and healers that barely qualifies as a hangnail. Magneto doesn’t give them a chance to stab Triage the other billion times that would be necessary, using all the metal in the ruins of Genosha to his advantage.
That’s right. They actually thought they could beat Magneto after giving him home field advantage. That’s not a gamble. That’s just fucking stupid. Even lotteries wouldn’t create a game with odds like that.
This gamble goes against the Dark Riders pretty damn quickly and, thanks to Greg Land, it’s quite a sight to behold. Magneto holds off long enough for his team to arrive and join them. It’s at this point they realize they should probably never take a trip to Vegas. They even find out that Magneto stacked the deck by uncovering the metal bug they tried to stick on him so they could track Triage. Maybe next time they could play strip poker with Emma Frost. That might give them better odds. For this, they’re not just broke. They’re fucked.
Once the rest of Magneto’s team enters the picture, the battle ends quickly and brutally, as it probably should. Remember, these are X-men who aren’t afraid to be assholes. That means they’re not going to try and play nice, hoping for a peaceful resolution. They’re going to go right for the jugular, bathe in the blood of their enemies, and make at least some effort to hide their rage boners. I can only imagine they’ll all need new underwear after Arcangel fucking disembowels one of the Dark Riders while Sabretooth rips the limbs off another. For humiliating and maiming the Dark Riders, I’d say this is worth an extra load of laundry.
While this battle is brief and brutal, it nicely embodies everything that’s awesome about this team of X-men. Rather than drama, they opt for a more brutal, direct approach to dealing with how fucked the mutant race is. If the Marvel Universe hadn’t become one big Inhumans love fest, that approach might be problematic. But in an era where Inhumans get TV shows and X-men get Brett fucking Ratner, it feels appropriate.
Being so appropriate, it’s only natural that Magneto throws a little something extra into the X-men’s brutal tactics. After he subdues the Dark Riders, he gives them a little speech to remind them that their perceived superiority is no more valid than the Super Bowl aspirations of Cleveland Browns fans. It’s a fitting speech that only an asshole X-man could give. Then, as a final fuck you, he decides to blow up the entire fucking island of Genosha behind him. He’s Magneto. Asshole or not, he knows the value of overkill.
It’s a moment with some light dramatic weight. Genosha was once Magneto’s crown jewel, an all-mutant nation that came at a time before Cyclops started banging Emma Frost. He tried time and again to make it a mutant haven. Every time, either by killer robots or telepathic Nazis, it got fucked up. So what’s the best way to remove failure from the equation? Blow it the fuck up. It’s a tactic that I think pyromaniacs and Mythbusters fans can appreciate.
So Genosha is gone. Triage and many other mutant healers are safe. So what does this mean for him? Well, it means he now has a first class ticket to the Jean Grey Institute in X-Haven. He goes from a world where Inhuman farts are maiming mutants to a school in a demon-infested realm. It’s insane how that shit counts as an upgrade for the mutant race these days.
It still leads to a nice greeting from Storm. It also marks the first time that the teams from Uncanny X-men and Extraordinary X-men have interacted. With an event like Apocalypse Wars on the horizon, this is an important and meaningful interaction. There are even a few hugs between Storm and Psylocke. It’s nothing that’s overly easy to jerk off too, but Greg Land’s art ensures it’s easy enough.
Since Secret Wars, all the X-books have been so disconnected and disorganized. A time-skip and a bullshit war with the Inhumans that happened entirely off-panel will do that. Reconnecting the X-men and showing that they’re still a coordinated force creates potential and not just for more hugs. While Storm is happy to see Psylocke and Monet, there’s plenty of tension and none of it is sexual. She’s not at all comfortable with them following Magneto’s asshole version of X-men. However, they make it clear that this approach is working for them. Just ask what’s left of the Dark Riders.
Once the team drops Triage off, they make their way to a new base. Since they blew up their last one and the world still reeks of Inhuman farts, they decide to set up shop in the Savage Land. And since I consider dinosaurs less dangerous than demons, I think actually a bigger upgrade. Magneto calls it War Room X. It’s shaped like an erect nipple, but being in the Savage Land and away from the Inhuman farts, I still say it’s an upgrade. I imagine that if Magneto brought a date to this place, she would be much more inclined to drop her panties if she saw live dinosaurs instead of demons.
The rest of the team is certainly comfortable with their new digs. No Inhuman farts or demons are in sight. It might as well be the fucking Ritz. This doesn’t stop Psylcoke from having a quick chat with Magneto. She’s the only one who still has some reservations about Magneto’s methods, but she sure as shit isn’t going to spend time listening to other X-men bitch about Cyclops from a demon-infested realm. It still makes for a meaningful conversation where Psylocke encourages Magneto to treat this team more like real X-men and not another version of the Brotherhood. Knowing the Brotherhood gave him the likes of Toad and Blob, it’s probably good advice to follow.
So the issue of the Dark Riders, mutant healers, and getting a non-demon base has been resolved for the X-men. That leaves one other issue to resolve, one that has been poorly addressed over the past couple of issues. This one involves Fantomex and Mystique, one character we love to hate and another we love to hate-fuck. They’re still investigating the Someday Corporation that was tricking mutants into sleeping through the current Inhuman orgy. They’ve done pretty much dick to move that plot forward other than agree to work together instead of killing/fucking each other, whichever comes first. But considering the many other plot holes surrounding the X-men since Secret Wars, it’s hardly the most egregious.
This plot finally takes a meaningful turn when Magneto decides that maiming the Dark Riders just wasn’t enough for him. He’s still got a rage-boner and if he’s going to use it, why not use it in a situation that involves Mystique? Not gonna lie. I’d probably do the same thing. He stops them just as they’re discussing the disturbing implications of Someday, as if Mystique and Fantomex are objective when it comes to disturbing shit. It’s probably for the best. Magneto is an asshole. These two are also assholes who occasionally screw non-assholes to enhance their assholery. Imagine the kinds of assholes they’ll be if they work together?
So...is it awesome?
That depends. Do you consider the Dark Riders getting their asses kicked awesome? Or are your standards just wholly unreasonable? If so, then go back to whining about how taxes are too high for rich people and pining for the days of Reagan. The more reasonable among us can accept Uncanny X-men #5 for what it is, an awesome demonstration on just how effective Magneto is at channeling his asshole tendencies into something productive. If only more people could follow his example. Maybe we’d have less Justin Beibers in the world.
Beyond the Dark Riders getting their asses kicked and/or maimed, this issue built up more intrigue. It nicely pushed the story forward, albeit at a slower pace than before. While it was nice to see it link up with Extraordinary X-men, some parts of the story dragged more than others. There were still plenty of great moments along the way, fleshing out certain characters while dropping hints about others. Plus, ditching Genosha was way fucking overdue. Pretty sure that concept died with Brett Ratner’s directing career. Shit may suck for the X-men right now, but at least Cullen Bunn is moving shit forward in Uncanny X-men. For that, even unreasonable assholes have to admit this is pretty awesome.
Final Score: 8 out of 10