Archive for the ‘comics’ Category

Oh God, Not Another Stupid Claremont Plot

December 23, 2008

Guest columnist, Evan Grey, touches upon the iconography of Sage.

Note – This essay was written as a response to someone who accused critics of X-Men: Legacy of anti-intellectualism. As regular readers are well aware, Legacy is one of the favorite topics of discussion on our site. Here, Evan fantasizes about the inevitable inclusion of Sage in the saga of X-Men: Legacy. Evan has kindly permitted the cross-posting of his essay on this blog.

Wow, I’m glad somebody finally said it! All the crude readers of this book need to be taken down a peg or two.

I’m curious, since by the look of things, you’re into semiotics and the historicism of art, what reading do you garner from this?


At first glance, I personally thought: “Oh god, not another stupid Claremont plot”. On reflection though, there are so many powerful meanings that this master story teller has woven in here. For instance, with her bleeding eyes, Sage immediately evokes the idea of the Virgin Mary crying tears of blood:


Indeed, we see constant undercurrents of the holy Mary, blessed be her name, during Claremont’s depictions of Sage. We even see Sage give birth to a new and improved Beast, in her own kind of immaculate conception.


Of course, this comes with it’s own implications as there is a subtle yet brilliant commentary on the tensions within Christianity with the notion that the Virgin Mary gives birth to the Anti-Christ!


Astounding indeed! It does not end there, however, for with the naming of Mary we see a powerful comment on the Mary Sue cliche. CC clearly was writing back a powerful narrative for his audience.

Of course, there is another reading I am in favour of – a Freudian one. Freud constructed his notion of gender and sex with the Oedipus (and by extension the Elektra) concepts where the vagina is seen as a castrate. This begs the question: are Sage’s bleeding eyes symbolic of menstrual flow? Are Sage’s eyes really a representation of bleeding vaginas which, when they ‘flash’ and catalyse a mutant, give birth from their castrated orbs??

It’s little nuggets of meaning like that which make me appreciate the X-men so much, especially X-men: Legacy. It’s so rich and full of meaning where it covers the great expanse of X-history. I can’t wait until it gets to covering the time of Sage, someone who Xavier desperately needs to make amends to, so that we can have these notions further explored. I have faith that Professor Carey will uncover the roots and motivations behind Tess Niles and, like Claremont, use her as a springboard to discuss the deep and meaningful issues of religion, sex and genre. What are your thoughts on the matter? I’d love to hear them. I’m so glad that there’s another reader out there just like me!

Evan is an on and off cultural studies student with a liking for extraordinarily bad comics, high literature, independent music and big meaty cocks. He happens to live in Australia.

Chris Claremont Threatens Fan

October 13, 2008
‘Shape up or I’ll kill your favorite character!’


Sage fans tend to be scary. Online they discuss their latest face tattoos, their favorite techno-death metal and their forthcoming suicide attempts. Her hardcore following has been up in arms over the new pirate costume with the golden bra, her ratty hair, the sudden ability to fly and her new multiple personality disorder. CC even wants to make her a blonde! Since they are the only thing left of CC’s fan base, their recent defection has been sharper than a serpent’s tooth. CC isn’t taking it well.

Dear Luana —

I’m truly sorry you feel this way and I wish I had an appropriate instant solution that might restore Sage to a more appropriate presentation. But from the writer’s perspective, one can only follow one’s own instincts and hold to what is most true (especially in terms of a character like Sage, who hasn’t been bounced around the creative neighborhood as often as, say, Logan) to my vision and conception of her and how I want to challenge it and thereby evolve. Forgive me if I’m restating something you might be well aware of, but my intent here is to confront her with a vision of herself, and her role in things, that she’s studiously dodged her whole life — namely, her emotions. She can’t lock them down any longer; she has to find a way to strike a balance with herself and utilize all her assets to combat the imposition of Roma’s memories. Most of the other characters face external battles (with the exception perhaps of Morph); hers, by contrast, are internal.

All I can really offer is the homily (cliche though it may be) that I’ll keep trying ’til I get it right, whatever “right” turns out to be. The one supremely great advantage held by “Exiles” as opposed to the core Marvel titles is that stories, and characters, can come to an end. Life here has consequence, and finality — even though the hardest part of it may be the writer (or artist, or both) finding themselves forced to say goodbye to a character they may love. Death is part of the story here and when characters come to that end, they don’t come back. Not so hard when they’re comparative strangers; significantly harder when they’re visions of one’s bedrock creations. That’s the challenge, coming up with moments worthy of the characters, and worthy of the audience.

As I said, I’m sorry what’s happening with Sage has taken the character away from one whose life you want to follow. I hope find better fortune with other characters and other books. But please give us a look from time to time; who knows, we might surprise you.

Best wishes,

Chris Claremont

Impressive. He’s basically telling “Luana” to step off before he writes in Sage’s death. He’s done this many times before. When the Nocturne fans turned on him, he gave her a stroke. When the Dazzler fans attacked, he put a hole through her head. In fact, CC went completely ballistic over Dazzler, and resurrected her several times in a few issues just so that he could kill her Over and Over Again. This blogger highly recommends that Sage fans start watching the tone they take with His Majesty, Chris Claremont.

