Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

I'm back! And reading! And maybe even blogging! No promises!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Rant Inspired By Livejournal.

I just went on a twitter rampage in response to a retweeted quote from Parsimonia's blog. (I'm linking the post itself so you can see context and because her original point is definitely worthy of consideration. But you know me, I have to harp.)

Anyway, I thought I'd record the gist of my comments here. Mostly because I (of course) think I have good points. But I don't really want to flood her comments section with something largely tangential to her main topic.

The quote:

You cannot find meaningful female or minority characters prior to the Bronze Age. So the obsession with nostalgia over the Silver and Golden Ages, by its nature, is exclusionary to women and minorities.

And I say, bullshit to that particular part. (the full comment is here.)

I won't argue with the rest of her comment. (Hell, Geoforce sucks.) But the idea that there are NO Silver/Golden Age women or minority characters. That's incredibly blanketly wrong.

Off the top of my head:

Golden Age: Black Canary, Wonder Woman, the Cat/Catwoman
Silver Age: Jean Grey, Sue Storm, Sharon Carter, Jan Van Dyne, the Scarlet Witch, Black Widow

I'm shakier with non-white characters, I admit, but Sam Wilson, Tom Kalmaku, Black Panther

And depending on when you start the Bronze Age: Luke Cage, Storm, Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost count too.

I'm not saying this is a significant portion, mind. Or that straight white male heroes don't vastly out number women or minority heroes in that time. But to say they don't exist is offensive.

Sure, there are problematic aspects. And that can turn a lot of modern readers off. But that's not a reason to negate them. And sometimes, what we see as problem was actually progressive.

Sharon Carter for instance kept denying Steve's marriage proposals because she wanted to remain Nick Fury's superspy. Yeah, okay: problems: mini-skirts, fainting, thinking that she has to choose between career and marriage.

But she still got to be competent, kickass, and hell, she CHOSE career over marriage. Not fucking bad for the 1960s.

Jean Grey had her problems in execution, sure. Needed Xavier to walk her through simple tasks. Mooned over Cyclops but wouldn't confront him. But she was actually able to knock aside over friendly guys at a time when good girls were expected to put up with shit. She was competent, smart, and was the first of them to go off to a real college even.

Jan Van Dyne and Sue Storm I admit to being shakier on. But Jan WAS part of the rotated-chairmanship run of the Avengers and led the team quite well.

(And please note, everything I mentioned happened IN the Silver Age comics, they're not modern day inventions.)

And that's ignoring all the development and enhancement the ladies have been through since.

I also think nostalgia can open doors to wider variety. For example, JSA's nostalgia allowed for modern successors to white male heroes in the form of Michael Holt or Courtney Whitmore. And it shouldn't be ignored for that either. That's like to me the epitome of what nostalgia SHOULD bring us. The characters that pushed their way through a creative environment/time where they weren't necessarily welcome without serious problem, and the new characters inspired by them.

Rant aside, I do recommend that you read Parsimonia's post with regards to women as comics creators. (Her point about big crossovers is particularly good. I might just be naive, but I'd like to think Gail Simone wouldn't have made Diana a Star Sapphire.)

(Edited to add: Bluefall clarifies what she means by meaningful here.

I guess she and I just definitely have incompatible definitions of meaningful, because I'm having trouble seeing how the woman who's simultaneously Hal Jordan's love interest, boss (career woman AND owner of her own airfield), Star Sapphire (parallel counterpart, main adversary, and chosen queen of a race of intergalactic Amazons) isn't meaningful.

It'd be like saying Lois Lane or Catwoman were never meaningful characters. Oh. Wait. Sorry.

Really though, I have sincere doubts in the perspective of anyone who would claim that Jean Grey isn't a meaningful character simply because she was the X-Men's token girl.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

An Aimless X-Men Animated Series Hate Rant

I realize that I've been pretty much blogging steadily about X-Men for like close to a month now. I DO intend to blog about other things eventually, but I'm having fun with it. Also, I got to thinking about something:

I hate the 90s X-Men cartoon with a passion.

I mean, I shouldn't. Like many people my age, it was my first exposure to the characters. And I have to admit that they haven't done a terrible job in translating like ten issue long storyarcs to a couple of episodes (though I still say they lost a lot of the nuance/emotion in the process.) And the voice acting was no worse than most 90s shows.

