Thursday, December 20, 2012

Is THIS Your Card?! (Issue #47)

ISSUE #47!
I can't believe I'm writing this on December 20 - the day before the Mayan Apocalypse is going to happen. If this blog somehow survives the cataclysm, to be found by a future race of hyper intelligent robots please, no matter what the talking bear says, do NOT reanimate my corpse for one day. I'm fine. Thanks! I also realize that the Apocalypse reference will, in short time, become a stale, of-the-moment gag to reference, but I don't care. I really wanted that AI joke.

The X-Men might be broken up as a team and broken up, as in "at the verge of tears", they are most certainly not broken up from those two hot chicks, Zelda and Vera. So, while Bobby and Hank grump around, worrying about where coach FBI is gonna trade them off to play - is it going to be the minors? A farm team (literally on a farm, right? That's how sports works?) A Japanese team, like in Mr. baseball? - they decide to take these super-lucky ladies to see the "Maha Yogi".

Surprise, this guy with purported mental powers is a liar! Well... MORESO than other people who purport to have mental powers, I guess, since he is actually also lying about who he is, too. In fact, he is not the Maha Yogi, he is warlock known to loyal readers as Merlin. What's his plan this time? To enslave the minds of man using Kreskin-like cold reading and a "look into my eyezzzzzz" attitude.

Enraged at being made to cluck like a chicken (this did not happen) Hank and Bobby attack. What ensues is an issue-long fight scene. Highlights:

Poor Zelda!

I think we have to break up, Imagination,
you're smothering me!

Before he hit it big as an enemy of Spider-Man,
Sandman held many smaller, more humiliating
roles in other comic books.

Yeah. and those are the HIGHLIGHTS. Worst fight ever. It all takes place backstage and is just as un-exciting as "A Night At The Opera" was not. (Count the negatives, there, it works.)

The whole thing ends when Beast and Iceman use lights and noises to daze the warlock and make him give up. Honestly, his "Take me away!" reaction is the worst kind of Hostess Cupcake conclusion. Even down to the appearance of several cops, come to arrest the villain.

Straight-Jackets: Preventing "monkey shines" since the mid-60s.
But how do they work against Shenanigans? Or Goings-on? Tomfoolery?
Do they calm the common jackanape?
What I'm saying is: These cops are not taking this quite seriously enough... but, then again, neither are the writers. This issue made me want to scream.

That's all that happens.

Highlights: none.

Either this issue was exceptionally boring, or I'm getting burned out with this project. I though I'd make it at least to the end of the Silver Age before I needed to take breather, but I think I might have started gasping for air early. I'm going to take a well-deserved break!

NOW, the good news! Since I'm so far ahead in reading the issues, as compared to blogging them, you won't even notice that I took a break from reading, since I had such a backlog of posts ready to write up. In fact, I continued blogging, through my stoppage-point and even resumed reading WAY before I got to the point, today, where I'm blogging this issue. Time dilates. I am my own grandfather.

So, if you, fair reader, would never have noticed, why did I tell you? Because this is real life, baby! Welcome to it!

Having written up this blog post, I regret:
a) Not referencing the "Maha?" "AH-HA?!" gag from The Three Stooges.
b) Not making a passing mention/joke about a Dhalsim-ist YOGA FLAME!
These are two gags I thought of after I finished slapping together this all-too-short recap, but was too lazy to do a re-write to fit them in.

I continue to dazzle you with my dedication to this blog, right?

I have NO regrets not making a Yogi Bear joke. Nor a Yogi Berra joke. After all, this blog ain't over till it's pick-a-nick basket!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Re-Return of the Juggs (Issue #46)


This issue "features" "The End of the X-Men!" Isn't that a weird feature? "Your Life: Now featuring your death!" or "Buick: Now Featuring A Car Crash." Is something negative a feature? "The iPhone features a retina screen, up to 64GB of storage space, and frequent crashes!" Yeah, I know an iPhone never crashes, or whatever. Save your hate for posting in the comments of some other blog, ok? I was just making a joke about how much Apple sucks. It's not a fact. #Troll

Professor X is dead, to begin with. This you must remember, or nothing that follows will seem wondrous...

So, some FBI man (F-Man? No, G-Man!) shows up and needs to speak to the team on urgent business.

But before they can get to it, a lawyer man (L-Man? No. Law Man ... no, wait, that's a cop.) busts in and is all "My business is more important! Lawyers, right? Hey! Here's one for you: What's the difference between a lawyer and a shark?

You can unscrew a shark! I think I may have gotten that wrong.

Anyway, the lawyer is there to read Xavier's will. More paperwork! Even after you die, there's still paperwork?! Man, this issue is REALLY exploring the Human Condition. Bleak.

As stipulated by X himself, Scott "Cyclops" summers gets everything. So he tears outta there on a spending spree, never to return. Credits.

"Best interests? Of course! Look here: '2 hours, Looking after best interests
of clients: $400' See? I've already billed you for just that!. You are welcome, young Scott."

