They’re back and they’re a lot less dead than when we last saw them…  Your Major Spoilers review of Giant-Size X-Statix #1 awaits!

GIANT-SIZE X-STATIX #1

Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Michael “Doc” Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot Studios
Editor: Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 10, 2019

Previously in Giant-Size X-StatixThey’re back and more alive than ever for this special one-shot!  But what new threat is so grave that only the most famous mutant celebrities can fight it? And who is the new U-Go-Girl?

A STRANGE BLUE-SKINNED LEGACY

As our story opens, we get a full-page flashback of the original X-Force/X-Statix team in action, which is revealed to be a documentary about their exploits being watched by one Katie Jones.  Young Katie is a fan of X-Force/X-Statix not because of their celebrity or their body count, but because Edie Sawyer was her big sister.  One night, after going to bed thinking about Edie, she awakens on the ground near her sister’s headstone, having accidentally teleported herself in her sleep.  Worse still, Dead Girl arrives with a spectre of her dead sis who explains the truth: Katie isn’t her little sister, but actually her daughter, raised by their parents in secret because Edie was so young when she was born.  This puts her in the sights of a team called the X-Cellent, led by the long-thought-dead Zeitgeist who totally isn’t here because of his turn in ‘Deadpool 2’, you guys.  While the X-Cellent try to turn her to their side, X-Statix is reforming elsewhere, with the surviving members (The Orphan, Doop and Vivisector) recruiting The Anarchist’s son and a female clone of Phat called Phatty to put the band back together.  As the issue ends, Katie has saved the day and teleported the X-Statix to safety, only to consider whether she could be a superhero and forgive her mother after all…

THE TIMELINE IS…  TROUBLING

For those keeping score, the “death” of X-Statix took place in 2004, meaning that the timeline makes sense in the real-world for a teenage Katie to be old enough to join up and for Tike Alicar’s son to be a teenage rap star, but the sliding timeline of the Marvel U makes that a little more difficult.  That’s not really an overwhelming problem for this issue, but it does make for some head-scratching moments for me.  There are a couple of wonderful bits of meta-storytelling on display here (such as Zeitgeist explaining that he’s more harsh and monstrous because he reflects the times or the hand-wavy response around which members are still alive and how they survived) but Milligan’s script sometimes feels a little TOO self-aware, winking at the audience a little too often.  That said, I like the setup for this new era of X-Statix, especially Allred’s art.  This issue features cameo appearances from members past and a couple of really cool fight sequences, but perhaps the best part is seeing how much better reproduction and paper stock are since the 2001 heyday of X-Statix.  I’m still not sure how I feel about Phatty and her placement as a body positive plus-sized model who wants Doop to focus the camera on her butt, but at least she’s differently problematic  than Big Bertha, Marvel’s other plus-sized woman.

BOTTOM LINE: INTERESTING SETUP, BUT SOMEWHAT ANNOYING THAT ITS JUST A TEASE

In short, if you can get past questions of timelines and an occasional smirkiness about this team’s history of reflecting the real-world as much as possible, Giant-Size X-Statix #1 makes for a good primer and reintroduction to the team’s reality TV shenanigans, with strong Allred art making for a well-deserved 3 out of 5 stars overall.  I’m cautiously optimistic about these characters being brought forth for new audiences and I hope that we get another run of well-done comics out of this team.  Here’s hoping that “ahead of its time for 2001” doesn’t mean behind the eightball in 2020.


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GIANT-SIZE X-STATIX #1

60%
60%
Has Potential

There's a lot of focus on the new U-Go Girl and some tongue-in-cheek moments that mock reboot/remix culture, but I wish this issue would have had a more solid ending, rather than a tease for the upcoming series.

Even so, I enjoy what we got.

  • Writing
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  • Art
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  • Coloring
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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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