Tessie-Jo

October 6, 2008
horresco referens

As regular readers, you all know that Sage is my favorite comic book character. Created in 1980 as Tessa, assistant to one of the X-Men’s greatest enemies, Sebastian Shaw, the Black King of the Hellfire Club (rich, mutant, industrialists, devoted to control of the world through ruthless economic domination and manipulation), Tessa was later retconned into having been one of Charles Xavier’s first students. Due to her computer brain and complete control over her own body, Tessa made the ideal spy for Xavier. Reportedly, Chris Claremont planned for Tessa’s role to be revealed in Uncanny X-Men #300. Having written the comic for fourteen straight years, my Tub of Love, CC, felt comfortable snoozing along with plots planned 6 years in advance. Unfortunately, CC became a little too uppity and was forced off the X-Men books 1991. When he returned with inflated fanfare in 2000, the revelation that Tessa had always been an X-Man — while making sense if one revisited her earlier appearances — seemed forced and contrived with Tessa’s off-panel defection from the Hellfire Club back to her home team.

One of Sage’s powers is to type 200 wpm without a keyboard, as well as to spin around on wooden chairs.

I’ve always been interested in the way writers flash their influences around. With CC, you can practically see his Netflix queue with every issue he releases. When he redesigned Sage in 2002, he was obviously a late-comer to the Matrix and a loyal viewer of Alias, as one of the thousands of people who masturbated at Jennifer Garner on a weekly basis. Most writers refuse to touch Sage, leaving the retcon wholly in CC’s hands. Professor Carey, even when visiting Xavier’s past every month, leaves Sage out of the mix. Jeff Parker, writer of X-Men: First Class – a whimsical, all-ages, story about the original five X-Men as teens – refuses to include Sage in any of their adventures. The only author brave enough to touch Sage’s past history with the X-Men was Grant Morrison, who in the above panel alluded to a dark past between Sage and Jean Grey, as they pass one another on campus, giving each other full-on bitch face.

While purists who read the X-Men and cowardly writers treat Sage as if her convoluted history would give them the plague, many people agree with me that Sage’s past with the X-Men deserves to be respected. My friend, Novaya, who mocks Sage incessantly (he considers her a ludicrous and comedic counter-point to the “more important” Dazzler), also agrees that Sage belongs in First Class. To some degree, Sage is ludicrous. Every time CC writes her, she comes off as some sort of sexual succubus. There are superheroines who can fight in high heels, and though Sage tries to use them as a weapon, she is constantly being defeated, tripped, knocked around, mind-raped, or thrown against a wall with a knife to her throat. A couple of years ago CC had her go undercover with one of her team’s enemies, and she went so deep-cover that she forgot that she was actually hero. She “accidentally” decapitated one of her allies. Lately, CC has been watching Pirates of the Caribbean on Netflix and now CC dresses her in a gold bra and a Johnny Depp style pirate outfit. In fact, Sage is deeply ludicrous, yet compelling to me. Probably, she represents one of Claremont’s ex-wives. As you can see in the image below, which Novaya has shown to Jeff Parker, he envisions Tessa as Tessie-Jo, a Goth teenager who yanks around a large 1960s style computer and is mocked by the rest of the cast of First Class. Obviously, most of the original members don’t remember that Sage was with them during their early X-Men adventures because that bastard, Professor Xavier, mind-wiped them (with the exception of Jean Grey, who held a high enough security clearance to remember Tessa).

In response to Novaya’s stunning piece of computer artwork, Gene F has created some gorgeous images, detailing the hidden history of Sage and the rest of the Original Six members of the X-Men. I have asked him for permission to post his work on my blog for greater exposure and Gene has kindly agreed. Since Gene is an Arab (I think. Either way, he’s swarthy) we can add this material to the growing archive of great Arab-American art and its critical reception. The following is Gene’s art as well as his explanation of the images.

The 05’s were real assholes towards Sage. That’s the real reason why she has not yet been included in First Class.

Observe:While the 05s were busting the Brotherhood’s chops, Xavier had special ‘individual study’ classes prepared for young Sage.

Observe:
Though they don’t particularly remember it, Beast and Iceman were almost as harsh on Tessa as Xavier was.

Observe:
Sage’s introductory Danger Room sessions with Cyclops and Marvel Girl.

Observe:More Sage and the 06 photo evidence has been declassified.

Sage was one of the first victim’s of Jean Grey’s irrational temper, and quickly found out how much Jean loves to see girls cry.

Young Sage was one of the first to preview the wrath that would one day become Dark Phoenix.

Observe:
Even Sage’s personal space was violated in the house of X. Cyclops and Jean found it humorous to upset Sage’s reserved emotional status by being blatant with theirs.

Observe:
Angel’s tiny brain was often baffled by Sage’s higher thought processes. In retaliation, he would often take his childish frustrations out on her delicate technology.

Observe:
With his twisted love for Jean fully blossomed, Xavier threatens Sage with “deep cover” work if she doesn’t stay out of Grey’s way.

Sage is aghast at the thought of wearing fishnets and a corset. She is saddened at the thought of being used like this.

Observe:
Sage was eventually excluded from team sports after Beast kept lovingly squeezing the life out of her whenever she got within a five-foot radius.

