Friday, January 9, 2015

X-Men by Jim Lee issue #10 (1992)

In this issue, it finally makes sense to me why I should give a damn about Longshot and Dazzler because they were heavily featured for this. Back when their scenes were clumsily inserted during that forgettable four-issued debacle arc composed of Omega Red, Matsuo the Dipshit and lots of Wolverine torture, I could not help but nerd-rage about their portions because they were so disconnected from the main plot I'm already struggling to follow. Seriously, I wish I could take back the time I wasted reading that storyline. But this arc (only two issues long) is a charming piece both penned and illustrated by Jim Lee.

An entertaining allegory as well as a whimsical parody to Wizard of Oz, this was actually a pretty fun action-adventure story that immediately opens with Longshot waking up in a bedroom and then gets tossed around as the house he's inside in lands in a foreign land. Longshot as a male Dorothy makes the Kansas reference pretty quickly (and then questions what it means a beat after in a hilarious self-aware manner). He is pretty soon joined by Rogue, Cyclops and Wolverine who comically represent Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion respectively. It was just pure comedy gold, seeing Rogue's mouth and arms covered in metal because she asserts that kissing or touching her will kill people; Cyke rambling about why people should never ask him questions because he is stupid, and FUCKING WOLVERINE COWERING BEHIND CYCLOPS' BACK. It was unnatural seeing these characters acting as Oz characters in the most ridiculous sense.

To add more insult to injury, we also see Beast (the eloquent and intelligent Hank McCoy) become a verbally challenged buffoon (his beast-like qualities are exaggerated), and yet he still remains of superior intellect which was why hearing himself talk like a savage is very, very hurtful to him. AND THE FACT THAT HE IS THE DOG TOTO TO LONGSHOT'S DOROTHY. This is the very worst kind of opposite day and, I'm sorry, but I still can't get over the fact that Wolverine is a scaredy fucking cat now.

The issue wastes no time explaining to the readers that the X-Men are trapped in Mojo World where the Blob (this world's version is a fat monstrosity of epic proportions) brainwashes the gang into playing these roles for national television as a distorted reality show that the Blob hopes to gather high ratings from because every living creature in Mojo World loves 'em reality TV apparently especially when they are held against their will and have no other choice but to swallow the stupefying range of idiocy broadcasted to their TV sets. The Blob was able to create this nightmare land through Professor X whom he ties up so he can exploit the man's powerful telepathy. He has Gambit, Jubilee and Psylocke captive because these three will become the Flying Monkeys later on, much to their collective disgust and chagrin. For these scenes, I only want to point out three things:

FIRST: I am totally going to start using the word/phrase JUBILIATION in my succeeding reviews to express my dismay/annoyance about something in a story or characterization. Jim Lee himsef, in a tongue-on-cheek fashion, does point out that the X-Men members do seem to call out Jubilee using her full name every time she says or does something that gets under their nerves. So if you read me exclaiming 'Jubilation!", please also picture me with my first raised to the heavens while nerd-rage tears drip down my chubby cheeks.

SECOND: OH HELLS TO THE NO, Mr. Blob. You do not get to tie up Professor X and torture him. That's Magneto's fetish job. Seeing Charles being manipulated like that whilst being in bondage just doesn't sit right unless it's Mags doing it (Ha-ha! And here you thought I won't be making another Cherik slash reference. When it comes to making commentary regarding how much I actively ship these two men and their sadomasochistic "friendship", I shall never fail you. You can be rest assured of that).

THIRD: Once again, WHERE IS STORM AND JEAN GREY? Are they still playing a mean game of ping-pong with Bishop in the mansion? Did the three of the go out for ice cream right around the time Professor X and the X-Men were abducted by one of Blob's minions and transported to Mojo world along with Longshot and Dazzler? WHY ARE THESE TWO POWERFUL SUPERHEROINES KEEP GETTING THE SHORT END OF THE STICK, Claremont and Lee? Maybe they're the center of the action for The Uncanny X-Men title. I'm not reading those Claremont issues right now but it's possible that those gals are having their own side-adventures (spin-off).

There are so many amazing comedic moments for this issue that truly brightened my day (I woke up rather late in the afternoon and was on my way to work when I decided to read this in the car ride). I love Beast growling and speaking poorly even though he is the only one who can rationalize the scenarios they are in. I love that Wolverine is actually afraid of Jubilee chasing him around with her fireworks. I love that Gambit, Psylocke and Jubilee have fucking bat-wings and are attacking their friends in the most ridiculously drawn action sequences that again remind me that I'm reading a goddamn cheesy comic book. The heart of this adventure are the lovers Longshot and Dazzler who are separated tragically and are both trying to find a way back to each other. If the X-Men are the rest of the cast in Lost then you can say Longshot and Dazzler are Desmond and Penny. I think they're actually an endearing couple. You want them to get reunited no matter what.

Let's just move on to the final installment of this beautiful mess of a storyline, shall we?


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