Thursday, March 31, 2011

Azazel, week five! I take a "Draco" shaped bullet for you...

Shakespeare can't be thrilled by this.
Another Thursday, another chapter of "The Draco," until my penance is complete. From Uncanny X-Men #433, "The Draco, part five." Written by Chuck Austen, art by Philip Tan. This issue returns to the Polaris subplot from part three, and nurse Annie realizes her son Carter is missing. (For the last three months worth of issues, which unintentionally makes Annie look like a terrible mom.) He stowed along with the X-Men that went looking for the missing Kurt, and is currently in Azazel's dungeon with Husk, Jubilee, Havok, and the severed head of Iceman. Currently psychic (Carter's powers seemed to come and go, and I'm not positive he actually was a mutant) Carter can hear Iceman complain he doesn't have enough moisture to reform his body. Oh, and Havok sucks for stealing two consecutive girlfriends from him. (Maybe not consecutive, but if you're still mad about something like that, chances are you don't get a lot of action.) Havok offers to help Iceman reconstitute himself, since he had a lot to drink on the flight there...and this is why Uncanny X-Men hasn't been Marvel's flagship title for the last ten years or so.

Meanwhile, in the other ongoing subplot, Alpha Flight fights Juggernaut; which is made rather confusing since Northstar arrived with Juggernaut and is on his side; while Sasquatch is wearing a big, dumb-looking suit of armor with a helmet like Juggernaut's. I had considered going back through and counting how many pages total in "The Draco" actually are "The Draco," and how many are the Juggernaut or Polaris subplots; but I'll be damned if I'm going back through these now...
Isn't that Havok in that panel?  No, he's still in the dungeon.
Back at my dinner with Azazel, Angel is pissed over the archeology professor's death--I'm not sure he had a name, though--and Jillian keeps hitting on Kurt, which is inappropriate considering the situation and that they are almost certainly related. (Doesn't matter, since I don't think we see her again after this scene.) Talking through it, Kurt realizes if Azazel is 'Satan,' it's not really in the biblical sense, but Azazel is a mutant from biblical times.

Azazel says yes, explaining that he was 'cast out' by 'angels,' another group of mutants. He asks our Angel what he knows of his lineage, and Angel clams up, so Azazel gives him to one of his men for torture. Logan is stabbed through the back and pinned, and Azazel helpfully suggests removing his arms at the shoulder joint and then cauterizing the stumps. But, Azazel points out, Logan may be the only toy they get for "the next twenty or more years."

Later, Kiwi Black, Abyss, and Kurt have an almost friendly expository chat with Azazel; rather out of place considering Kurt's friends are probably being tortured right then. Kiwi, who has been the stolic, silent warrior-type so far here; had failed in guarding the dimensional gateway. Although, Kiwi doesn't act like that was his idea either; so Azazel refers him to torture too. Now with two sons left, Azazel explains how the X-Men destroyed the dimensional gateway--somehow, since I don't seem to recall them really doing anything this whole story--and this dimension is the same one that Kurt teleports through and Abyss sucks stuff into. That doesn't really track, either, since we saw Abyss spit Mystique out two chapters back, she wasn't already there. Azazel can see our world, but can't get back, until he breeds another batch of teleporters to poke a hole through as a group.

Meanwhile, Professor X, Polaris, and nurse Annie arrive on the Isla des Demonas. The Professor can't sense them, but Polaris can feel a "spatial rip" and pokes it with her magnetic powers so they can see Azazel and Kurt's conversation. Azazel explains that Kurt's stepmom Margali opened the portal once, and that he totally hit that, but alone none of them can get through without some help from the earth side. Which Polaris is doing, opening a hole in be concluded!

I'm pretty sure this is the issue that broke the suspension of disbelief for Paul O'Brien of the X-Axis into a million pieces: if Azazel was able to get through before, how did he end up back? And he was able to get back to earth to father a batch of kids, so why can't he get back now? Azazel mentions seeing satellite photos of earth; but how? (That could possibly be justified by him looking through at earth, but if he can see earth at will to that detail, he should be able to figure something out.) It could be lampshaded that Azazel needs a bunch of teleporter kids to open a big enough hole to get his whole army through, but it looked like he had an army there for the first fight, and he's still acting like he can't get through. Where did Azazel's army go, anyway?

This issue sucks. The art sucks, the story sucks, the ongoing storyline sucks, the subplots suck, and the characterization sucks. Suuuuuuuuuuuuck. Worst of all, Austen and Tan were both capable of better work; they just needed an editor to crack them on the knuckles and make them do it again. There might have been a germ of a good idea in there at some point, but the execution just failed. One more to go, then I'm going to deny this storyline ever existed, a point Marvel Comics and I seem to agree far.

Oh, and Azazel in X-Men: First Class, the movie? I'd bet he's there for a few minutes of teleportation action, like Nightcrawler's kickass opener in X2, and that's that. Just a guess.

1 comment:

Abyss Fan said...

The issue sucks... and Abyss doesnt looks like Abyss either. He looked way cooler in the Aoa. His looks change about every issue. In his first appearance he is purple and has a skull face, then he is purple, no nose, no ears but otherwise he has a normal face, then hes blue, looks wussy and has pointy ears??
Whats this thing with changing his appearance every issue ??
I wish they would have made him more insane and evil too, like in the Aoa, he was my most favourite character in the Aoa!