Friday, January 31, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy #12 Unlettered Preview - More Hugs

I don't consider myself an overly affectionate person, especially when I'm sober. Get enough liquor in me and I'll dish out some hugs, but I'm just as likely to start throwing punches. It really depends on my mood, how much I've had, and how bad the Ravens are doing. But I understand the power of affection. It can heal broken hearts, rebuilt burnt bridges, and make a shitty day feel awesome. It's a lot like cocaine and ecstasy, minus the nasty side-effects.

All New X-men has been a pretty emotional series since it began. There hasn't been a lot of hugging, but there has been a lot of emotional upheaval, especially from O5 Jean Grey. She's the one dealing with the most. Being dead in the future, having a school named after her, and seeing the love of her life end up in the arms of her big-breasted rival would make anyone upset. And since weed isn't legal in New York or Canada, she's got precious few ways to relax. Maybe the next base should set up shop in Colorado or something. But now she can't deal with those emotions because she's about to go on fucking trial.

In the events of All New X-men #22, the Shi'ar arrived and abducted her specifically so they could try her for crimes she hadn't even committed yet. It sounds like the kind of legal shit that only takes place in North Korea, Iran, and Texas. To make it suck even more, she got abducted shortly after she got into an emotional argument with O5 Cyclops about how well (or not well) she's coping. It's a shitty way to end a conversation with a future husband, but the Shi'ar aren't exactly known for attacking at a good time.

Now they've officially teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy in hopes of saving O5 Jean Grey from the kind of justice that only Kim Jong Un would applaud. And they have to do this while emotions are running high. But those emotions may get even more complicated based on a new unlettered preview of Guardians of the Galaxy #12, which is part 4 of the event. I'm sure everyone remembers this famous cover.

Well, what happened wasn't exactly that Twilight-esque if that's the right word. O5 Cyclops and X-23 never kissed, but they did share a nice emotional moment that involved a hug. It was also stated outright by O5 Jean Grey herself that O5 Cyclops "fancied" X-23. It's not clear if he fancied her as a person or just parts of her. But it's something that was only lightly explored. Well now in the unlettered preview released by Comic Book Resources, it gets a little less Twilight-esque and a bit more pornographic. Hell, without dialog, pretty much anything can be made pornographic, but that's just my own twisted drunken imagination talking.

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12, from the rock star creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli! Jean Grey has been abducted by the Shi’ar Empire – accused of cataclysmic crimes she has yet to commit. But not all is as it seems. How are Star-Lord’s malevolent father and the Spartax Empire involved? Now, as the Guardians of the Galaxy and the All-New X-Men race to the edge of the deep space to rescue her – they’ll enlist the help of some very unlikely allies. One of whom will have world shattering consequences for one of the All-New X-Men! But even they may not be enough to stop the most powerful army in the Universe. Don’t miss the encounter that will have everyone buzzing this February in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12!

Poor O5 Cyclops. He really does look like he needs a hug. It looks like O5 Jean needs one too because it appears she's dealing with some sort of alien lawyer. As someone who has dealt with many overworked and under-appreciated public defenders, I'm pretty sure she's encouraging O5 Jean to plead guilty and hope for a lesser sentence. By Shi'ar standards, that probably means only 150 years in the slave pits as opposed to 200. She knows she's fucked and I doubt she has any cell-mates that can sneak her in some weed. It's tragic, but I guess the Shi'ar don't care for hugs or justice for that matter.

But X-23 shows that she's more compassionate than the Shi'ar, which isn't saying much I guess. She sees O5 Cyclops in a vulnerable state, not unlike the one she was in earlier. And just as he did, she reaches out to him and hugs him. It's a sweet moment that a non-sober me would choke up over. So at the very least the X-23/O5 Cyclops plot isn't going to be dropped. Given how O5 Jean saw them hugging before, it may add more melodrama to the ongoing emotional shit storm between O5 Cyclops and O5 Jean.

But it's still unclear just what sort of emotions there are between X-23 and O5 Cyclops. Is she just being compassionate? Or does she want to jump his bone and ride him like bull on crystal meth? We can't tell from the unlettered preview, but we can infer that emotions will be running high. And if O5 Angel actually does try to hit on Angela, someone might even get laid. It's an event full of justice, injustice, and emotions. It's Judge Judy meets the Vampire Dairies. It doesn't sound like it should work, but fuck if it doesn't look awesome. Nuff said!

X-men Supreme Issue 93: Starcrossed Part 3 is LIVE!

The X-men Supreme fanfiction series has been the site of numerous clashes in its illustrious history. Some of those battles have had the entire world at stake. Others are more personal. The battle that has unfolded in the Starcrossed arc has a mix of both. The battle between the X-men and the Shi’ar is something that has been building up behind the scenes. It took a while to set the stage for the perfect moment. And between Professor Xavier’s cancer returning and the aftermath of the Cambrian, the Shi’ar couldn’t have struck at a better time.

Now that clash is about to come to an end. And when the dust settles, the situation within the X-men Supreme fanfiction series will be very different. The Shi’ar have already complicated things for the X-men in a major way. First came the revelation that Professor Xavier’s love interest, Lilandra Neramani, is half-alien. Then came the attack by the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. They have an agenda that began back in X-men Supreme Issue 46: Paradise Mystery. For reasons that aren’t clear yet, they are intent on wiping out the Neramani bloodline. And in their battle against the X-men, they are now dangerously close to succeeding.

Now the outcome of this conflict is ready to be revealed. In the context of X-men Supreme, it will vastly expand the scale of this fanfiction series. Now the X-men will face threats that go beyond Magneto, Genosha, and human/mutant politics. And as I’ve stated previously, I was initially reluctant to expand the X-men’s battle in X-men Supreme beyond simple mutant issues. But the history between the X-men and the Shi’ar is just too vast to ignore. The Starcrossed arc will be the spark that creates a whole new line of conflicts for the X-men to explore. Some will play out over the long term while some will have a very immediate impact. Either way, I believe it will be good for the X-men Supreme fanfiction series in the long term and for that reason, I take a special bit of satisfaction in capping off Starcrossed.

X-men Supreme Issue 93: Starcrossed Part 3

With the end of this arc, I can now reveal that there are only a few issues remaining in X-men Supreme Volume 4: Politics of Fear. This volume has brought about many changes and developments for this fanfiction series, but there are a few more I plan on squeezing in before putting a cap on this entry of X-men Supreme. It’s hard to believe I’ve completed nearly four volumes of this fanfiction series. Yet I still work hard every day to try and make it more awesome. So please, I implore everyone who reads X-men Supreme to provide feedback and reviews. I don’t care how you submit them. Contact me directly or post your comments directly in the comments section of each issue. Any bit of feedback helps inspire me to make X-men Supreme more awesome and I want to keep improving as this fanfiction series evolves. Thanks as always to all those who support X-men Supreme. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: Uncanny Avengers #16

Maybe I’m a heretic in the world of sports, but I believe we should allow steroid abuse in sports. And not because I’m one of these uber-libertarian hippies who think people should be free to pump their bodies full of toxic chemicals. Don’t get me wrong. I support that right, but I kind of like having publicly funded hospitals and fire fighters. But I just think it would be a lot more entertaining to watch a bunch of overly aggressive muscle-headed behemoths beat the shit out of each other. I mean who really wants to see a couple of undersized Tim Tebow types slap fight? Anyone who enjoys the superpowered brawls in comics can’t deny the appeal. And Uncanny Avengers has already had plenty of brawls. It’s like steroids mixed with Superman’s jizz. It has made for some beautiful and messy moments. The Apocalypse Twins are now on the brink of success and a few notable X-men and Avengers have paid the ultimate price. But fuck if it isn’t entertaining. That’s the standard I’ll be emphasizing with Uncanny Avengers #16. With the Apocalypse Twins kicking so much ass, the Uncanny Avengers will just have to kick even more ass than usual.

