Thursday, June 16, 2016

Uncanny X-men #8: Nuff Said!

Ever try to judge a pizza after smoking a shit ton of weed? Well, I wouldn't advise that in places outside of Denver, but I will say that being buzzed as fuck makes everything taste pretty damn awesome, be it pizza or some half-eaten cookie you find under the bed. I say this because I'm still fucking buzzing after X-men: Apocalypse. How could I not? It was an X-men movie that didn't suck or turn Wolverine into a total pussy. I still have a raging fucking boner from it and no, I'm not calling my doctor.

I say this because it may end up coloring my reviews for Apocalypse Wars. And no, I'm not going to fucking apologize for it. X-men: Apocalypse is the first X-men movie that didn't have Deadpool that didn't make me want to dry heave. So my thoughts on Uncanny X-men #8 are bound to be skewed as fuck. Again, I'm not apologizing for it. If it sounds like I'm ready to kiss Cullen Bunn's boot, then so be it.

You can say a lot about Magneto's team of renegade X-men. Sure, they're not winning any prizes by Amnesty International anytime soon, but they do have a kickass base in the Savage Land and they have their own killer Arcangel. That has to count for something, right? That killer Arcangel has shown his worth in this series so far. Granted, he's still a mindless drone with a mental capacity on par with a brain-damaged Kardashian, but he gets the job done and he's the one who helped kickstart Magneto's involvement in Apocalypse Wars. He's still waiting in the wings, waiting for a chance to contribute. After his limited role in X-men: Apocalypse, I think he's itching to do something more.

Psylocke is already doing Olivia Munn proud. The fine folks of Akkaba City think it's a good idea to throw Magneto and Psylocke into a prison cell. They're right up there with people who think it's a good idea to serve beer at a shooting range. Of course Psylocke breaks out. Of course she kicks the everloving shit out of the minions who try to stop her. She's a fucking horsemen in X-men: Apocalypse. Anything less than kicking omega-level ass puts us all on Olivia Munn's shit list.

Those hapless minions, however, aren't as mindless as typical Bond villain henchmen. They offer a telling clue as to what they're up against. This began with a freaky cult in the middle of Colorado, as if there aren't enough of those in a state where weed is legal. These guys are willingly brainwashed, keyword willingly. Like any cult, they think there's something holy about being irradiated by Genocide and turned into a walking tumor. Given how some cults manage to avoid paying taxes while screwing over adherents, sometimes literally, I can't say this cult is any more devious than others.

Psylocke goes looking for Magneto. She finds Genocide and an overly hippie-version of Angel, who seems overly comfortable working with someone like Genocide. Again, that's the power of cults. If it can convince people that magic underwear is real, then it can convince people of anything.

So what could be worse than seeing Angel rub elbows with Genocide? Well, there actually is something that's way fucking worse. His name is Fantomex. Yes, it's that Fantomex. He shot a kid in the head and got to bone Psylocke. Sure, he's an omega level douche, but one you have to respect on some levels. Psylocke, however, respects him as much as Willie Nelson respects the IRS. Things did not end well between them to say the very least. They're both inclined to kill each other and not in a sexy sort of way.

Psylocke and Fantomex have plenty of baggage that they can only work out with gratuitous violence. They aren't the only ones though. While exploring a new Morlock society, Monet and Sabretooth learn that Monet's deranged and demonic brother is back in action. Gratuitous violence is really the only healthy way she can deal with a sibling like him. It's only slightly less fucked up than some of the family feuds on Jerry Springer, but it doesn't make gratuitous violence less entertaining. Sorry, One Million Moms.

Basically, Monet's brother, Emplate, is using evil creatures to snatch up mutants so he can feed on them like non-Twilight vampire. It's simple, but it makes for plenty of brutal action. It's a big part of the appeal in Uncanny X-men and making it a family affair only adds to that appeal. Since Monet only recently became at least as relevant as Squirrel Girl in the comics again, it's an appeal that feels overdue.

By that same token, Psylocke kicking Fantomex's phony French ass is more overdue than Half-Life 3. There's some confusion as to why the fuck Fantomex is even in Akkaba City. There is some other ongoing plot involving him and Mystique that has been unfolding in other issues. However, none of that is relevant here. None of it even connects effectively. So in terms of details, this makes as much sense as an OJ Simpson alibi. In terms of entertainment value though, this is right up there with watching Tron on weed.