Ha! Yeah, like Scott could ever do something fun. Actually, what happens is that the lawyer leaves and the FBI, once again, gets ready to relay his important information unto the X-Mens when, once again, he is interrupted by ... Juggernaut! *BUCKAW!* (Punchline to a series of "Interrupting Juggernaut" jokes.)

"But, how did he get back from the Crimson Cosmos, in which he was imprisoned?!" the more nerdy / endowed with good memories among you might be asking. My answer: Reasons?

Seems like one of Professor X's machines was ... designed to do this? And it was on a timer? DING! Juggernaut's done! (Please let Juggernaut cool for five minutes before handling. Contents may be hot. *BUCKAW*!)

Of course, Juggsy-wuggsy-kins is looking for revenge on anyone and everyone, but especially his half-brother, Xavier. Once told that someone else beat him (literally) to the punch, Juggernaut gets even MORE enraged and attacks the X-Men. (Not like he was not going to do that, anyway. Juggernaut makes excuses for his anger.)

A rag-tag bunch of losers? Yeah, I can see why the X-Men like that team.

Fighting happens.

Then, just as mysteriously as he appeared, the Juggernaut disappears. Cyclops mumbles some claptrap about the professor planning it this way, or something.

Now that Agent Duncan of the FBI (Female Body Insects - I think I got that wrong, too) FINALLY has an un-jugger-rupted moment to explain his pressing business, he lays it on them. "Congratulations!" he says, "We're breaking up the X-Men!"


They are allowed to be together one last time, on the roof at Radio City Music Hall, but then they have to go off and have solo careers of varying merit. Just let it be, guys. Let it be.

Then there is the last bit of origin story about Iceman but, whatever.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

AvX2 (Avengers #53 [Read after X-Men #45])

Are you ready for the stunning conclusion of this MASSIVE 4-part crossover "event"? (Or, like me, have you forgotten how this story started and care very little how it all ends?)

"The Avengers vs. The X-Men!" I've heard THAT one before ... twice! (Once a couple of issues ago and another time a couple of issues ago. Wait. Let me explain. They did this before, in the series and they'll do it again - which, since I'm reading this issue at the end of 2012, is actually after they would do it again and make a HUGE deal about it. Gosh. Reading back issues is like time travel, and brings with it the same nomenclature issues. You know what? Forget I said anything. Just sit back and enjoy the...

The Avengers! That means Thor! Iron Man! Captain America! The Hulk!

As Bizzaro-world Dave Hester says: Nooooope! We are treated to a cross over with the crummy Avengers: Hawkeye, Giantman, Wasp, and Black Panther. But it looks like Cyclops doesn't know these guys either! Guess the lineup changed a couple issues ago and Cyke didn't have a chance to catch up on them all for his Avengers Recap Blog.

"Now, had you sent 'Adam', I would have been
cool with that!" *SPLAK!*

Now, naturally, Cyclops thinks these are Magneto's robots (PLEASE bear in mind that, to this point, we have NEVER seen Magneto have robot henchmen!), so he attacks them and they attack back. This is commonly called "fighting".

But where is Angel? The one who risked flying across an ocean, and getting into fights with Red Ravens to get said Avenger-istas assembled? Well, he found them, assembled them, flew with them to Magneto's island, but then was discovered to have a tracking device on him. Since super heroes are a suspicious bunch, they immediately think Angel is in league with Magneto. (Mainly because the tracking device said, "If found, please return to Magento, 1 Magnetic Island, The Ocean, Earth, A Mote In God's Eye") So, the Avengers tie him up and leave him in their ship to think about what he's done and you just wait until your father comes home, mister!

Where's the trust? Being a superhero is like being constantly paranoid, I guess. Who's gonna ham-string you? Who's gonna unmask you? Who's gonna turn out to be a robot version of themselves, sent from another dimension to steal your egg salad recipe?! These are the same things that I worry about, every day.

Speaking of trust: The Avengers don't even trust each other and start infighting and bickering.

This is why everyone thinks Jeremy Renner is a dick.

While they are distracted with their internal power-struggles, Cyclops sneaks off and frees the other X-Men ... so, there was really no need to get the Avengers here, in the first place? WRONG! The Avengers are there so that when Magneto shoots the X-Men with his mind-control ray, they have someone to fight. (Magneto also used his mind-ray to take control of the writers of this story, to orchestrate that. Meta. MetaNeto.)

Then Angel busts in and unplugs the mind-control device. But! But! HOW is he free?! Well, here is the panel that conveniently explains everything:

Why, it's elementary, my dear WASPson!

Uh-huh. So you Avengers were streets ahead on this whole thing? I find that hard to believe.

I wonder if right now, in the 2012 AvX story that is ongoing, if any of the characters are like, "Hey! This is kinda like that time in the 60's when we fought on Magneto's Island! That was a crazy good time, right?" and then Sour Scott Cyclops is like, "Shut up and kill those Avengers, NOW, Bobby!" Then Scott cries over something Jean did. [Having not read a single issue of the new series, how close did I get to the actual plot? Write in and tell me!]

Magneto, sensing defeat, orders Toad to blow up the chamber in which The Avengers and The X-Men are a-fighting.

In Magneto's mind, a slap
is as good as a "please".

