The New Hellfire Club--consisting of asshole-constant Sebastian Shaw, Motherfucking Face of Genosha Genocide Cassandra Nova, Perfection, and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (for reals, that's her name)--starts their major attacks on the pressure points of the X-Men, by enlisting the help of formerly reformed villain Emma Frost. She succeeds in utterly destroying the man she loves by digging deep into his insecurities, exposing his inadequacies in the most belittling way as possible and then, out of mercy and love, freaking stabs him with the mutant cure, which renders his powers moot. I'm assuming that's what happened, right, because how else are we to explain the fact that we can now see Scott Summer's beautiful (granted, lifeless) brown eyes? He's been cured.
And EVERYTHING CONTINUES TO FRACTURE HERE IN ISSUES #15-16 OF THE STORY ARC WITH A TITLE THAT ENCAPSULATES EVERYTHING IT IS: TORN.
Much like the Natalie Imbruglia song of the same name, I'm wide awake and I can see the perfect sky is TORN.
Of the four story arcs released by Whedon including this one so far, TORN is the best. I was a big fan of Dangerous, but no, TORN is the best which is why I will always refer to it here and in the foreseeable future using bold and underlined caplocks, preferably also attaching a .GIF image of the pop-rock song of the same name. In another related news, I'M SO FUCKING EXCITED TO BINGE-WATCH THE MOTION COMICS OF THIS SERIES BECAUSE GODDAMMIT THIS HAS BEEN SUCH AN ABSOLUTE PLEASURE AND DELIGHT THAT TYPING MY INTRODUCTION IN CAPS LOCK CAN CAPTURE HOW RIDICULOUSLY IN LOVE I AM RIGHT NOW WITH JOSS WHEDON'S WRITING FOR THE ASTONISHING X-MEN. Not since his fastidious work with the short-lived masterpiece Firefly did I feel like Joss Whedon is my lord and savior. If you've read this series yourself before I did, then you're my peeps and you're the choir I sing to. If you haven't, then wake the fuck up, sunshine, and pick up a copy somewhere. I don't care. Kill if you must. Sell your kidneys, whatever, as long as you acquire The Astonishing X-Men which you SHOULD BE READING NOW. Nothing is more important to a self-respecting X-Men fan than to read this.
I have two large boxes of McDonald's fries beside me as I write this review. So, here we go, let's talk about TORN some more.
THE ASTONISHING X-MEN ISSUES #15-16 "TORN" parts 3 & 4
- All of Whedon's arcs for AXM have been composed of six issues and TORN is no exception. We are now at the third and fourth installments and, honey, the twists and turns just keep on coming. The previous issue did a helluva job freaking me out because Emma is one stone-cold predator bitch (and a huge part of me still doesn't want to believe she's a bad person) and making me feel so very sad for Scott who is crushed by his self-doubt from the very beginning about almost everything; his leadership; his role in the X-Men; his relationship with Jean; his rivalry with Wolverine who is also Jean's love interest--he's been on the hinges for a very long time and a conversation with Emma brings that to a screeching halt when she 'frees' him by taking away the mutant powers which he had always seen as burden than blessing. With Scott de-powered, Emma rushes to the others, bearing a well-rehearsed single teardrop on her cheek, to inform them about what happened. The men, Logan and Peter, were eager to take care of a broken down Scott who much resembles this part of Imbruglia's lyrics:
- But Kitty--after looking at the well-kept bed where he is found--was immediately suspicious, especially since Emma describes that she and Scott went to bed together that night like usual, and she wakes up to find him already like that. So why the neat bedsheets, Emma? Kitty has never trusted the White Queen so she understandably hangs back behind to investigate. What she finds is Negasonic Teenage Warhead (WHO NAMED THIS BITCH?) whose mutant power is about...dreams and illusions? I don't know exactly what's her deal except that she looks like a horribly dressed goth chick. But she's powerful enough to mess with Kitty's phasing. So Kitty is essentially stuck phasing into solid surfaces so down, down, down she goes to the earth's deepest surfaces, unable to stop herself. Oh, Kitty. Didn't she get strapped into a giant meteorite thing one time as it hurls itself into the Earth? Damn. With Kitty out of commission, her boyfriend Peter is left alone with the still broken Scott. This is when Sebastian Shaw makes his timely appearance, goads Peter into a fight, and the poor thing bites.
