Friday, July 29, 2016

Old Man Logan #9: Nuff Said!

Self-fulfilling prophecies are like do-it-yourself vasectomy kits. They're bad ideas that get compounded by idiots, assholes, or a combination of the two. They may lead to the expected result. It just tends to get messy as hell and twice as ugly.

Old Man Logan is a walking self-fulfilling prophecy, albeit the awesome kind. Since he showed up in the mainline Marvel Universe, his primary concern is NOT being the guy who slaughters all the heroes and hands everything to the villains on an adamantium platter. So far, he has managed to avoid killing any of his friends. Then again, he hasn't caught up with Deadpool yet so there's still time. Jeff Lemire has done a masterful job exploring this struggle and Andrea Sorrentino has been equally masterful at crafting succulent eye-candy. That struggle continues in Old Man Logan #9 and I'll just say my eyes are hungry.

That said, Old Man Logan is more thirsty than hungry. He decides to take a trip to Japan in his old Patch persona to get a drink. I figure Limbo doesn't have a lot of decent beer. That's what makes it hellish I guess. So who can blame him for heading to his old stomping ground, using a persona that probably got him laid by a lot of women with pirate fetishes?

It's not just the beer he's there for. He actually has another reason for being in Japan and it involves Lady Deathstrike, the woman who went to great lengths to try to kill him and his future AU wife. Even if he's trying not to kill too many people in this world, who can blame him for not wanting to kill Lady Deathstrike? At some point, her fucked up sense of honor just gets old.

He meets up with a source. Everything seems to be business as usual. Then, a bunch of guys with machine guns show up and try to shoot Old Man Logan to death. If you think that escalated quickly, then you clearly haven't read enough Wolverine comics. Hell, any trip to a bar that doesn't end with him getting shot by machine guns is the equivalent of a slow news day for him. So it's not like this is more shocking than the Lost finale.

It also has a fairly predictable result. Shooting Wolverine with machine guns is like giving Deadpool free tacos and a rocket launcher. It's not going to end well for anyone within a 500-foot radius. While some will rightly shit their pants in terror, I simply open a fresh beer and pop some fresh popcorn because I know there's going to be awesome show.

Once again, Andrea Sorrentino's art does not disappoint. The bloody brutality that follows is glorious and gory. A pissed off Old Man Logan and a bunch of gun-toting thugs who think it's okay to shoot people before they finish their beer makes for all kinds of brutal fun. Like chocolate cake and masturbation, seeing Old Man Logan tear into a bunch of thugs in the most brutal way possible never gets old.

There is some utility to this brutality as well and it's not just to exact justice on those who ruin a perfectly good beer. Old Man Logan finds out these thugs were sent by lady Deathstrike and the Reavers. They thought they were just sending a message to a frail old man. They learn the hard way that Old Man Logan kicks as at any age. He's just more grouchy about it. So while he does lose his beer, he does gain valuable information about Deathstrike. So I guess it's a half-win because he still lost his beer.

As we've seen in previous issues, Lemire mixes Old Man Logan's bloody escapades in the mainline comics with insights into life in his dystopian clusterfuck of a timeline. It usually makes for some pretty distressing flashbacks. This time, however, it's not quite as distressing. Instead, we see Old Man Logan and his wife Maureen, snuggling together in bed for some much-needed sexy time. It's a sweet moment in a world that probably doesn't have many of them. It's also a reminder that while Old Man Logan is badass as hell, he still went through a softening period where he tried to be with a woman and not have her die on him. It's ambitious, but sweet.

Naturally, this sweetness doesn't last. They're still in a shitty timeline where the heroes are dead and the villains are taking a giant shit on all that is good in the world every chance they get. That includes Crimson Dynamo, who ruins Old Man Logan and Maureen's sexy time, forcing them to go on the run. It's sad, but sadly typical of Old Man Logan's shitty world.

It leads to another powerful moment that further establishes the fucked up context of Old Man Logan's timeline. Normally, when some asshole is fucking up his world and smiling like a stoner in a Twinkie factory, he pops his claws and does something about it. However, in this world, those same claws killed his friends so he's kind of burned out on violence. He says he's not going to pop them again so he doesn't. He just decides to run. He has a beautiful woman that lets him see her naked and he's trying not to get her killed for once. Who can blame him?

Old Man Logan may be okay with ditching the violence, having had more than his share for a dozen lifetimes, but Maureen is a bit more jaded. She's okay with running. She knows that fighting assholes like Crimson Dynamo isn't a very safe or smart recourse in a dystopian timeline. She still wants to create a life that involves more than just running every time some psycho villain interrupts her post-sex afterglow. Old Man Logan understands and comes up with the bright idea to leave the country to find some place that might not be as fucked. Like giving Josh Trank permission to direct a superhero movie, it seems like a good idea at the time.

Back in the present, I can't say that going right after Lady Deathstrike seems like a good idea. This is a woman who probably pleasures herself to the idea of Wolverine being tortured in Hell every night. She uses armed thugs to send a message because I guess email just doesn't cut it anymore. He has to know on some levels that going right after her is going to get messy. That's why it's so damn surprising when he finds her chained up, wounded, and looking like someone who lost one too many bar bets at a Tijuana S&M club.

I'm serious. I really am surprised by this. Lady Deathstrike seemed so ready and eager to peel off Old Man Logan's skin and turn it into a thong bikini. Now, she's bloodied, chained up, and begging for his help. It's a pretty major turn, especially for a woman who is used to being on the other end of the chains. Even if she did lose one too many bar bets, I can't imagine that Old Man Logan has too much sympathy for her.

It's not the first time Old Man Logan has dealt with some fucked up welcomings and it given his knack for creating blood stains in bars, it won't be the last. Flash back to his shitty timeline again and he arrives in Japan with Maureen. Surely a country better known for anime porn than superheroes is safer from the villains? Well, it all seems pristine at first. Then, the ninjas show up.

Again, that's not as big a non-sequiter as it seems. Like getting shot in a bar, Wolverine has an uncanny ability to attract ninjas intent on killing him. He could be eating sushi, taking a shit, or doing karaoke. Somehow, ninjas will find a way to attack him. These guys call themselves the Silent Order. For Old Man Logan though, I imagine if you see one hostile ninja, you've seen them all.

How does this tie into his current issue with Lady Deathstrike? Well, just like in his timeline, he tends to attract ninja attacks. The difference here is it's only one ninja, but he also claims to be from the Silent Order. He's also smart enough to be armed with poisoned arrows, which are a lot more effective than bullets. This guy works smart, not hard. That alone makes him more menacing than Lady Deathstrike, even if he doesn't look as good in a bikini. it awesome?