Even so, they sure could use some backup. And that backup was actually amassed a few issues ago by Kang in the future. He did a little universe hopping to find some alternate versions of Marvel heroes and villains who might have a problem with the future being utterly fucked. But they’re still stuck in the future because of the goddamn temporal dam that the Apocalypse Twins have put up. They work smart, not hard when it comes to kicking ass. But these guys have been doing nothing but sitting on their asses, watching as time literally fucks itself into oblivion around them. It makes this side-plot feel annoyingly stagnant, as if it’s only there to remind readers who kill too many brain cells in their spare time that it still exists. I guess in that sense, I should be thankful.

No illicit drugs are necessary to understand the sheer scale how fucked the world is. Thanks to the Apocalypse Twins outright murdering a Celestial, Earth is now literally under the boot of Exitar, the Executioner, which I’ve decided is the new name for my penis. This sort of shit is hard not to notice. I imagine it would be trending on Twitter pretty damn quickly, although probably not as much as the Superbowl. And for the Avengers who aren’t part of this battle, they’re scrambling for a way to save the planet from being a chunk in Exitar’s shit.

While Tony Stark and everyone else with a 300-plus IQ debate how they’re going to defy a fucking space god, Wasp lets them know that they do have backup waiting. She just needs to knock out that temporal dam that the Apocalypse Twins have put up. She also tells them that if that’s still not enough to stop Exitar, then Thor is going to use the same mystical axe that the Twins used against another Celestial to kill this one. It sounds like a reasonable plan, if that’s even possible when dealing with Exitar. But that’s enough about my penis.

The seeds of this shit storm began when Thor got drunk, picked a fight with Apocalypse, and used Jarnbjorn to win. Well now he’s perfectly sober and even more pissed off. And on top of that, the Apocalypse Twins have spent a good deal of time and energy tormenting Captain America, who happens to be one of Thor’s closest friends. They couldn’t have goaded him more without claiming to have boned Sif.

So these two really have gone the distance in terms of pissing off a fucking demigod and given their recent track record, the Apocalypse Twins have every reason to be confident. That doesn’t make Thor’s menacing threats to them any less badass. That turns that confidence I just mentioned into a special breed of stupidity. For once, it looks like the fight will be even. I can only see this situation being more awesome if it took place at a bar in Ireland.

Once Thor frees Captain America and returns his shield, they each pick and Apocalypse Twin and attack. I don’t know how they determined who would get who. I didn’t see them flip a coin. But it turns into the kind of one-on-one, demigod vs. demigod style brawl that hippie douchebags are trying to eliminate from football and hockey. Thor takes his battle into space while Captain America keeps his inside the ship. It’s makes for some nice variety in these battles, yet each still packs plenty of firepower. It’s the kind of visceral battle that feels more satisfying than eating a pound of bacon off Jessica Alba’s ass.

It may be shallow and I’m not going to apologize if it is. I’m a drunk and drunks are easily entertained by this kind of action. How else can the success of the NFL be explained? But beyond the action, it also helps provide some balance to a series that has distinguished itself by having plenty of it. Uncanny Avengers has had its share of emotional and personal moments. It also has had its share of epic battles. It’s the way they complement each other that makes this series so special and the battle between Cap, Thor, and the Apocalypse Twins is a perfect example of this.

While the battle in space is well matched, every other hero on Earth tries to contribute by attacking Exitar. This contributes just about as much as taking a piss into the Pacific Ocean contributes to flooding in the Philippians. I guess this shows that they gave up looking for a scientific way to stop Exitar if Thor and Wasp failed. Now they’re just going to try and fight it. I think it makes more sense to just grab the most expensive bottle of liquor within the area, drink every last drop, and let the chips fall where they may. I may get drunk, but at least I can say I’m not pissing into the wind. If it’s supposed to be their noble last stand, it’s a hollow gesture at best and a missed opportunity to get drunk at worst.

At least Wasp can say that she’s contributing in a more meaningful way. While the Apocalypse Twins are occupied with Thor and Captain America, she has finally made her way to the temporal dam that’s keeping Immortus and his forces from joining the fight. She actually could help tip the balance and she doesn’t even need a mystical weapon to do so. Plus she’s a woman. That alone should piss off the Rush Limbauh’s of the world.

But the Grim Reaper must be a Tea Party supporter because he catches up with Wasp before she can destroy the temporal dam. It’s a nice yet inconvenient reminder that the Apocalypse Twins still have horsemen and they’re not going to play fair in any battle. The Grim Reaper even taunts Wasp that the only way she’s going to stop him at this point is to kill him. Seeing as how saving the world might improve her chances of getting naked with Havok, I think that’s a pretty stupid bet.

That battle stalls while the battle against the Apocalypse Twins continues to escalate. But it’s not all just hammers, fists, and bloodlust. At some point Thor crosses paths with the body of the Scarlet Witch. It makes for a nice moment where he closes her still opened eyes and uses that as additional motivation, as if he even needed it. While it makes for a bitter reminder of all the death that this series has had in the past few issues, it also adds some emotional weight to this brawl.

Those emotions take on a different tone when Captain America struggles against the same Twin that fucked his face up with acid blasts. And since nobody fucks up the face of America except banking lobbyists from Goldman Sachs, he manages to get the better of her. And for once, he’s the one that outsmarts her by kicking her out of the ship and into the depths of space. It’s probably not enough to kill her, but it’s a great victor for Cap and America as a whole. I’m sure that somewhere out there George W. Bush is crying tears of joy.

The result of Thor’s battle is a lot less patriotic, but a lot more satisfying. He has long since past the point of giving a divine fuck. Despite claiming to do the will of the cosmos by putting the human race out of its misery, Thor says in the most badass phrase ever uttered in ye old English, “I care not.” I think that’s Asgardian for “Go fuck yourself.” And when he finally shoves Uriel into some kind of portal and listens to him bitch and moan, it’s both overdue and awesome. I don’t know where the portal came from and I honestly am too drunk to give a shit. It still is an awesome sight because it’s the first time the Apocalypse Twins have been truly pwned. It took a while and the Uncanny Avengers got humiliated on more than one occasion. But like the 2007 Patriots losing in the final two minutes of Superbowl XLVII, it’s fitting and appropriate.

With Uriel down, Thor still has to deal with Eimin. As expected, just knocking her out the air lock didn’t kill her. It only pissed her off. And now that her brother has been beaten, she’s now gives about as many fucks as Thor. So at some point she managed to grab Jarnbjorn and uses it to attack Thor. There’s still the matter of Exitar in the background. I’m not sure why it’s taking its sweet time in executing Earth, but I guess that sort of shit isn’t as easy as deleting old porn, even for space gods. At the very least, it provides an awesome backdrop for yet another epic battle. Exitar may just be waiting to see who wins because space gods just don’t get this kind of entertainment where they come from. But again, that’s enough talk about my penis.