But it made a generation of girls inexplicably adore Gambit and I can't forgive that.

I mean really, most female fans I know who like Gambit like him because they saw him in the cartoon first. And granted, the cartoon version is slightly more tolerable than the comics version, but he's still annoying as get out.

Actually though, what I really hate is what the show did to poor Jean Grey. I was really surprised when I started to read X-comics and realized I actually LIKED Jean. A lot. She's reasonably calm, competent, and generally nice, sure. But she's also got a pretty nasty temper. She's got bitchy moments. She's got self-centered moments (a LOT of them). She's got flaws and she's got fire. And that's awesome!

But the cartoon version was just so BORING. The voice acting didn't help what with the slow, ponderous way she talked, which leeched all personality out of her. She basically was more memorable as a cypher for Scott to have boring dates with and Wolverine to moon over. Even the Dark Phoenix arc, which should have been AWESOME was pretty boring. Yeesh. (Granted: better than the movie!)

Wolverine was also botched. But I can't be too irked about that, because he's botched the same way he always is. Every non-comic medium plays up his sheer and utter badassery, ignoring the fact that in the comics...well, he kind of sucks! He loses more fights than he actually wins! But in every other version, he's a total badass. SCOFF!

Also there was the point in the Morlock episode where he contemplated killing an unconscious Scott, and well. Look. I bitch about the guy a lot. But he's SUPPOSED to be an honorable fellow. It's like one of his core characteristics! It was kind of funny that he decided not to kill him because it'd make Jean cry, but REALLY now.

Though I did like the WWII flashback crossover with Cap. Because holy christ, Wolverine was the WORST SPY EVER. So utterly incompetent. Also, it had an unlabeled Howling Commando cameo and that was awesome.

There WERE some good portrayals though: I can't complain about Jubilee, Beast, Nightcrawler, Rogue (though she was dim enough to give Cyclops CPR. Even granting the energy drain didn't kill him, she ended up with uncontrollable eye beams slowing down her ability to get him to help. Dipshit.)

Cyclops was basically a block of wood, but that IS a legitimate aspect of his personality, so I won't bitch about that. Besides, even as a kid I liked him best. :-) (I like 'em uptight!) And Xavier wasn't enough of a bastard, but it's a kid show, so I'll go with it.

The show also adapted comic arcs in ways that somehow LOST all emotional impact. I mean, take the Morlock story. I don't disapprove of replacing Warren with Scott (as Scott really is the closest to a man-pretty character in the regular animated cast) but so much nuance and triumph in Storm's victory is lost! Or Cyclops's (first, not the one I keep linking) confrontation with Corsair! They took a fairly decently written (if rife with Claremontian dialogue) conflict and reduced it to a half hour of Scott shouting.

And don't get me STARTED on the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix arc. Hmph.

I do suppose it was a good and effective means to intro new fans to the comic series, but I can never forgive a series that makes Jean boring and Gambit actually appealing! Ick!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Summers Family is still kind of fucked up:

This panel is from Uncanny X-Men #391, in which we see some long overdue Summers family bonding. And also, Corsair is still a dick.

(Click to enlarge, naturally.)

Aww, it's kind of cute. In a dysfunctional, too macho or repressed to come out and say 'I love you' kind of way. Though: "if it never comes up again"? REALLY? Never again? You are such a CRAP father, Corsair.

And that's not even counting the fact that he can backhand his kid to the ground but can't HUG him. Fucker.

Corsair had better get resurrected, damnit, if only so I can see him get his ass kicked but good.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Well, I wouldn't read it, but...

Apparently there's a Twilight comic. (I'm one of those pretentious types that doesn't like to use the word "manga" for any comic not from Japan. :-P)

Twilight pretty much is a shoujo manga already though, so it's not surprising. It's not to my taste, but well, I prefer my men in spandex and punching each other rather than sparkling in the sunlight.

But hey, I'm all for getting more young girls to read comics, and vampires are a good gateway drug. I wish they were BETTER vampires. But as mentioned before, I'm a snob. :-)

Vampires are overrated anyway. Robots are where it's AT!

(And I stole the link from Yet Another Comics Blog.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Because I'm not bored of this yet

Okay, well, this page isn't a sex scene per se. But it popped up when I was reading a comic for other reasons, (mostly to see if Sinister in love is as creepy as everything else he ever does, short answer: yes) and I thought it made a good illustrator to my long-running point that, well, Jean's totally the top in that relationship.

