X-Statix #9-12 (2003/04)
by Peter Milligan, Mike Allred, & Phillip Bond

Getting into a comic book isn't generally easy, nor is it usually advisable, as the end result is almost always just $36 a year thrown straight into the toilet. You'd seriously be better off buying drugs, most of the time.

The trouble is, most comics (superhero-oriented ones, especially) drag storylines across several issues, so you have to either wait for an arc to end, or one to begin, to give yourself the right bearings. It's like trying to jump onto a Tilt-a-Whirl before it's come to a complete stop … don't try it, trust me. I lost both legs that way, in separate incidents.

X-Statix is no different, though in every other way, it is utterly different from the usual Marvel or DC fare. I try to get people into this comic, only to have them come back to me and say "I couldn't figure out what was going on," and demanding their money back. What the hell – I don't even work at a comic store!

Issues 9 through 12 presented four straight months of entry points into the wild world of these hard-partying mutant superheroes. Rather than following a long-form story arc, they simply delved more into character than usual, and it's for the better. There's some continuity of story, but mostly these are just great snapshots of what makes X-Statix so hugely better than other mutant superhero books.

#9 offers "X-Statix: The Movie!," in which Hollywood manipulates the already weird reality of the X-Statix crew, among other things adding a Latino hunk skateboarder to the cinematic team … who subsequently does become a member of the real X-Statix, since audiences eat him up! This is one of the best X-Statix issues yet, full of scathing commentary and biting humor.

#10, despite not being drawn by Mike Allred, is far and away my favorite X-Statix so far. This one brings back Edie Sawyer, one of the most complex (and luscious) comics babes of all time. X-Statix leader Guy Smith is still not over her (she was killed at the end of the original X-Force series that preceded X-Statix), and his new girlfriend (fellow X-Statix Venus Dee Milo) struggles to accept the situation, finding understanding by reading a diary Edie left behind. This issue is as perfect as a monthly comic gets, and considering monthly comics are the literary equivalent of bulk candy at the movie theater, this is like finding the world's most delicious nonpareils. The text is great, but the subtext of giving Edie Sawyer fans some closure is even better.

#11 focuses on El Guapo, the aforementioned Latino hunk, who is locked in an abusive relationship … with his magical skateboard. Completely absurd, embarrassing, and terrific to read.

#12 puts the spotlight on Dead Girl, the gorgeous mutant zombie who always seems to take a backseat to the more glamorous, that is, living members of X-Statix. This issue is outstanding, making Dead Girl a supermodel and then letting her deal with the ramifications of impressionable teens using her as a role model – killing themselves to acquire "death chic." There's also a seriously twisted necrophilic plotline in this one.

An amazing, genuinely special run here, wickedly funny yet also emotionally deep, and palpably exciting. Four possible doors through which to enter the champagne-fogged life and times of X-Statix, where the unexpected is usual and the really unexpected is simply the beginning of something even more fucked.

Review by La Fée