X-Statix #21-25 – X-Statix Vs. The Avengers (2004)
by Peter Milligan, Mike Allred, & Nick Craine

Perhaps I am at fault for X-Statix Vs. The Avengers, as inevitably, any comics title I latch onto will surely be canceled straight away. It looks like this is the last stand for X-Statix, one of the only seriously great comics titles currently on the shelves, but apparently too over-the-head for a profitable audience. Well, I will miss it … and come to think of it, I'm not sure there are any comics I will follow upon its demise. Ah well, I guess I could read books, or just masturbate.

This five-issue run takes the cheeky idea of pitting X-Statix against The Avengers, setting into obvious relief the postmodern irreverence of Milligan & Allred's parodic characters with the more standard superheroes who, ultimately, contribute far more to Marvel's bottom line. What emerges is a self-referential and quite funny collision of two worlds that make little sense together … as little sense as X-Statix ever made in Marvel's stable of titles.

The plot is baldly ridiculous, as cryptic blob Doop's brain is eviscerated and scattered about the world, and it's up to the two superhero teams to gather all the pieces before all hell breaks loose (turns out, Doop is very nearly all-powerful). Each issue pits an X-Staix member against an Avenger, with predictably even results, culminating in the baffling showdown between Thor and Doop (akin to having Batman and Gleek (the Wonder Twins' monkey) duel to the death.

The series gets increasingly ridiculous as it goes on, including a rather insane fight between Mr. Sensitive and Iron-Man in the nude (?), but it is this sense of total nihilistic weirdness that illustrates what's super-cool about X-Statix … and offers up some final moments of satiric strangeness to appreciate before the curtain falls.

Though the story presents many plot developments that seem lasting, it isn't until the very end that one occurs which you realize will actually affect the book for good: the X-Statix decide to disband! This sets the stage for one final wrap-up issue, and that's that.

Too bad … the comics world needs more of the likes of X-Statix. Perhaps I should proceed with my grand idea for a comic based on the life of Clay Aiken, pitting him humorously and victoriously against the world's most nefarious supervillains. Eh … I think I'll just masturbate.

Review by La Fée