…much to the horror of Sage and the chagrin of Angel (who hated her for her superior intellect)….

Observe:

Keep an eye on this post for further updates of Sage: First Class!

Intolerable Cruelty

September 24, 2008
Review of Uncanny X-Men #502 by Gilles Deleuze, citations taken from Masochism: Coldness and Cruelty & Venus in Furs.

Auteur: Matt Fraction
Artiste: Greg Land

Masochism is a story that relates how the superego was destroyed and by whom, and what was the sequel to this destruction.
The first is the hetaeric or Aphroditic era, born in the lustful chaos of primeval swamps: woman’s relations with man were many and fickle, the feminine principle was dominant and the father was “Nobody.” The second, or Demetrian era, dawned among the Amazons and established a strict gynocratic and agricultural order; the swamps were drained; the father or husband now acquired a certain status but he still remained under the domination of the woman. Finally the patriarchal or Apollinian system established itself, matriarchy surviving in degenerate Amazonian or even Dionysian forms.

How does the Greek ideal become transformed in the masochistic ideal? … Obviously through the catastrophe of the glacial epoch, which accounts for both the repression of sensuality and the triumphant rise of severity.
“Venus must hide herself in a vast fur lest she catch cold in our abstract northern clime, in the icy realm of Christianity.” Everything is suggestive of coldness: marble body, women of stone, Venus of Ice are favorite expressions of Masoch; his characters often serve their amorous apprenticeship with a cold statue, by the light of the moon.

The catastrophe of the Ice Age having engulfed the world of the Greeks and with it the type of the Grecian woman, both sexes found themselves impoverished. Man became coarse and sought a new dignity in the development of consciousness and thought; as a reaction to man’s heightened consciousness woman developed sentimentality, and toward his coarseness, severity. The glacial cold was wholly responsible for the transformation: sentimentality became the object of man’s thought, and cruelty the punishment for his coarseness. In the coldhearted alliance between man and woman, it is this cruelty and sentimentality in woman that compel man to thought and properly constitute the masochistic ideal.
The masochism of the sadistic hero makes its appearance at the outcome of his sadistic exercises; it is their climax, the crowning sanction of their glorious infamy. The libertine is not afraid of being treated in the way he treats others. The pain he suffers is an ultimate pleasure, not because it satisfies a need to expiate or a feeling of guilt, but because it confirms him in his inalienable power and gives him a supreme certitude. Through insults and humiliations, in the throes of pain, the libertine is not expiating, but in Sade’s words, “he rejoices in his inner heart that he has gone far enough to deserve such treatment.”
He ensures that he will be beaten; we have seen that what is beaten, humiliated and ridiculed in him is the image and the likeness of the father, and the possibility of the father’s aggressive return. It is not a child but a father that is being beaten.
Nature herself is cold, maternal and severe. The trinity of the masochistic dream is summed up in these words: cold – maternal – severe, icy – sentimental – cruel. These qualities point to the difference between the woman torturer and her “counterparts,” the hetaera and the sadist; their sensuality is replaced by her supersensuous sentimentality, their warmth and their fire by her icy coldness, their confusion by her rigorous order.

The torturess escapes from her own masochism by assuming the active role in the masochistic situation. It is a mistake to think that she is sadistic or even pretending to be so. We must not imagine that it is a matter of the masochist encountering a sadist by a stroke of luck. Each subject in the perversion only needs the “element” of the same perversion and not a subject of the other perversion.
Waiting and suspense are essential characteristics of the masochistic experience. The masochist is morose: but his moroseness should be related to the experience of waiting and delay. Formally speaking, masochism is a state of waiting; the masochist experiences waiting in its pure form.

Stan Lee Presents

August 20, 2008

Stan Lee and Marvel Comics are proud to present…

The Red Queen!
coming at you monthly in the pages of Uncanny X-Men.

I am in love with the Red Queen. I experienced a hot-flash, memory loss, anxiety and depression just reading about her.

On his blog, Brian Cronin broached the issue of gay bashing that I mentioned in my last post, and explained the difference between textualist and intentionalist approach to reading comics. I’m glad Cronin introduced the terminology, even though I find the distinction overlegalistic and a bit inadequate to the situation. The Red Queen begs for a psychoanalytic interpretation. (Off with your dick!) And her creators are clearly crying out for counseling. Actually, I have to praise Fraction and his co-plotter, Ed Brubaker, for having done their market research. Anyone who knows comics understands that BDSM is a big interest for lovers of Chris Claremont’s “classic” run on the X-Men.

Cronin reports that Marvel is swerving on the matter.

Apparently there is a leaked copy of the original script of Uncanny X-Men #501 making the rounds of the internet, and in it, the characters at the beginning of the story are referred to as either “queers” or “queer freaks,” I forget which one [EDITED TO ADD: A helpful editor at Marvel dropped me a line to note: “[A]fter looking at the script, I saw no mention of queer/queers/queer freaks. I don’t know what’s going around the ‘net, but it’s not real.”

Technically, that is correct. The script is for Uncanny X-Men #500, not #501, and, even more technically, they were leaked proofs — not a script, per se. No, they’re not a fake. I don’t think there’s any need to post them, though, since the crassness of the plot is obvious even without emphasizing the queer-baiting overtones that were edited out at the last minute. It’s a bit of a no-win situation for Marvel since the scene was gross enough as is, but they couldn’t even bring themselves to go whole-hog. There’s nothing worse than passive aggressive bigotry.