This is from the 1995 X-Men Annual.

Scott misses the point

Once more, you have the old friends leaving so as not to vagina-block the (almost?) married couple.

And once more, Scott completely misses all signals. Yes, Scott, dressed like that and leaning in like that, and talking like that, she totally wants to CLEAN right now.

I'm honestly starting to wonder if a lot of the problem isn't just that, between the brain damage, being raised by a succession of Sinister/Jack Winters/Charles Xavier, the guy never learned any courtship cues. Or if he does, they're probably of the type that's either decades out of date or more likely to get you arrested.

Fortunately, Jean's long since learned that if anything's going to get done, she's got to be the aggressor. When he inevitably misunderstands her comment about bringing down the house and starts looking for a sledgehammer, she'll totally tackle him to the ground. That's my prediction.

I suppose this could also go under one of the many reasons Scott Summers needs therapy: out in the secluded woods, amorous fiancee/wife (I don't remember if they're married at this point), friends off pointedly giving them space, and all the man wants to do is clean. Tsk.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Request for Recs!

As you've probably figured out, I've been spending all my time drowning my last semester angst in X-Men comics. But I'm thinking, I need a break.

Specifically a DINOSAUR break. Which means I really really want to read a comic with dinosaurs.

And I have NO IDEA what's good. So, um. Recommend me? Please?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wherein I am a creepy comic geek:

So, anyway, I've kind of accidently committed myself to a post dissecting Scott Summers and Jean Grey's sex life (namely, he's totally the submissive). Because I'm that kind of comic book geek. The creepy kind. Yeah, I know. Anyway, it's probably gonna take me a while to track down sex scenes, so I'll do one now, and maybe do others as the whim arises.

So the first one is the chronologically earliest one I could find: the plateau sex in the Dark Phoenix Saga.

Of course, there's some weirdness in the fact that I'm not sure it counts as "Jean", but well, she thinks she's Jean so...close enough? The writers thought she was Jean at the time, at least?

So background: Hellfire club's acting up and Cyclops goes against Xavier's plan and takes the team to Warren Worthington to find out more info. He and Warren have a pow-wow on top of a plateau that unfortunately for me involves them wearing clothes. Happily for me, Jean comes around to change that.

Click to enlarge.

There are many things to love about this page. First the fact that Warren is clearly leaving to avoid cockblocking (vagina-blocking?) his friend. And I don't mean Scott, because he has no idea what's going on. Jean's all "I'll be hanging the sock on the door anytime now, kthx bye."

I also particularly enjoy how Scott reacts like a startled virgin as soon as Jean reaches for the visor. It's all "Why I never! You cad! Remove your hands from there, this instant!" But then Jean makes all high school boys on prom night proud by reassuring her boyfriend and finally getting it on.

Molecular rearrangement'll be useful for bondage.

Speaking of bondage, there's an interesting component there with her holding back his powers like that. Kinky.

Anyway, that's it for the sex scene initially, BUT the next issue quickly invokes a flashback.

Apparently Scott finds the Hellfire club's spare S&M hood to be a memory jogger. I'm just saying a) the Hellfire club is kinky, and b) so are they.

And then of course we get to see Jean initiate their mental bond:

1) Revisiting the whole high school boy on his prom-date thing, Jean's dialogue really sounds very much like a "Can we go all the way? I mean, if you're okay with it. I mean, you know...I'll understand if you say no."

2) Just in case the gender dynamic reversal involved in the penetrative aspect of her telepathy is lost on us, notice how the depiction of the energy is totally phallic.

Which kind of fits with my other post. His brain is totally a vagina dentata. Awesome.

On a (slightly) more serious note, the couple really is interesting to analyze in terms of gender dynamics (tell me, for example, the whole Jean-Scott-Emma confrontation isn't totally business man coming home to find his wife sleeping with the mailman. As a stereotype: unfaithful husbands tend to go OUT when they cheat, unfaithful wives tend to cheat at home.) and not-quite-acknowledged kinky BDSM potential.

And really, if you think about it, pegging is a lot easier with telekinesis.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shades of Grey: My Rambling Opinion about Cyclops's Current Characterization

So, I was talking about a crazy fan theory on twitter and the subject of Cyclops's current characterization came up (specifically the whole X-Force, assassin squad thing), and I decided it'd make a good blog post because unlike most people I know, I actually like the development.

