Zeitgeist’s ascension is approaching, but who will betray him next? Your Major Spoilers review of The X-Cellent #4 from Marvel Comics awaits!
THE X-CELLENT #4
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Michael “Doc” Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Editor: Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3,99
Release Date: June 14, 2023
Previously in The X-Cellent: Venus Dee Milo returns! But how does the formerly deceased teleporter play into Zeitgeist’s plan to mutant godhood? The brightest stars always burn out the fastest. And when it comes to Zeitgeist’s infamy, a backstabbing teammate will do just the trick!
THE APOTHEOSIS IS UPON US!
After the shocking death of Toodle Pip last issue, Zeitgeist opens this issue in intense pain as the magical transformation that will make him a god works on him. His creepy teammate Hurt John listens intently at the door, absorbing his boss’ emotions before leading the rest of the X-Cellent out into the desert to bury Toodle in a shallow grave. Artificial man Vox tries to overcome his programming and betray Zeitgeist, sure that his ability to dig up dirt on the X-Statix makes him irreplaceable, but he’s not aware of the new plan: FAKE NEWS! Rather than manipulate the truth, the sinister mutant decides to just flat-out lie, making up lies about the team that still land, thanks to his social media stardom. By the end of the issue, our heroes are in the doghouse, while Zeitgeist and his X-Cellent near one billion followers.
Oh, and Big Z is transforming into a golden being of pure godlike power, so… that’s bad.
WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS
I feel like I shouldn’t be too hard on Milligan and Allred for doing the unexpected in the pages of this book, but it is a little weird that the primary narrative hasn’t been about the heroes of X-Statix at all. With the previous five-issue limited, the one-shot, and this issue, we are not on the tenth issue focusing on Zeitgeist and the villains, and it’s starting to feel like too long. Mr. Sensitive and his team have their side dramas, but much of it feels like they’re the butt of the joke, as Zeitgeist mocks Mr. Sensitive’s weight, the breakup of Gone Gal and The A, and something about Kurt Cobain’s clone. It’s all very sensational, and very well-drawn, but the team doesn’t really do anything. The art and coloring are, as always, delightful, but even that can’t get past the feeling that I just want something to happen already! With the final page reveal that the spell is actually working, though, I’m hoping for some forward momentum in issue number five.
BOTTOM LINE: MAYBE A LITTLE TOO MUCH GOING ON?
My biggest problem with The X-Cellent #4 is that seeing good mutants, six evil mutants, a handful of dead mutants, and two alien Doops are just a lot to give us in a single issue, but overall it’s an entertaining comic with excellent coloring over very evocative art, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. It’s creepy in the right ways, even if those ways have overstayed their welcome a little bit.
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THE X-CELLENT #4
Zeitgeist's plans feel like they've been in motion for five years, and the nucleus of the story feels like it's not all together anymore, but it looks great.