Lecture Notes

X-Men: Legacy #211
Mike Carey – Writer
Scott Eaton – Pencils

GeNext #1
Chris Claremont – Creator/Writer
Patrick Scherberger – Lowly Penciler

I’ve never read a comic before that left me feeling as if I should have taken notes. However, “Mister Information,” Professor Mike Carey just gave another intricate lecture. I thought class wasn’t going to be in session for two more weeks, but we seem to be on an accelerated schedule here as Marvel tries to power through the slog of Professor Xavier’s search for himself.

I didn’t realize that Professor Carey was a scat fetishist because I feel like he just took an info-dump all over me. “Novaya, I think I missed what he just said. Can I see your notes after class?” “Tucker, we should all totally have a study session before the final!”

This issue was all over the place while nothing really happened. Yet, as Professor Carey likes to stress: true scholarship is in the details. Charles Xavier’s step-brother, Cain Marko, feels someone ominously trying to enter his mind and vows to get revenge in the morning. It’s important to get a full night’s sleep first before going out to fuck your enemies up. In the meantime, Charles wet-dreams about his sexy twin sister, Cassandra Nova, leading to a flashback depicting their brief fetus-hood together….

Look Whose Talking

Wait? A sexy dream about Cassandra Nova?

Cassandra’s soft, aerobicized, side?

In fact, yes. Cassie calls Charles “sweet” and instead of her usual safari wear and mustache, we get a sexy, waxed, Cassie all done up in a skin-tight pink unitard.

This just isn’t right. Where are the signature khakis and pith helmet? Cassandra Nova does not call anyone, least of all her brother, “sweet.” She smack-talks them into submission while looking absolutely terrifying. She is an angry, psychotic, adult-fetus hell-bent on revenge. She does not walk around in pumps!

Cassandra is Terrifying

Cassandra does get in a couple of bitchy lines. One about how Charles woefully neglected his now dead son and she ludicrously brings up the alien brood baby that Charles was infected with. He had the alien monster baby aborted before it came to term. Cassie’s aim is to drown him in Paternal Shame. Why he would feel guilt over aborting a disgusting parasite, I don’t really get? Understandably, Cassandra would have strong feelings about abortion since Charles did try to murder her in the womb, but I can’t imagine why he would mourn the death of his worm-looking alien baby. Despite her critical tone, none of the dialog captures Cassandra’s truly menacing voice.

At the end of his dream, Professor Carey writes in a revelation for Charles. Cassandra asks, “Perhaps you are more comfortable with monsters. Because they absolve you of any duty to care. And reduce everything to your favorite dialectic of control.” Suddenly, Professor Carey’s lecture was interrupted by this stuck-up bitch in the front row. She raised her hand and all snottily asked how Xavier’s life “is bound up in a ‘dialectic of control,’ when it seems to me that he’s experiencing classic Freudian fort/da — back and forth, loss and mastery — without the synthetic experience of psychoanalytic therapy to transform it into an authentic dialectic.” You should have seen Professor Carey shoot that bitch down. “This is neither the time nor the place to explain the Hegelian Dialectic to you properly. May I continue with my lecture?”

Next up, Charles goes to visit his old childhood friend Carter Alexander Ryking in a mental asylum. This is really too much. Carter, a.k.a. Hazard, came from one of the worst X-Men stories of all time. It has been relegated to a footnote not because it’s too much to get into, but because it’s just stupid. This was the 90s, when they were moodily alluding to ominous pasts for all their characters instead of writing beefy stories full of content. Well, thankfully Professor Carey is here to flesh out the Ryking story. It was all a little above my head but it seems that a supervillain named Mister Sinister may have worked with Ryking and Xavier’s fathers at the nuclear power plant when they were boys. Their parents knew they were mutants and allowed Mister Sinister to conduct medical experiments on them… Hey! Are you awake? I’m not done reviewing the lecture with you! The action is just about to heat up.

Because when Charles leaves the mental hospital he “senses” a sniper aiming at him. In one of the most original uses of telepathic powers I’ve ever seen in a comic book, Charles telepathically controls a flock of pigeons to disrupt the sniper’s concentration while he books it to his rental car!

High 2D Action!

Isolated and deranged, as usual, Charles muses some more about his past… … … … …

We cut to a board meeting at the Hellfire Club. Business is conducted.

Oh, and at the end he senses “some holes” in the “mental landscape” and realizes that more people are trying to sneak up to kill him. Luckily, Gambit shows up in the last panel to stop the killers and save the day.

Yeah, Gambit. I’m not really fond of him. I used to think it was a sign of nascent mental retardation on his part that he would start a sentence in English, but finish it off with a word in French such as “cher” or “homme.” Professor Carey explained it to me in office hours, though. By naming the gender of his interlocuters in a foreign language, Gambit is “troubling” their sense of gender identity. By verbally rocking their foundations — in this scene, questioning the masculinity of his opponents — his enemies are much more apt to get hurt by the playing cards Gambit uses as weapons.

Furthermore, Professor Carey showed me that Gambit is clearly a Russian Formalist in the tradition of V.N. Volosinov and M.H. Bakhtin. Gambit’s patois demonstrates that all language is hybrid. His every utterance shows that one language relies on assimilating another for that vernacular flavor we crave. “Gambit’s speech patterns are by no means stupid, or stereotypical, or contrived. Rather, they show us the ‘contamination’ of one language by another that is masked by standard, authoritarian, thought balloon. Gambit shows us the fluidity in our rigid language.”

I don’t know… Sometimes I get uncomfortable about Professor Carey’s work. I know he’s an acclaimed indie writer, and, sure, I did defend him even after he wrote Confessions of a Blabbermouth — a graphic novel (from the MINX imprint by DC) for teens that alludes to incest, which he co-wrote with his fifteen year old daughter. It’s just that he seems so influenced by his dissertation adviser, anti-writer, Chris Claremont.