Of course I'm not saying all the writing was great mind you (especially in X-Force itself) but I still like the development on an overall level.

I like it because, in a sense, it (like Whedon's Astonishing X-Men did as well, Nation X too) really gets into what place the mutants have in the Marvel Universe and how to deal with it.

Astonishing for example actually brought up the fact that superheroes, and even mutants on the Avenger teams, are/were (pre Civil War) actually pretty accepted by the general populace. They're recognizeable, accountable, and the people have gotten to know them. For all of Xavier's grand speeches, he never seemed to realize that a mutant army that popped up out of nowhere and disappeared leaving destruction behind was not going to do anything more than terrorize the "normal" populace of the Marvel Universe. And over the "ten" (or forty) years that the X-Men have existed, things have only gotten worse rather than better. And while not all of that is Xavier's fault, a lot of that is.

Now of course, given Wanda's bit of mojo and the chaos of Civil War, and Hammer and all that, the old tactics are even less workable. There are what? 250 active mutants total? Something around that number? And the government outright declared war on them. Which means that the mutants have to take extreme measures to ensure their survival. And when survival's at stake, sometimes conventional morality has to give.

I've seen the argument that the stuff with X-Force is out of character for Cyclops, who's generally one of the most moral of the X-Men (for example, he was strongly against killing Wanda in House of M, when even Xavier was ambivalent). And well, that's kind of the point. Because the consequences of Wanda's actions, and Civil War, and Hammer, and all that aren't getting swept under the rug. We're actually seeing the consequences here. These decisions HAVE to be made, and some heroes can't really BE heroes anymore. Desperate times, desperate measures. They need a team who can make the hard calls and take out the enemies that need taking out anymore. They can't afford to be nice anymore.

And it's Cyclops making the call because, well, he's the leader right now. But also because it means something. If Emma's the one scheming and sacrificing, weighing lives and sending strike forces, it doesn't have the same impact. Emma's kind of a bitch, after all. She might be a good guy now, but she's never been portrayed as a character who'd shy away from a "whatever is necessary" mentality. She might be willing to do it even if the circumstances weren't so dire. Magneto's similar, provided he's sane enough to make that call. Cable, if he's in the present, well, let's face it, Cable's done a LOT worse under less provocation. And Xavier, well, for all his good press, is kind of a manipulative son of a bitch.

So Scott's our sacrificial lamb. Because as much as he's a prick, more than a bit crazy, a lot more devious than he gets credit for, and keeps fucking up his interpersonal relationships, he's also CYCLOPS. He's probably the closest thing that the X-Men have to a Lawful Good type character.

And now he's kind of Lawful Neutral. And it's a tragedy. And I think it's supposed to be.

But I also don't think he's being dragged through the mud just for the sake of the story either. Or at least, I actually think the change fits the long term growth of the character, and has been building for a long time.

I mean the poor guy's got the kind of origin story that makes serial killers, a power that makes him unable to be anything BUT a weapon, and pretty much barreled from evil father figure-trying to use him as a weapon to evil father figure-trying to use him as a weapon before getting saved by Xavier...who promptly set him up in charge of his mutant army. And for all that, he manages to be a fairly upstanding, moral guy. With periods of varied stability and assholishness, granted, but still pretty steady. And by the late nineties, he'd pretty much gotten as settled as he was going to get. He was married to the woman he loved, comfortable in his leadership position, right hand man to the best of his father figures. Heck, he even had kids who were alive and...sorta well. Or at least improving.

And then the whole Apocalypse thing kind of shot that all to hell. And then when THAT was getting settled, Jean was dead again. That's kind of a key element because Jean was always fairly good at providing a perspective he lacked. She was a symbol of everything good, but also as a character was more than willing to bitch him out when he looked like he was going to cross a line. It's a role that Emma can't QUITE manage, as much as they love each other, because she's a lot more of a ends justify the means kind of character. It's possible maybe that if Jean were still alive, Scott would not be where he is today. But who knows.

However, he was still doing pretty well once they restarted the school. A bit darker, a bit snarkier, a bit more openly crazy, but still functioning. But then there are the two events that I think really brought the change about. That turned him into someone who WOULD set up an assassin team for the good of the mutant race.