Many recent issues of Uncanny Avengers have been very satisfying. This issue is no exception, but it’s satisfying in a very different way. This time, the Apocalypse Twins were the ones that got their asses kicked and it’s about damn time. They’ve been on such a winning streak lately that they’ve made the Uncanny Avengers look like the Cleveland Browns. Well this time they weren’t dealing with Ryan Leaf. They were dealing with Richard fucking Sherman if he had Asgardian blood. This whole issue was like a blowjob to Thor fans and why not? He’s the one that set the stage with his bar brawl with Apocalypse. It’s only fair that he set things right by using his hammer to pound shit back into place. And no, that’s not a dick joke. While plot itself didn’t progress that much, it still made for a satisfying issue. I give Uncanny Avengers #16 a 7 out of 10. So the Apocalypse Twins got their asses kicked and now a Celestial is about to get its ass kicked. Is there any ass left in the Marvel universe that isn’t sore? I doubt it. Nuff said!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: Guardians of the Galaxy #11

I know I’m bias as fuck on this blog in that I can only review so many comics a week and most of those comics involve X-men. Blame God for not making another day dedicated solely to reviewing new comics. But believe this jaded drunk when he says he would love to review a whole bunch of books every week. I just don’t have the time or the liver capacity to make it happen. Every now and then I do try to review something different. But sometimes it’s out of necessary and essentially a cop-out. That’s basically what my review of Guardians of the Galaxy #11 is going to be. I love this series. Brian Michael Bendis reminded me of why raccoons with machine guns are awesome and why deadly women with green skin are sexy. But I never really made it a priority to review an issue. Now that it’s part of an ongoing crossover with All New X-men, I have no choice but to review it. Like a court order for my third DUI, it’s something I kind of have to acknowledge. Otherwise, my future reviews will make even less sense than usual. And since I’m not willing to take fewer bong hits when doing reviews, I’m proud to make Guardians of the Galaxy #11 my first review of this amazing series that is about to get the Hollywood treatment. I imagine everyone with a fetish for stuffed animals and trees will be cumming in their pants. And if they can help make The Trial of Jean Grey awesome, I’ll gladly sacrifice some perfectly good pants for that cause.

But the Guardians of the Galaxy have been dealing with a lot of shit that has nothing to do with the X-men, Jean Grey, the Phoenix Force, or the Shi’ar. So just how and why the fuck do they get involved? Well to be fair, some of the shit they’ve been dealing with involves assholes like Thanos and that’s not the kind of shit that can be set aside to catch up on the affairs of a bunch of time displaced teenagers. And even after that’s over, what does Starlord do? He goes out to an alien bar, gets drunk, and tries to pick up hot alien women. Okay, I would do the exact same thing, which is why I fucking love Starlord. It may not sound like a logical place for the crossover to begin, an alien bar with a guy trying to nail hot alien chicks. But…actually, I take that back. It’s always logical for a story to begin in a bar with hot alien chicks. I don’t care what the premise is. It still works.

Sadly for Starlord’s penis, Gamora show’s up and cock-block’s him before he can get some kinky pink alien with a squid face to see if their parts fit. She offers no apologies, but she’s dressed like a stripper version of She-Hulk so I guess that makes Starlord slightly less upset. She doesn’t even tell him something is horribly wrong. She reminds him that he’s still a fugitive and his royal asshole of a father, the King of Spartax, still has a bounty on his head. Anyone who has been following Guardians of the Galaxy since it started knows that Starlord has given his father a lot of reasons to make that bounty pretty high, but the recent events with Thanos have made it so he can’t focus all his attention on messing with his son.

Starlord seems perfectly content with this. Gamora doesn’t seem to have a problem with it either. Except there’s still this part about the bounty still being valid. There’s also this part about Gamora actually not being Gamora. Starlord has apparently been around enough beautiful alien women to notice when something is more fucked up and not just with respect to his penis. And he realizes even while drinking that this isn’t the real Gamora. There’s something about a man who can still outsmart others while drunk that just makes them more awesome.

However, as any drunk knows, there’s only so much outsmarting that’s possible when alcohol is involved. Even though Starlord figures out that Gamora isn’t who she says she is, he didn’t figure out that she spiked his drink in a way that Channing Tatum fans only fantasize about. He’s only coherent enough to figure out that she’s a Skrull bounty hunter. It seems Starlord’s father did exactly what software companies do and outsourced the task of hunting down his deviant son to bounty hunters. So now his father is both an asshole and Republican. I don’t see how he could possibly be worse without being related to James Dobson. Maybe the next time Starlord sees him he should just tell him he’s gay to piss him off even more. That assumes he’ll have the strength left because he passes out after that spiked drink. This is usually the most disturbing part of an illegal porno and there’s nothing to indicate that the Skrull didn’t do anything extra before she left to collect her bounty.

While his son is being exploited in was usually reserved for indebted college girls, Starlord’s father, King J-Son of Spartax, is busy doing a little alien diplomacy with some of the major alien figures in the galaxy. It’s not like an alien UN or the Galactic Republic from Star Wars. It’s basically just a few representatives from various alien empires getting together to bitch about their problems. I guess in some sense it is like the UN.

But the topic of conversation is not about Thanos or anal probes for once. Gladiator of the Shi’ar reveals that they have found out that Jean Grey is alive again. Granted, she was plucked from the past, but that’s close enough for her. He then gives his alien buddies a few spoilers to the Phoenix Saga, showing how Dark Phoenix destroyed a star and killed billions of innocent aliens. It’s a story that has a significant place in the X-men mythos. But now that O5 Jean Grey is back, the want to put her on trial for this crime. Why they didn’t do that when Jean Grey was alive for years beforehand is not explained. I guess alien politics is an inefficient as human politics. He reveals the Shi’ar’s secret mission to abduct O5 Jean from Earth. He even invites them to attend the trial. I guess they don’t have an alien version of C-Span. And despite some pointing out that this is a past version of Jean Grey who hasn’t committed these crimes yet, they don’t do jack shit to stop the Shi’ar’s plan. Again, alien politics are as inefficient as human politics.

Back with the rest of the Guardians that are less interested in boning hot alien women, they get a brief message from Iron Man back on Earth. He’s basically just thanking them for letting him join their team for a while. But the shit storm caused by Thanos means he has to stay on Earth for the foreseeable future. There’s even some nice humor thrown in where Iron Man doesn’t realize that this shit is broadcasting live. So he’s basically like a news anchor who thinks the cameras aren’t rolling when he decides to sexually harass his co-anchor. Ron Burgundy may be able to get away with that kind of shit, but Iron Man can’t.

This really doesn’t add much to the underlying story surrounding the Trail of Jean Grey, but it does address the aftermath of other recent events that have transpired in this series. So while this is part of a crossover, it still makes an effort to follow the events that preceded it. That may make the story feel a little disjointed, but it ensures the series as a whole remains cohesive. Plus, watching Tony Stark make a fool of himself never gets old.

In addition, watching beautiful alien women kick ass also never gets old. And while Starlord was off getting drunk and nailing other alien women, the real Gamora was doing a little weapons shopping with Angela. I want to make a joke about women shopping here. But for women that dress like Angela and Gamora, there’s just no way to make that funny. My penis simply will not let it.

Their shopping spree ends as soon as the Skrull bounty hunter emerges from the bar carrying an unconscious Starlord. It’s still not clear if she did anything that would become feminist version of a made-for-TV drama on the Lifetime Channel. And if she did, she fucking paid for it because Angela cuts her fucking head off. That’s another reason why I can’t make a joke about women shopping. My penis and my will to live won’t let me. They save Starlord, but not his dignity. And while this may not contribute jack shit to the story involving the trial of Jean Grey, it’s still awesome in its own right.

The Guardians of the Galaxy only learn about the shit going on with Jean Grey when Rocket Raccoon picks up on some chatter from an alien race called the Badoon. They’re as goofy as they sound, but they are also enemies that the Guardians have been dealing with in recent issues. The Badoon essentially relay the Shi’ar’s plan to put O5 Jean Grey on trial for the future crimes she would commit as Dark Phoenix. The Badoon don’t have much interest in it other than watching the Shi’ar make themselves look like assholes to the whole galaxy. But it involves Earth so it catches their attention.

Now it’s not the most contrived way to get the Guardians involved in this story. Using the Badoon to relay the message does provide some decent transition material since they have been a big player in the series. It still comes off as a bit overly convenient. It doesn’t exactly feel like a natural method for instigating this crossover. It feels more like imitation crab meat, which still tastes good. But it’s still fake as fuck.

