Wednesday, September 28, 2016

X-men 92 #7: Nuff Said!

Think of your favorite combinations. Chocolate and peanut butter. Bacon and eggs. Internet and porn. What makes them so potent? What makes them so awesome? We can't always quantify it, but we know damn sure that it's there. I feel the same way about X-men in space.

I get that their primary goal is to fight for peace and understanding against a bunch of human asshats who like throwing killer robots at them, but there's just something uniquely appealing about the X-men in space fighting aliens like the Brood. Since that's exactly what X-men 92 #7 offers, on top of teaming up with interstellar pop stars no less, I'm giddier than a school girl in a puppy farm. So if I sound like I'm high on crystal meth, that's only partially true at best.


A few folks are going to need some crystal meth because Lila Cheney's concert is dangerously close to becoming another Woodstock 99. Kids, if you don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, Google it and then shoot me because now I feel old. Thanks to that asshat, Fabian Cortez, she and the X-men got teleported across the fucking universe, leaving a fuckton of angry concert-goers back in Westchester. In the grand scheme of things, that's almost as dangerous as a Sentinel attack.

Thankfully, the X-men have backup and those running this concert are slightly more competent than the dumb-asses who ran Woodstock 99. They manage to get X-Factor, a team that includes Havok, Polaris, and a whole lot of other characters who haven't been relevant for a decade, to show up and keep the peace. It's probably not as effective as killer robots, but definitely more preferable.


As for Lila and the X-men, they are cosmically fucked and for once it's not because of the Phoenix Force. They're stuck on a planet far, far away. There are no Gungans or Ewoks so that's something. Unfortunately, Lila is so burned out that she can't teleport them back to Earth and for once, it's not because her band ran out of cocaine. It's a bad situation, but at least they know who to be pissed at.

They all seem to recognize that Fabian Cortez is an omega-level asshole. Even Death's Head, the guy who tried to kill Lila in the last issue, isn't inclined to make this shit storm worse because that would just help Cortez. So all in all, they're pretty fucked, but they're X-men. They're used to it. At least they're not sterilized or cloned or some shit like that.


That still doesn't mean they can't get more fucked over. They're X-men. They always find a way. It's kind of their thing and at least this time, the way doesn't involve a team of racist, xenophobic slave-owners. It involves their old blood-thirsty buddies, the Brood. On top of that, they're a new breed of Brood that seems to have more ways of maiming their enemies. I guess when you're a race of alien bugs, you can never have too many. It's still a classic threat that forces the X-men to be awesome. Again, nobody gets sterilized or time-displaced. I feel that's an accomplishment worth emphasizing these days.


Back on Earth, more backup arrives for X-Factor. When you're dealing with a crowd of pissed off, restless, half-sober concert-goers, you can never have too much. This time, it's Professor Xavier and Jubilee, who were lucky enough to be sitting in the cheap seats when Cortez and Death's Head attacked. They don't just offer another way of dealing with pissed off concert-goers. They also inform them about the kind of asshat they're dealing with here.

Those of you who didn't see the X-men cartoon, and shame the fuck on you if you haven't, may recall that Cortez did show up for a couple episodes. Xavier even offers a brief reminder of the shit he pulled. It's pretty damn important and establishes a solid connection between this series and that iconic cartoon. At a time when the only connections the X-men can make involve time travelers, that's a big fucking deal. For this series, it's just an extra layer of icing on a series that already has plenty.


So they know Cortez is behind this. They also know that he's an omega-level asshole who will choke a puppy if he gets too bored. So where the fuck is he now? Well, he was working with a secret team of Hellfire Club wannabes, including Gamemaster and Trevor Fitzroy, to fuck with the X-men. They've even had some minor success with Alpha Red. So he returns thinking he may get a fresh batch of puppies to strangle.

Well, he's in for a big fucking disappointment, albeit in the best possible way. It turns out, someone found out about his little club and they're familiar figures. If you read the Secret Wars tie-in to X-men 92, and shame the fuck on you again if you haven't, you'll know who they are. They were kind of assholes in that series. Here, they completely redeem themselves by mortally wounding Fitzroy. Hell, that alone makes them more heroic than 99 percent of the characters in Civil War II.


