Friday, September 25, 2015

All-New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis #37-38

It's highly likely that I'm beginning to run out of things to say for this series. The only saving grace that could come out of it now is that the month is near its end which means I only have to finish until the special issue before I can finally move on to another series to review next. Each time I console myself with this simple fact, I start to feel a little bit better and even a little less guilty. It's hard to believe it has only been since the first of September that I was seemingly and irrevocably in love with Brian Michael Bendis' All-New X-Men; now I've grown weary and even distrustful of it and it's all because the stories that came after its big-event crossover Battle of the Atom were subpar, humiliatingly bland and often aimless to the point of perturbing bafflement. Its last arc about the OCF and Laura (X-23) being transported to the Ultimate world was okay but there was such promise to it that Bendis left sadly unfulfilled. Since then, I have no expectations anymore, not even sympathetic low ones. That is why these next two issues left me with nothing more but a blank expression in my face as I shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, it could have been worse." How worse, I'm not even certain myself. All I know is I'm not capable of fucks-giving anymore.

Once again possessing a deceptive cover, issue #37 was not about Bobby or Hank as depicted. It's actually about Jean Grey. Oh my god, get outta town! Jean motherfucking Grey AGAIN? Well, at least this time it was also about Emma Frost's tutelage and the artwork by Mike Del Mundo was a pretty interesting visual journey with uncanny color mixtures in the panels and certain choices of layouts that actually made me feel something akin to giddiness as I browsed through the illustrations. Here are some panels that I liked a lot. Look at the ironic background colors the artists chose to depict Emma (fiery red) and Jean (glittery white) with. Emma's insistence that Jean has no darkness in her and only light was also pretty moving. I'd like to think they're intimately sharing mindscapes at this point hence the seemingly contrasting color choices.

Now I mentioned quite a while back that I badly wanted to read something about Emma and Jean together. I got that in issue #30 when Emma telepathically taunts Jean with scandalous images of Emma and older Scott doing the nasty (something scathing should be said about a grown woman showing a teenage girl such decadent things but whatever--it was a bit titilating especially since the obvious rivalry tension between Ems and Jeanie can be slightly sapphic in a way). This time though, Emma was more...'teacher-ly' toward her...disturbingly so, especially when Ems would "boop" Jean on the nose and forehead with her finger while Ems is delivering a serious lecture on self-control regarding Jean's powers. In spite of Emma's unknowable intentions and creepily affectionate mixed with casual apathetic treatment of Jean for this issue, I thought they were pretty great as a duo together; each bringing a lot to the table when it comes to the discussion about telepathic abilities and the often disastrous repercussions of wielding such powers. Am I crazy or is Emma starting to genuinely like Jean right now?

It's safe to say that neither ever met an equal in their field let alone bond over their telepathic abilities. There was Xavier, sure, but he was a man, and it's really different when it's someone of your gender that you're sharing this delicate aspect with. I don't think neither Rachel Summers or Psylocke ever tried to be friends with the White Queen because Emma gives off that 'cold as ice' vibe which she reinforces by being a snarky bitch, and young Jean never had a female role model in her life until now that she can look up to and ask advice from (not counting Sue Richards in X-Men: First Class and Kitty Pryde in the earlier issues for ANXM). It's uncomfortable that Emma unwittingly volunteers for this role and I don't think either of them wants it; but it's, shall we say, a 'necessary evil'. I'd like to believe they can learn a thing or two from each other. I don't want to say "I hope" because every time I do, Bendis lets me down, but I want to see more Emma-Jean moments before I end my reviews for this ongoing series this month. It'd be a shame not to follow-up on such a promising venture. 

Issue #38 is Chapter Four for yet another Guardians with the Galaxy crossover. Once again, no fucks of mine are given, so let me just post this summary and I will let you figure it out yourself because I'm not going to bother since the issue itself is lacking and is established right in the middle of a storyline from another title I'm not even going to read EVER. The next issues (#39-40) are about this Black Vortex stuff too and I have no idea how the hell I'm going to come up with a review for that one nor am I thrilled to. It's like Bendis is purposefully being tone-deaf and thinks ANXM needs more craziness by pairing the OCF with some space team as if that isn't a recipe for disaster...the boring kind and not even the exciting one that I could look forward to. I mean, what am I reading here?:

The only good thing I can say about this issue is that teen SCOTT SUMMERS is back, y'all! Thank fuck for that at least.

ISSUE #38 is MEH

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