Tuesday, September 8, 2015

All-New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis #11

Eleven is my favorite number and this stems from the fact that I had a lot of groundbreaking and painful experiences around that age. Consequently, Matt Smith as the Doctor became my instant favorite, and it just so happened that he was introduced as the Eleventh once Steven Moffat took over the BBC sci-fi show. These inane coincidences always make me giddy, and now it has happened again with this clusterfuck issue numbered eleventh as well. As a summary, all I can really say is: "HOLYSHIT AWESOMESAUCE!!"

Last issue: Present-day Cyclops is the leader of a new radical mutant movement where a revolution is a necessity that calls for his species' prosperity regardless of the human factor that would play into it. By his side are his on-and-off paramour Emma Frost, the White Queen and formidable telepath; the dark-magic-wielding enchantress Illyanna also known as Magik; and his enemy-turned-ally Erik Lehnsherr, the mutant terrorist infamously known as Magneto. Basically, the perfect dream team, amirite? It's a comforting thought.

So these awesome assholes crashed the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning but not because they want to be dicks--well, maybe just Cyke. He was there to inform any young hopefuls that their dream team (I will now sarcastically refer to them from now on as the "Dream Team") is recruiting, and it would be in their best interest if they join the crusade. Understandably, the more seasoned X-Men like Wolverine, Kitty Pryde and Storm are upset about this, given that the man whom they used to call friend and leader just murdered their beloved mentor, Charles Xavier, back when Cyke was possessed by the Phoenix Force. Cyke makes no half-hearted apologies and simply states that "Y'all know if I was in my right state of mind, I ain't have killed the Prof, yo". Well, not in those words exactly but you get the gist.

The OCF (Original Core Five) just stood there, absolutely horrified and dumbfounded as the Dream Team stated their objective and a few words were exchanged between Cyke and Beast, and then Beast and young Scott, and then finally Scott and Scott which were all insightful dialogue exchanges. The only people who joined the recruitment were Emma's creepy triplet apprentices whom no one is going to miss anyway. As Cyke gives some last-call announcement, an unexpected individual steps into the spotlight and declares that he will join the Dream Team.


I've guessed that he would turncoat like this. Well, not so much as turncoat but more of doing something reckless so he can express his objection, apathy and slight anger towards his friends by completely joining the dark side just so he can make a statement. Most importantly, it was his decision to make. He was out-voted by his other comrades regarding their stay here in the present timeline and after meeting his amnesiac future self, Warren understood that he is not having any more of this twisted shit. If he can't go home, he sure as hell won't be staying in a place where he is not uncomfortable to be a part of. Sadly, as sure as everything else, Warren once again feels 'misplaced' which is essentially this character's central conflict from the very beginning. It's not that he wants to join Cyke because he believes in his bullshit (in fact, Warren stated bluntly that both sides are spewing nonsense but he preferred Cyke's nonsense better because it was honest at least), but it's more likely because Warren WANTS TO HAVE THE FREE WILL TO CHOOSE BY HIMSELF, something which was tragically robbed from him by no other than Jean Grey from issue #7 who telepathically prevented him from using the time cube so he can go home. 

To demonstrate this tyrannical bitchiness, Jean ONCE AGAIN uses telepathy to basically ground Warren so he can go to his room. What happened afterwards did not go well, of course. I mean, srsly, Jeanie, WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Needs to be asked twice in one breath..
Since Jean refused to listen to Kitty, Emma herself who is a telepath felt the need to teach the young Jean a lesson on privacy and free will. So she ordered her apprentices to dig into Jean's mind and punish her for her insolence. And yeah, that's when things get really messed up in a way only an X-Men story can get messed up. BEHOLD THE CLUSTERFUCKNESS:

...anyone still breathing normally after reading that? Yeah, ME NEITHER!

And can you imagine how pissed (more so) Jean is going to be once she discovers that Emma Frost (the woman who tried to murder her mind) was..is..kind of (?)..Scott's present squeeze? At this point, she was unable to read Emma's mind and I don't think anyone would tell her about the relationship but pretty soon it will come up during casual conversation or when Jean decides to spy on people's thoughts again. In any case, I want more of these soap-opera twists and turns. I live for moments like this in X-Men stories, you know. I don't think this will be the last Jean vs. Emma duel for this series. Don't be a baby. You know you want it to happen again as well!

In any case, Warren says "Fuck y'all especially you Jeanie!" and disappears with the rest of the Dream Team. Kitty gets mad at Beast and Beast can only console himself by seeking affirmation that his decision was right by talking to his younger self who at least had his back. It's interesting to see how both versions of Scott and Hank are dealing with this crisis and I think the four of them should sit together in a room and really hash all their angst and issues with one another because man, that would be some engrossing material right there because there are so many things they all want to say to each other and preferably there'd be a little violence in that too. I'm sorry, I know I sound like a vulture right now but I just find every conflict for this series so delicious and complex and I can't help myself!

ANYWAY...we get yet another wonderful scene between young Jean and Kitty Pryde and I think this is their best moment yet. Kitty has shown that she is the person to fill the missing role of Charles Xavier when it comes to guiding the OCF especially a troubled, teenage Jean who is burdened with all the adult memories of her future self, as well as her massive powers she has no idea how to channel in a healthy and progressive way. Jean is scared shitless, and she has every right to be, but Kitty was adamant to scold her and make her see the error of her ways. I loved that piece of dialogue in the middle when she told Jean that she can't put Jean before the school and its students, even if the school itself is named after her. That shamed and humbled Jean all at once. She may have been an inspiring force in the future but right now she's a hot mess that needs to prove to everyone she can deal with her shit maturely, and has got to stop resorting to using telepathy willy-nilly every time she hates something and feels the need to control it...usually, involving the violation of a person's free will.

I think this is a matter of Jean doing as Charles Xavier says and not do what he does. Because, if we're going to be brutally honest, Charles himself does manipulate students via telepathy and has blatantly done so on several occasions before, and so he's kind of a hypocrite every time he preaches self-control and respect over people's free wills. The man never claimed to be a saint though. He does whatever is necessary to protect his students even from themselves...and Jean must learn to do the same. Good thing she has Kitty by her side.

Elsewhere, Mystique continues to cause trouble. She poses as Pepper Pots at some point to blow something up, and now the Avengers are involved. Captain America, Thor, Scarlet Witch and Havok appeared before the OCF as the OCF, accompanied by Kitty, decides to intervene Mystique's plans and help out. The next issue is guaranteed to be just as crazy and suspenseful because Jean, though she promised Kitty to be good, just can't help her fucking self and once again reads a certain Avenger's mind and the contents are...pretty upsetting for her.

But hey! I'm getting ahead of myself. This issue is so awesome it deserves a perfect score.


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