The first was Wanda's Edict. Mutants went from being a fairly populous, growing subset of humanity, to numbering to barely more than some high school graduating classes. That's a huge deal. Overnight extinction. It's what led to a lot of the changes that started setting up the X-Men and surviving mutants as more of a unified, if very tiny, nation than what they were.

But I think the real key was in Messiah Complex. And the two important things that happened at the end of that: 1) giving the baby Hope to Cable, (explicitly referencing his own failures with Nathan in the process), and 2) seeing Charles Xavier get shot in the head and "die".

And those two events are the real triggers, I think. As much as Charles and Scott had fallen out at that point, he was still the closest thing he had to a father. And he "died" not two SECONDS after Nathan and Hope disappeared to parts and times unknown with a LOT of would be killers on their trail. And that's when I think he snapped.

We knew he would die for his family, and now we know he'll kill for them too. X-Force isn't just a mutant assassin strikeforce, they were also incorporated into Scott's increasingly machiavellian attempts to save his son's life. And it's kind of understandable, really. And of course, then you get the fun of Hammer and Exodus, and the desperate measure that was founding Utopia, along with a benevolent generalissimo-type dictator that even Magneto can admire. (And why not? He might be crazy, but the mutants are still alive to complain.)

So right now, I actually think the characterization makes sense. It's not always the best written (I'd have liked to see a lot more second thoughts/doubts in X-Force for example, but they have been covered elsewhere), but it works for me. And it isn't the end either. Scott's gone a bit dark and that's awful for him, but he's salvageable. If Hope grows up and Nathan returns. Or if they manage to reverse Wanda's edict. Or hell, probably even if Xavier would actually get up off his ass and be a damn FATHER as opposed to complaining waspishly about how he never taught Scott to see people as collateral (shut the hell up, Xavier), that might help too.

(On a tangential note: Hank's departure bothered me. Not because he was mad about the getting tortured during Utopia thing, as that's understandable, even if it didn't seem like Scott had much of a choice. But that he answers it by going with Abby Brand, who much as I like her DID know that the Breakworlders had Colossus for months, if not years. JUST a tad hypocritical, man.)

But yeah, I'm actually enjoying it. I want to see where it goes from here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Belated Responses to Green Lantern movie news/rumors

I have no idea who Blake Lively is, but I'm kind of sad that one of the best mid thirties/forties DC heroines is being played by someone so young. But I suppose that's Hollywood for you. I just hope the girl can pull off something appropriately bitchy. :-) She might look more appropriate with a good dye job. Or it could be Kate Bosworth all over again. At least I can bitch about it.

I've also heard a rumor they're going with Emerald Dawn as an origin story. I'm hoping that's not true, because well, it never really appealed to me. Hal's got more than enough flaws without adding more. Though I might enjoy if they shoved in a Guy Gardner-as-social-worker cameo. But well, I'll live if the movie's good. :-)

It could be pretty interesting.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Reason #866 why Scott Summers needs therapy

I love the Ghost Boxes issues of Ellis's Astonishing X-Men. Partially because, well, dude, Steampunk AU. But also because it gives me something else to mock about my favorite X-Men character. Basically, it's yet another reason why he needs therapy.

Granted, it's from an AU, but it's one of those "what if it ended differently" AUs so the characterization counts. (This kind of thing is actually why I prefer the term "canon" to "continuity" unlike a lot of people. Because it allows for this kind of non-continuity characterization, but I digress.)

Okay, here it is:


Do you see it yet?

It's not actually the suicidal intent. Because let's face it, it's very possible that given the batshitness that is his life already, a sane man would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.

If you don't see it, this page shows it better:

tarp full page

There's a TARP.

He put out a TARP to commit SUICIDE.

It's even better when you realize that according to the story, the mansion is (again) in ruins and EVERY OTHER X-Man is dead.

So there's really no one to get stuck cleaning up the mess. But Scott is still very considerate like that.

I also like the poetry about how, ultimately, the tarp is futile. Blowing off your own head with a giant crystal causes far too much blood for one tarp to stop. :-( Tragic symbolism!

Still. I never laughed so hard at a sad story as when I realized the guy put out a fucking TARP.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Personal Update

Wow. I've been really slacking with the posting this week. But then, first week of school is like that. And I've been way too lazy to actually work on the posts I have lined up in my quagmire of a brain. (Most of them are X-Men related, because I can. I'm torn between a retrospective of many many times Xavier's been an asshole during the original five run, Bobby Drake's tendency toward sociopathy, or how Scott Summers is totally the woman during the Dark Phoenix Saga.

