Thursday, March 12, 2015

X-Men: Excalibur III by Chris Claremont issue #5

Food Fight is a weird title for a story arc and it doesn't even mean anything at all. Maybe I was merely thinking in literal terms but as soon as I finished this arc, the title still didn't apply. Anyway, I'm not about to get stuck on this minor detail especially when this issue was such a puzzlingly hilarious one because of the odd moments that occurred in between that I know are worth screencap-ping and posting here later.

The issue starts with a bunch of troll-thieves bombing places in Genosha. And then we get Charles Xavier waking up in the middle of a barely peaceful slumber, plagued by his guilty conscience and whatnot. It's worth mentioning (because it's going to play out for the rest of the arc) that Charles is TOPLESS AND WEARING MAGENTA/PINK BOXERS. It's pretty much hard to take him seriously at times. This is a recurring theme later in the issues too that I'm literally already going, "Can somebody please put some clothes on him?". Look, Xavier is pretty ripped these days but it's so ridiculous that NONE OF THE CHARACTERS ever addressed his semi-nudity, not even crack a joke about it. It's like they're all so preoccupied with their bullshit that a paraplegic topless bald dude isn't alarming enough to take notice. NOT EVEN FREAKING ERIK SAYS ANYTHING. But I know better--he's probably loving the view, the big old perv.

ANWAY! Charles leaves his bed and climbs back into his wheelchair and makes telepathic contact with the X-Men he left in New York. Now these X-Men are the new batch, not the ones I grew up with, and he feels very responsible for them because he hasn't trained them himself, and has yet to even bother making any meaningful relationships with any of these mutants. I suppose he feels as if he's become a failure of a teacher because of that. One of these kids were honest enough to point out during the telepathic conversation that he wished Charles would have told them why he left and where he was going. That is the first sign of trust and it looks like neither the professor or these mutants have that. Kindda sad.

I liked that moment when Charles acknowledged that "Secrets come naturally to me" because that has always been his greatest flaw as a character, I believe. Nurturing, optimistic and dreamer to a fault, yes. But Charles can also be a deceiver by nature, often withholding certain truths even and especially from his loved ones. Sure, Erik is the outright aggressive force of assholery between the two but Charles is manipulative in a way that even he can justify to himself that he is only doing it because of the best of intentions. That maybe makes a difference but he still ends up hurting people in the end. Now Erik might be damaged goods but Charles is nearly just as broken when it comes to his own interpersonal relationships. That's why they have so much sympathy and compassion for each other; Charles knows Erik only desires to establish what he had lost a long time ago: a sense of family where no one is prejudiced against or abandoned ever again. Erik, meanwhile, understands that underneath his pacifist ways and ready forgiveness, Charles wants something more grounded than his unachievable ideals; something or someone he knows is constant and will always make sense to him alone. Erik may baffle and repulse people in general but Charles takes comfort in the fact that he's the only person willing to see beyond the shades of dark to glimpse the light in his friend, and Erik allows this because Charles is the family who never judges him and makes him feel loved.

That's why we get this beautiful fucking quote:

Wait, can we back up a minute there? Did he just--?

Bookends? SAME SOUL? I mean, WHO SAYS THAT TO THEIR SUPPOSEDLY MALE FRIEND IF THEY'RE NOT IN LOVE IN THE FIRST PLACE? No amount of white-washing after this series is ever gonna convince me that Professor X and Magneto's relationship is SIMPLY PLATONIC. Fuck that shit, I mean Charles basically says they're SOULMATES! This is coming from a guy who is still hallucinating his ex-fiancée and who has had a long-time relationship with an alien empress from outer space! And yet even after all that, it's Magneto/Erik WHO ULTIMATELY AND UNDENIABLY COMPLETES HIM. He's the OTHER BOOKEND OF HIS SOUL!!!!


Cherik declares, "Yup, we totes are in love! Cheers!"
ANYWAY! Shit happens when a bunch of thieves invaded the honeymoon suite house and holds them prisoners. Before that, Charles (STILL TOPLESS AND SPORTING MAGENTA BOXERS) receives a painful vision and crashes to the ground. Callisto helps him up (CARRIES HIM WITH HER TENTACLE ARMS LIKE HE'S A GODDAMN PRINCESS) and they have a chat. That was when they were attacked. Callisto anticipates this somehow and hides some sort of device behind Charles' but not before she does THE MOST CLICHE TACTIC EVER DONE IN ANYTHING: she FAKE-KISSES HIM IN THE MOUTH. Oh, my stars and garters and Jesus fuck, it was so awkward!

Totally unnecessary. She only did it because who can resist a bald man in pink boxers?
And where is Charles' husband when this happened?

Why, Erik is READING A BOOK TO THE OMEGA SENTINEL Karima, of course! And I don't think it's a storybook fairy-tale which WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER, actually. I feel like it's some sort of historical novel (by Kipling) which is badass nocturnal reading material, actually. I hope I had a daddy Magneto reading me tales of social struggle, class conflict and political ideology when I go to bed each night.

 I mean--be honest--don't we all want that?


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