Their decision to get involved, thereby sealing the crossover, comes when they detect the Shi’ar attack on Earth. That’s usually all the incentive that Starlord needs to take a trip back to his home planet. I’m sure that also means he wants an excuse to hit on regular Earth women, but I have a hard time believing that a man who bangs hot alien women could ever go back to ordinary women. That’s just me. But by the time the make it to Earth, they find out that the Shi’ar have already outsmarted them. They cloaked their attack and now they have to play catch-up. They manage to pin down the location of the attack, which is the site of the New Xavier School. And there are no unsavory bars around this area to distract Starlord so he has no excuse.

The result of their attack should come as no surprise to anyone who read the final page of All New X-men #22. They’re too late, plain and simple. The Shi’ar already have O5 Jean Grey. And now they’re facing a bunch of shell-shocked X-men. It’s actually a perfect mirror of the final page in All New X-men #22, giving it the feel of a perfect area of convergence for these two series. It may feel that way, but the details surrounding it hardly fit. Part of it still comes off as overly convenient, but it still works and gives the sense that this is the start of a true crossover. It’s like a fake tit. Not every part of it may be real, but it’s still awesome.

The convergence between All New X-men and Guardians of the Galaxy is now complete. It didn’t happen all at once. It didn’t happen too suddenly either. It actually is possible to read this issue, skip All New X-men #22, and not miss a damn thing. Usually, when it’s possible to skip an issue in a big event, that’s a bad thing because it means the story is messy and disjointed. Well that’s not the case here. The plot involving the Shi’ar abducting O5 Jean Grey for a trial that would be unfair everywhere except North Korea is further refined and nicely integrated into Guardians of the Galaxy. It just isn’t integrated that seamlessly. This plot with the Shi’ar seems a bit too sudden given the recent events in this series. It still works though in that it still feels like a Guardians of the Galaxy comic more than an X-men comic. It’s like pouring chocolate inside the milk without mixing it that much. It still tastes awesome, just not as awesome as it could be. I give Guardians of the Galaxy #11 a 7 out of 10. Now the crossover can officially begin and we can finally see what happens when time displaced mutants have to fight alongside a machine-gun toting raccoon. And anyone who doesn’t find that appealing needs to stop mixing valium with vodka. Nuff said!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dreams of War: Uncanny X-men #16

The following is my review of Uncanny X-men #16, which was posted on

Some people never change. It could even be argued that most people never change. Their influences may change. Their circumstances and motivations may change. But at their core, they remain the same person. That's why when villains become heroes, it rarely lasts. And it doesn't necessarily cut both ways either. Heroes can become villains too, but they're far more likely to stay villains. That's because being a hero and doing the right thing is hard. In the same way some alcoholics are doomed to relapse, some reformed villains are doomed to become villains again.

It seems like it has been a long time since Magneto was a major villain. After the events of House of M,  he withdrew from mutant affairs and further clashes with the X-men. And when he returned in the pages of Uncanny X-men, he humbled himself in front of Cyclops and became one of the X-men's heaviest hitters. It has gotten to a point where there is an entire generation of readers who wouldn't know that Magneto was a villain if they hadn't seen the X-men movies. But readers familiar with Magneto's history always knew it was only a matter of time before Magneto's old habits caught up with him. Like addicts that never stop being addicts, he needed only the right circumstances to fall off the horse. And those circumstances are what plays out in Uncanny X-men #16.

The whole story is dedicated to reminding Magneto of his original vision for mutants. It shows that he is dissatisfied with the way Cyclops's mutant revolution has played out. Not long ago, he stood by Cyclops's side as he addressed a crowd of pro-mutant protesters at a university. It's probably the first time that Magneto has ever seen humans protesting in favor of mutants, supporting their struggle. On nearly every level, this should be a good thing. If humans are protesting in support of the mutant struggle, then that should help them as they deal with hostile authorities. It sounds like a win-win if ever there was one.

But Magneto doesn't see it this way. He sees it as an insult. These human protesters conduct themselves as if they are sharing the burden that all mutants deal with for being different. And to him, that's a joke because they really have no idea what it's like to be a mutant. These humans never had to go through something like the holocaust or M-Day. They also fail to realize that so much of this burden that mutants deal with comes from other humans. To him, it's like an army of drug dealers at an anti-smoking rally. To him, it's the most offensive kind of joke without using a racial slur.

So now Magneto is fuming, but he doesn't take it out on the protesters. Luckily for them, he actually does have a more pressing issue and so do the rest of the X-men. Someone has been attacking mutants with Sentinels again and not the big cumbersome kind with the goofy faces. He coordinates with Dazzler, who has been Mystique in disguise for the past few issues, to track down these Sentinels. This leads him to Madripoor, which is probably the first place anyone in the market for killer robots would look. But upon arriving, he notices that Madripoor has become to mutants what Cancun has become to American college students on spring break. It's a new haven for their kind and one that is governed by a new mutant presence.

And when Magneto confronts this presence, it marks a critical turning point that has been several years in the making. It turns out that Mystique and a new Brotherhood have been running the show on Madripoor. And they haven't just made it a haven for mutants. They distribute Mutant Growth Hormone, which turns ordinary humans into mutants. So the whole city is now overrun by mutants and psudeo-mutants. Mystique paints it as a beautiful work of art worthy of Picasso, a place where mutants can just come and be who they are. It sounds so appealing. But for Magneto, it's only the second most egregious insult he's encountered. It's one thing to get it from a crowd of immature college students. It's quite another to get it from the Brotherhood he helped create.

This time, he doesn't just fantasize about responding to this insult. He attacks Mystique and the Brotherhood, much to their shock. In doing so he reminds them of the divide that the X-men and the Brotherhood once faced. Xavier dreamed of peaceful coexistence. Magneto dreamed of mutants asserting themselves as the new dominant species on the planet. But Mystique's dream is a nightmare. He sees her setup on Madripoor the same way most people would see a newly graduated college student that lives in their parents' basement, smokes pot all day, and uses any excuse to avoid getting involved in the real world. Magneto, at his core, is a man who believes mutants should stand up and fight, not lay down and hope the conflict blows over.

This harsh reminder puts Magneto in a position where he can stake a step back and look at the state of the mutant race. They're no longer going extinct and they're no longer unified behind a common goal. Their aimless and unmotivated, preferring to either aid a divided X-men in their bickering or get drunk in Madripoor. It shows him that there is a void that needs to be filled with the mutant race. There's no dream to follow anymore. This new generation of mutants is content to never confront the challenges they face. For someone like Magneto who has been confronting those challenges all his life, that's nothing short of cowardice.

It is by far the most powerful Magneto story since House of M. Uncanny X-men #16 effectively sets Magneto on a new path that diverges from Cyclops, Wolverine, Mystique, and pretty much everyone else claiming to have a vision for the mutant race. It's like he is Gordon Ramsey watching a bunch of amateur chefs repeatedly ruin the same dish and now he's ready to get into the kitchen himself so he can do it his way. It's a very satisfying transformation and one that feels natural, adhering to the core of Magneto's persona. It may be jarring for those who are used to seeing Magneto as a hero, but it's as refreshing as a cold beer on a hot summer day for fans longing to see Magneto as the villain he is at heart.

Final Score: 8 out of 10

Monday, January 27, 2014

Scanned Thoughts: X-men #9

Free Web Proxy

I don’t pretend to have too ambitious an agenda. All the weed and booze make setting an agenda akin to juggling knives while trying to pleasure my girlfriend. But I’ve seen and experienced enough agendas to know that on some levels, it always comes back to trying to screw someone over. Some are more vindictive than others. Some are just crazier than others. I’m not sure how crazy Lady Deathstrike is in the pages of Brian Wood’s adjectiveless X-men. The X-men have really fucked her up in the past, making it so she had to do some body jumping, Doc Ock style to keep living. So her desire to screw over the X-men isn’t really an agenda as much as it is a normal reflex. But that agenda is still somewhat ambiguous. I’m hoping it becomes clearer with X-men #9 because in my experience, beautiful women with an agenda are those special stories that terrify and arouse me at the same time. It’s awkward, but still pretty awesome.