It's Wolverine in Japan kicking ass, getting shot, getting blown up, and kicking more ass, in that exact order no less. Lemire and Sorrentino continue their tradition of exploring Old Man Logan's craptacular dystopian world while he tries to prevent this world from becoming equally craptacutlar. It leads to moments that are a perfect mix of bloody as hell and beautifully sentimental. Like chocolate and bacon, it's an unexpected yet beautiful combination. Throw in an unexpected twist with Lady Deathstrike and the intrigue here just gets better. Even if self-fulfilling prophecies tend to get Old Man Logan shot at lot, it's still as entertaining as ever.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

X-men Supreme Issue 139: Outer Limits Part 3 PREVIEW!

It’s a fine line to walk, tweaking and twisting the X-men mythos in a novel and interesting ways. From both personal experience, as well as the sentiment I glean from my fellow comic book fans, I know that people are very sensitive about what happens when their favorite characters change in some way. The X-men are no different and they have been subject to their fair share of changes over the past 50 years. There are retcons like Madelyne Pryor, the heritage of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, and the apparent death of Jean Grey during the Dark Phoenix Saga. Some of these tweaks pan out better than others, but with the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, I like to think I can make the right kinds of tweaks.

Make no mistake. Some major tweaks are coming, so to speak. I’ve already established that the Shi’ar and the Phoenix Force operate very differently in the world of X-men Supreme. The ending of the X-men Supreme Phoenix Saga already did plenty to shift the mythos of the Phoenix, especially compared to the X-men movies and the comics. Well now, with the Outer Limits arc in full swing, I’ll be revealing a few more major changes that you can only find here in this fanfiction series and not in any X-men comic. They’re changes that I hope appeal to even long-time X-men fans.

I’ve dropped a few hints thus far, starting with X-men Supreme Issue 136: Stranger Things. With this issue, I did more than just introduce Stranger, an obscure X-men character that even seasoned X-men fans probably don’t know about. I set the stage for a deeper exploration of the Phoenix Force and the Shi’ar. The Phoenix Saga already gave some clues as to how the Phoenix Force functions in this fanfiction series. For one, Jean Grey is not the sole avatar, nor is she the first. This cosmic force has had more than its share of hosts. It’s a concept consistent with the Phoenix Corps, which has been explored in the X-men comics.

However, that’s where the similarities end. When Jean Grey and Cyclops survived the original Phoenix Saga in X-men Supreme, they fundamentally changed the nature of how the Phoenix Force operates. That operation became part of Jean Grey’s development as a character, manifesting in arcs like the Cambrian Explosion. Now, with the Shi’ar entering the picture again, the Phoenix Force, Jean Grey, and the rest of the X-men will undergo a major upheaval that will have far-reaching implications.

I know I say that about a lot of arcs with X-men Supreme, but I mean it even more with Outer Limits. It’s not just Jean Grey, the Phoenix, or the X-men that will undergo changes. The very nature of the Shi’ar and the larger universe of X-men Supreme will be revealed. It will be different than the X-men comics. Those differences are going to be key as this fanfiction series continues to evolve. X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation is about to enter some major turning points that will shake the foundations of X-men Supreme to its core.

The beginning of those turning points will start to unfold within the Outer Limits arc. The X-men are now deep in Shi’ar territory. Jean Grey is in a coma, Cyclops just learned that Corsair is his long-lost father, and D’ken working hard with Mastermind to finish his plan before they can stop him. On top of that, Charles Xavier has returned to the front lines, albeit in a very messy way. What sort of complications can that bring? Time is running out and you’ll want to keep up. As always, I’ve prepared a preview of the kind of complications you expect the X-men to encounter.

‘Destruction…pain…sorrow…it won’t end. Every mind sharing the same agony. It’s…too much.’

The swirling thoughts of Charles Xavier plagued him even in his unconscious state. From the moment he confronted the Phoenix, his mind was awash with nightmares. The power of the M’krann Crystal kept crying out to him. It practically yelled into his ear, showing images of it’s the destructive potential. Then a new voice rang out over the crystal.

‘Charles…it’s time to wake up. You must hurry. Time is running out for all of us.’

Charles Xavier’s head throbbed as he was jolted from his nightmares. He opened his eyes to find that he was in a special bed of sorts. It was shaped like an egg and had a series of soft padding lined with special wires. Above him were several figures. There were three Shi’ar doctors. Scott Summers was standing next to them. The one that lingered closest was Lilandra, her angelic face looking down on him with tears of happiness and concern.

“Lilandra?” he said in a daze, “Did…did we make it?”

“Yes…in a manner of speaking,” she said distantly.

“We’re at a Shi’ar rebel base, sir,” said Scott in a more assertive tone, “Jean got us out of Genosha. She ended up transporting us into the midst of an alien civil war.”

“The danger hasn’t passed though,” said Lilandra, “We arrived safely, but my half-brother is stepping up his efforts. I know you’ve felt it and now I’m feeling it too. We must act.”

“D’ken…Jean…I remember now,” he said, “I must speak to her!”

“Charles wait…” began Lilandra.

Professor Xavier didn’t heed her warning. He rose up swiftly from the bed. It was at this moment he made a startling discovery.

“My legs!” he gasped, “I…I can feel them.”

“That’s what I was about to warn you about. I suppose it’s not necessary now,” she said.

“Guess it never hurts to thrust some good news into a crisis,” said Scott, his tone still strangely flat, “While you were out, the doctors demonstrated the wonders of Shi’ar medicine. Talk to Hank later. He’ll fill you in on all the details.”

Xavier’s excitement nearly overshadowed his anxiety. It had been so long since he had felt his legs fully. His cancer rendered them weak and useless. Now he was feeling them the same way he felt them when he was a younger less sickly man. It was awkward at first. He needed to hold onto Lilandra to maneuver his legs up from the bed. He kept leaning to her as she helped him off, allowing him to stand for the first time in years.

As he felt his legs under him once more, he made another discovery. The pain from his addiction wasn’t plaguing him anymore. His head and his body felt stronger than he could remember. It was like he was in his twenties again. Everything had been healed. When Lilandra stepped away and he stood fully, he smiled for the first time in what felt like a new life.

“This is incredible! I…I can walk again!” said Xavier, beaming with energy.

This arc is going to bring a lot of changes to the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. Marvel will bring its share of changes to the X-men comics as well thanks to the upcoming Death of X arc. I like to think that X-men Supreme won’t make things so dire. As I’ve noted before, this fanfiction series has yet to resort to time travel or alternate universe versions of characters. I hope to avoid those tactics. I want to give X-men fans something they can turn to when the X-men comics become too frustrating to follow. That means making X-men Supreme as awesome as possible is important to me and that makes the feedback I get doubly important. So please help me make X-men Supreme awesome. Either contact me directly with your feedback or post your comments in each issue. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Extraordinary X-men #12: Nuff Said!

How many apocalyptic futures does anyone have to see before they just say, "Fuck it! I'm joining Skynet." If anyone is in a position to answer that question, it's the X-men. They face a new apocalyptic future every other week and on their off-weeks, they face another plague or sterility plot. They don't have good days is what I'm saying. They haven't since their last cartoon got canceled. I don't know how close they are to just throwing their hands up and sucking the dick of the nearest Inhuman, but I imagine they're close.

