Archive for April, 2015

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #5 of 5

April 22, 2015

Dead Girl 5 of 5Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta & Mike Allred
July 2006
****

A charming conclusion to the X-Statix title, lacking teeth but giving the protags closure (except Doop!). It also reveals a love for Ditko, slipping several of his characters in. Allred pencils the hell out of them, esp. Dr. Strange in a fabulous duel of magic with his late mentor.

last issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #4 of 5

also indexed for Jul. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4
Civil War #1 of 7
Daredevil #85
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #5

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X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #4 of 5

April 21, 2015

Dead Girl 4 of 5Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta & Mike Allred
June 2006
***

Dr. Strange & Dead Girl carry a nice flirtation on as they lead a team of dead superheroes into hell. It contrasts well with the too-wimpy Mr. Sensitive getting on U-Go Girl’s nerves. Moments like these show Milligan’s fondness for his characters as he gives them a real ending instead of satire.

last issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5
next issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #5 of 5

also indexed for Jun. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #14
Daredevil #84
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5

April 20, 2015

Dead Girl 3 of 5Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta & Mike Allred
May 2006
****

Hard to say why Dead Girl’s in the title—it’s more like “The X-Statix reunion tour featuring Dr. Strange”. Romance buds in the nether realms, as 1940s heroine Miss America gets over her racial prejudices with Tike Alicar. Also cleverly, some of Marvel’s late women are happiest in a man-free heaven!

last issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #2 of 5
next issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #4 of 5

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #83
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
Young Avengers #11

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #2 of 5

April 19, 2015

Dead Girl 2 of 5Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta & Mike Allred
April 2006
****

First the late Dead Girl visits the mortal plane by possessing a host made of deli meat; then she takes Dr. Strange to heaven to recruit a team that will, in turn, storm hell. The cosmology is full of unhinged dead characters & surreal deep-focus perspectives on all three planes of existence.

last issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5
next issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5

also indexed for Apr. ’06
Daredevil #82
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #2

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5

April 18, 2015

Dead Girl 1 of 5Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta & Mike Allred
March 2006
****

Readers hoping for a real end to X-Statix get wrongfooted by Milligan with #1 of this mini. Dead Girl only cameos, with Dr. Strange getting the focus. Ditko’s mage visits a shrink for depression before attending to an undead invasion. Note: Allred ghosts over rookie Dragotta’s breakdowns?

continued from X-Statix #26
next issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #2 of 5

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Daredevil #81
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
The Pulse #13
Young Avengers #10

X-Statix #26

April 17, 2015

X-Statix 26Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2004
***

A fairly blatant ripoff of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, as the team gets KIA with Mr. S & Tike A. gunned down in a suicide charge. It would’ve worked better if they hadn’t held each other at arm’s length since the retitling. Or if the run’s last two years had been compressed into one. Ah well.

last issue: X-Statix #25
continued in X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Fantastic Four #517
Secret War #3 of 5

X-Statix #25

April 16, 2015

X-Statix 25Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
September 2004
***

The Avengers/X-Statix War ends in détente before a bigger enemy (of course it does). Milligan’s heart isn’t in this arc, whose guest stars smack of editorial edict. Even if not, the last-minute acceptance of X-Statix by the Avs feels rushed. Anyone else disappointed that Doop can speak English?

last issue: X-Statix #24
next issue: X-Statix #26

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
Daredevil #62
Fantastic Four #516
The Pulse #4
Thanos #12

X-Statix #24

April 15, 2015

X-Statix 24Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
August 2004
***

It’s the ol’ JSA formula: members split off on solo missions. The final face-off is Iron Man v. Mr. Sensitive, mano a mano and nude! Milligan has them strip their protective armors in a contrivance involving French holy nudists. Silly, plus Allred doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity for beefcake!

last issue: X-Statix #23
next issue: X-Statix #25

also indexed for Aug. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #2
Daredevil #61
Fantastic Four #515
Thanos #11

X-Statix #23

April 14, 2015

X-Statix 23Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
July 2004
***

Milligan rips off the Avengers/Defenders War, pitting two teams of heroes in a race to collect maguffins. This ish pairs Hawkeye & Vivisector in a post-colonial Africa, and Venus DM v. Ant-Man in Antarctica. Pairing #1 displays a Silver Age charm but #2 can’t suss out the heroine’s Kirbydot anatomy.

last issue: X-Statix #22
next issue: X-Statix #24

also indexed for Jul. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #1
Daredevil #60
Fantastic Four #513
Fantastic Four #514
The Pulse #3
Secret War #2 of 5
Thanos #10