Others have written more eloquently than I can about the danger in writing to Current Events — picking out a topic you’ve glanced at in the latest Economist and running with it. Marvel authorized a guy to post on one of their message boards that “the story is going somewhere” — good to know dude. In other news, Ed Brubaker is indignant!

Being as Matt Fraction is one of my best friends, and as I’m co-plotter of said X-Men issue, allow me to laugh in the face of anyone who thinks that either Matt or I are homophobes or ignorant idiots.

I guess I could point out my GLAAD award, or all the gay and lesbian characters Matt has written without making it an afterschool special, but that seems like it would be too much.

A tad over-wrought, non? I really do hate to be bitchfull about this (I do!), therefore I leave comments open to other people who want to make creative suggestions for what Ed can do with his GLAAD award.

How Do You Like To Take Your Gay Bashing?

August 15, 2008

As you all know, I am an X-Men fan. Partly this is out of habit; partly, I like to use the franchise as a touch-stone for how good and bad the superhero genre can get. I also tend to like the fans, who create discussion threads such as, “Are Clones Real Characters?” X-Men comics and fans are simply the ones I know the best. Typically, my tone is sarcastic when discussing the book; almost never is it angry. But I’m pissed off right now.

One comic book character I really did like (as you can see in previous posts) is Dazzler. I just think they made up a great little gal when they created that girl. One doesn’t usually like comic characters, but you can’t help but like Alison. In honor of her return to the X-Men book, and as a favor to my friend Ben, who is the biggest Dazzler fan on the planet, I’d written up a post about the Dazzler comic and female ordinariness. I was especially fascinated with one issue from her 1980s solo series, which was an issue dedicated to Dazzler’s experience of terrible pick-up lines and come-ons. All I needed was preview art from issue #501 to break so that I could headline the essay with a picture of an updated Alison Blaire blasting the reader with rainbows. Instead, I log onto the net and get punched in the gut.

When I read Uncanny X-Men #500 and saw the Hellfire Cult converge on Pixie (if you don’t know her, she’s literally a superhero fairy) and her gay friend after a Dazzler concert, I felt a low grumbling in my stomach. They certainly wouldn’t get gay-bashed, would they? In interviews for CBR, Marvel announced that Dazzler would return to comics in issue #501. I was certain that Dazzler would step out of the concert venue and dazzle the shit out of the Hellfire homophobes.

I was mistaken.

Previews for issue #501 show the following:

Enlarge This Shit

A boot to the face and a baton to the head. Srsly, Land? You did not just trace a prostitute orgasming to represent a 15 yr old girl in the middle of a hate crime! Later in the issue, out Vietnamese lesbian, Karma (Xi’an Coy Manh), is targeted by the same thugs after they’ve already had their way with Pixie and her nameless queer buddy. Dazzler does not show up to protect her gay following.

Instead of diva fabulousness, we get dead lesbians walking and a ridiculous new hormonal BDSM super-villainess, The Red Queen, whose career is certain to end at menopause. It’s enough to make me want to seek out acclaimed writer Matt Fraction and forcibly shave off his straight-boy hipster soul patch. Not even my reviled enemy, CC, would pull such a bald-faced stunt! He’d at least try to veil it in a “deep” allegory. In the meantime, we have Cyclops and Emma in bed in three different comics in a month, literally, trying to reproduce for the sake of “the mutant species.” Suck it, Fraction, you fagmo. I can already see Marvel now backpedaling to tell us that the bashed kid wasn’t gay — he just happens to be a teen into Disco.

And I can hear the little pests demanding answers to the following bullshit questions:

  • How do u know he’s gay? Rn’t you just stereotyping urself?
  • So, gays in superhero comics should be exempted from getting hurt?
  • Don’t you think the author is trying to make a point?
  • Why should writers censor ugly realities?
Gay bashings are a fact of life, non? Ergo, we must have them in our super-hero comics! Many of them! We all know that the struggles of gays and lesbians to walk down the street are a rich mine for metaphor. And because we must have some, how do you prefer to take your gay bashings?

Freedom Ring Enjoys His Bashings with a Side of Penetration

  • A) Dignified Bashings: Alfred the Butler (Batman) – takes his many bashings with dignity.
  • B) Current Events Bashings: Abu Graib style torture for the Young Avengers/Runaways gays/lesbians (all four queer characters (only those four) — two couples, Lucy in the Sky & Xavin, Wiccan & Hulkling — were tortured together in a crossover issue. One big GLBT Family).
  • C) Bolt from the Blue Bashing: Connor Hawke – this Eurasion faggot takes his bashings with a laser beam from space (also see Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
  • D) Our Heroes Fight for Tolerance: Karma + Pixie & her gay Dazzler fan friend will overcome!
  • E) The Buttplug Incident – Freedom Ring killed by penetration from a dozen angry buttplugs.
  • F) Gays Make Good Zombie – Northstar, the most famous gay superhero, killed by Wolverine and turned into an evil Ninja Zombie (also see the new X-Files movie with the gay-married zombie serial killing couple)
  • G) After School Special Bashing: Terry Berg in Green Lantern – “Gay Bashing is Bad! OMG!”
  • H) Don’t Worry It Will Grow Back: Anole loses arm – emo gay teen suicide kid loses arm, but that’s ok. He’s a mutant lizard. Those things grow back.
  • I) Don’t Let Your Friends Drink and Drive: Mariko Yashida killed by Mimic on a drug/mind control binge.
  • J) With Cream