Claremont’s wild theories and unrestrained fetishism have made him a laughing stock. Still, he someone how got two new comics out this week that his fantards are gobbling up. Let’s discuss his #1 issue, GeNext. Some background is necessary. A couple of years ago, Marvel Comics polled its readers to ask what new X-Related series they’d like him to write. Several options were presented, even though there was no “None of the Above.” The option that won out was “What if the X-Men had Aged in Real Time? What would the new students look like 30 years later?” Or something inane like that. The Chris Claremont decided he would not be bound by mere poll options and decided to write what he wanted anyway. His creative genius fell upon a unique idea. He would turn the new series into a continuation of his bloated, 18 part, X-Men: The End, which followed the X-Men on their excruciating final adventure. Apparently, 18 issues entitled “The End” were not sufficient for him to complete his opus. So now we have GeNext. Carey learned to write sprawling epic at the feat of the master, CC.

GeNext is such blatant sequel abuse that Sylvester Stallone looks like a petty criminal in comparison! Moreover, it’s an opportunity for Claremont to wreak bloody vengeance upon those who have wronged him. A couple of years ago, editorial yanked Claremont’s baby, Storm, out of his hands for a mandated wedding with the Black Panther.

The ad-campaign for the wedding reeked of desperation. You could see the marketers emoting the private editorial discussions of the marriage. Savvy readers could hear Joe Queseda screaming at the underling who objected, “But they have nothing in common. Storm and T’Challa are from different parts of Africa. She grew up as a pickpocket while he was a prince.” “Idiot!,” retorted Quesada, “I don’t care if they have nothing in common. Haven’t you ever seen Aladdin? They’re both niggers! They don’t need anything else in common!”

Storm belonged to CC. He took a virginal girl-child from the mountains of Kenya who had never worn clothes before and who hid her boobies behind rain clouds. He taught her how to fist, gave her a mohawk, paid for the motor oil injections into her lips and buttocks — transforming her into the transsexual, chicken-sacrificing, alterno-kink, Claremazon Goddess she is today.

Now Storm is being written in The Black Panther comic, by B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Television) executive, Reginald Hudlin. He’s by no means a more god-awful writer than CC though his personality and politics are, it’s difficult to believe, even more grotesque. I’m convinced that he doesn’t actually script the comic himself. Scripting is done by Hudlin’s office temps and delivered to Hudlin with his morning latte. If there aren’t enough scenes with Storm shrimping T’Challa or ironing his underwear, Hudlin loses his shit and throws his hot latte back into the lackey’s face. Then he goes back to publicly feuding with Aaron McGruder.

That diva, CC, was outraged to be dispossessed of Storm. In the final issue he wrote of her, he had his pet characters voice their reservations about the wedding. In an act of revenge, Hudlin wrote a scene in The Black Panther where T’Challa has a nightmare in which he catches Storm at a jungle orgy with all of Claremont’s pet characters.

Their feud continues with GeNext #1. Here we are introduced to Storm’s daughter, Becka Munroe. Becka is a sweet girl who wants nothing of the violence of the X-Men’s life (There is an implication that Beast is her father. Yes, Storm once rolled around in the kitty litter with him). Even though her wig looks taped on, Patrick Scherberger’s drawing of her is adorable. Becka is a tulip rising from between the buttocks of a slain rent-boy. It’s a shame that CC is going to violate the living shit out of her.

Becka Munroe is clearly a weapon in CC’s long-term revenge plan against Hudlin for stealing Storm from him. Outwardly, this book is packaged as a teen-love story, and I’m sure Marvel will market the completed product as such. In fact, it’s a seedy piece of teen sexploitation. One of the “straight” boys at the school — Gambit’s son, Olivier — already slipped her the tongue on the last page. I’m sure he’ll be fingerbanging Becka by issue 3. What completes the revenge is that CC has taken Storm’s daughter, and in a blatant act of racism he has literally made her into a spear chucker!

I would not be surprised if the original script called for a banana in Becka’s left hand here, but Scherberger tastefully attempts to hide CC’s excesses. Not that he could do anything about the dialog tics. As usual, straight guys use the word “girl” on several pages. There’s no “Give it to Mama” this issue, but don’t rush CC. He’ll fit it in.

2 Responses to “Lecture Notes”

  1. Tucker Stone Says:

    I just recently started spending some more time with Carey–reading through his six/seven volume Hellblazer run, Faker and i’m about half way through Lucifer. (Half way through, and not really sure what it was i liked in the first place, and not sure if i still like that thing now, or if it even existed.) Faker wasn’t that bad, but then again, it’s that Jock guy doing the art, and I like that Jock guy. Everything always looks the same, and his style seems to translate all subtlety into uniformity, but maybe that’s the script. Carey, focus.Then I found out he did/is doing X-Men stuff right now. And I just know that I can’t even fake it. I just don’t give a shit. Then I read this, and I wonder, I WONDER, should I give it a shot? I mean, Gambit. Acting like a Russian federalist. I think I want to know about that. I really think I do.But Gennext? I don’t even know that i could make it through. You. Tougher man.

  2. darknessatnoon Says:

    “But Gennext? I don’t even know that i could make it through. You. Tougher man.”I read it on a dare. Oh, and I DID NOT PAY FOR IT. No royalties for CC! His palace shall go undecorated by me. I thought Mike Carey would do the title some real good. And I think his first arc was really fun. But he’s gotten addicted to these “meaningful” montages of past scenes, remixed. And lots of portentous statements. His issues are so mired in back-story and nostalgia, it would be a waste of time trying to pick that book up.

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