Apocalypse Wars promises to bring them even closer. I'm sure they're already licking their lips with Death of X coming up. Once again, the X-men are in an apocalyptic future. Once again, they have to fight one of their teammates who has been corrupted. I guess it's Tuesday for the X-men. For Extraordinary X-men #12 though, it's the end of Apocalypse Wars. Can it feel like more than a typical Tuesday? Well, that's why I'm here.

These days, before lunch on a typical Tuesday, Magik has to get caught up in some sort of demon-centric shit storms. This is no exception. She and her magic mojo is the only way the X-men have to get escape this apocalyptic future for their semi-apocalyptic present. To do that though, she has to take the express lane to the future. Along the way, that express lane has a few stops. One of them offers some disturbing hints to the next dystopian future that'll fuck over the X-men because I guess they really can't have too many.

This one is a bit more personal though. It involves Sapna, the semi-creepy girl Magik began training at the start of this series. Apparently, being trained by a mutant demon queen with a habit of killing things with a big fucking sword isn't a healthy influence. She ends up turning the entire world into a kingdom of death. It would be so dire if the X-men didn't get futures like this at least once a week, but the fact it has personal ties to Magik does add intrigue.

Intrigue is a bit less important in the other dystopian future that's currently fucking over the X-men. Storm and Nightcrawler finally managed to reach Apocalypse in the last issue. Then, Nightcrawler decides it's a good idea to kill Apocalypse in his weakened state. I don't think any mostly-sober mind would disagree with that logic. The problem is killing Apocalypse means killing Omega World. That might be a good idea too if they weren't fucking trapped in it.

Luckily for Storm, Apocalypse is almost as durable as Keith Richards and Nightcrawler kind of sucks at killing immortal mutant demigods. While he's intent on killing Apocalypse while he doesn't have Oscar Isaac's sex appeal to protect him, Storm makes clear that they need to keep him alive to save their asses and Colossus. So I guess Nightcrawler forgot about that detail too. Again, I still can't fault him for his logic in killing a mutant tyrant.

Before they can think about killing tyrants or surviving yet another dystopian future, the X-men have to stop Apocalypse's horsemen first. One of them happens to be Old Man Logan infused with a the Venom symbiote and its main target is a teenage Jean Grey. Pretty sure that's how 90 percent of tentacle porn starts out. In this case, however, it doesn't get quite that disturbing.

Iceman, fresh off kicking Deadpool's ass, helps O5 Jean connect with the mind of the symbiote. It's as disturbing as it sounds, but it works. It gives O5 Jean yet another chance to be more badass than most teenage girls dare to be. It's another step in an ongoing trend to make O5 Jean the kind of Jean Grey that doesn't need rescuing every other issue and doesn't faint the second someone breathes on her too hard. Time-displaced or not, it's definitely a step up from tentacle porn. It also frees Old Man Logan, who is old, grumpy, and pissed off. That means the fight is actually even now.

Then, the X-men remember that they have Glob fucking Herman on their team and it's not as even as they think. Nothing against Glob, but he's not exactly the kind of guy who can go multiple rounds with the horsemen of Apocalypse. There's no shame in that though. Few who aren't experienced X-men or survived dating Emma Frost are equipped for such a feat. At the very least, it serves to piss Old Man Logan off even more and just like that, the fight is even again.

It's bound to get uneven again at some point, as most battles involving Apocalypse do. That's all the more reason for Magik to get her demon-loving ass in gear. However, she still has to deal with yet another horrific vision of another horrific future where someone she tried to help fucks the world over. Sapna's future daughters say it's because Magik didn't guide her properly that she took her frustrations out on the whole fucking world. They're still assuming that a demon-loving teenage girl is a healthy influence for another teenage girl with a death fetish, but I guess less shitty options are the only options the X-men get these days.

It's still a personal issue for Magik and unfortunately, we don't get much of a reaction from her. She's just like, "Oh, one of my demon pupils went crazy and killed the world? Meh. I'll fix that later." Granted, Magik isn't one for melodrama, but it's still somewhat lacking. At the very least, it sets up another intriguing conflict for the X-men down the line. Sure, it involves another dystopian future, but can we really expect anything else at this point?

We sure as shit can't expect the X-men to defeat an Apocalypse-powered Colossus with limited manpower and Glob Herman as backup. Even a pissed off Old Man Logan has his limits. It makes for some pretty intense action that allows Hamberto Ramos to really kick ass with his art. At this point, Colossus kicks more ass than Apocalypse has during this entire event. Considering how whiny and reserved he's been since Avengers vs. X-men, it's a welcome change.

It only gets uneven again when Magik arrives, this time in the X-men's favor. Colossus may have the power of a horseman. Magik has a demon sword and the strength of a pissed off teenage girl. It's not a fair fight and makes for a nice spectacle to say the least. Considering that this is a story involving Apocalypse and shitty futures, that's perfectly appropriate and downright satisfying.

Colossus is defeated. Omega World is still falling apart around them, but they still won. That counts for something, right? Moral victories are the best the X-men can hope for these days, especially in a world dominated by Fox lawyers and Inhumans. I'm sure Marvel is tempted to just let the X-men die here so they can make way for more shitty Inhumans comics, but I guess they know on some levels they can't screw themselves too much.

Storm and Nightcrawler show up again, this time with a wounded Apocalypse. Their first instinct is to kill him. That's a perfectly reasonable instinct if ever there was one. However, Storm makes clear that they need him to save Colossus. It's a tough sell, letting Apocalypse live and taking him back to the past. It doesn't matter though. She's the fucking leader of the X-men now so what she says goes. Plus, Omega World is still falling apart so arguing with Storm isn't a productive use of time.

Thanks to Magik, they go back to the past. They escape yet another dystopian future. All should be good again, right? Well, they're still stuck living in a fucking demon realm while Inhumans wave their dicks in the face of every mutant in the world so I guess it's all relative. However, there is one minor issue that fucks up the present more than the future. Colossus didn't exactly land in the same place as them.

This naturally pisses off the X-men. The problem is, they can't be pissed off enough to kill Apocalypse because he's still the key to saving Colossus. Tactically speaking, that's pretty damn smart. He just ensured that he can keep fucking with the X-men in the present and not just the future. It's hard to respect someone like Apocalypse, but even I admit that's pretty damn cunning.

So where exactly did Colossus land? Well, Apocalypse shows again that he's pretty damn cunning. Lemire also nicely sets up the next conflict on top of Magik having to stop a teenage mutant with a death fetish. Colossus, still a horseman at this point, pops right in at a Clan Akkaba rally. That's like magically dropping me into a whiskey distillery. It's wonderfully appropriate in that it's bound to lead to all sorts of crazy shit that may or may not screw a few people over. Provided Colossus keeps his pants on more than I would if I spent too much time in a whiskey distillery, it opens the door to some intriguing conflicts. it awesome?