The openly gay Northstar has recently been killed in three “alternate reality” comic book universes — twice in once month — (“Age of Apocalypse”; the Enemy of the State story in the main comics; “Ultimate Universe” steroid overdose). When editorial prevented a writer from giving Northstar AIDS, he was once transformed into a fairy dying of fairy diseases until his religious sister saved him with light. Honey Lemon of Big Hero 6 once pulled an alternate reality Sunpyre out of her power purse and they became lovers, yet where is Sunpyre these days?! A couple of years back, Karma and her coffee shop love interest were written out of New X-Men/Academy X, apparently because teen readers didn’t need to see an ongoing lesbian relationship. In a recent summer event, Phyla-Vell was widowed when her girlfriend, Moondragon, was killed (a couple of issues after her ear was cut off).

I don’t really think this is a Women in Refrigerators thing. In most cases, Death by Butt-Plug is not about making nearby straight male protagonists seem emotionally deeper. Something else is at work in these killings. It seems to me to be a more overdetermined phenomenon than that. Gays and lesbians seem to represent the very concept of victimhood.

Alas, in protest, Ben has deleted his fabulous Dazzler blog. It’s a shame. I was highly anticipating his entry about Dazzler being called a “queer lover” in Uncanny X-Men #505.

ADDENDUM:

IF YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND THIS COMPLAINT, I HOPE YOU FATALLY PERFORATE YOUR ANUS ON A DILDO! OR, PLEASE FIST YOURSELF WITH BROKEN POTTERY!

The Thinking Man’s Comic Book

July 26, 2008

Review of X-Men Legacy #214
Title: “The Fluffer”

Auteur: Mike Carey
Artist: Didn’t bother to look. Someone shitty.

Just Back From the IML, Gambit Engorges Shaw by Pinching His Tits

It’s been three issues since I last checked in on Legacy, so let’s take a look shall we? As usual, Professor Carey provides me with a lot of food for thought.*

Plot-wise …
OK. I give. I can’t summarize it since this comic requires a Ph.D. in Continuity. All I know is that there were a lot of mental battles, bodies possessed and wills crushed. In my notes I’ve got something about Mister Sinister writing on Professor Xavier’s DNA when he was a little boy as a failsafe to ensure immortality if his body ever died; some woman named Amanda Mueller wanting to obtain Mister Sinister’s powers by killing all his possible host bodies and eradicating his consciousness from the special abilities. Amanda Mueller is immortal, but her heinous body eternally ages (I raised my hand in class to ask Professor Carey if this relates to the Classic film Death Becomes Her, but he rightly scoffed at my philistinism).

“The Black Womb” Smack-Talks Sinister,
Or, Who Says Comics are Misogynistic?
(2008, artist unknown)

Carey, newly appointed Minister of Information, raised an interesting narratological question: What do you do when your book is about a struggle between telepaths struggling to control one another’s minds? Mental battles with mind-rape blasts aren’t the most exciting things in the world. I’d venture to say that they are perhaps the least exciting things you could put in a comic. In the old days, when comics were painted on cave walls and Chris Claremont was popular and respected, he decided that all psychic battles of the will would take place in the “astral plane.” The astral plane, well known to yogis, is a white landscape awash with streaks of color – a veritable kaleidoscope. The duelists would get swords, suits of armor and heavy cod pieces that hid gender – these outfits were tailored physical expression of combatant mental preparedness (a well prepared psychic knew to flatten out his groin area or to bind her breasts for greater protection). At 9 years old, it was exciting for me, possibly due to the gender play, to see that kind of thing. There were stakes to it. An injury on the psychic plane expressed itself on one’s real body. So, as you can imagine, lots of nose-bleeds.

In class, Professor Carey explained that while mind-rape is fun, it needs to be more educational for the lay reader. So, now the characters throw flashbacks at one another. And they quote philosophers:


I love love love when people quote Nietzsche on strength of will. I took a seminar on Nietzsche once, where one of the guys in the class told the professor “I am too much of a Nietzsche-Man to do this assignment.” Well, he got an F. I didn’t do so great either. I received a B+, but don’t think I began to fully grasp the scope of Nietzsche’s brilliance. Thank god (wait, God is dead, right?), I can read comic books to pick up what I missed the first time around.

In addition to referencing Nietzsche on “eternal recurrence,” Professor Carey also cannibalizes Kierkegaard on despair several times in this issue. I’d snark that Legacy #214 reads like a class in Existentialism 101, however it’s a much more advanced course since the syllabus has a special component on “Daddy Issues.”

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that

Mister Sinister claims he is Shaw and Xavier’s truest father figure, not biologically (though he does imply that in regards to Gambit), but that his medical abuse of them as boys gave them ‘the stuff’ they needed to become leaders. That’s pure CC. The one who raped you made you. CC stole it from Wagner, though. Parsifal: “The spear that smote you / can heal your wound.”