I still can’t say that watching the X-women play the part of CSI investigators does much for my penis. But it does continue the story that began with Lady Deathstrike. Now in the body of a wealthy Latina woman named Anna Cortez who looks surprisingly similar to Rosario Dawson, she has the body and the resources to fuck with the X-men again. Since she already attacked them, Rachel Grey decides to interrogate John Sublime again. Because for some reason she thinks he fits into this shit somehow. It’s not completely unreasonable given his history, but what is unreasonable is the strangely implied innuendo between them.
Now I’m not talking about the kind of innuendo that is similar to how most pornos begin. I’m talking about the kind that’s more overt than even the shittiest romantic comedies. There haven’t been a lot of hints dropped or even any real chemistry, yet there seems to be a working assumption that John Sublime has somehow won a place in Rachel Grey’s panties. I don’t know if I got blackout drunk and missed a couple issues, but this makes no fucking sense and doesn’t contribute a damn thing to the story. All it does is put Sublime in a position to realize that his deranged sister, Akrea, is back. And I think there were easier ways to do that shit than imply he makes Rachel all tingly in certain places.

Free Web Proxy

Unlike any innuendo between Rachael and Sublime, the re-appearance of Arkea is a big fucking deal. The last time the X-women dealt with her, they almost resorted to killing Omega Sentinel. Between her and Lady Deathstrike, the X-women are in need of backup and Sabra brings help. And for once, that help actually has a penis. But angry feminazis need not worry. He’s not there to solve all their problems. Monet is still the heavy hitter in this arc. First, they find out the last place Arkea fucked up has already been razed and will likely be turned into a Starbucks. Next, they find out that Lady Deathstrike has just entered Dubai, a place full of high end shopping, obscenely expensive real estate, and blatant labor exploitation. It’s basically the perfect place for an over-privileged foreigner with a homicidal woman possessing her body.

Free Web Proxy

Armed with this wealth and a blatant disregard for controlled spending, Lady Deathstrike set up a lab called the Body Shoppe in Dubai. It’s basically a place where disembodied minds and tweak their new bodies to their heart’s content and do it in a place with warm weather and pristine beaches. She brings Typhoid Mary and Enchantress, who they recruited in the previous issue, with her. She also has a fragment of the Arkea meteorite, which she also retrieved from the previous issue. It may seem like overkill, recruiting both Enchantress and Arkea, but there can be no such thing for Lady Deathstrike. This is a woman who fucked up her own body just so she could fuck with her enemies. She’s willing to go the extra mile or hundred if need be.

Free Web Proxy

That doesn’t make the decision to use Arkea any less questionable. As soon as she gives the meteorite to Reiko, her assistant, Arkea makes herself right at home in a new host. It’s not even a struggle. She just jumps aboard and is basically the same deranged, disembodied hunk of pond scum that was introduced in the first arc. It’s as inane and unexciting as it sounds. It would have been nice to show a little variety. It’s as if Arkea doesn’t even remember how the X-women fucked her up in the previous arc. She’s just enjoying a new body. She doesn’t even try to play nice with the Sisterhood and starts fucking with all the fancy gadgets that Lady Deathstrike bought with some rich Latina woman’s money.

While it has been enjoyable seeing the Sisterhood expand their ranks, Arkea essentially does a lot of the same shit that happened earlier. And it’s not like she was a great villain to begin with. All she did was crash on Earth and feel the sudden urge to wipe out all life as if it were a mild rectal itch. She has none of the depth and history that Lady Deathstrike or Typhoid Mary have. There isn’t even an effort to build that kind of history. It’s disappointing that she now is joining a cast of much more developed characters. I think I’ve seen enough of Arkea at this point to determine that she’s not a very interesting character and my penis agrees with me for once.

Free Web Proxy

Despite Akrea’s bland backstory, she does bring something to the table for Lady Deathstrike and her team. She tries to befriend Arkea and asks that she help enhance them. She’s not referring to boob jobs and lip injections either. They found out in the previous issue that they’re still woefully unequipped to take on the X-men. And Arkea has plenty of incentive to fuck with the X-men so why not help each other? They’re both disembodied women looking to fuck with the non-disembodied men and women who made them disembodied in the first place. It makes perfect sense from a motivational standpoint, but practically speaking, it would take more than a few bong hits. The Sisterhood don’t even know Arkea that well and they’re willing to trust her with their bodies? There are porn stars auditioning for jobs at unlicensed modeling agencies with more common sense than that.

Free Web Proxy

They don’t get a chance to become sorority sisters though. The X-women have already been tracking Lady Deathstrike’s new persona and they’ve traced her to the fancy Dubai building. That gives Monet a non-moving target, which she gets to in record time. She then makes herself at home the same way Led Zeppelin made themselves at home in hotel rooms after a few rounds of hard liquor. She hits them hard and does plenty of property damage. She’s supposed to be perfect at everything so that naturally extends to wrecking expensive real estate run by their enemies. But wrecking the place doesn’t get the job done. Arkea is still able to do some enhancements and it’s not nearly as messy as Weapon X either.

The first one to benefit is Enchantress, who was basically a neutered dog. Odin stripped her of her powers and her ability to keep cock-teasing Thor. She naturally didn’t like that and jumped at the chance to get her powers back with the Sisterhood. And Akrea is able to deliver in a way that is poorly explained, but nicely demonstrated. Since Monet is such a powerhouse, who better than an Asgardian to take her down a peg? It makes sense even if it isn’t well-developed.

Free Web Proxy

As Enchantress keeps Monet occupied, Akrea and Lady Deathstrike try to hatch a new plan. It involves finding more angry superpowered women to join their ranks. Arkea, having already spent some quality time in the Jean Grey Institute’s systems, has more than her share of information on who would love to blow up the school. Armed with that information, she uses some of the hardware that Lady Deathstrike has acquired to make use of that information. It makes sense in the same way it makes sense to befriend an ex-boyfriend’s best friend. It makes for a special kind of pwnage.

At the same time, the X-women just happen to realize that Akrea is probably allying herself with their enemies. It makes for a somewhat choppy narrative. John Sublime is still trembling at the danger his sister can cause and basically warns the X-women about how dangerous she is, just as he did in the first arc. Again, it’s basically the same fucking plot with Arkea. There’s nothing new or interesting about her. She just happens to surround herself with other characters who are already interesting. And that’s basically the same as a cheat code in a video game.

Free Web Proxy

So the rest of the X-women decide to go after the Sisterhood in full force. At the same time, Monet is getting her ass kicked by the Enchantress. She’s a fucking goddess for a reason and not just because she has a rack worthy of one. Since Arkea managed to get around Odin’s little trick, Enchantress is able to beat Monet. On paper, a battle between Monet and Enchantress should be the kind of thing that makes my penis smile in a very special way. But when put into practice, it’s horribly unepic. There’s nothing memorable about it, even when read sober. It’s also poorly detailed. It’s not clear of Enchantress flat out snaps Monet’s neck or if she just renders her unconscious. It’s one of those scenes that forces too many assumptions and for anyone reading this issue after a few shots of tequila, that’s more confusing enough to trigger a bar fight.

Free Web Proxy

It also makes for a decidedly unexciting end the issue. With Monet now down for the count and the X-women still on their way, there’s not much else to show. Arkea continues to rally more of the X-men’s enemies and that includes some old discarded Sentinels. Because it’s not like Sentinels were used in a major plot in another book like Wolverine and the X-men or a big event like X-men Battle of the Atom. Oh wait, that’s probably a bad example. But that’s basically what is used here and it’s as exciting as it sounds. It’s like the opposite to an ending of an episode of Breaking Bad. There’s nothing about it that generates intrigue about the next issue. That doesn’t mean the next issue won’t be awesome, but nobody is going to be biting off their fingers in anticipation.