Well there's a lot of shit going on in Extraordinary X-men #12 and for the non-sober crowd, it's hard to keep up with at times. That said, Jeff Lemire manages to keep things fairly concise. The chaos never gets too overwhelming, even for a non-sober mind. The conflict ends. The X-men save their asses, even if they can't save this fucked up future. However, they do set the stage for the next shit storm and they won't even have to time travel for it. That alone has me plenty intrigued.

Some characters really get to shine here. Storm, Nightcrawler, and Magik all do their part. Others kind of just take up space, but not in a bad way. Everyone finds a way to contribute in Extraordinary X-men #12. There's not a whole lot of drama, but there is a lot of action, a lot of intrigue, and a lot of apocalyptic shit to go around. It's refined, concise, and coherent. These days, that might as well be worth its weight in adamantium.

Final Score: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

X-men 92 #5: Nuff Said!

Remember the days when Marvel had all these iconic romances that gave generations of fans all kinds of feels? That's not a rhetorical question. I really want to know if anyone actually remembers that time and not just because I went to one too many raves in the late 90s. It's true though. There was a time when Marvel did celebrate its iconic romances instead of letting Mephisto fuck them up. Now, Deadpool, who is married to a fucking Succubus, has the most stable marriage in the Marvel universe. Let THAT sink in for a minute.

It's true. There was actually a time when Cyclops and Jean Grey stood as one of Marvel's bedrock romances. It was right up there with Reed/Sue and Spider-Man/Mary Jane, two romances that also got shafted coincidentally. The 90s were a great time for this romance. Then, Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner decided Jean Grey has to be Wolverine's ultimate fuck toy and tried to build movies around that premise. It's a decision that taints just how awesome Cyclops and Jean Grey are as a couple. X-men 92 #5 offers a very overdue reminder of that era. It's an era that, in addition to better party drugs, I miss dearly. That's why I intend to be extra sentimental in this review.

There's definitely plenty of sentiment and the sexy kind no less. Remember, this is a world where Jean Grey didn't die, Cyclops never married a clone, and Emma Frost never mind-fucked anybody. It's a world where Cyclops and Jean Grey are just two people in love, trying to find peace in a world that can't resist the urge to throw killer robots at them. They seem to have found it in a nice, secluded cabin in Alaska, in front of a roaring fireplace. It's the perfect setting for an epic romance, a porno, or both.

There's more than just sentiment though. There's also the inescapable void of not being X-men anymore. Cyclops and Jean Grey left after the Secret Wars tie-in, entrusting Storm to lead the team. That gives them much more time for love and sexy fun, but Jean may not be ready to end her superhero days. She probably wants to do more than just faint at least once in every fight. Cyclops, not being a douche that went evil in this world, is willing to support her because that's what guys do for their women. They don't make deals with Mephisto. They show love and support. Take notes, Peter Parker!

So with all this love and support, the future seems bright. Then, Cyclops and Jean Grey go to sleep and the future kicks them in the ass. By that, I mean they wake up in the year 3992. I know. Even my ass is sore after that.

They're greeted by a semi-familiar face in Rachel Grey, who is the Phoenix in this time. Granted, she's a weak and old Phoenix, but still way more boneable every Inhuman not named Kamala Khan. She still has enough power to use the Phoenix Force to bring Cyclops and Jean Grey into the future, uniform and all. I guess she realizes that they can't save the future while wearing ugly ass Christmas sweaters.

Now it's not quite clear if this version of Rachel is their future daughter. They don't make that abundantly clear early on, but Jean Grey trusts her and that's good enough for Cyclops, who isn't all that fond of anything related to the Phoenix. In his defense, it did nearly kill his girlfriend so who can blame him?

After Jean establishes some trust, they learn that their future is more fucked than they hoped. Turns out Apocalypse, who showed up at the end of the Secret Wars tie-in, took a giant apocalyptic shit on the world, as he tends to do in most X-men related worlds. Half the world died. The rest are basically Apocalypse's bitches. So no, it's not a very pleasant future. I'd still rather live there than one with the fucking Inhumans.

They meet Clan Asakani, who are all too eager to accept help from two X-men. Apparently, Rachel used the Phoenix Force to get help against overwhelming odds. She got Cyclops and Jean Grey as a result. Can't say I disagree with its choice. While Cyclops is somewhat reluctant to take part in another Apocalypse shit storm after having retired, Jean Grey convinces him to join this fight and help Rachel. She doesn't even need to flash him her tits. That's the extent of their love in this world. It's a beautiful thing.

So they set off into the Savage Land towards the Sinister Citadel where Apocalypse's alpha bitch, Mr. Sinister, resides. It leads to a nice little montage of Cyclops and Jean Grey navigating the rigors of this apocalypitc shit storm, complete with T-rexes armed with Cyclops blasts and robot Deadpools. Together, with the aid of Rachel and Blaquesmith, they kick more ass than they've kicked together in over a decade. Again, it's a beautiful thing. Both the 90s kid and the jaded 2016 adult in me can't help but smile.

As nice as the montage is, it's still somewhat rushed. I honestly wanted to see more of Cyclops fighting an army of robot Deadpools. Who the fuck wouldn't? We live in an era where Cyclops dies off-panel and the only Jean Grey we can get is time-displaced. It's still way better than nothing, but I was a greedy little brat in the 90s and that greedy little brat wants more.

Even without a more detailed montage, we get some nice moments in between. Blaquesmith reveals that Rachel Grey is running out of strength and they're running out of time. Once her strength gives out, they'll be sent back to the past. It's basically a much simpler setup than any of the shit storms Beast created in the mainline comics.

That adds even more urgency to the battle at hand. They reach Sinister's Citadel and what do they find? An army of failed Cyclops/Jean clones waiting to kill them. Admit it. You're not surprised in the slightest. Sure, they're failed clones and they're ugly as fuck. They're still more likable than every Inhuman not named Kamala Khan. It makes for another fun fight that's a bit more detailed.

On top of that, Jean Grey never faints. Yes, fans of the old show. She never faints or yells, "Scott!" I'll give X-men fans everywhere a moment to let that sink in for all the right reasons.

They finally reach Sinister. That's when they learn a very unpleasant truth. Turns out, Rachel was working with Sinister the whole time. However, she did it for very non-Sinister reasons. Hell, even Sinister did it for non-Sinister reasons. What do I mean by that? Well, it turns out he doesn't like being Apocalypse's alpha bitch. So he comes up with a plan to kick Apocalypse's ass and he can't complete that plan without Cyclops and Jean Grey. Since Rachel and pretty much everyone else on the planet left alive by Apocalypse's shit storm agrees, she helps him. Even Cyclops can't blame her for that shit.

