Monday, April 16, 2007

Grant Morrison's New X-Men 139

Jean has discovered that Scott and Emma are having a psychic affair. This has been building since the beginning so you need this issue to be huge; what you get is a bad episode of 90210.

When the women get in a fight doors start slamming, cause that is how girls fight. Lame. Scott's claim in the issue that the affair was just mental is pathetic, and makes me think he is an idiot -- if your thoughts are like the holodeck, the distinction between mental and physical worlds is stupid. The fact that Morrison feels the need to clear up the fact that the affair was not ever physical at all -- including a flashback to the very suggestive X-Men Annual practically hitting us over the head to clear things up -- is very boring. It is an attempt to take the teeth out of the affair on purely technical grounds, like nervous prom kids who don't go "all the way" but do "everything but." These are adults, and should act like adults, or I cannot take any of them seriously. And given that this issue is about a major development in the life of the main characters, it should be taken at least kind of seriously. When Scott is exonerated by Jean's psychic probe, she cries out, like a teenager, "But they were thinking about it -- They were thinking about it the whole time!" Wow, the Phoenix -- power cosmic -- is a whiny 13 year old who needs to be sent to her room. Also unbelievably juvenile is Scott running off like a spoiled teenager just as everyone finds out the relationship was not physical. Jiminez's illustration really makes him suck. These are powerful adults acting like bratty little kids.

One more minor but notable offence: in the flashback of Emma's childhood we see her father looking to divvy up his empire among his children -- including one named Cordelia; the allusion to King Lear is pointless, pretentious, and very very annoying.

Morrison, as a great writer screwing up badly, does not let this issue go without one great scene. Wolverine and Emma bond -- two adults with an illicit love for one member of this couple -- and this one page makes you believe, really believe, that Emma genuinely loves Scott. It is really moving.

Then Emma gets mysteriously killed, as the set up one of the worst genre mash-ups EVER -- THE SUPERHERO DRAWING ROOM MYSTERY. I will save my bile for this wretched idea for next time.

9 comments:

neilshyminsky said...

While Morrison can be blamed for using Cordelia Frost in the first place, he isn't to blame for the name itself - she was created during Lobdell's Generation X.

marcin said...

just out of curiousity, geoff, are there any issues coming up that you do like? i do like reading these retrospectives, but much like riot at xavier's, they're getting a bit tired when all you do is bash them. just sayin'.

David Golding said...

Marcin: Geoff has listed what he thinks of the upcoming issues here. He thinks #142-145 are amazing, but will be having shorter posts on them, because he has written about them previously (and will be linking to that). He also thinks #151-154 are quite good. I like his analyses and am getting pretty tired of comments from people who don't like the posts but won't stop reading them.

Geoff Klock said...

Believe it or not I am with you guys -- I want to get back to talking about what is good. That was all I ever wanted to do in the first place, but then I got talking into New X-Men as a subject.

One reason I got into this was because so many fans think the Morrison run is a classic. I think parts of it are fantastic, but I think we should be clear about what stuff is not. Fans are too nice, adn then we cannot take their opinion seriously.

Notice that very rarely do people get on here and disagree with me. I wish they would so I could understand why people think this whole run is so awesome, but that may be the format -- it is my blog, so maybe people do not want to argue too much with me here.

I want people to disagree with me, just give me something to respond to.

Jason Powell said...

With my only experience of Morrison's X-Men being his annoyingly inaccurate metaphors about how "Grant Morrison wrote the X-Men the way Jimi Hendrix played the blues", I personally really enjoy all the bashing. I say, keep it coming, Klockhammer!

Mitch said...

I know in my case, Morrison's New X-Men was the comic that got me reading comics every month again and then everyweek... I can't say that I think it's all brilliant... it was just such a long run that spanned a few very formative years in my life. It was kind of comfort food. A lot of things in my life were changing and as different as New X-Men looked or started out as, it felt like home for some reason, flaws and all.

Or whatever. Blah.

Geoff Klock said...

Jason: Klockhammer. I could get used to that...

Mitch: fair enough.

James said...

What mitch says appears to be fairly common, and might explain the widespread affection for this run. It's very rare nowadays for creators to be on a company-owned title for such a long time, especially a writer of Morrison's calibre (much as I agree he bad more often than good in this particular instance). I think people like the fact that it's a large, cohesive* body of work they can get behind; the only other long run on the X-Men like this I can think of is Claremont.

*I do not mean "cohesive" in terms of story-telling, but rather that the run seems less subject to editorial whims and crossovers than most. Scott Lobdell in the 90s, for example, probably had a much longer run than Morrison, but the cast and storylines were entirely replaced at least a couple of times a year, which makes it hard to see any of that stuff as a single body of work.

wwk5d said...

I never understood how Jean is supposed to come off badly here. Even though Scott and Emma never hooked up in the real world, look at it from Jean's point of view. You're a telepath, you and your husband have this supposed unbreakable telepathic bond..and your husband is having a telepathic affair with another woman. Of course she'd be pissed, and rightfully so.