Normally, I’d ask CC to get the fuck out of my comic with his enabling violations and indomitable will, but when Carey pulls the some routine as his Dissertation Chair he brings greater tone and sophistication to it — as seen below:

Photograph of My Mother Sent to Marvel Comics as an Artist’s Reference.

During his bear/cub moment with Gambit, the egotist Shaw justifies their high risk sex-play by explaining – using a cryptic reference to Dostoevsky – “I’d rather die as myself than live as someone else.” With the power channeled through his nipples, Shaw saves himself and Gambit while foiling the machinations of both Mister Sinister and the Black Womb. Simultaneously, Professor Xavier is able to cast Mister Sinister mind out of his own. The brilliant artist uses visual imagery — a picture of Xavier as a little boy, striding out of his room — to punctuate the importance of being your own man.

None of this is as important without Carey’s twist. At the end of the issue, we see that the cloning machine Sinister and Mueller were fighting over has spat out an amalgam of them both. The glorious new, Ms. Sinister.

A Moron

With Ms. Sinister’s very subtle SM overtones – the chiq leather bustier and hot pants combo – , Professor Carey seems to be delivering a critique of the Nietzschian Übermensch fantasies of overcoming exhibited by the male protagonists.

Carey hits it out of the park once more. This issue was a masterpiece of coherence. I really despise when overly critical nitpickers try to spoil the sheer genius of Mike Carey’s X-Men run for me. STFU haters.

Secondary Sources:

de Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. Translated and edited by H. M. Parshley. New York: Knopf, 1953.

Camus, Albert. The Fall, and Exile and the Kingdom. Translated by Justin O’Brien. New York: Random House, 1957.

——. The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. Translated by Justin O’Brien. New York: Random House, 1955.

——. The Plague. Translated by Stuart Gilbert. New York: Knopf/Random House, 1948.

——. The Stranger. Translated by Matthew Ward. New York: Knopf, 1993.

Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Translated by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper, 1962.

Kierkegaard, Søren. Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments. Edited and translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992.

——. Either/Or. Edited and translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1987.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Birth of Tragedy. Translated by Douglas Smith. Oxford, England, and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

——. The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Random House, 1974.

——. Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer. Translated by Duncan Large. Oxford, England, and New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness: an Essay on Phenomenological Ontology. Translated by Hazel E. Barnes. New York: Philosophical Library, 1956.

——. No Exit, and Three Other Plays. Translated by S. Gilbert and L. Abel. New York: Vintage Books, 1956.

Solomon, Robert C. From Hegel to Existentialism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

* Please excuse me if this post contains ontological errors, but I had 11 mimosas as well as 1 car bomb shot and 1 las vegas shot before writing this. I vow to never have brunch with hos at a str8 bar again.

Does Kitty Pryde Need Her Mouth Washed Out With Soap?

May 19, 2008

I was recently involved in a skirmish on the Comic Book Resources Forum by asking a tongue-in-cheek question about a serious issue.

The following is the post I made, and then I will discuss responses to it.

Kitty Pryde is one of those smart-mouths who shoots their little potty mouths off at their elders. It started off with her calling the man who saved her life a “Jerk,” but it certainly didn’t end there.

This is how she speaks to her ballet teacher.


Oh, you better run little girl!

Then she dropped the n-bomb on a fellow student.


Which, I guess, was okay. Kitty is allowed to be racist when others are close-minded?

Of course, there was her famous eulogy where she decided to try to offend and shame everyone in the audience.

OMG, INAPPROPRIATE!

How do you feel about Chris Claremont using a 13 year old girl as his racist mouth piece?

Should Storm have washed her mouth out with soap early on? Wasn’t there a Commandant Kitty in Excalibur? I know I remember CC crossing the line with alternate reality, Concentration Camp Kitty.

And now in New Exiles, we have Blackface Kitty.

Enough is enough! When a teenager crosses the Language Line like that, punishment is required. Otherwise, you’ll get bratty little adults who think it’s ok to smart off to the boss!


……………………………………………….

The reaction to this was legendary.

The Europeans accused me of political correctness:

I knew abou faggot, but Spic is new to me… I wonder if as a spanish I get to be a Spic or do you have a special insult to europeans?

To write n**** word does not make sense to me… Is it that bad that you can not even write it when talking about the subject?

And,

America is the most PC nation in the world…

There must be a different, more radical, kind of youtube in Europe.

Many of CC’s black fans were up in arms about my “carefully cropping” and selecting the images. Yes, I only used images where she says “Nigger.”

Context was all important. When Kitty uses nigger, spic, etc., she’s at the funeral for a mutant student who had killed himself because people had called him names. Awwwww. Thanks for your very special funeral speech, Kitty. It was practically the Gettysburg Address. Honestly, Claremont, under no circumstances does one speak that way at a funeral unless one is a member of the Westboro Baptist Church. But “context” is king. It pre-exists my panel selection.
Here is CC’s wisdom on display:

Who was he then, that we gather together to mourn him? Who am I? A four-eyed, flat chested, brat, chick, brain, hebe, stuck up Xavier’s freak! Don’t like the words? I could use nicer. I’ve heard worse, who here hasn’t? So often, so casually, maybe we’ve forgotten the power they have to hurt. Nigger, spic, faggot, mutie, the list is so long and so cruel. They’re labels, put down-downs. And they hurt.