The result of that help? Well, it actually answers one of the burning questions that the cartoon never got around to answering. It reveals the origin of Cable. In this world, he's not the son of Cyclops and a Jean Grey clone. He's the son of Cyclops and the real Jean Grey. That's a big fucking upgrade by any measure. It also means Jean Grey gets to meet her son, minus the birthing pains. Talk to any woman whoever gave birth and find out just how big a deal that is.

Despite the hostility between Cyclops and Sinister, they still take a moment to welcome their son and future badass, Apocalypse-killing mutant messiah into the world. It's a nice moment that actually creates connections that the old cartoon never got around to making, probably due to budget cuts or Fox executives who think a plot like this doesn't glorify Wolverine enough. That alone makes this issue special.

So the plan is complete. Rachel helps Sinister create the ultimate weapon against Apocalypse. So now what? Do they shake hands, call a truce, and help Cyclops and Jean Grey make less ugly sweaters? Fuck no. Rachel uses what's left of the Phoenix Force to burn Sinister to a crisp. Can anyone honestly say they wouldn't do the same thing? Especially after all the shit he did to her parents?

Yeah, that is finally confirmed for the most part. Rachel is the future daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey. No cloning or genetic experiments necessary. Just good old fashioned lovemaking and birthing pains. They don't get a chance to really have any family time though. That's kind of unavoidable because to kill Sinister, Rachel uses what's left of the Phoenix Force, which had been keeping Cyclops and Jean Grey in the future. So once she uses that up, they fade. It makes for a sad moment where young Cable doesn't get to know his parents very well. It's tragic, but if Disney movies have taught us anything, it's that losing parents is the first step towards being a total badass.

For Cyclops and Jean Grey, their time in this future is over. However, the Phoenix must have been off its game because they don't end up back in their cozy little cabin. They end up in some other fucked up time, facing an entirely different group of mutants claiming to be the X-men. Is it a desirable destination? No. Is it better than ending up in those ugly ass sweaters again? Yeah, I'd say so.

Keep in mind, Cyclops and Jean Grey made it through this without any fainting or love triangles. Chad Bowers and Chris Sims accomplished something that even Bryan Singer couldn't accomplish without a fuckton of money from Fox. That alone is a testament to what this comic accomplishes. it awesome?

Aside from ugly Christmas sweaters, X-men 92 #5 contains the kind of awesome that I thought died on December 31st, 1999. It has everything the mainline comics lack in terms of characterization and romance. There's action, there's romance, and there's family. Sure, there's time travel as well, but it's the kind of time travel that lacks Marty McFly style incest or Beast-level douche-baggery. Hell, I'll French kiss Blaquesmith while sober before I accept any time travel bullshit from Beast.

More than anything else, X-men 92 #5 shows Cyclops and Jean Grey fighting together as equals. They never have to save each other. Nobody faints. Jean never yells "SCOTT! and Cyclops never yells "JEAN!" It actually improves on the X-men 90s cartoon, which for X-men fans is like making Emma Frost's tits bigger. There's a lot to love here. There's romance, drama, and Cyclops punching Deadpool in the jaw. It's the kind of awesome that works in 1992, 2016, and every year in between. So in overall terms of Chad Bowers and Chris Sims' efforts to make Cyclops and Jean Grey awesome again, the results truly speak for themselves. I officially owe these guys a beer, a joint, and whatever the fuck my dealer can get me.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Justice League Special Comic-Con Footage

It's Comic Con, bitches! That means someone, be it DC or Hasbaro, is going to try and win by blowing the most minds and inducing the most boners. Well, I think after today, the winner is clear. DC, you've won. My mind is blown and my dick is hard enough to split the moon. Between this and the Wonder Woman trailer, 2017 is going to kick an insane amount of ass. Nuff said!

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Personal Apocalypse: Uncanny X-men #10

The following is my review of Uncanny X-men #10, which was posted on

For a species that is constantly on the brink of extinction, apocalyptic themes can be downright inane at times. These days, apocalyptic scenarios are a twisted kind of normal for the X-men. If they're not confronting the extinction of the mutant race, they're recovering from it or preparing for the next extinction. Apocalyptic themes are so interwoven with the narrative of the X-men that any story that doesn't involve an extinction-level threat is an aberration.

By these dire standards, Apocalypse Wars is certainly not an aberration. That's not to say it follows the same apocalyptic formula though. The narrative Cullen Bunn crafts in Uncanny X-men focuses less on extinction, sterilization, or marginalization and more on a personal apocalypse. Granted, the world faces a serious threat in Genocide, one of Apocalypse's overly dedicated minions. However, the threat isn't as important as the turmoil it creates within the characters. It is basically the antithesis of a typical battle against Onslaught or Thanos.

This gives Apocalypse Wars a unique impact, one that is rarely explored in apocalyptic stories that don't involve time travel or evil clones. That impact unfolds gradually over the course of this series and in Uncanny X-men #10, the scope and scale of that impact finally sets in. It doesn't hit with the same weight as a traditional apocalyptic plot, but given the glut of such plots with the X-men, that may be a good thing.

There's no deception, mystery, or twist at this point in the story. Bunn opts for a more simplistic approach in wrapping up Apocalypse Wars and this ends up being the most prudent. Genocide does more than enough to garner no sympathy whatsoever. He tries to honor Apocalypse's legacy a little too closely, manipulating Angel and subduing Magneto in ways that only make the X-men angrier. Unlike the Hulk, however, the X-men are more focused with their anger.

Genocide's plan to manipulate Angel comes off as one of those plans that was never going to work out and not just because one of Angel's former lovers is a psychic ninja. He's not Apocalypse, nor does he ever make the case that he can be Apocalypse. He is essentially a decaffeinated version of Apocalypse who is capable of manipulation, but horribly lacking in cunning and strength. While he does have a menacing presence, he lacks the charisma that Oscar Isaac so masterfully captured in X-men: Apocalypse.

That lack of charisma, combined with the shallowest of motivations, may offer limited depth, but it makes the X-men's defeat of Genocide that much more satisfying. It also gives Greg Land abundant opportunities to craft stunning, apocalyptic visuals. It meshes well with the themes and tone of the narrative. With characters like Genocide, it's easy to get too cartoonish with the style. While Genocide has the personality of a Saturday morning cartoon character, Land and Bunn make sure it feels more refined.

While Genocide's personality is a poor selling point in Uncanny X-men #10, it's the personal impact of the story that makes it work. Most of that impact comes from Psylocke, who spends a good chunk of this story trying to get through to her former lover. The emotions don't run high or become melodramatic, but they are there. Bunn makes it a point to highlight's Psylocke's determination to save her former lover. This creates the kind of personal stake that gives greater weight to what would otherwise be a generic apocalyptic scenario.

