Wednesday, March 28, 2012

stuff your face with this

Be still, my nerdish heart, for Wednesday has arrived, and with it, colorful fisticuffs and fanciful feats.  PUNCHING!  Also talking.  Sometimes they talk during the punching.  Those are usually the best bits.  Read on, for there is punching and quipping and science and mutants and murderous Native Americans.  Really.

Avengers 24.1

In recent months, the android Vision has returned to regular continuity, after years of being off the table.  I was never a huge fan of the Vision, he's very Star Trek, very old-Avengers, and not really my cup of tea.  This issue dealt with his return, and him dealing with a world that has moved on without him.  I gotta say, for a boring robot, he had some pretty spicy things to say to a couple folks.

So here's the deal, the Vision is an android that fucked up and got himself some emotions.  But like any good robot, he was naive to the ways of man, and that meant years of terrible stories where he's like "What is this strange thing you Hu-mans call love?"  It was very corny.  He fell in love with the Scarlet Witch and they got married.  Things were going great until the Scarlet Witch lost her mind, killed some people, committed a bit of genocide against the Mutant race, and most importantly to the Vision, turned her husband into a bomb.  Once he repaired himself, he was understandably pretty fucking pissed about the whole thing.  That was all years ago, and maybe there was some brainwashing stuff going on, plus it's comics so no one ever stays mad at anyone really, so everyone kinda forgave the Witch.  Not so much her robot husband who got turned into a bomb though.  She showed up for a visit, and he threw her right out of the mansion.  Pretty spicy.

Later, he confronts her father Magneto, blaming him for her fucked up childhood and therefore her killing everyone.  Magnus isn't so much a villain these days, but whatever, the robot was pissed, so he reached right into the dude's chest and threatens to rip his heart out.  Magnus, pimp that he is, tells him "I'm the fucking master of magnetism, you're a fucking robot, you see where I'm going with this?"  Tells him, she's a grown woman, she made her choices, you come around here again I'll forget you used to make my daughter happy and fucking own you.

Basically Vision's trip around the world to see the people who wronged him just serves to show him how much things have changed since he's been gone.  Captain America gives him a shoulder to cry on, and says "We're both men time left behind... you gotta leave that shit in the past.  The past doesn't care about us."  And they fade away with Vision being a sad sad robot. 

Avengers vs. X-Men 0
The first half of this issue deals with the Vision, so that's up above if you want to know about it.  The rest of the issue deals with Hope, the mutant messiah.  This is a 16 year old girl, raised in a post apocalyptic future by a cyborg with telekinesis and the biggest guns you've ever seen.  Yeah, it's a bit... well, good luck explaining it to your non-nerd friends without it sounded ridiculous.  She was raised to be a soldier, a warrior, and now that's back in the present, everyone is treating her like a china doll.  Any genre fans will be immediately familiar with this trope, which I call the John Connor Paradox.  What you've got is a character immensely important, and they live in a world that is inherently dangerous.  The only responsible thing to do would be to train them to protect themselves.  That leads them to want to use their training to help people.  But you can't let them do that, because they're so super important.  This often creates a character that is fucking UNBEARABLE.  The grown ups are trying to be responsible, and saying shit like "hey, maybe you don't need to be running around beating up criminals, because you know, um, you're the savior of our fucking species...." and Hope is like "hey fuck you I'm a warrior, what is this, a prison?"  Makes for a shitty story.  Hopefully this picks up, because having the main character of your giant summer event be an asshole isn't a recipe for success.

Moon Knight 11

I've really enjoyed Bendis's run on Moon Knight.  He's brought some of his Powers sensibility to it, and is doing the superheroics in a more realistic context.  Also, his choice of villain is an interesting one, as it's one no one thought could actually be interesting.  He's dusted off Count Nefaria, a guy who wears a cape and a monacle, and made him threatening.  That's a fucking achievement all on its own. This run has been controversial for some long time Moon Knight fans, but I'm down with it.  They've shifted his crazy over into a more useful area, instead of Moony just being bonkers and making his friends hate him.  Last issue, Echo died during the course of her duties.  Normally, when a female character dies in comics, it's to give the male main character an excuse to go on a rampage.  It's so prevalent a device that it's called "Women in Refrigerators."  This time though, Echo's death happened as it probably would.  She did have a super power, but in terms of physicality, she was akin to Batman.  A human with an incredible amount of training.  No matter your level of training, if you're just a human, if you go up against something more than human, there must be a consequence.  Bendis wrote a hard fought battle that happened to end in her death, and that's not something that's done all that often.  This issue picks up later, after Moon Knight's plans have fallen apart, and he must pick up the pieces, and do the job that he and Echo failed to do the first time.  No rampage.  Justice.

Scalped 57

I love Scalped.  It's a sprawling crime story set on an Indian reservation, overflowing with villains and terribly few heroes.  The nominal main character is Dashiell Bad Horse, an FBI agent deep undercover on his home Rez, trying to bring down Lincoln Red Crow, head of the tribal council.  Wrapped up in all of this is alcoholism, drug addiction, Native American poverty, and Casinos.  It's amazing, and destined for television if there is a just and true God.  Hopefully by David Simon when he's done with Treme.

So what's going on in Scalped currently?  Red Crow is finally behind bars.  Having spent so much time with him, it's a strange feeling.  He's the bad guy, sure.  He's done some awful things, sure.  It's like on the Wire, the crooks get jailed eventually, but you almost don't want them to, because you can see how few other options they had.  Red Crow didn't create the issues his people suffer from, all he did was profit off of it.  A lot of people had work that mightn't otherwise.  That's a terrible justification for drug dealing and murder, I know.  The logical part of my brain knows this.

Red Crow isn't even fighting his incarceration.  His lawyer is scheming to get him out, but Red Crow can't bring himself to move against Dash, who he loves like a son.  Dash, meanwhile, might just end up joining Red Crow inside, as the skeletons slowly tumble out of his closet.  It's a sad book, but well worth your time.

So I think that's it for me this week.  That's what I liked this week.  That Avengers vs. X-Men thing, I was critical of that one, but the first half, that dealt with Vision and Wanda, that's worth your time.

What did you like this week?

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