[This post is part of a series on Morrison's New X-Men run; for more, click the New X-Men label at the bottom of this post].
I have not talked about the covers in a while, but Quitely's covers are great and this is the best one in the arc. Just a tremendous about of clearly articulated chaos; your eye knows just where to go. Quitely is a great designer.
This issue -- this one issue -- is the riot: the rest of the arc is build up (a failed buildup in which no tension is established, as I have demonstrated) and epilogue. Our points about the gang reach fruition here: Morrison has been making fun of privileged teens by making them look like idiots and this issue is no exception: their "riot" is hot wax tossed out of broken windows, literally.
Emma says that she misses the verve and imagination of her old students -- the ones from Generation X, drawn by Chris Bachalo. So do I. In a great line, she makes fun of Quentin's Gang with "Seize the school and then what?" Of course she is right -- these guys have no plan. The problem, already covered here, is that you can make fun of Quentin's gang for being lame but you cannot expect to generate any story tension if your bad guys are morons. If they have no plans, they are not much of a threat. It's cool that Quentin can fuck with Wolverine, but it just seems like the worst these guys are going to do is kick everyone out of the school and break all the windows. When Cyclops hits one in the face, they freak out like the pathetic teenagers they are: "That's assault!" The anti-authority riot kids are now phrasing things for the police report they want to fill out; when push comes to shove these guys want to rely on traditional human authority to save their asses. I know this is to make fun of them, but Morrison is doing too good a job -- I fucking hate these guys, and want to be past this stupidity.
Then, in the chaos, Dummy -- from the special class -- is cut and dissipates (he is an intelligent gas in a rubber suit). This moment is a good one: we have bonded with this character last issue, so the death has some meaning.
As for the good guys? Saying "Let's all calm down" is still the best plan the paramilitary X-Men who bombed China can come up with to deal with drug addicted teenagers with powers formidable enough to disable Wolverine. Idiots.
Xavier just somehow -- it must have been so easy it is not worth showing -- got out of the helmet and calls them on being lame. "The revolution lasted minutes." The Cookoos say that this fight is not youth versus experience, or anarchy versus authority -- the fight is always "in" versus "out." I don't quite know what to do with that, but I kind of like it -- I like their point that, for example, experience or authority could be "in" (fascism, for example, in the Authority).
Quentin has got to be one of my least favorite comic book characters, but at least he dies cool, ripped apart psychically by the cookoos into skin, nerves, muscle, and skeleton. Thank god the X-Men had these girls as students, because the X-Men hade NO IDEA how to deal with the riot. Quentin did it all to impress a girl who died, somehow. Morrison keeps it off screen. Fine.
People are getting mad and my bad mood with these issues, and don't know when I will snap out of it. Here is a preview: Murder at the Mansion (three issues): AWFUL. Assault on Weapon Plus (four issues): AMAZING. Planet X (five issues): BAD. Here Comes Tomorrow (four issues): QUITE GOOD ACTUALLY. Assault on Weapon Plus and Planet X will be shorter posts, becauase I have written about them elsewhere, and will link to what I said when I post about them.