I mean, I'll do them ALL eventually, but I'm way too lazy to be scanning/chopping that many panels right this minute.

On the plus side, I got my grades back. Passed everything! And have started with the new classes, which are fun. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Something I'd Noticed.

It occurred to me that I never blogged about something I discovered while watching way too many Top Chef episodes in a row during Winter Break. (I did twitter it, but what the heck.)

And that's that the Voltaggio brothers are totally the Summers brothers, if they were cooks instead of mutants.

I mean one's uptight and a bit robotic. One's a hot-tempered maverick who's kind of a jackass. And then they fight crime make food! While bickering!

It's vastly entertaining, actually.

Monday, January 11, 2010


You know, I'd heard about the A-Team movie, but somehow I'd managed to miss the fact that Liam Neeson was playing Hannibal Smith.


Liam Neeson?

All the other casting looks fine, but Liam Neeson?

It might end up being very good, but it still seems like a very weird choice to me.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Just Call Him Alcatraz?

I was just re-reading a Search for Cyclops (good beginning, kind of disappointing ending, I mean really, there could have been a much more awesome Cable+Jean vs. Apocalypse!Scott battle than THAT) and had a thought.

Well two, really. But the first one ("Um dude, was Cable really feeling up his father's hologram?!") doesn't count.

Okay, three, but wondering how exactly amnesiac Scott ended up with an Arabic fisherman boyfriend named Achmed doesn't count either. For the record though, Achmed totally fits just like Lee Forrester in my girlfriend=father theorum.

But the real thought besides, "Seriously, why the hell did no one ever listen to Jean all these months when she insisted her husband was still alive? It's not like they've been mentally linked for YEARS or anything..."

Okay, the running gag is getting a little old now, so I'll get to the point:

We've now had two incidents supporting the idea that Scott Summers is the single greatest telepathic prison ever constructed.

I mean, granted, we've never seen how it worked when Apocalypse possessed En Sabat Nur (I'm probably totally fucking up his name and I apologize in advance), so maybe it went about as chaotically, BUT it always seemed implied to be an instantaneous possession.

It did not seem as though "trapped for six months in the mind of a depowered amnesiac" was even remotely expected or intended to have happened.

And even when everyone and their freaktastic mother was trying to free Apocalypse, in his own damn city, Scott was still fighting his way through. Granted, Jean and Nathan had to get rid of it entirely, but still, pretty awesome. I mean, it's APOCALYPSE.

And now, recently, well, his repression just ate the Void.

I know I keep saying the guy needs therapy, but well, HIS MENTAL ISSUES JUST ATE THE VOID. I mean, yeah, it's not going to LAST, and will undoubtedly backfire, but still, he's a non-telepath who with a bit of training from the dead wife, REPRESSED THE VOID.

Which totally puts an interesting spin on the fact that almost every telepath in the Marvel Universe seems to be either attracted to him or a scary father figure. His brain is telepath-bait. And can eat them.

I wonder if that's Sinister's doing, or if he was always a mental venus fly trap. But it is an interesting trend.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Beautiful Panel

This Panel is from the Blob's first appearance in the sixties X-Men. And it is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

awful suit plus Xavier being creepy

There are so many wonderfully horrible/hilarious aspects to this panel that I don't think I could name them all. I mean...

1) The suit.

2) Jean's expression, which seems to me, to be this incredibly amusing mix of lust and disgust. I imagine her thinking "Oh...oh, honey. We...we can fix this. It'll look much better on my bedroom floor. Then I'll burn it."

2) Scott's expression which really seems to say "My plan to scare you away with my ugly suit has failed. Damnit."

3) "Ol' Prune-Face."

4) Xavier's angsty monologue. It's especially amusing given that Jean doesn't even seem to remember he's in the room.

5) Pipes make angsty monologues inherently awesome.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Things that are awesome: Snuggies. I got one for Christmas. It is totally just a backwards robe. But it is SO WARM, oh my GOD. I annoy my mother by wearing mine like a robe. But still. So soft! Warm! Awesome! If I take nothing else back to school with me, I'm taking this thing. I will leave behind my damn clothes if I have to.

