X-Statix #13

 Title: X-Statix
 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Mitch Clem


X-Statix are a mutant-for-hire superhero team as popular as the latest 5-member boy band, and have triumphed over adversary and hatred by smiling for the cameras and partying with rock stars, supermodels, and anyone with a Q-rating over 35.

Story Details

  X-Statix #13
Summary: Spider-Man appearance
Arc: Part 1 of 'Back From the Dead' (1)
Editor: Axel Alonso
Writer: Peter Milligan
Pencils: Mike Allred
Inker: Mike Allred

We begin our tale as Henrietta Hunter narrates her brief and uninformative life story, including her rise to pop stardom, her death at the hands of the "powers that be", and following a light that leads her see-thru nightgown-clad spirit flying high in the air over rural Europe.

The ghost of Ms. Hunter finds no solace in the spiritual afterlife, and returns to her family's ancestral home, where she was buried, and where she must make her return. According to the art, by "buried", Henrietta meant put on a cot with a sheet over her body alongside two long rows of similarly adorned corpses in a large brick room. Hmm. Inside this room is a doctor (why a doctor is milling about in a dank room of the dead is not only perplexing to me, but fails to arouse [er...] anything but the most disturbing imagery in my apparently warped imagination, so I'll try to just accept the situation as it stands), who witnesses Henrietta's spirit enter Henrietta's dead body and becomes reanimated. "Ta dah!"

The frightened doctor quickly alerts the authorities, who arrive just in time to murder the good doctor along with a slew of media personnel who have since arrived. Two elderly gents named Reggie and Dicky, who stay in the mansion's front yard feeding pigeons, orchestrate this unnamed S.W.A.T. style team.

Eventually, the X-Statix are called in to rescue the newly alive Henrietta in typically reluctant X-Statix fashion. Lots of bad guys get beaten up, and the team returns to their headquarters with Henrietta in tow.

After Henrietta goes to the media announcing that she will soon reveal the identities of the people who had her killed (Reggie and Dicky, in case you haven't guessed already), the geriatric duo toss out a few more assassination attempts. Unfortunately, as Henrietta is now in the custody of the X-Statix, these attempts not only fail, but also cause team owner Spike Freeman to decide to hire her on as a new member. Spike is also busy, somehow at the exact same time, selling Reggie and Dicky on some bad European mutant assassins in exchange for all the television, movie and multimedia rights to "X-Statix vs. The Euro Trash".

Confused yet? Don't be, its just bad writing.

So anyhow, the Euro Trash show up in New York to kidnap Henrietta during an X-Statix media appearance, and who decides to join the fight but the amazing Spider-Man. Naturally, the group is inspired to rescue Henrietta themselves, lest some "two-legged freak" steal their limelight.

General Comments

Wow. Just wow. And that's not a good wow either, in case you were confused. A poorly conceived story rushed through by sub-par writing and illustrated by an apparently completely uninterested artist. This is probably the worst issue of X-Statix I've read yet.

This title had a concept that was once absolutely enthralling: An X-Men knockoff team driven entirely by the greed and lust for fame that dominates 99% of America's contemporary mainstream entertainers. This concept, once ripe with intelligent and sometimes poignant social commentary, has since resigned to becoming little more than bland self-parody. When once the X-Statix title would make you laugh at our unbelievably inane pop culture, reading an issue now feels like watching an episode of Entertainment Tonight. All the stupidity with none of the irony.

This issue manages to bring all of this title's ever increasing inanity right up to the foreground by combining it with terrible writing and art. Both Milligan and Allred seem as though they're completely bored writing this book. This issue in particular feels rushed and unenthusiastic, as though creating it has stopped being fun or entertaining for them in any way and is simply a job that pays their bills. It's upsetting to see two great talents go to waste like this, and I sincerely hope that Marvel decides to give them a new title to work on instead of just treading the water with X-Statix.

Overall Rating

1/2 web. This is such an unbelievable waste of time and money. In fact, forget monetary refunds, I want the fifteen minutes of my life I spent reading (and rereading [for the purposes of review]) this issue back.

 Title: X-Statix
 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Mitch Clem