This is it. This is where we find out what the fuck Cyclops did that made him more hated than Chuck Austin, Brett Ratner, and the assholes that canceled Wolverine and the X-men after just one season. We know he's trying to stop the big green fart cloud that the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners refuse to do jack shit about. We know he's trying to save his species from extinction and sterilization yet again after having already gone through that shit before. At this point, who can blame him for losing his fucking mind and going evil?
It's still a big fucking blank to fill into just one issue. Death of X #4 has a fuckton of questions to answer if the events of Extraordinary X-men, Uncanny X-men, and All-New X-men are to make half a piece of dog shit worth of sense. I'm skeptical that it can do this in a way that won't piss off X-men fans, Cyclops fans, and fans of anything that actually makes sense. This being my last review for nuff said, I'll either have to be extra drunk or extra sober to get through it.
I get the feeling that Storm could use a few shots of bourbon on her end because she now has to contend with a determined and pissed off Magneto. She, and everyone else in the entire fucking Marvel universe, should know by now that he's not a fan of genocide by toxic gas. That shit is kind of a sensitive issue for him. Even those on the alt-right wouldn't push his buttons when there's a big green mutant-killing cloud on the loose.
He effectively ends the little spat between the X-men and the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners in Madrid. He doesn't kill or maim anyone, which for Magneto requires a level of self-restraint that would allow a guy like me to walk through a whiskey distillery and come out sober. Crystal and her genocide-enabling people better fucking count their blessings. The fact they have intact assholes in this situation should make them want to go out and buy an extra lotto ticket.
With Crystal's crew of Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners neutralized, Cyclops and his team go to work stopping the big green cloud of death that's going to maim countless innocent mutants. Yet somehow, he's going to become the monster? No, it still doesn't make sense and spoiler alert, it's not going to no matter how much weed you smoke. If you have some though, fill your bong because you're going to need it.
Cyclops' plan doesn't involve genocide, bloodshed, or anything that may make Wolverine horny. It involves using Alchemy, the nerdy D-list mutant he recruited in the last issue, to turn the big green fart cloud into something that won't horribly maim innocent mutants. For some reason, the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners don't like the idea of their big green fart cloud NOT killing innocent mutants so they shoot him right out of the sky before he can read the cloud. Yes, a team of super-powered racist, xenophobic, slave-owners is pro-genocide and Marvel wants to give them a fucking TV show. Even the most bigoted neo-Nazi skin-head would be paralyzed by the WTF on display here.
However, an attack by a group of racist, xenophobic slave-owners who are okay with the idea of gassing an entire minority to death has never stopped the X-men before. Cyclops manages to find Alchemy, who now has a broken arm and no whiskey to dull the pain. He then gives him the kind of pep talk that would make high school football coaches envious, which helps Alchemy's balls grow ten times bigger so he can get another shot at giving a big middle finger to the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners. If I were a woman, I'd have jumped Alchemy's bone on the spot.
The Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners are decidedly less horny. They somehow think in their racist, xenophobic, slave-owning minds that they've won. They've saved their big green fart cloud of mutant-killing death. They're fucking wrong. With Sunfire's help, Alchemy gets another shot. I assume he gave them all the finger somewhere along the way.
With help from Magik and the Stepford Cuckoos, the royal family of Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners remains distracted. They can't take Alchemy down this time. Instead, he makes it into the big green fart cloud and uses his powers to turn it into a big red fart cloud, but it's a cloud that doesn't kill or maim anyone. To the rest of the non-racist, xenophobic, slave-owning population of the planet, that's a good thing. To the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners, it may as well be one big kick in the dick. Now I'd definitely jump Alchemy's bone, even if I'm not a woman.
Unfortunately, Alchemy isn't very bonable after this stunt. After turning the big green fart cloud into a harmless red fart cloud, he returns just in time to find out he's now dying of M-pox. That means he sacrificed himself to stop a big cloud of mutant-killing death. That's objectively awesome on every level. Again, this a D-list X-men character who hasn't been relevant since the Regan administration and he just gave the finger to the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners.