Free Web Proxy

This story left me with mixed feelings and not just in my penis. This issue moved things forward, but in a way that was about as exciting as watching Glenn Beck find a new way to make himself look foolish. It’s entertaining, but brings nothing new to the table. The Sisterhood is continuing to expand and Akrea is back causing trouble. But beyond that, the story isn’t going to soak anyone’s panties. And this strange sub-plot with Rachel and John Sublime just makes no fucking sense. I’m not against at least one of the X-women on this all-female team having issues involving a guy, but John fucking Sublime? It would have made more sense if it involved Edward fucking Cullen. But that was still a minor sub-plot. This series and this arc has plenty going for it. There just wasn’t much progression in this issue. I give X-men #9 a 5 out of 10. There are so many ways a story about a team of evil women can entertain and titillate. Only a few of those ways have been realized so far, but my penis and I are hopeful that more will follow. Nuff said!

Friday, January 24, 2014

X-men Supreme Issue 93: Starcrossed Part 3 PREVIEW!

There have been some major twists and shocking revelations in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. The history of X-men is vast and constantly changing. Between time travel, clones, and retcons the comics have created an elaborate mythos. But for X-men Supreme, I'm trying to avoid those kinds of complications. But that doesn't mean I'm going to hold back from pushing the envelope. X-men Supreme introduced the Shi'ar back in X-men Supreme Issue 46: Paradise Mystery. Then in X-men Supreme Issue 92: Starcrossed Part 2, the X-men clashed with the Shi'ar elite, the Imperial Guard. At stake is the life of Charles Xavier's lover, Lilandra Neramani. But this battle goes beyond her and beyond even the X-men.

Some may have already seen the hints, but there's a very important twist to the Shi'ar in X-men Supreme. As I said before, I didn't initially intend to use the Shi'ar when I started this fanfiction series. Then as I began refining my ideas, I came up with something that I felt would make the best possible story. I didn't just want to capture the important role the Shi'ar play in the history of the X-men. I wanted that role to have a different perspective within the context of X-men Supreme. I actually never cared much for he Shi'ar. I thought they seemed somewhat out of place in X-men. Well for the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, their role will be much more defined. I can't spoil too much, but the Starcrossed arc will lay the foundation for what the Shi'ar mean to the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. As I've already revealed, they have visited Earth before. But there's a very good reason why they've visited Earth sparingly and don't make their presence known. And it's a reason that the X-men will eventually have to figure out over the course of X-men Supreme.

But for now, the X-men have to focus on surviving the onslaught of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. They are prepared to kill Professor Xavier and anyone else who gets in their way in their quest to destroy the Neramani bloodline. They've already fought the X-men to a stalemate. Now some tough choices will have to be made. Lives are in the balance and time is running out. On top of that, the X-men have no idea that Reverend William Stryker and Colonel John Wraith are plotting against them once more. They've already enlisted Webber "Arcade" Torque to help them hack the Xavier Institute's computers. They are taking full advantage of the X-men's struggle against the Shi'ar and their activities will help set the stage for another big conflict that will unfold in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series very soon. There's a lot of conflict to resolve and the final issue of the Starcrossed arc will lead to some significant changes. As always, I've prepared an extended preview of this pivotal battle between the X-men and the Shi'ar.

“Mentor! Initiate the endgame protocol! These dishonorable primates must pay for their treachery!”

“It will be done, Gladiator.”

From the bottom of the ship, a large opening formed and a brilliant column of light shot down towards the surface. It was so bright that Shadowcat nearly dropped the device she was holding and the X-men stopped cold in their tracks before they were even halfway to the Velocity. When the light faded they saw that the rest of the Imperial Guard had joined him. This included Starbolt, Smasher, Hussar, Flashfire, Neutron, and Oracle. They appeared to have fully healed from their previous battle already and were looking for a rematch.

“Didn’t we already deal with you alien assholes already?!” snarled Wolverine.

“Not like this, you haven’t,” said Gladiator ominously, “Prepare to face total annihilation!”

The blinding light from the ship didn’t fade once the Imperial Guard was present. Now that same light had spread to the edges of the ship so that hundreds of smaller lights were lining the perimeter. In a series of blinding bursts, smaller columns of light shot out from each point to form a series of laser columns. They formed the equivalent of a laser grid jail around the entire plateau, providing yet another reason why they chose this setting. Now their escape was completely cut off.

“This is not good,” lamented Colossus.

“Guess they had a backup plan too,” said Cyclops.

“Do we have a backup to their backup?” asked Psylocke.

“I do not remember contemplating this kind of retaliation so I would say no,” dreaded Beast.

Having been helped up by Smasher and Neutron, Gladiator took to the air and hovered just over the X-men with rage in his eyes. The X-men hovered protectively around the weakened Charles Xavier, who was being watched over by a terrified Lilandra Neramani. It seemed another fight was inevitable and this would not be one they could run away from.

“You have spat in the face of the Emperor D’ken! You have turned back on a deal sealed by the Imperial Guard! In the eyes of the Shi’ar, this is a capital offense punishable by the greatest of punishment!” Gladiator proclaimed.

“I got a high pain tolerance, bub. Bring it on!” roared Wolverine as he drew his claws.

“You think I’ll just stop with your feeble forms? Within ten of your Earth minutes, our ship will unleash a gamma pulse that will sterilize half your planet of all traces of life! This hallow speck has been a bane to the Shi’ar for too long! By the laws of D’ken, it shall suffer for its crimes!”

“Merde…Remy don’t think you got the pain tolerance for that, Wolverine,” said Gambit.

“You’re crazy! We won’t let you destroy our planet!” yelled Cyclops.

“I don’t know what we did that hurt you guys so much, but if this is how you deal with it I’m guessing you probably deserved it!” said Phoenix.

“Your ignorance only adds to your insult! Justice to the Shi’ar will be done! This planet dies now!” said Gladiator.

Gladiator was serious. He and D’ken were willing to tear this planet asunder. He was beyond reason at this point. They clearly had little love for their planet to begin with and had no qualms about destroying it. If that meant a fight to the bitter end for the X-men, so be it.

“Imperial Guard!” yelled Gladiator, “Slay these traitors for the Emperor!”

“For the Emperor!” they all proclaimed.

Starbolt, Smasher, Hussar, Flashfire, Neutron, and Oracle prepared to charge the X-men. Cyclops stepped forth with Phoenix, Wolverine, Beast, Colossus, Gambit, and Psylocke to oppose them. Shadowcat remained off to the side, still armed with the remote.

“X-men, get ready for Plan B!” said Cyclops.

“What does Plan B entail, comrade Cyclops?” asked Colossus warily.

“You really gotta ask?” seethed Wolverine.

“In its simplest form…we wing it,” said Beast.

“Works for me!” said Psylocke as she formed a couple of psionic blades.

The X-men prepared for yet another clash with the Imperial Guard. In the midst of it all, Lilandra clung to Charles Xavier lamenting on the chaos she had wrought. This was all her fault. All this damage was because of who she was.

“It’s over, Charles. I’ve failed,” said Lilandra with a heavy sob.

“You did the right thing, Lilandra. You didn’t fail,” he said weakly.

“Well I’m about to,” she cried.

While the Imperial Guard was closing in on the X-men, Shadowcat scrambled to find a way to use this remote against them. If she could figure out a way to work it, then maybe they could stop that gamma burst or bring down the laser shields blocking their escape.

“Come on! This thing has to be good for something!” she said as she randomly started pushing buttons, “Work you stupid thing! Work!”

The Imperial Guard was about to unleash their fury on the X-men. Suddenly, their attack and that of the X-men were unexpectedly halted by something that literally rocked their world.

Out of nowhere, a series of pulsing green lights rained down from the sky above. They were the size of small passenger jets and when they strike the Shi’ar cruiser, it unleashed a massive burst of energy that shook the whole plateau. The shaking was so bad that the Imperial Guard fell back and so did the X-men. Even Gladiator was confused as he frantically looked around for the source of the commotion.