I’ve heard that spicy food makes a man’s cum taste sweet. Same with context. Enough of it and CC is able to drop a palatable monthly load down thousands of reader’s throats.

Of course it went out of control when I suggested that CC himself, Guardian of POCs (People of Color), was a racist. After all, why couldn’t I see that Kitty was just trying to show that the word mutie, in the context of the story, was just as hurtful as nigger? Never mind that mutie ridiculously sounds like “cutie.” It’s a good thing she can go intangible, because that kind of pedagogy is a good way to get your face broken. Obviously, I must have been “trolling” the discussion with that kind of willful misunderstanding of CC’s wonderful intentions.

I objected to CC’s shock tactics to make a trite, after school special, point, viz., “intolerance is bad,” as well as to keep his comic in the number 1 slot. Do you really think he was trying to spread peace on earth and good-will towards men?

Yes, of course, CC, black people should continue to bear the burden of representation for all minorities, even fictional ones! Claremont is the only comic writer I know who can script the word “nigger” and still delude himself into thinking he’s Martin Luther King Jr.

His African-American following is especially disturbing, but I was glad to see that a few black comic fans found these panels unacceptable “in context” and out.

At an early point, we explored the question of Libertarianism since CC is a Libertarian who over-privileges the autonomy (ooops, I mean “sovereignty”) of the self. It upset some people when I called Libertarians a business-worshipping religious cult, and suggested that Slavery was a business the Libertarian Party would have had no problem deregulating. ‘How dare you discuss politics,’ came the outcry! Those Sado-Libertarians LOVE blacks, though they do not agree it’s OK to regulate forms of discrimination, such as Whites Only Signs, etc… .

One guy with a Heath Ledger in Joker mascara avatar felt qualified enough as an arbiter of aesthetic judgment to suggest that it was in “bad taste” to attack CC for what he had written 20 years ago. The 20 years ago thing came up again and again, as one defender of CC wrote:

You guys do realize these stories were told 25 years ago, yes?

Do you know what comics were like at that time, let alone society…

Ah yes, comics 25 years ago. I remember. Every week I’d go hiking in Santa Monica to look at the latest paintings on the cave walls.

When I had the temerity to suggest that the context-lovers were ignoring their viscera and sublimating their reaction to the panels in a futile quest for some consolation, an undergraduate had the nerve to lecture me on Anthropology! He objected to my use of the word hymen in reference to ethnographies. “Hymen is not a technical anthropological term,” he cried out. Foul! Foul! He would know since he’s read 8 ethnographies and his professor is widely published. A Jean Grey fan with a Greg Land drawn avatar was angry that I would use sexualized language like Hymen. Yes, someone represented with Porn Star Jean Grey felt that I did not sound sufficiently professorial and objective. Hymens have no place in academic speech!

Claremontian Scum lecturing me on literary/anthropological criticism? It’s really too absurd.*

I feel I need to cleanse my palate. Discussing Chris Claremont and Reginald Hudlin recently has been like a toxic overload. I can feel my T-Cell count plummeting in the vicinity of their comic books. Thank God, I just read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood, you are the AZT to my Claremontian auto-immune deficiency! More on her lovely piece of fiction shortly.

*special thanks to Ben and Josef F. for standing up to retarded Creator Worship.

Lecture Notes

May 15, 2008

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.

Positions

May 2, 2008

While I work on longer entries, I considered posting something about Chris Claremont’s latest masterpiece, New Exiles #5 — the issue where Sage gets drunk, takes a bath and (seriously) wonders where her vibrator went.

With two sexually aggressive shape-shifters on the team, I’d make sure to double-check that vibrator if I were you, Sage. Fortunately for me, other bloggers have already addressed this issue in detail, from Sage throwing her bath towel aside and diving into a fight, to Captain (Kitty) America, to bestiality and black-face Kitty Pryde. I will forgo exploring the real question New Exiles #5 poses for Art History; whether Chris Claremont’s work should now be treated as an extreme form of Outsider Art — beyond the normal confines of social normativity — aside the likes of Henry Darger and Michael Jackson? I’ll leave that question to simmer, but in the meantime, let’s see what Claremont’s successor on the X-titles has been up to.

Has it really been an entire month since Mike Carey saved me money on my ambien prescription? Today, I’d like to revisit X:Men Legacy to see how Professor Xavier and Co., are faring. I know you’re wondering if the pace has stepped up. And to your query, I will respond that you clearly know nothing about modernist, avant-garde, “comix.” This issue, even though Charles has taken a bullet to the brain, a silver-age icon refuses to be kept down. With his brain repaired and memories shattered and splintered, Charles steps in just in time to save a de-powered Magneto from Exodus. If you’ll recall, last month Magneto blinded Frenzy in her attempt to execute pacifist Charles Xavier before he could wake up (presumably, Frenzy is still writhing around on the ground. We don’t see her). For this crime, leader of the Acolytes and former magnetic-obsessive and toadie, Exodus, decides to execute Magneto for the “human” crime of harming a mutant. This issue is the psychic battle between Charles and Exodus. Basically, it consists of page after page of Exodus trying to guilt Xavier into submission by throwing one bad memory after another at Charles. Yeah, so nothing really happens. All this is a re-mix of fragmentary moments from over the years, as we’ve been getting for the past few issues.

