Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Extraordinary X-men #6: Nuff Said!

Let’s not keep lying to ourselves. Marvel is in the process of shitting explosive diarrhea all over the X-men while the Inhumans jerk off in the corner. They have utterly fucked over the entire mutant race and they didn’t even have the decency to do it on-panel. They turned Cyclops into the Red Skull and they made bashing him more trendy than K-pop. There’s a lot about Extraordinary X-men that are bound to make X-men fans violently ill. But since I’m used to hang overs and vomiting, I’ve taken it upon myself to give you wonderful people the reviews you want. That means swimming through another pool of Cyclops-bashing, mutant marginalizing shit for Extraordinary X-men #6. Yes, I’m just that dedicated.

Mutants are fucked. There’s no way around it and the war between Disney and Fox’s lawyers will ensure it continues. So where can the X-men go to vent their Cyclops/Ratner hating frustration? How about Weirdworld? It’s like the Savage Land, but on a blend of crack and LSD. It’s another holdover from Secret Wars. Why, you might ask? One word…Rhinosaurs.

It’s as awesome as it sounds, except for cantankerous old fucks like Old Man Logan. He’s annoyed as hell. Magik is as giddy as a school girl in a room full of kittens. She and the X-men go to work venting their pent up frustrations on these giant monsters. Is it good for their mental health? No. Is it still an awesome sight? Fuck yes.

But why the fuck are they in Weirdworld in the first place? It’s like Mordor. One does not just walk into it for a casual stroll. Sadly, we don’t get an immediate answer and in the era of on-demand movies and binge-watching, that’s just unacceptable. However, we do get a continuation of the Nightcrawler plot that began in the first arc. He’s still fucked up and sounding like a drunk version of a televangelist. They talk about efforts to help him, but it’s another one of those plots that’s so full of holes that it’s hard to give a shit about. I’d much rather see more Rhinosaurs.

As much as I love Rhinosaurs, I’ll settle for demons. The X-men are still stuck in Limbo for other reasons that got lost in the 8-month time skip, along with any fucks given about coherent narratives. But Limbo is still practically a resort with slot machines and hookers for Magik. She even manages to make a friend in Sapna, the young mutant she saved in the first arc. They actually do some nice demonic bonding. They even name a demon together. Replace the demons with unicorns and it the perfect premise for a Disney movie.

They start exploring Limbo. Magik makes clear that as long as she has the Soulsword, she’s the Queen Bee of this realm. However, along the way, she finds out there are holes to other realms where she might not be queen. And any vindictive teenage blond who makes friends with demons can’t have that.

Flash forward back to the present. Fuck any transitional material or coherence. That shit’s for babies and Rand Paul supporters. We’re back in Weirdworld just in time for Colossus to pull off a fastball special with Old Man Logan. So I guess it’s not a total loss. We still don’t know why the fuck they’re in Weirdworld, but it’s clear they didn’t just come because they don’t want to wait for the next Jurassic World movie. There is supposed to be a point here. But like so many other things in this series, it got lost in the mix like a condom at Bristol Palin’s house.

Flash back again. To hell with transitions and coherence. More confusion and more random, unrelated narrative works better, right? Well, maybe in some fucked up alternate universe. Hell, that might be on par with Tolken in Weirdworld. But here it just means having to read this book sober and I can’t support that.

It’s not a complete waste though. It has Colossus trying to care for someone other than his demon-loving sister. He decides it’s time to whip some of the younger mutants into shape. They’re living in Limbo and in a world where Marvel has given a billion middle fingers to mutants. They need to start training and he needs to deal with teenagers who don’t rub elbows with demons.

Colossus isn’t the only one who tries to expand his horizons. Iceman also takes a moment to share his new, gay side with another resident homosexual at the Jean Grey Institute in Anole. Yes, it’s really happening. Iceman is starting to act on his new gay status. You hear that? It’s One Million Moms and every bullshit family values group gasping in horror and shielding their kids’ eyes. And anytime religious bigots get horrified is a happy day for those of us who actually have a sense of humanity.

So I love this scene and I hope there are more like it. Iceman hasn’t been this relevant since he swapped minds with Emma Frost. Let him have this, Marvel. You’ve taken everything else from the X-men. Please don’t throw shit on this and use it to spit on Fox’s legal team.

More confusing flash-forward follow. It’s still confusing. It’s still chaotic. I feel like it was organized by a vindictive roommate with OCD. These side-stories with Weirdworld aren’t terrible. They don’t make me want to puke dirt and shit bricks. Like mayonnaise and chili peppers, they just don’t fit together. There’s still some kind of mission going on in Weirdworld. We just haven’t been given a reason to give any fucks about it yet. Sure, there’s a giant wall of fire involved. But is that really more awesome than Rhinosaurs? I think not.

How about another flashback because why the fuck not? The non-sober crowd has already given up at this point. At the very least, we get some semblance of reason for going into Weirdworld. Apparently, a plane carrying mutants was transported to Weirdworld because I guess it beat landing in Los Angeles and dealing with the traffic. She wants the X-men to bring the mutants back from Weirdworld and that’s perfectly logical. But at this point in the story, there are only so many fucks left to give. It doesn’t fill in any of the many gaping plot holes, but it doesn’t create new ones either. And I guess that’s the best we can hope for with X-men these days.

There is at least one detail that forces us to give a few extra fucks. One of the mutants the X-men need to rescue is a familiar face. On top of that, he’s one of the mutants that was friendly with Cyclops so that must mean he ate a live puppy for breakfast. It’s another bit of Cyclops-bashing. Like the last three seasons of American Idol, this shit has gotten old and played out. You enjoy screwing over the X-men, Marvel. We get it. You’re getting dangerously close to waving your dick in our faces.

So who is the mutant in question? Who was bold enough to actually team up with the so-evil-that-it-had-to-happen-off-panel version of Cyclops? It’s Sunfire. Yeah, he’s a C-lister at best and hasn’t been relevant since Jerry Springer was still on the air. But he’s alive, he’s in Weirdworld, and his causing this big fucking firestorm. And Storm is hoping Old Man Logan can deal with him if he says anything nice about Cyclops. Yeah, this is what the X-men have been reduced to. Pretty soon, a dick in the face might be an upgrade. it awesome?

At the very least, it tries to be. Jeff Lemire has every character’s voice down perfectly. Old Man Logan sounds like Old Man Logan. Storm sounds like Storm. And Iceman sounds like the all-new, all-gay Iceman. That’s Extraordinary X-men’s greatest strength, but one of its precious few. This issue had a solid concept, but was so chaotic and disorganized at times it felt like a kid that forgot to take his Ritalin. It was hard to follow and plenty rushed, but it didn’t completely fuck up. If Extraordinary X-men #6 was a drunk, it wouldn’t get arrested. But it would stumble home with more than a few bruises on its face.

Extraordinary X-men as a series still has a lot of flaws, but this comic didn’t add to them. That’s really the most we can hope for at this point. Like the Fantastic Four movies, we just have to settle for something that doesn’t suck more than it already does. The disorganization and forgettable plot keeps it from being all that thrilling. It still functions for the most part and plays to its strengths. It just needs a lot more of them if it’s going to justify all the Cyclops-bashing.

Final Score: 5 out of 10


  1. How long can they string us along with these tiny breadcrumbs and Cyclops bashing before they finally tell us what happened?

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