However, this isn't the only personal impact guiding the narrative. Alongside this apocalyptic clash with Genocide, Bunn caps off another sub-plot involving Monet, Sabretooth, and Monet's demonic brother, Emplate. The personal impact here is different in that it involves two siblings trying to help each other. The problem is that one sibling's concept of help involving feeding on mutants, a species that just got sterilized for the second time. It makes for another conflicted clash where Land's art shines once more.

There's nothing wrong with this sub-plot. Bunn develops it nicely. The personal impact with Monet is not unlike the impact with Psylocke. What undermines this plot and the one involving Genocide is how disconnected they are. One does not affect the other in any way. They might as well be plots from two different comics. It's possible to cut, paste, and reorganize in a way where it's impossible to tell that they're from the same comic. This lack of cohesion undermines and disrupts the overall narrative.

The presence of two, well-developed sub-plots doesn't negate the impact of either plot. However, they do cut into one another like ill-timed commercial breaks. It gives the impression that both plots have to be rushed to tie up the necessary loose ends. To Bunn's credit, he's able to do this with both plots, but there's only so much polish he can manage with two utterly disconnected stories.

Even without the polish, Uncanny X-men #10 does manage to capture the same underlying theme in Apocalypse Wars that also plays out in All-New X-men and Extraordinary X-men. Each plot and sub-plot, regardless of how disconnected they are, tie into concepts of destiny and inner nature. Genocide doesn't even try to avoid either whereas Angel tries desperately to do the opposite. One succeeds through the aid and support of his telepathic girlfriend. The other ends up on the wrong end of Magneto and Mystique's wrath. There's no ambiguity in terms of which effort is more worthwhile.

In many respects, the theme of Apocalypse Wars is a fitting metaphor of sorts for the X-men and mutants in general, ongoing sterilization plots notwithstanding. It's easy to accept apocalyptic doom and gloom when that sort of thing seems to happen every other week, but it is possible to reconnect with a less dire outlook. It won't make a second round of sterility feel less apocalyptic, but it will rally the likes of Magneto, Mystique, and Sabretooth on a cohesive team. In facing any apocalypse, it's hard to imagine a team more equipped.

Final Score: 6 out of 10

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Uncanny X-men #10: Nuff Said!

What makes an Apocalypse story apocalyptic, but in a good way? It's not enough to just pay Oscar Isaac to make an appearance. Fox only recently learned that lesson. It's a matter of taking Apocalyptic themes, injecting apocalyptic threats, and creating an apocalyptic mood that gives every character an apocalyptic kick in the balls. By that standard, Cullen Bunn is succeeding where Fox failed and he does it without Oscar Isaac's sex appeal. Hell, he does it without Apocalypse actually showing up in Uncanny X-men, whereas he has a strong presence in Extraordinary and All-New. That's like preparing a steak dinner with a butter knife. It's a testament to his craft.

Now, Uncanny X-men #10 is here. With the way this story has been going, it can act either as a cherry on top or a fresh ball of shit on top of a chocolate pie. Apocalypse's asshole son, Genocide, is set to succeed where he failed. However, he has to succeed over a pissed off Magneto and a Psylocke who just fought a bitter ex-lover. It's like he uses the exact opposite of cheat codes, but maybe that's just his way of waving his dick in the face of Apocalypse. I've got a cold beer and a joint that says he's going to fuck up in some ways and I'm here to take it all in for your reading pleasure.

I imagine the fine folks in Green Ridge, Colorado are going to need more than a beer and a joint after this. After Genocide got a little too rough with Angel's lover, who happens to also be a sexy psychic ninja, he invites yet another method for which to screw himself. I guess pissing off Mystique and Magneto just wasn't enough. He has to make sure he's completely fucked himself beyond repair. There are overly depressed emos in high school that would say he's overdoing it at this point.

The fight is no longer fair because now there are an army of Archangels reining unholy hell on Genocide's quint little hideout. Psylocke finally decided it was time to ensue Genocide gets the ass-kicking he seems to so desperately want at this point. She has shown in this series that she has an uncanny ability to channel Arcangel's apocalyptic rage boners for good and she doesn't even have to flash her tits. That's power even Genocide has to respect.

That's not to say that this tactic is completely without risk. There's always a risk associated with unleashing a pissed off horseman of Apocalypse. Psylocke is the only one able to temper that risk. She's psychic. She's a ninja. She and Angel used to bang. She has every possible mechanism to reach him and ensure that he doesn't fall back into his Apocalyptic habits. I imagine the thoughts and memories of a naked Psylocke are far more powerful than any influence Apocalypse can conjure.

Psylocke puts that influence to use by going into Angel's mind. She even takes on her classic Psylocke costume, something that Greg Land does an excellent job of recapturing for this moment. The psychic setting of a church with dead bodies is creepy as shit, but still very appropriate. It sets the stage for Psylocke reconnecting with Angel again, something that nicely reflects their history together. At a time when Marvel seems too eager to ditch established romances so Spider-Man can hook up with Mockingbird, it's a refreshing moment.

It's almost as refreshing as seeing Magneto and Mystique kick Genocides ass. Almost. He pissed them off. He attempts to finish what Apocalypse started, minus Oscar Isaac's charisma and sex appeal, and fails miserably. No plan can succeed when it involves pissing off Mystique and Magneto.

It's a concise, brutal, understandably lopsided battle. This time, Magneto and Mystique have the edge and not just because they're pissed off. They have an army of Archangels as backup and Genocide has a town of brainwashed civilians too terrified to throw a punch. It's like a sick kitten fighting John Cena. It's not a fair fight. He does throw around some classic Apocalypse rhetoric, but without Oscar Isaac's influence, it's only too satisfying when Magneto and Mystique shut his ass up.

Genocide isn't the only one someone needs to shut up. As the plot with Genocide has been developing, another entirely different plot has been unfolding in the Morlock sewers. This one involves Sabretooth, Monet, and Monet's much less sexy twin brother, Emplate. Emplate, for reasons that only make sense after a joint or two, needs to psychically feed on mutants to remain anchored to this world. Monet and Sabretooth had to fight through a lot of mutant zombie types to get to him. However, Monet isn't as inclined to be as ruthless or efficient as Mystique and Magneto.

That sucks for her because the only way to save her hideous, mutant-murdering brother is to let him feed on her. It's not nearly as incestish as it sounds and Monet is hardly thrilled with the idea. Not wanting to set feminism back another couple decades, she doesn't completely stick to her promise to help her brother stop feeding. She channels her inner Hillary Clinton and flexes a little dishonesty, albeit in a way even Trump supporters might approve of.

She kicks Emplate's ass. She also makes clear that, siblings aside, she thinks he's a real piece of shit for tormenting mutants and using her to keep himself tied to this world. It's basically all the shit women want to say to internet trolls and ex-boyfriends. Yes, it is satisfying on some levels. Yes, it does end with Monet subduing Emplate and neutralizing him in a way that allows her to not completely break her promise, which is more than Hillary Clinton can claim. It's just not as dramatic or as emotional as it needs to be.