- He forgets that Shaw absorbs kinetic energy so after he gets Peter worked up and all metal-raged, Shaw merely has to touch him and absorb all of that energy, rendering Peter unconscious as fuck as Scott looks on from a gurney somewhere, crying and helpless. Not a heroic way to be, slim. So what about Hank and Logan? The Beast and Wolverine's combined brains and brawn should be able to tip the scales better in their favor, right? Except, Cassandra Nova got to them. And Cassandra, as I stressed in my previous review, is a filthy cunt. Do you guys remember that sidestory concerning Beast's fear of devolving into an actual beast, and that we got a glimpse of it in issue #12 when he was chewing off Danger? Well...Nova takes credit for that. She basically shuts off Hank's higher human functions so the beast takes over, turning him into a mindless killing monster. And Wolverine, if you can believe it, gets the worse half of that manipulation because Nova turns him into a frightened, quivering pansy who gets chased around by Beast. It's the most emasculating thing you could ever do to a badass like Logan. I'm simultaneously appalled and impressed by Nova here which makes me want to run my entire body in hot water because actually admiring her even just a little bit makes my soul dirty. Also, this image of Wolverine looking like a sissy bitch:
- And so the Hellfire Club gathers around in the common room to celebrate their success. Everything is going according to plan. "Summers is a zombie. Pryde's a ghost. Rasputin is a victim of his own rage," Shaw proudly claims. Nova adds, "My two were simplicity itself. A beast who thought he was a man; and a frightened little boy who fancied himself a beast."
- Meanwhile, in outer space, Danger approaches the imprisoned Ord the Dumb-Dumb and proposes an alliance. Special Agents Brand and Maria Hill have a serious discussion on ethics and alien diplomatic immunity, and then one of Brand's helpers figured out the mutant who will be responsible in destroying the Breakworld in the prophesied future. I don't really care but by the next issue, this seemingly uninteresting B-story will come back and bite everyone in the ass including mine so stay tuned.
- Kitty remains undeterred, however: "Being an X-Man means a lot to me even though it doesn't always agree with me." She focuses on the fact that Peter is in danger and she's the only one who is left to kick Emma's ass. Once doing that, she got herself to stop phasing. And she's ready to face the White Queen once and for all.
- Issue #16 opens with Ord the Dumb-Dumb escaping S.W.O.R.D space headquarters. He has just learned the identity of the mutant who will destroy his planet in the future and needs to kill said mutant ASAP. Brand is deeply concerned about these proceedings, obviously. Back on Earth, Logan continues to be a pansy and Beast still wants to eat him. Young students Hisako and Blindfold try to help out. Kitty finally arrives back in the school just in time to see Logan be a wimp. The Hellfire Club, on the other hand, is about to get access into Xavier's 'manger' but even Emma's diamond-formed body can't break into it...which is where Kitty comes in. But Negasonic Teenage Warhead (whose name is a mouthful to this day) has already casts her down the earth's core. Luckily enough for them, Kitty is tougher than she looks, and she's right there to punch Emma in her goddamn pretty face which she does and I know for a fact that she's been dying to do that ever since meeting her for the first time.
- Thanks to the intel from scaredy Logan, Hisako and Blindfold, she quickly catches on whatever the hell is going down with the Hellfire Club. After she makes sure her beloved Peter is safe (and Scott is still a useless body on a gurney), she goes to confront the rest of the bad guys (but only after burying Emma somewhere under the school so the traitorous bitch could think about what she had done). The enigmatic hooded Perfection telepathically communicates with Emma that she's going to be fine down there, and that Perf is going to finish the job and handle Kitty herself. I've been dying to know who Perfection really is under that hood and when it was finally revealed, I was...speechless because it's no other than:
- Kitty had the perfect reaction, though, which I share a hundred-percent:
- The issue ends with Special Agent Brand and the rest of S.W.O.R.D hunting down Ord the Dumb-Dumb who is headed back to Earth (with Danger, his new ally). Ord the Dumb-Dumb is beyond reasoning now which isn't really new because he's always been a narrow-minded, insipid fucker who should have died before. But this is even better because, as it turns out, the identity of the Breakworld destroyer is no other than...COLOSSUS! Brand perfectly phrased it with the question: "What would you do if the one mutant destined to destroy your entire planet is the one you brought back to life?" BOOM! If y'all can remember, Peter was supposed to be dead because of his sacrifice to get rid of the Legacy Virus. But Ord the Dumb-Dumb resurrected him just so he can experiment on him for the mutant cure that Dr. Kavita Rao was working on. BUT THEN I suppose by torturing Colossus in all those months he kept him captive, Peter began to really hate him; hate him enough to destroy his planet. Look, Peter is a good kid, so I know if he does get around to destroying a planet, he must be under some kind of spell or manipulation (maybe Nova was controlling him? We all know that cunt loves genocides), but how awesome would it be that it was Ord the Dumb-Dumb who doomed his race in the first place? HAHA! That means that if he wasn't such a piece of shit then Breakworld never would have been destroyed. Look, I hate Ord. I just do. And if Breakworld gets obliterated then just let it happen. Having your planet named with the word "break" in it alone is already asking people to target it for annihilation so really, what's the big deal?
- In any case, we are now down to two remaining installments for TORN and I am just...ASDFGHJKL!!!!!