“Whoa…did I just do that?” said Shadowcat in bewilderment.

“Um…I don’t think so, Kitty,” said Phoenix as she started sensing some new telepathic signatures.

“No…it can’t be!” grunted Gladiator before activating his communicator, “Mentor, what is going on?! What trickery is this?!”

“It is not coming from the X-men, Gladiator! We’re under attack!”

“That’s impossible! Who could possibly attack…”

Gladiator’s doubts were quickly answered with another attack. More mysterious energy blasts erupted from above, striking the Imperial cruiser with more devastating energy blasts. This time they caused damage on the cruiser itself. Gaping holes were blown into the hull and several major weapons compartments blew up in violent fashion. In the process, the laser grid that had surrounded the plateau and cut off the X-men’s escape flickered out. It seemed the cruiser was now in dire condition.

As this attack continued, the source emerged in the skies above the desert. Another ship appeared through a cloaking mechanism similar to the one the cruiser had used. This ship was only about half the size of the cruiser and not nearly as imposing, but it was still had weapons powerful enough to penetrate the cruisers shields. Only so many ships could do this and Gladiator knew most of them by name.

“The Starjammer! I should have known!” Gladiator seethed.

I feel as though the X-men Supreme fanfiction series keeps growing in scope with every issue. And with this growth, I keep getting new ideas with which to expand this fanfiction series. It has already gone to many places I never planned on taking it when I began. I'm excited at the prospect of where it will lead as X-men Supreme continues to unfold after the Starcrossed arc. And a great deal of that inspiration comes from the feedback I get from readers. I don't get much, but make no mistake. It does help me make the X-men Supreme fanfiction series more awesome. For that reason, I urge everyone to please take the time to send me some feedback. Either post it in the comments section of each issue or contact me directly. Either way is fine. I'm always happy to talk X-men and comics. Thanks to all those who have supported X-men Supreme and until next time, take care and best wishes! Excelsior!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy #11/The Trial Of Jean Grey Part 2 PREVIEW

Whenever I consider the possibility that advanced aliens might be just like us, I have two reactions. First, I say outright that we’re fucked. If advanced aliens are anything like the race that created American Idol, reality TV, circumcision, and spray cheese in a can, then I think it’s safe to say we don’t stand a fucking chance and neither does the universe. My next reaction is usually if they’re like us, then that means there’s the distinct possibility of alien pussy.

It’s not a fetish. It’s just nature. Put a man in any exotic environment and after a few days, he’ll find a way to fuck something. For women, it may take a bit longer. But humans find a way. I imagine aliens may go about it differently, but if they’re at all like humans, then they’ll probably be just as kinky. That’s part of what I love about Guardians of the Galaxy. I know I haven’t reviewed an issue of this series on my blog yet, but Brian Michael Bendis reminded me of why they were awesome when he relaunched the series last year. I understood completely that it was done purely to help support the upcoming movie this August. But just because something is a shitty marketing gimmick doesn’t mean it can’t be awesome.

And now the Guardians of the Galaxy are making their way to another one of Bendis’s top projects, All New X-men. The Trial of Jean Grey officially began with All New X-men #22. And the final page brought the Guardians of the Galaxy into the mix. It sounds like a fucked up crossover that someone would only do on a bar bet after a few too many shots of vodka. But since this story involves the Shi’ar and an alien justice system, who is better equipped to deal with those complexities than a team that has a living tree and a raccoon with a machine gun? I mean it can’t be anymore fucked up than trying to get something through Congress.

It’s still momentous in that this is the first major crossover between these two teams. It also is the first time the O5 X-men get to work with real aliens. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before O5 Angel or O5 Iceman try to flirt with Angela or Gamora. They’re teenagers. There aren’t many things that won’t give them a boner at their age. That makes the prospects of them working together all the more appealing and Newsarama released a preview that also entertained the possibility of just how similar we are to aliens.

The Guardians of the Galaxy get a reminder of Earth when they cross paths with the All-New X-Men during the TRIAL OF JEAN GREY! When an alien race discovers that the original Jean Grey is back on Earth, they decide to hold her accountable for the acts of the Dark Phoenix, and it’s up to the Guardians to help the X-Men save her. You won’t want to miss the first encounter between two of the biggest franchises in the Marvel U!

I can so see myself as Peter Quill, getting drunk in an alien bar and looking for a hot alien chick who might be willing to see if our parts fit. And I can also see Gamora as being one of those women who will try to scare the shit out of me, but end up making me hornier. I can’t be the only one that finds dangerous women with green skin sexy. Hell, put her in Emma Frost’s clothes and my penis will be very happy.

But The Trial of Jean Grey isn’t going to be resolved in a bar, even if it probably should. Something still gives the Guardians a reason to help O5 Jean. Maybe it’s because they have a hot redhead on their team now that they know just how precious it is to save as many hot redheads as possible. That or they know that the Shi’ar’s brand of justice is right up there with North Korea’s in terms of how much it is lacking. There are plenty of possibilities and if alcohol and bars are involved, those possibilities can only be more awesome. Nuff said!

Scanned Thoughts: Wolverine and the X-men #40

Every now and then I wonder if I could ever forgive my high school guidance counselor for feeding me all these lies and bullshit about how my future would pan out. I never have to wonder for very long. Once I sober up, I always end up saying fuck that asshole. If he wants forgiveness, he should find religion. But I’m a petty drunk who reviews comics on a blog. I’m not a superhero like Wolverine or Cyclops. And those two have almost as much reason to hate each other as I have reason to hate my guidance counselor. Ever since Schism, they’ve been looking for reasons to beat each other to a pulp. At times they’ve found some pretty damn good reasons. But in the pages of Wolverine and the X-men, they’ve had to resist those urges and work together to stop a Sentinel plot that has been unfolding in multiple titles. And they have to do this while Mystique is planning a secret attack on the Jean Grey Institute. It’s beautifully awkward and that’s why I’m so excited about Wolverine and the X-men #40. Maybe if Cyclops and Wolverine became buddies again, I could learn to forgive my guidance counselor. Sorry, I just can’t say that with a straight face.

I’m pretty sure the Bricklemoore twins can’t say with a straight face that their on the same page either. The last issue ended with Joseph and Josephine confronting a contingent of pissed off Jean Grey Institute students that include Kid Omega, Kid Gladiator, Idie, Shark Girl, Eye Guy, Kid Apocalypse, and Broo. But unlike his twin sister, Joseph actually came to enjoy his infiltration of the Jean Grey Institute so much that he now has a new appreciation for homework. I feel like I need to say that again. The Jean Grey Institute made homework awesome. That sort of shit isn’t easy to overlook and when Josephine prepares to get all Maria Hill on the students, Joseph holds her back long enough for the students to trick them with help from a bamf. It officially turns the Bricklemoore twins against each other in a way that couldn’t be more satisfying if they were a couple of Playboy playmates oil wrestling in a pool of caramel.

While their battle is just beginning, the battle with Wolverine and Cyclops is already over. The finally had to put off their dick-measuring contest and work together in the previous issue to destroy a secret army of Sentinels. And they succeeded, but not without incurring more wounds than a night alone with a drunk Chris Brown. They beat the Sentinels and are incredibly sore, so much so that they actually help each other drag their asses and inflated egos off the floor. It’s not exactly akin to the bromance version of make-up sex, but it is a nice change of pace from the seething hatred that seems to follow them every time their paths cross.

There’s still the matter of the assholes that run this Sentinel factor and SHIELD, who currently have a hard-on for throwing Cyclops in jail and infiltrating the Jean Grey Institute. But after the events of X-men Battle of the Atom, I imagine both Wolverine and Cyclops have stopped giving a shit about how much they upset Maria Hill. They also surmise that whoever let them find this place was hoping that they would kill each other. It’s not an unreasonable plan. It might have helped if they attached posters of Jean Grey to every wall because that would certainly piss them off enough to want to maim each other.