Why is this? Well, one might think this plot with Emplate has something to do with Genocide and Apocalypse Wars. One would be dead wrong, despite being perfectly logical. Outside arguments against creationists, that sort of thing shouldn't be par for the course. Cullen Bunn is usually so adept at tying in parallel plots into the same story. This time, they might as well be two separate comics in two separate arcs. Granted, both are pretty damn awesome by most measures, but their inability to gel makes it feel like a poorly constructed sandwich. It's still palatable, just not nearly as satisfying.

There's still plenty to digest with the battle against Genocide. In this battle, Psylocke holds her own and looks dead sexy while doing it. That's basically Tuesday for her. At some point, Fantomex has a chance to be an even bigger douche, but for once, he doesn't take advantage of it. After his douche-baggery in previous issues, that's a good thing. There's only so much douche-baggery a character can take on before they enter Hope fucking Summers territory. Even Fantomex doesn't dare take it that far.

Between Genocide's attack and Arcangel's minions, it's a hell of a spectacle and one Greg Land renders beautifully. People can say he uses too many Playboy centerfolds as tracing material. My eyes and my penis don't care. He helps bring scale and spectacle to this battle. Once Psylocke meets up with Magneto and Mystique, the results are a sight to behold.

However, the fight does not end when Magneto and his team run out of asses to kick. It only ends once Angel is subdued and Genocide's influence is purged from his mind. With Psylocke's help, she's able to figure out how Genocide fucked Angel up so thoroughly. It turns out that the wannabe cult leader version of Angel is actually a part of Arcangel that Genocide separated. That's why Arcangel is basically a blunt instrument now who has the personality of Kristen Stewart on valium. The only way they can balance out the bluntness and make Arcangel less likely to be Apocalypse's personal meat puppet is to re-merge.

It's not as sexy as it sounds, but it offers a certain level of drama. Angel makes it clear he doesn't want to be one bad hangover away from French kissing Apocalypse again. However, he's willing to re-merge with his Apocalyptic self if it will undo Genocide's shit storm. He does it because that's what a hero is supposed to do, especially in the presence of a woman who he used to sleep with. It makes Arcangel, by far, more likable than Fantomex will ever be.

Genocide is defeated. The innocent people of Green Ridge, Colorado will have to find another deranged cult leader now. Maybe they can call in Tom Cruise or something. On the plus side, the X-men have a fully coherent Arcangel back. So overall, it's a solid win on their part. There's still some awkwardness between Magneto and Psylocke. She isn't exactly thrilled with the revelation that he's been working with Mystique and her ex, but let's face it. That's not the worst secret Magneto could've kept from her. It's not like he had Gambit record her taking a shower or something.

This newfound mistrust comes at a time when Monet is now harboring her vampire-loving twin brother. Sure, he's not feeding on innocent mutants in the Morlock tunnels anymore, but now he's stuck inside her. She avoided becoming her brother's pet, but he's still pissing her off. So I guess that's another complication that's bound to screw the X-men over at some point, as if they can ever have too many.

Complications aside, Cullen Bunn does try to cap off his share of Apocalypse Wars on a high note. We get to see Psylocke and Angel share a moment again in Angel's mind. It's a moment that contains a wonderfully fitting message for any X-men story. Arcangel may be one of Apocalypse's many bitches, but now Angel is determined to forge a different path that doesn't involve being someone's bitch. He's not a blunt instrument anymore. He doesn't know what he is, but he's not going to let anyone who isn't a sexy psychic ninja influence that. It's the kind of empowered, understanding sentiment you just can't get out of an Inhuman comic. it awesome?

There's some wonderfully poetic undertones to the conclusion of this arc. It lines up nicely with classic themes of X-men, none of which involve sterility or Inhuman fart clouds. It has plenty of bloody, brutal moments that are to be expected in any clash involving Magneto, Mystique, and Fantomex.

That said, Uncanny X-men #10 just doesn't hit with the full impact that Cullen Bunn so masterfully set up in previous issues. The ending hit on the right themes, but feels rushed. That's not to say it's flawed. It's like a brownie without frosting. It's still good, just not as delicious as it could've been. Given the bar set by All-New X-men with its Apocalypse Wars tie-in, Uncanny X-men just doesn't measure up. It does set up some juicy plots moving forward, but the promise of a good brownie is never as satisfying as actually eating a brownie.

Final Score: 6 out of 10

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

All-New Wolverine #10: Nuff Said!

Being Wolverine requires many specific, albeit fucked up, skill sets. It's not enough to survive being a meat puppet, stabbing anything that tries to turn you into a meat puppet, and thinking you're tough enough to fight the Hulk. Anyone with a sufficient amount of hard liquor and crystal meth in their system can be savage. You also need to endure tough, awkward situations and not just those that involve wanting to bone married women.

X-23 is learning this the hard way, which also happens to be the awesome way. Tom Taylor doesn't just have X-23 developing those skills in All-New Wolverine. He shows her thriving, as only someone worthy of the Wolverine title can. He didn't go easy on her either. This series began with her confronting a team of evil clones. Well, in All-New Wolverine #10 he has her confronting an AU version of Wolverine. It's basically the Wolverine equivalent of a mid-term and unlike those of us who flunked calculus, I'd say X-23 is more than prepared for this latest test.

There's just one minor complication that might affect her grade and no, it's not because some asshole from English class slipped laxatives into her coffee. This fateful meeting between X-23 and Old Man Logan happens to be taking place during Civil War II, an event where everyone is learning the hard way that the future will fuck you over in way too many ways, not all of which involve Thanos.

Ulysses, the Inhuman at the center of it all, loves to have visions of terrifying futures that involve a naked Hulk. Other than revealing disturbing shit about his porno stash, one of those visions involves an enraged Old Man Logan and a terrified X-23. If Ulysses' past visions are any indication, it has nothing to do with Old Man Logan having to buy tampons for X-23. This is a guy who lives under constant fear of slaughtering his loved ones like he did in his dystopian future. Now, he's meeting with someone who tends to attract slaughter the same way NBA players attract Kardashians. It may be an overdue encounter, but it's like putting matches and gasoline in the same room.

At the very least, Old Man Logan's first encounter with X-23 doesn't start with any bloodshed or violence. Instead, it starts with an adorable girl and her pet wolverine. No, that's not dirty joke about female anatomy. She's a kid, remember? She also happens to have a pet wolverine named Jonathan. It's even more adorable than it sounds.

It feels like a moment right out of a Disney movie, a grumpy old man waking up to an adorable girl and her adorable pet. It's like Up if it were directed by Quintin Tarantino. The script must have been written by EL James because Old Man Logan is tied up when he awakens. Granted, this is usually not a good idea for any version of Wolverine, but he did just spend some time in the stomach of Fing Fang Foom so he's bound to be a little grumpy. When there's a cute kid and a cute animal in the house, I honestly can't blame X-23 for restraining him. Pretty sure my old college roommates would do the same to me if we ever ran out of coffee and whiskey on a Monday morning.