We get connections with the old X-men cartoon. We get connections with the Secret War tie-in. With all these connections, my erection can only get so hard. Well, I may have to take a trip to the ER in 4 hours because Chad Bowers and Chris Sims still aren't done with the connections. They decide my erection can get harder and throw in a new complication into the mix. That complication's name is Adam X.

Who the fuck is Adam X? If you read X-men comics at all in the 90s, you know this name and celebrate it the same way you do every Nirvana song. He and a few familiar mutant buddies, none of which are as extreme as him, decide that government stooges aren't enough to deal with this shit. They need some 90s-era overkill. I can't remember the last time I agreed more outside of a strip club.


As this overtly extreme shit storm is unfolding, the rest of the X-men are keeping things basic with their clash against the Brood. Some forms of awesome just don't need to be extreme. Even in the 90s, the X-men comics understood that. The X-men fighting to Brood is just a nice change of pace from fighting killer robots, time travelers, or racist xenophobic slave-owners. It's fun. It's flashy. It captures all the right elements that are awesome in any era. At a time when heroes can't stop fighting each other for bullshit reasons, this is more refreshing than a cold beer at a baseball game in July. In that sense, I guess my erection can get harder.


It's all so basic, helping to balance out the extreme shit we're getting back on Earth. It could've easily just devolved into another case of the X-men kicking alien ass and getting horny as fuck in the process. Well, Chad Bowers and Chris Sims find a way to throw a little twist into the mix. It's a twist that may strain my erection even more, but at this point I can't say I mind.

It turns out, these Brood they've been fighting aren't the same Brood they're used to. They're actually mutant Brood. That's right. In this world, mutants extend to aliens as well whereas mutants in the mainline comics are being sterilized or retconned. It's the kind of twist that makes Disney's lawyer's cry and it feels so good. These mutant Brood just had the misfortune of meeting Wolverine on a shitty day. That's what triggered the fight. Honestly, it's as simple a misunderstanding as you can get in any X-men comic.

Now, instead of wanting to maim each other, they decide to team up. It turns out, mutant Brood inspire just as much hate as mutant humans. That means mutants and Brood are prepared to work together. That means the Avengers and Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners have even fewer excuses.


So now the X-men have new friends in the form of mutant Brood. It sounds like a fucked up concept, but damn it if it doesn't work in an extreme sort of way, as the 90s often were. It's a concept that's going to have to work because guess who's hunting these mutant Brood in ways that would make a Sentinel jealous? It's another familiar face to the X-men and not in a good way. It's Gladiator of the Shi'ar. Rarely does he ever show up in a manner that doesn't warrant a firm punch in the jaw. The prospect of the X-men beating the shit out of Gladiator again is enough to make my dick an adamantium-laced weapon at this point. For that, I thank you Chad Bowers and Chris Sims.


So...is it awesome?

Space adventures, rock concerts, overly extreme characters from a decade that made extreme sports a thing? One of those alone is pretty fucking awesome by any objective measure. Put them all together, throw in a few twists, and you've got yourself an orgy of awesome with two strippers covered in bacon crease in the middle. It's as awesome as it sounds, even if it makes me damn hungry.

X-men 92 is only has three issues left before Marvel prematurely cancels it, as they tend to do with all things that are simply too awesome and/or don't promote the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners. X-men 92 #7 makes every goddamn moment count and it does so without sterilizing anyone. The bar for awesome with the X-men these days may be pretty low, but Chad Bowers and Chris Sims are exceeding it anyways by miles on end. They don't need to fuck up the X-men, kill major characters, or piss on established relationships. They just focus on making shit awesome in every possible way. For that, I owe these guys a few beers. We all do.

Final Score: 10 out of 10

7 comments:

  1. 1) I truly deeply love how much you hate Fabian Cortez
    2) " Here, they completely redeem themselves by mortally wounding Fitzroy. Hell, that alone makes them more heroic than 99 percent of the characters in Civil War II." I think you meant mortally wounding Fabian?

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  2. I disagree with your statement. Jamie Madrox and all the other X-Factor members have been more than relevant in Peter David's X-Factor, which ran till 2013 and was a very good book.

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