This socio-political analysis rivets me

Clearly, the editors knew this schtick would be wearing on readers, so to spice things up, they mixed shitty Scott Eaton art of the present-day moments with Greg Land art on the memories. If you don’t know Land, you should. His work is a testament to Post-Modern Porn. Land has made a name for himself by working on high profile comic books by tracing images for his photo-realistic art. Sure, I know that artists trace. They have always traced and no modern day artist works without some form of photo-reference. I hang out in an animation firm where one of the guys specializes in 2D. He once brought me to his desk after proudly showing me his reel and book. He wanted me to know that the Victoria Secret catalogs “are there for a reason,” and to assure me “I’m not a pervert. These are just so that I draw women anatomically correctly.” He was so proud of his research efforts that I couldn’t burst his bubble. Land is different. He doesn’t just trace other people’s images. He’s been shown to have traced other artist’s work in the most shameless fashion. He also traces porn.

Yes. He traces.porn.for.comic.books. Just think about that for a second, because it blows my mind. Clearly, his work is in-demand for specific demographic comic book marketers have in mind. New readers are the goal, but these readers are to be the same straight dudes in their early 20s, probably who work in IT, and who have some spare cash lying around after buying the latest Grand Theft Auto release. When I say he traces porn, I mean something beyond the Disneyfied fauxrotica of Sage shaving her legs in the tub and looking around for her dildo. When I look at Greg Land art, I no longer see the story. I only see the positions.

Here Charles recalls the brutal death of his student Suzanne Chan, also known as Sway.

Deep-Throated to Death

The in-story reason for her existence was that before recruiting the All-New, All Racist and National Stereotyped X-Men, such as Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, etc., — all of whom have become iconic — to save the original X-Men on the living island of Krakoa, Xavier sent a team of untrained teenagers into action. This led to a massacre. Sway’s death, along with her team-mate, Petra, is supposed to be a tragic moment in Charles’ life. The way it’s depicted here, though, all gravitas is lost when laminated to this moment of blatant cock-sucking. Charles also sees a vision of Petra and Sway accusing him of murder.

Death by fire is orgasmic!

Except Petra and Sway actually look like their having fun. Perhaps they are singing karaoke? Dying is a party, especially when it involves a faux-lesbian dance. Land’s replay of Jean Grey’s tragic death made me LOL (then again, I have lol’d on the multiple occasions of Jean’s death).

Anal?

LAAAAND!!!! Jean Grey is not a porn-star! Jean Grey is the worst, and it amuses me to think her character “takes it from behind.” However, when I was a little boy reading the original story, this interpretation would not have occurred to me. And, really, a young kid doesn’t need to be prompted into thinking of this. While Jean Grey’s death could give a higher profile to sodomy, plausibly opening a few teenage minds about their closed orifices, I think there are some unhealthy side-effects to this kind of imagery.

Comic books make a mockery of death. Fictional characters come back over and over again. It’s like Nietzsche’s principle of eternal recurrence. The universe, according to Nietzsche, is eternal. We should treat life as if it is something that is going to happen to us in exactly the same way, on repeat. So, get it right the first time, — get out of first gear now — because you’re going to run through this routine infinitely. In the tee vee show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this was actually mined in an interesting way. Buffy was resurrected twice — both times against her will. She felt her sacrifice had been cheapened and that life had become mere show. Comic book resurrections of characters run them through the same dynamics for each new reading generation. Jean Grey has died 11 times? I will have to check some comic book forums to verify that number. Mike Carey is supposed to be writing Charles’ big redemptive wake-up call, but these pastiches of the deaths he’s caused completely undermine the narrative goal. It’s not just that something is lost in the tracing — porn is about faking the “little death,” — but a trace of something passes through the porn. Instead of seeing true death out of the corner of your eye, what comes through the trace is a fetish instead of the real thing. Cheap death passes through.


I actually felt something when I first read the deaths pictured above. Now all I can do is roll my eyes and flip the page a little harder than usual. Also, the story does not mark how ego-centric it is of Charles to blame himself for all these deaths. He’s not the center of the story! He’s just some fat ass who sat in a wheel-chair for twenty years and graded report cards!

No one dares fire THE Greg Land! An editor who refuses to give Land work should fear that he will trace their wife or daughter into his latest porn set-piece.

Back to the comic: Charles ends up winning the fight (as if that was ever in doubt). And nothing else happens. Oh, wait, there’s an epilogue. Rogue shows up again at the end. She’s been missing from comics for an eternity of two months. We close in on Australia, and in this action-packed scene, Rogue pumps gas.

Scott Eaton drew this scene, so all we get are Rogue’s blow-job lips. If Land had been given this page, she’d literally be blowing the guy. But, Rogue, listen to the gas station attendant. You can’t fly anymore. Buy an extra can of gas.

Carey is clearly CC’s successor in that he’s plotting for the long-term and isn’t fearful of boring readers. This epic story-line is plotted out for ‘at least’ the next twelve issues, and might continue onwards if he’s given the thumbs up.

Please, no thanks.