There's nothing overly elaborate here. Psylocke and Fantomex beat the shit out of each other. They're bitter ex-lovers. They're not on the same team. One of them may even be working for Akkaba City. It doesn't matter. They have more than enough reason to kill one another. For those who forgot or are too lazy to do a simple Google search, there's a nice little recap of their recent history, going back to Uncanny X-Force, a series I reviewed in full and one that you should totally fucking read. At the risk of giving myself too huge a boner, I'll just say that these two screwed each other over in the worst and best ways. The worst ways just left a bigger impression.

The fighting is brutal, drawn out, and overly elaborate. It's also entertaining as fuck. There's a lot of talk and a lot of confusion. They at least try to figure out how the fuck they ended up in Akkaba City. They only learn that at some point, Magneto helped Fantomex put himself back together again. He then wisely kept him and Psylocke as far away from one another as possible. It's smart, but pointless. Bitter ex-lovers will find each other the same way sharks find wounded seals.

Whatever Magneto's role and whatever the details may be, most of it is lost in the gratuitous violence, albeit in the best possible way. That said, there is a clear winner and angry feminists can exhale. It's Psylocke who wins. She's a psychic ninja. Fantomex is a living weapon/douche. She has the edge. She also still has to find Magneto and do something about this Akkaba cult before they employ too many lawyers. Whether she succeeds or not, I think she'll still see kicking Fantomex's ass as part of a victory.

It's hard to say if Monet feels the same way about her brother. After kicking the shit out of his creatures, she tracks him to his cozy little lair. Along the way, she explains how he needs to feed on mutants to stay anchored in this reality. At a time when mutants are going extinct yet again, that's kind of a big fucking problem. She even suspects that's why he called out to her. Maybe he just wants to hug his sister. Or maybe he just wants to devour her too. With deranged siblings, it can go either way.

They eventually find them. They see he's uglier than the reviews of the last Fantastic Four movie. After what he did to the Morlocks, they're more than inclined to kick his ass and Monet has to not enjoy it too much. Then, much to their surprise, he claims he doesn't want to fight them. He says he wants them to save him. I'm confused and a little high, but still intrigued. Again, this a deranged sibling they're dealing with here. If Game of Thrones has taught me anything, it's that deranged siblings are capable of all sorts of kinky shit.

It's a lot less kinky for Pyslocke, sadly enough. After kicking Fantomex's ass in a way that'll make her panties wet for days, she goes back to her mission to finding Magneto and Angel. Once again, her mission gets derailed when she encounters something so horrific that she can't help but call out to Arcangel. No, it's not another bitter ex-lover, as horrifying as that might be. It's a room full of deformed Angel clones. I assume Psylocke keeps in touch with Peter Parker. She knows that deformed clones are fucking terrifying so who can blame her when she overreacts?

This finally brings Arcangel back into the picture. While the details throughout this issue are scattered and disjointed, this one vital detail that kickstarted the whole story remains intact. Arcangel knows that Psylocke is in trouble. He probably knows that she just kicked her ex-boyfriend's ass and is probably horny as hell. Even with the forces of Apocalypse being involved, I can't think of anyone or anything that can keep him from getting to her. Mindless drone or not, you have to respect that on some levels. it awesome?

Well nearly half the issue depicts Psylocke kicking Fantomex's ass. That alone makes it worth the sticker price. As to why they're fighting or why Fantomex is in Akkaba City, that's kind of unclear, but you really don't need to know that to enjoy it. Sure, you need to know that for the story to have depth, but it's still entertaining as fuck and the best part of this issue. Hell, I could read a whole arc of Psylocke kicking Fantomex's ass and be one happy motherfucker.

Beyond that though, the story doesn't move forward very much in Uncanny X-men #8. It still moves forward though. That's way more than I can say about most Spider-Man comics these days. The two plots involving the Morlocks and Akkaba City are still disconnected, but they have their moments and Cullen Bunn finds ways to inject drama into both. So while I may be buzzed as fuck by X-men: Apocalypse, I can only be so generous in assessing these comics in a meaningful way. I know some of you people rely on my drunken ass to assess these comics for awesome and I take that job pretty damn seriously.

Final Score: 7 out of 10