Bruce Castle Presents: Astonishing Revelations

 

Astonishing X-Men #26

Astonishing X-Men #26 (***1/2)

This is the second issue of Warren Ellis and SImone Bianchi’s new direction on this title. I know a lot of people disliked the first issue and most of that hate was toward Ellis. Criticisms such as the writing being messy and the feeling of a CSI copy that plagued the first issue hopefully won’t continue. The writing is top notch. The X-Men seem like they are real people. They’re all quite comfortable with each other. There are many jokes and quips that are friendly that thankfully don’t get tiring. Ellis is putting his own unique spin on the book that is quite refreshing. The weakness in this issue is in Bianchi’s art. It’s stiff, flat, and has already worn out its welcome. The art is also confusing and if it weren’t for the dialogue, there are times when I wouldn’t know what was going on. The lack of backgrounds completely hinders certain scenes. This is a bit funny because the artistic highlights in this issue are when Bianchi does render the backgrounds. This is supposed to be the flagship X-Men title and one of the creators isn’t performing well. Hopefully Bianchi’s art will improve like Ellis’ writing improved next issue.

Final Crisis: Revelations #1 (****1/2)

In Rucka’s interviews about this book, he has praised it incredibly. He said that this may be the best thing he has ever written and that it is one of the best looking books his name has ever been associated with. Thankfully, this series may actually deliver. This is very dark material. Philip Tan’s art fits the story perfectly. A lot happens in this book which is always a good thing. Ruckadoes a wonderful job providing the set-up while telling an incrediblyenthralling tale that also ties into Final Crisis. Like FC Rogue’s Revenge, this is a book you can read without reading Final Crisis, but this seems to be more important to the FC story than Rogue’s Revenge at this time. I was very impressed by this first issue.

Review/RANT: Uncanny X-Men #500

WHAT A ### OF ### ### YOU, BRUBAKER AND FRACTION! I HOPE YOUR ### OF A MOTHER ### GETS ### AND ### DIES… and here’s why!

First, the new X-Mansion…

Hmm, ok. Looks… is stupid the right word?

Really? Just how exactly are you keeping this shit a secret? You already told the entire world where you live, stupid!

Built by whom? The actual US Military or independent contractors!? Have they all been cleared by “X-Security”? as if the US Military would allow your asses to build to “military spec”…

Beast? STFU with the Al Gore agenda! Go die, tree-hugging scum! I find it very hard to believe that the X-Men are concerned with global warming; it just boggles the mind that a group of walking atomic bombs are talking about saving the planet by going green. What about all the property damage you guys cause every time you suit up to fight the “bad guys”? You think that shit doesn’t increase the size of your carbon footprint exponentially? And don’t even get me started on how idiotic it is when super heroes choose a political affiliation. UGH!!!

Um, can I ask yet another question? Why do the writers feel the need to rub our noses in this shit? Yes, the X-Men have money, but here they come off like spoiled rich bastards. This is not a reasonable way for the writers to endear a fundamentally difficult to identify with group of characters with their readers. This is just plain insulting. I don’t envy them, I hate them. “Nice clubhouse, and also… fuck you.”

So, throughout the first few pages of this book, we are led to believe that the “new” X-Men are all about the Liberal agenda, but then as soon as they are confronted with something that personally offend them, they literally go wild shit crazy, demanding that said offensive material be removed from public display. Hmm, I thought the X-Men were always about tolerance.

Now, it occurs to me that perhaps Brubaker and Fraction are trying to cleverly point out the hypocrisy of these X-Men, or the inherent hypocrisy of anyone proclaiming to be utterly tolerant of his fellow man. Well, I’m not buying that, and I’ll explain why when we get closer to the end…

Oh, speaking of intolerance…

Yes, that is an X-Man saying that. Which X-Man is literally anyone’s guess seeing as how every single one that appears in this issue is written horribly out of character.

So, that crack about the wheelchair is offensive, but one of your team using the word “retard” is okay? Hello, Hypocrisy, I’d like you to meet Emma Frost and her friend, Scott Summers. Once more, we have a stunning example of the X-Men as “Role Models for Tolerance”.

…and back to my suggestion that Fraction and Brubaker are somehow trying to point out the X-Men’s hypocrisy? Yeah, not so much. In order for that to be true, the X-Men’s paranoia would have to have been shown as a gross overreaction. No, instead, the writers decide to prove them right. So, class, are you paying attention? It’s okay to destroy or deface “art” if you don’t agree with it. Got it? Sure, they put on a good show, after all, Magneto is attacking again… which in and of itself screams Dues ex Machina, seeing as how Magneto is supposed to be de-powered… and of course he needs to be put down by any means necessary, and if that means destroying some decommissioned Sentinels, which happen to be private property, so be it. “But, but, but, but we need him for the big issue 500 extravaganza!” Shut. Up. Cheap tricks, guys. Very, very cheap.

…sigh. Really? More on this so soon? PUSH THE AGENDA!!!

Yeah, I know, but I just couldn’t leave it out. I mean, I gave the “letting your freak flag” line a pass. What do you want, I’m human!

Shut up, pornstar-Storm. Although, the self-righteous thing is definitely a part of her character, so fine.

Angel takes out a Sentinel all by himself… NO.

As if you weren’t thinking of doing the same thing, Scott!!!

Magneto is dead-on here, and I’m hoping the writers have a plan to use this later. Maybe they really are trying to shame the X-Men? We’ll see.

Oh, great! You mean the sanctimonious X-Fascists are building an army to impose their pseudo-tolerant worldview? SWEET! Can’t wait to read more about the X-Men’s adventures in the Fourth Reich! I can totally see them changing the title of Young X-Men to “X-Youth” any day now.

(I kid, of course.)

I’m done now, I think. I said enough inflammatory things and maybe I should quit while I’m ahead (and perhaps I’m not even that). I leave you with this bit of nonsense: