Tagged: X-Statix

Quick Review: X-Statix Omnibus

Peter Milligan Mike Allred X_statix omnibusI know it’s not exactly new, but it’s sort of new to me.  I was wondering how many other people picked up the recent omnibus edition of X-Statix…  I’m about halfway through this behemoth and it’s well worth the money and the time.

This is the perfect X-book for people who are bored of X-Men.  It’s plucked straight from my favorite era of X-Men comics, back when Morrison was blazing a trail with his fresh science-fiction-heavy run on New X-Men and editorial were trying hard to push books in innovative directions. Things were glorious for a brief, bright time – then that milk suddenly soured.  Originality waved a white flag and it was back to basics.

X-Statix (for those of you who don’t know) was less about mutants as outcasts and more about mutants as celebrities and media-darlings.  That may sound sort of unspeakable, but consider this; they are a team of people who aren’t fighting crime for good, or for evil, they’re fighting for fame.  They’re a bunch of self-centered narcissistic, backstabbing assholes who will do anything to get their faces on television, or their names in the gossip columns.  It’s like a glorious car crash you can’t look away from, being filmed by a small, amorphous green blob with eyes.  How can you resist?

I hear Jonathan Ross has an upcoming book exploring the idea of reality show contestants as superheroes, but that’s already happened.

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At Long Last, an Edgy Batman

Sorry I wasn’t around last week…I took the week off in order to save up enough money to buy this week’s TOP TWO NOT TO BE MISSED HITS!

In 1988, a few years after they published The Dark Knight Returns and a year after Watchmen, DC released another grim and gritty comic steeped in the flavor of the times called Batman The Cult. Penned by Jim Starlin (who had garnered attention at Marvel through his work on Adam Warlock and Captain Marvel) and drawn by the legendary Bernie Wrightson, Batman The Cult also featured Bill Wray (creator of Hellboy Jr. and notorious Ren & Stimpy background artist) on colors.

Batman The Cult almost reads as an Elseworlds story, as it is based on a premise slightly unsavory to Batfans: What if a foe psychologically broke Bats? This theme of ultimate defeat reappears from time to time, most notable in Knightfall and Batman R.I.P., though The Cult tells it tough and stark.

Batman is kidnapped, starved, beaten, drugged and abused to the point where his brain gets woozy enough to break. This torture is administrated at the hands of a mystic in the guise of a slum preacher named Deacon BlackFire. Blackfire then uses Batman as a killing machine against his enemies…yes Batman kills. With Guns, TOO!

In this story Batman uses guns (loaded with both bullets and tranquilizers), drives a monster truck version of the Batmobile, and features Jason Todd in one of his best pre-death appearances. Does Batman save the day and overcome all obstacles? Not without scars, he doesn’t!

The Cult is…an interesting story. Batman is after all a man. Men do fail. Batmen must also Bat-Fail. The Cult is a well rounded look at Batman’s mental frailty, far subtler than Arkham Asylum and WAY subtler than Batman R.I.P.

Curious? Check it out. But not this week. THIS was all a preamble for this week’s recommendation: Continue reading

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