Things that are not awesome: Papers that need to be completed over holiday break. I am SO behind. Hah.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Because I was bored and avoiding work

One of the things I like to do when avoiding work is re-read the early Lee/Kirby original five X-Men issues. I mean, they're kind of gloriously silly, but there's something oddly appealing about them.

I always find myself returning to being a huge Scott/Jean 'shipper reading them. And it always works the same way. I always start rolling my eyes by the first melodramatic "Oh Scott/Jean I wish you'd feel the same way about me that I feel about you!" and then by issue fifteen or so, I'm just rooting for those two idiots to get a clue.

Especially Jean, who's TELEPATHIC.

It's like behind all the overblown dialogue, there's something genuinely teenagery in there and it gets me EVERY time.

I always like to appreciate how Xavier is an incredible asshole who likes to rewrite his backstory every few issues, fake injury/impairment/death even more often, and just set up scenarios that he could fix in a second just to send his kids into combat against opponents who wildly outmatch them.

I mean, take the first Avengers/X-Men crossover in the ninth issue. Granted, HE knows that no one can fight Lucifer (alien, not fallen angel) because the criminal's life force is tied to a giant bomb, so he has the kids go off and delay the Avengers so they can't come in and kick his ass. He of course a) does not tell the kids his reasoning, so that they could EXPLAIN to the Avengers why they can't fight Lucifer yet, b) does not telepathically contact ANY of the Avengers until the fight is well underway, and c) kind of ignores the fact that the Avengers really don't tend to KILL their opponents anyway.

I'm just saying, if I were Captain America and found out that this knock down fight I've been having with a bunch of TEENAGERS could have been avoided, I'd hold a grudge.

Other things I've noticed this time around: Scott faints. A lot. It's actually pretty entertaining. Usually it's the psychic girl who swoons in this kind of thing. Jean has her moments, but generally gets to stay on her feet. It is funny that the battle plans seem to take it into account though, Hank usually doesn't even blink before scooping up his field leader.

Hank has nothing to complain about with his original power set. Granted, he's not really uber-powered or anything, but he can do most of what Captain America can. He's got awesome strength/dexterity/intelligence, looks normal (if slightly big hands/feet, and well, you know what they say about those) and doesn't have to risk killing people.

Jean, from her first appearance, interacts with Xavier more as a social equal than any of the boys. (A friend of mine actually pointed this out to me first, but it really is true.) It's kind of interesting. Especially considering later on where she ends up being the only one who knows he's faking his death. I'm not sure whether I think it's more that Xavier prioritizes psychic ability over any other mutant power or his creepy fondness for Jean, or a bit of both. It's interesting that the set-up from day one seems to be Scott as military leader (since he pretty much is even before Xavier tells him he is. Which makes his shock when that happens very endearingly cute) and Jean as Xavier's spiritual successor.

Why does Warren keep his wings strapped down at Xavier's school? (Also from my friend, which is a very good question!)

Bobby is a fucking sociopath. Seriously. I could make a post of all of the crazy shit Bobby pulls throughout the early issues, just called "What the fuck, Iceman?" Because, holy crap. I'd remembered his worse stuff started when Alex and Lorna joined, but honestly, he pulls just as much assholish stuff before that. To his own teammates! And they LET him!

Xavier SUCKS at recruiting people. I mean, a good portion of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are people he TRIES to recruit and fails utterly in such a way that they, sometimes understandably, lash out. It says something that the ONLY new mutants recruited during the entire run were Alex and Lorna, and they were recruited while Xavier was faking his death.

Scott's clothes are even worse than I remember. Purple. Plaid. Suit. And inexplicably, Jean is not scared off by this. Granted, her costume design sense is pretty bad, but her regular clothes at least are decent. His are...not. And it can't be explained entirely by color-blindness, because when would even a REGULAR plaid suit be appropriate?

The danger room is basically just a giant room of death traps. Maces popping out of walls, pits of spikes, giant weights, MISSILES! It's insane. He trains his students with DEATH TRAPS. It's like Saw as run by a telepath with weird eyebrows.

Except for Jean. The others get like pits of spikes and lasers, she gets telekinetic needlepoint. If I were Jean, I'd be pissed.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I'm not wishing you a happy new decade, since I think it starts next year. But I hope this coming year is as good as or better than the year before!