Why I Stopped Reading X-Men
A few years ago, Uncanny X-Men had an utter dog shit story arch that ripped off Romeo and Juliette, while completely missing the point… Which is sad because everyone who manages to make it through a Western school system has that play beat into their adolescent skulls.
After that story arch concluded, I stopped buying X-Men comics.
It was also the last time I purchased a comic written by Chuck Austen.
Here’s a brutal review of one of those issues written in iambic pentameter. Ah the memories.
But soft! What shite through yonder window breaks?
A new Uncanny X-Men, for my sins.
Another clueless stab at teen romance
As Austen, Cliff’s Notes clutched in sweaty hand,
Recycles wholesale chunks of Shakespeare’s plot
And paraphrases lines of dialogue too.
Of course, the plot of this romantic play
Is fair game, having been revamped before
In musicals and so forth. After all,
It’s not like Shakespeare wrote the plot himself -
He got it from the poet Arthur Brooke.
Enough of this digression. While the plot
Has proved enduring classic down the years
That doesn’t mean a writer cannot cock
It up if he tries hard enough. He could,
For instance, cut and paste some classic scenes
Without the faintest understanding why
They worked for Shakespeare in the first place, thus
Reducing them to shameless gimmickry
(Which – yes, I know – is just like this review).
Within this issue our young hero Josh
Goes visiting his Juliet at night
And speaks “sweet words of love” (allegedly)
From just outside the window of her room.
The balcony routine, in other words.
You couldn’t do the story without that.
Except the point has been completely missed.
The way love stories work is simple: take
Two lovers and throw barriers in their way
Which they will spend the story fighting through
And end triumphant (or, in this case, dead).
The balcony’s a clever stage device
Which lets poor Romeo and Juliet
Share stage time on their own but never touch
Because there’s no way Romeo can climb
Up to the balcony to be with her.
Of course, in Austen’s version, that’s all fucked
Because in Austen’s version, Romeo
Has got a pair of great big sodding wings
With which he promptly flies up to the room
And thereby makes the whole scene die a death.
It doesn’t help that Josh and Julia
Proceed to spout some truly dreadful lines
Of dialogue of grimmest purple hue
And cretinous stupidity to boot.
“How did you find me?” blithers Julia
As if there were some mystery in this.
You’re in your house, you stupid fucking girl!
How do you sodding think he found you there?
And then they drone on for another five
Godawful pages of quite subtext-free
Bad dialogue which someone must have thought
Was beautiful, poetic and all that
But actually is painful to the eyes.
“You’re like a winged messenger from heaven.”
“Love doesn’t ask permission, it demands
Obedience.” Please Jesus, make it stop.
“I wuv you!” “I wuv you!” “And I wuv you!”
That’s basically all they have to say.
Poor Salvador Larroca does his best
To wring some kind of content from the script
But when the script is quite so bad as this
There’s only so much anyone can do.
The lovers say exactly how they feel
In detail, leaving nothing for the art
To do. Although the writing is quite bad,
Admittedly it’s very nicely drawn
Allowing for the quality of script.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see
So long lives this, which quite depresses me.
Throwback review via Bleeding Cool