Once Old Man Logan accepts that someone didn't inject a bucket of LSD into his veins while he was out, X-23 finally enters. It's a meeting we've all been waiting for. Sure, they crossed paths in the last issue, but that was in the stomach of a dragon and that shit only ended with X-23 flying around naked in a jet pack. Not exactly a good way to build a connection between someone and their dystopian AU counterpart.

It's not all that dramatic at first and honestly, it's hard to make it dramatic. When your first meeting happened in the stomach of a fucking dragon, that kind of kills the drama. It's hard to be in a very loving, understanding mood after that shit. At the very least, X-23 explains to Old Man Logan why they have a pet wolverine, an adorable girl, and a tied up old man. Not saying it's a good explanation. Just saying it's not devoid of logic.

It's awkward. It's tense. It's a fucked up situation and there's no whiskey available to make it easier. So what can break the ice? What can make this meeting between X-23 and a dystopian AU version of the man she saw as her father less awkward?

Tom Taylor has a plan. Granted, it's kind of a fucked up plan, but in a hilariously logical sort of way. Just as X-23 unties Old Man Logan, a couple of burglars drop in. That's right. A couple of burglars break into X-23's apartment, in broad fucking daylight, at a time when there's a little girl, a pet wolverine, and a pissed off Logan from a shitty future at home. Either these burglars are the dumbest burglars outside a Home Alone movie or the unluckiest.

Needless to say, X-23 and Old Man Logan find this fucking hilarious. They actually start laughing. Yes, Old Man Logan actually laughs and it's not nearly as creepy as it sounds. Even coming from a fucked up dystopian world doesn't make this any less hilarious. It's a great way to break the ice, lighten the mood, and vent frustrations after having spent an afternoon in Fing Fang Foom's intestinal track. Yeah, it sucks for the burglars, but never in history has a crime been so therapeutic.

It only stops being funny when the burglars, still not knowing just how fucked they are, decide to fuck themselves even more. One of them, who would probably wave his dick in Mephisto's face on a five dollar bet, decides to shoot Jonathan the wolverine. I'm not an animal lover and I think PETA folks are fucking crazy, but even I found this horrifying. These motherfuckers just shot Jonathan, an adorably deranged animal, in a comic book from a subsidiary of Disney. That alone makes them deserving of no less than 50 stab wounds.

Naturally, X-23 and Old Man Logan are pissed. They can handle being in the stomach of a dragon, but shoot an innocent animal who happens to be the pet of an adorable girl and the gloves are off, motherfucker. It's not a fair fight to say the least. Hell, one of the burglars gets his face fucked up by Gabby, the adorable little girl who just saw her adorable pet get shot. Anytime an adorable little girl kicks a certain level of ass, it's a beautiful thing. Fox and Disney lawyers alike would even agree with that. It ensures that this is a quick, fairly smooth fight, but it still feels pretty damn epic in light of what happens to Jonathan the wolverine.

Not gonna lie, my heart skipped a beat at the thought of this being Jonathan's demise. At least he gets a more heroic death than Cyclops ever got.

Much to my relief, and that of everyone traumatized by Bambi as a kid, Jonathan is fine. The burglars still get their asses kicked in the most satisfying way possible that doesn't involve a fishing hook. It marks the first true team-up between X-23 and Old Man Logan that didn't involve them both getting stuck in a dragon's stomach. Given the stakes and the adorable animal involved, I'd say it's a success.

The fact that Jonathan the wolverine survives makes it a complete success. It leads to a truly heartwarming moment between Gabby and her adorable pet wolverine. Sure, she's a clone of a clone of a living weapon, but there's no denying the cuteness of this moment. Disney may have an agenda against the X-men these days, but that doesn't mean they can't appreciate this style of cuteness.

While Gabby tends to her pet wolverine, as only an adorable clone of a killer clone can, X-23 and Old Man Logan finally sit down to have a conversation. They just fucked up some dumb-ass burglars and spent time in a dragon's stomach. They have no excuses for shit being awkward at this point.

The conversation is somewhat inane at first, mainly because of X-23's lack of hard liquor in her apartment. She's still a fucking teenager last I checked and she does make it a point to let him know. However, Old Man Logan does manage to have a meaningful exchange without the aid of hard liquor. Yeah, I'm just as impressed.

In that exchange, he reveals that he knew X-23 was living here. She was even part of his life in his fucked up dystopian universe. However, that's exactly the reason why he avoided her. By his logic, he's throwing a flaming bag of dog shit at karma by getting involved with her. He claims she's one of the few things he got right in his world. Given that he comes from a world where he kills everyone else while the villains take a shit on their graves, that's quite a statement that has quite a few implications.

Some of those implications involve Gabby. This is where shit gets tense again because X-23 makes clear that she's not getting Gabby caught up in any more shit storms. She already has a pet wolverine and grew up in a mini-Weapon X lab. She's been through enough and deserves a chance at a normal life, albeit as normal as any life can be with a pet wolverine. It's the first real moment of tension that doesn't involve an innocent animal getting shot.

That moment once again gets interrupted, this time by something a lot less hilarious than a couple of dipshit burglars who think robbing X-23's apartment is a good idea. This time, it's SHIELD, who are slightly more capable than a couple of burglars. Given that they're partially responsible for them ending up in Fing Fang Foom's stomach, I imagine neither of them is eager to cross paths with Maria Hill, SHIELD, or anyone claiming to work for the government for the next several decades. I imagine Maria Hill isn't too fond of the idea either. She has to know on some levels that sending government agents armed with guns to subdue any version of Wolverine, clone or otherwise, is not going to end well.

In Maria Hill's defense, something that's hard to say these days, she has a damn good reason for attacking Old Man Logan again. Remember that vision Ulysses had earlier? Well, according to the fine print, Old Man Logan is going to kill Gabby. Given that these same visions have been uncomfortably accurate at predicting other shit storms, it puts X-23 in a very difficult position. It also puts Old Man Logan in the exact position he's been trying to avoid since Secret Wars. It's the worst kind of drama for them, but combining this with a cute girl and a pet wolverine, and the end result is wonderfully satisfying. it awesome?

Other than the trauma of Jonathan the Wolverine getting shot, I say there's a fuckton of awesome that is wholly consistent with the quality that Tom Taylor has established with All-New Wolverine. This is an encounter we all knew was coming, X-23 meeting up with Old Man Logan. It had to be dramatic. It had to carry some emotion. Taylor understood that and he delivers in All-New Wolverine #10, complete with an adorable girl and her pet Wolverine. He once again proves that Disney is right. Adding adorable animals to anything makes it more endearing. Not saying Jonathan the Wolverine will be the star of a Pixar movie anytime soon. I'm just saying that when any animal becomes lovable and endearing, Disney takes notice and so do I.

Final Score: 9 out of 10