That's when Toad realizes he's finally had enough of being a Toadie and quits the band. [Plus, he was never really sure if "Possum Kingdom" was about being a vampire, or not.] So, with an empowering "I GO, girl!" Toad sets the entire island to explode. Take THAT mom ... I mean Magneto-dad! ... I mean, MAGNETO!

Toad, Quicksilver, and Scarlet jump into a rocket which, Toad says, is Magneto-proof because it is "made of nonmetals" ... so, wood? Plastic? Hair? The X-Men and The Avenger-Men escape in a plain-old rocket car.

In a last ditch effort to save himself, Magneto tries to grab on to Toads ship, but Toad grows a pair and steps on Magnet-oh's hands, causing him to fall. The master of magnetism, unable to use the Earth's own magnetic field to save himself, plummets to the rocks below. Luckily, his helmet comes off so if can become a poignant image:

Sea turtles choke to death on superhero
helmets, because they look like jelly fish.

The end! Whew! That was something, huh? Feel satisfied?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

En-Cyclops-pedia (Issue #45)

Apparently, we're in for a Cyclops-centric story, here, by the looks of things. But, how can he be "featured" (as the cover claims) if he's already a featured / main character? If I'm allowed to make a rapper analogy (and why shouldn't I?!), wouldn't that be like The Wu-Tang Clan [SHAOLIN REPRUHZENT! (I'm from Staten Island, I'm allowed to say that, for some reason)] putting, oh, I dunno, The Rza as a "(feat.)" artist on the liner notes [Liner notes?! Ugh. Good modern-day reference, there, old man Somogyi]. "Protect Ya Neck - Wu-Tang Clan (feat. Ole Dirty B*stard)" (censored, because it's the version sold in Walmart - righteous condemnation of Walmart and their policies! Boom!).  And THAT is what this X-Men comic is all about!

Last issue, we followed the crazy exploits of Angel [which, ever since I watched a season or two of Dexter have pronounced the Cuban way, "An-HELL" for no apparent reason other than TV has broken my brain]. Remember: He was flying across the ocean in search of The Avengers, so he can bring them back to help free the X-Men and defeat Magneto.

In THIS issue, we jump back in time, LOST-style, to see what Scott "Cyclops" Summers was doing while Angel was fighting a Red Raven. Well, firstly, he uses his eyebeams to break free of the shackles that bind him, even though Magneto swears he designed these shackles specifically to prevent such a thing. Freed at last [or, well, "after a couple of uncomfortable minutes", I guess], he goes looking for the others. [Not "The Others". Just the others. Y'know, the X-Mens. I didn't want you getting confused because I made a LOST reference, earlier. Sorted? Good.]

Inherited? I think you use that word incorrectly. (Either that or
there is something Professor X isn't telling
us ... OR  Darwin is spinning in his grave. Your choice, writers.)

And, despite her being held behind a WOOD door, he just leaves her there, unconscious, to continue his search for the other others. [Again! NOT LOST - though I think this issue is starting to GET lost in itself a bit! A-Zing!]

Cyclops' OTHER Mutant power?
To climb stairs in ways that no human ever could.

He doesn't find any x-others, but does manage to run afoul of Quicksilver and his hair.

Was going to make a "How long does THAT
take you to style, in the morning, Quicksilver?!"
jibe, but realized he's super-fast, so it probably takes him no time at all.
His other mutant power is to ruin my obvious jokes. Jerk.
I wonder if they ever address Quicksilver's hairstyle? Probably in the 90's once things started getting all "meta" and "self-referential" and "grunge" and "President Clinton" and "wrap sandwiches" and "me graduating from college".

The rest of the issue is essentially a battle between the two of them. It resolves with Cyclops knocking out Quicksilver... which is EXACTLY the moment that the Avengers appear and are like, "Who's this guy knocking out one of our ex-members?!" [because Quicksilver was an A-Venger for a while there, don't forget ... or, rather, know for the first time, since you, like me, probably never knew that.] Things are tense, but then Hawkeye says, "Awk-WARD!" in the way that you do, and makes things even more awkward.

All the loose ends and questions will be tied up and answered in the finale of this story [unlike the finale of LOST, which tied / answered NOTHING! [honestly, what is my LOST obsession, today? WAAAAAAAAAAALT!!!]]

Oh! And that finale is in The Avengers #53, not X-Men #46. If you jump to X-Men #46, you're gonna miss some great stuff. Maybe. I don't really remember. Let's find out together, next blog post! [Which is happening on another blog! Cross over! - Nah, just kidding. No other blog would post this stuff. I've cornered the market!]

Just in case you were all ready to leave, HOLD ON! There is a bit more of that yawn-worthy origin stuff about Iceman!

So ... Cyclops comes to break Bobby out of jail, but Bobby says he's gonna stay because he knows he's innocent and a fair trial will prove it. Cyke says, "That sounds like a plan!" and then beaks Bobby out against his will, causing the townsfolk to think he's escaping and reacting to that news by sending out a lynch mob after him. I think it is clear, by now, that Professor X's recruitment solution to getting me X-Members is to set them up to be on the run from the law! Not cool! [Clever, and effective, but not cool!]