After stumbling out of the wreckage from the Sentinels, they find themselves in a storage closet where they’re badly in need of medical supplies. In the process Cyclops makes clear that he’s not in the mood for fighting Wolverine anymore, no matter how satisfying it may be to pwn him again. With this in mind, Cyclops and Wolverine decide a very different course that gives the biggest possible middle finger to SHIELD and Maria Hill. Instead of just leaving in one piece, Wolverine sniffs out a secret cache of beer. It’s not only the best possible medicine after getting their asses kicked by Sentinels. It further proves my long-held theory that beer can bring people together…to a point.

For the Bricklemoore twins, I’m sure they’ll wish they had that much beer because the bamf they grabbed ended up taking them on a few extra homework assignments and not the awesome kind either. They end up getting involved in a Danger Room session that begins in the girl’s bathroom of all places, which is actually somewhat fitting if it takes place during a certain time of the month. Then the bamf drags them to various other parts of the Jean Grey Institute that ranges from Karoka’s mouth to a bamf den in the basement. It’s basically like a roller coaster ride if it were designed by a schizophrenic on a bad LSD trip.

It’s not just to terrify the piss out of them either. The Jean Grey Institute students want them to get the full experience of what it is like to be a student at the institute. That means cramming all the crazy shit they go through in one semester into a single nasty trip. It’s devious, yet it gets the point across. I’m pretty sure the Bricklemoore twins will need more than beer to process all this shit. But I bet a full twelve pack of imported German beer that it’s still way more stimulating than any class they ever got at an underfunded public school.

They eventually make it back to Jean Grey Institute students, who have just been casually playing cards and waiting them to finish their ride through the horrors of a school that actually makes homework awesome. It definitely gets their point across about just how much the school has to offer. However, it doesn’t make Josephine any less determined to shoot anyone that gets in the way of her mission. It also doesn’t make Joseph any less hesitant to attack this school that he accidentally became so fond of.

But the students of the Jean Grey Institute don’t wait for them to hug it out. They’re ready to expel their asses from their school and let them remember those lessons fondly when they go back to much shittier schools with homework that actually sucks. Josephine is willing to fight back, despite being horribly outnumbered on top of being a vindictive bitch. But Joseph is more hesitant, at least at first. It gives the impression that it’s going to be tough around the holidays for these two for the foreseeable future.

It’s actually pretty sad that Wolverine and Cyclops are now getting along better than the Bricklemoore twins. At this point they’ve treated their wounds and gotten very drunk, a win-win if ever there was such a thing. Cyclops and Wolverine haven’t been drinking buddies very often, but when they do decide to get plastered together, it makes for some great moments and not the kind that turns into gay fanfiction either. Although I imagine this scene will inspire plenty.

As is often the case with booze, the alcohol loosens them up a bit. Cyclops asks Wolverine why he still hates him so much. He then goes onto say how much he misses Professor Xavier and how he never would have killed him if he had been in control of himself. It’s the kind of shit that has been discussed before, but adding alcohol to the mix adds a special bit of sincerity. It helps both men open up in ways they probably wouldn’t do unless Emma Frost’s tits were involved. They even get practical about it, which is something that doesn’t usually happen with alcohol. Cyclops points out how they all rallied behind Jean after she killed five billion aliens, yet they want to throw his ass in jail. It’s one of those things that usually only gets debated on message boards and never within the actual comic. And Jason Aaron does a way better job of keeping it civil here than any message board. And the characters here are drunk. That’s saying a lot.

Wolverine points out how Jean knew what she had done while he doesn’t think Cyclops knows. I don’t really agree with that notion because it sounds way too much like an excuse, especially considering how Cyclops was willing to let Wolverine kill him at one point if he thought he honestly thought he would kill the Professor willingly. But Wolverine does make some valid points about how Cyclops has become too headstrong, too arrogant, and too much like him. It’s the first time Wolverine hasn’t sounded so damn petty about his hatred for Cyclops. While some of it still comes off as a shitty excuse, it hits all the right chords. The beer is just a bonus.

Cyclops makes his case as well. He points out that he’s not a terrorist and he’s not going to stop fighting just because Professor Xavier is gone. He can’t do shit from a jail cell to help the mutant race and Wolverine knows that. But at the same time, he also knows what he did and he beats himself up over it all the time. Wolverine just argues he doesn’t beat himself up enough. That is debatable, but it’s not something I can just smoke a joint and disagree with. Again, it actually isn’t petty for once and that’s pretty fucking remarkable given how he’s reacted around Cyclops lately. It makes me wonder if this is one of those conversations neither of them will remember. But as someone who has gotten blackout drunk and had many heart-to-heart moments with perfect strangers and relatives, I can attest that it doesn’t make these conversations any less meaningful.

In the end it all comes back to Jean Grey. It has to come back to Jean Grey with these two. Their dicks won’t allow them any other option. Wolverine, in a bit of honesty that will upset his penis and all the Jean/Logan fans out there, admits that he has so much blood on his hands that he can’t not die a monster. That means he will be alone in the long run. And that means Cyclops has to be the one that Jean fell in love with. Now that he’s not dating Emma anymore and they have a time-displaced Jean in their presence, that’s not an unreasonable request. It’s something they can both drink to and it nicely sums up the divide between these men. In the history of drunken conversations, there have been many wonderful moments that have brought men together or made them beat the shit out of each other. On behalf of drunks everywhere, I declare this one to be one of the best.

It doesn’t turn out as beautifully for the Bricklemoore twins. Before that battle against the Jean Grey Institute students can unfold, Joseph makes a fateful decision. He turns on his twin sister, which will probably doom him to a lifetime of awkward holidays. But after his experience in a place where homework doesn’t suck, he’s willing to make that sacrifice. He knocks his twin sister out and surrenders to the students. But his humility doesn’t end there.

The Jean Grey Institute made such an impression on him that he’s willing to betray his sister and incur the wrath of SHIELD. And in an act that seems fitting and tragic, he’s willing to let Kid Omega erase his memories of this experience in order to protect it. That’s placing a lot of trust in Kid Omega, who may also make him forget how to wipe his ass just for kicks. But it makes for a nice moment and a fitting resolution that sends just the right message. And that message is that kids are willing to sacrifice for a school where homework doesn’t suck.

In the end the Bricklemoore twins leave the Jean Grey Institute without betraying SHIELD or the Jean Grey Institute. They also leave with the impression that it won’t be a threat because I guess Kid Omega has been through enough shitty schools to impart that experience on anyone. It may be cruel in some respects, but it ensures the least amount of damage for both sides. While the Bricklemoore twins were frauds and spies, it’s still hard not to care about them or their experience. They got to go to an awesome school where homework didn’t suck. That’s a hard thing to get over and I’m sure they’ll have dreams about how awesome a school could have been, but will never be. At least not one that’s publicly funded.

While I doubt I’m any closer to forgiving my guidance counselor, I believe this is as close as I’ll get to every believing that high school teenagers can rise to the challenge of doing the right thing for the right reasons. This issue brought a tear to my eye and a beer to my lips. It covered so much, perfectly balancing the plot with the Bricklemoore twins and the plot with Wolverine and Cyclops. It was by far the most meaningful development between the Jean Grey Institute and Cyclops’s team since Avengers vs. X-men. It hit so many right notes and resonated perfectly in so many amazing ways. Not only that, it really endeared me to the Bricklemoore twins. With Wolverine and the X-men nearing the end of Jason Aaron’s run, it’s fitting that this series is raising the bar higher than Seth Rogan on 4/20. I proudly give Wolverine and the X-men #40 a perfect 10 out of 10. I can’t anything less to a comic that proves once again that beer can bring bitter rivals together. Nuff said!