This issue is to Alchemy what the Dark Phoenix Saga is to Jean Grey. He sacrifices himself to save countless innocents. Alchemy, you are a true hero. May the next life be filled with endless pools of whiskey and endless hordes of naked Emma Frost clones. You've earned it.
It's a true hero's end for Alchemy. For Cyclops, however, it's not so noble, but it's every bit as heroic. He calls out the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners and the royal family responds. They're still shocked and appalled that someone would stop their big green fart cloud from maiming innocent mutants. I guess genocide and the suffering of minorities is important to the culture of the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners. Even the most ardent Bernie Sanders supporter would call bullshit on this and so does Cyclops.
The Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners do and say nothing to justify their bullshit. They still act all appalled and offended that someone would dare to stop their big green fart cloud from killing innocent mutants. Cyclops boldly confronts them, flexes his nuts, presumably makes the red-headed Medusa extremely horny, and tells the royal family to fuck off. He makes clear that he's going to keep fighting these big green fart clouds of mutant-killing mayhem and if they don't like it, then they and their shitty movie rights can just go fuck themselves.
Naturally, the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners' first instinct is to just kill him. Yes, that's how Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners solve problems. They kill those who want to stop an ongoing genocide. Hell, even racist skin-heads have the decency to just beat the shit out of minorities and say shitty things on message boards. For the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners, they don't even try to see things from Cyclops' side. They just let Black Bolt kill Cyclops so their big green fart clouds can continue maiming mutants.
Cyclops doesn't do anything to fight back. He just lets it happen. He doesn't really need to do anything. He claims that he's not just a leader now. He's an idea. He's an idea that inspires mutants and makes beautiful telepathic women horny. That idea can't die, no matter how much Black Bolt whines about it. It's one last epic middle finger that should make all the telpepaths, blondes, and redheads both proud and horny. It may be a somewhat inglorious way for Cyclops to die, but he dies giving the finger to Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners. That means he dies with a hell of a boner.
A week later, the shit storm is settled. The big green mutant-killing fart clouds are still out there and the X-men bury their leader. There's a small ceremony on Muir Island. They even have the decency to give Cyclops a gravestone. Nobody spits on that gravestone though. Nobody shows any of the vehement Cyclops hatred we've seen in the post-Secret Wars X-men comics. It's almost like Cyclops didn't do anything that shitty. He just tried to destroy a mutant-killing gas cloud. So how the fuck is he now the most hated mutant that didn't appear in the Wolverine Origins movie?
That's not just a drunken remark. That's an honest fucking question and it's a question that doesn't get answered. That's a big fucking deal too because that means all this Cyclops-hatred that fueled so many shit storms still makes no fucking sense. It also means that everybody just agreed to let the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners keep their mutant-killing gas cloud. They're all suddenly okay with mutant genocide and yet Cyclops is the asshole? Seriously, what the everloving fuck?
Still confused? Well sit back and tuck your nuts in people because it's about to get even more fucked up. Remember all the nut-flexing and bravado that Cyclops had been demonstrating for the past few issues? Well, it turns out that Cyclops isn't the one doing the flexing. In fact, he was never even in a position to. Instead, that shit was all an illusion. I'm not talking about a David Blain/David Copperfield type of illusion that makes people pay several hundred bucks for a glorified stage show. I'm talking about a real actual mass delusion the likes of which would give British tabloids multiple orgasms.
Emma Frost, right after Cyclops' funeral no less, meets up with Havok, who was apparently too busy to participate in stopping mutant genocide. She reveals that Cyclops did pretty much none of the shit that has transpired in this series. He actually died in the first issue the second he entered Muir Island. There was no epic sacrifice. There was no final message from Jean Grey. He just took a whiff of the big Inhuman fart cloud and died. That's it. It's as inglorious and unfitting as it sounds.
Naturally, Emma Frost had a big fucking problem with this. She let this man see her naked without paying, damn it. He deserves better than that. So with the help of the Stepford Cuckoos, she projected a psychic image of Cyclops and that image is the one that did all the crazy shit that everyone in the world hates him for, even though there's no fucking reason given for that hatred. Even if there was, it still wouldn't be warranted because Cyclops still didn't do anything. He just went to Muir Island looking to help mutants and died, all because the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners didn't know their big fucking fart cloud maimed innocent mutants.
It's a big fucking blow to Emma Frost. Even though they broke up, she still makes clear that she cares about Cyclops more than she does most men who see her naked. The idea that an ex-lover of her's dies and it has nothing to do with her being pissed off and vindictive really fucks with her. She knows better than most that Cyclops is the only X-man with the balls to lead mutants against pro-genocide racist xenophobic slave-owners. Hell, she's probably licked them so she knows their power. Now, he's dead and she has to have the biggest balls in the X-men from now on. I guess she accepts that challenge.
It still makes for an unsatisfying, callous end for Cyclops. He doesn't die fighting to save his people. He dies because of some big green fart cloud. It's the kind of end that seriously fucks with Emma Frost's head because now she's intent on carrying on this idea she's created. She makes clear that without Cyclops, someone needs to have the balls to take on the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners and their big green fart cloud. It might as well be her. She knows how to bust balls. Now, she gets to flex them. In that sense, the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners are truly fucked in the long run. It's one thing to kill Cyclops and protect mutant-killing fart clouds. It's quite another to piss off Emma Frost.
So...is it awesome?
Short answer? Not really. Shorter answer. Not fucking close. Is it terrible? Well, that actually requires a longer answer because I can't just spit out my whiskey and say fuck yes. Even at my most drunk, that wouldn't recognize the full context of the story here. I can't say Death of X #4 is fucking awful because it isn't. It doesn't horribly butcher Cyclops' character like it promised. Hell, it makes him a victim of shitty luck, which is kind of appropriate for the guy who was lucky enough to see Emma Frost and Jean Grey naked in his lifetime.
Even if Cyclops doesn't go down in history as the worst thing to happen to the X-men since Chuck Austin and Brett Ratner, Death of X #4 is still an incomplete issue at best. It does set the stage for a future clash between the X-men and the Racist Xenophobic Slave-Owners. It even raises the personal stakes of that clash. It just doesn't fill in enough blanks in a satisfying way. Like a porn star using a dildo that's too small and doesn't vibrate, it just doesn't get the job done.
It doesn't shit all over the job and light it on fire either. These days, that's the best the X-men can hope for. Death of X #4's biggest shortcoming is that it doesn't give a damn good reason for why Cyclops is so hated. He didn't kill anybody. He did cause panic, but he didn't kill anyone. Hell, he wasn't even in a position to kill anyone. None of his fellow X-men came out and spit on his grave. Nobody was so disgusted by what he did that they wanted to vomit violently into the nearest trash can. All he did was turn a big green fart cloud into this creepy red mist. The worst he did was make it too easy to film a shitty horror movie.
Death of X #4 isn't going to traumatize X-men fans, but it's not going to get anyone's heart racing like the death of Jean Grey, the death of Charles Xavier, or the realization that X3 is officially retconned now. It is going to confuse the fuck out of many of them. It's also going to annoy the fuck out of Emma Frost fans and make the Cyclops-hating shit show that emerged after Secret Wars all the more confusing. Then again, if that's the worst that X-men fans have to endure these days, then that in and of itself is a win.
Final Score: 4 out of 10
PS: I really wish I could make my last profanity-laced, drunken rant of a review more uplifting. At the very least, it's not overly depressing, but I still feel like this is a good way to cap this off. I've enjoyed writing these reviews and I hope you've all enjoyed reading them, hopefully while both drunk and sober. Thanks again to everybody who supported my drunken ramblings. From the bottom of my failing heart, I thank you. Nuff said!