X-Statix #22

April 13, 2015

X-Statix 22Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
late Jun. ’04
***

X-Stat‘s finale pits the team against the Avengers on a hunt for Doop’s brain! Milligan doesn’t ‘get’ Cap, so the face-off w/ Tike Alicar disappoints. Not so the Scarlet Witch, who also inspires Allred’s pencils. She’s outweirded by Dead Girl while swimming in toxic waste on a haunted freighter.

last issue: X-Statix #21
next issue: X-Statix #23

also indexed for Jun. ’04
Daredevil #59
Fantastic Four #512
Thanos #9
X-Statix #21

X-Statix #21

April 12, 2015

X-Statix 21Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
early June 2004
****

When Doop’s lobotomized brain gets weaponized, our heroes must ask the Avengers for help with its recovery. Rather than contrast our super-celebs with a team of noble heroes, this ish shows a classic roster that’s just as venal & arrogant. Plus it hints that Doop is the product of Cold War science!

last issue: X-Statix #20
next issue: X-Statix #22

also indexed for Jun. ’04
Daredevil #59
Fantastic Four #512
Thanos #9
X-Statix #22

X-Statix #20

April 11, 2015

X-Statix 20Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta
May 2004
****

Aside from the Princess Di arc, this team mag has been slack since the retitle. Spotlight issues like this one focusing on Vivisector are clever & fun but they don’t move any greater plot or theme forward. Here, however, Dragotta’s newsprint-cartoon style adds to the Universal Horror vibe.

last issue: X-Statix #19
next issue: X-Statix #21

also indexed for May ’04
Daredevil #58
Fantastic Four #511
New X-Men #154
The Pulse #2
Thanos #7
Thanos #8

X-Statix #19

April 10, 2015

X-Statix 19Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
April 2004
***

Milligan intros a ‘cure’ for mutancy as a metaphor for odious anti-homosexual ‘therapies’ less than half a year before Whedon. It’s actually a juicy bit of mad science meant to steal Vivisector’s superpower (& results in a mopey Spider-Man No More sequence) so the basic concept remains unexplored.

last issue: X-Statix #18
next issue: X-Statix #20

also indexed for Apr. ’04
Daredevil #57
Fantastic Four #510
New X-Men #153
The Pulse #1
Secret War #1 of 5

X-Statix #18

April 9, 2015

X-Statix 18Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
March 2004
****

In a riff on The Ring, the team’s pop princess haunts & kills anyone who sings her posthumous single. Grisly deaths demo the morbid glee of a ’50s crypt comic, esp the skating accident that befalls el parapalegic Guapo! But happily the funeral for Phat (also KIA last issue) has emotional resonance.

last issue: X-Statix #17
next issue: X-Statix #19

also indexed for Mar. ’04
Daredevil #56
Fantastic Four #509
New X-Men #151
New X-Men #152

X-Statix #17

April 8, 2015

X-Statix 17Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
February 2004
****

Some good focus on Mr S, whose quick thinking, strong leadership, super-senses, & ability to levitate nearly win the day as he & the team face Mr. Code, a Ditko-like baddie (= suit & generic mask). Also cool is Dead Girl’s trip into the afterlife to barter with the team’s sleazy late employer.

last issue: X-Statix #16
next issue: X-Statix #18

also indexed for Feb. ’04
Daredevil #55
Fantastic Four #508
New X-Men #150

X-Statix #16

April 7, 2015

X-Statix 16Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
January 2004
****

If this mag’s losing a bit of steam, its satire is also getting darker & so are its heroes. Their craven owner has implicated them in arming S. Hussein so they snap his neck! Meanwhile the glam super-princess fouls up as Director of Homeland ‘Defense’. Gleeful politicking, so rare in caped comics!

last issue: X-Statix #15
next issue: X-Statix #17

also indexed for Jan. ’04
Alias #28
Daredevil #54
Fantastic Four #506
Fantastic Four #507
New X-Men #149

X-Statix #15

April 6, 2015

X-Statix 15Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
December 2003
*****

Grant that, in this arc, Princess Di plays Supergirl in a gorgeous raven wig. You’ll read a great arc of cynical British leftie politics. Taking aim at the current fiasco in Iraq, one squaddie gets a leg blown off! X-Statix bickers in X-soap style, but they’re fighting over whether to kill a member!

last issue: X-Statix #14
next issue: X-Statix #16

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4
Daredevil #53
Fantastic Four #504
Fantastic Four #505
New X-Men #148

X-Statix #14

April 5, 2015

X-Statix 14Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
November 2003
***

The heroes rescue the ersatz Princess Diana and see her usurp their trademark superstar egotism with her superceleb status. Frankly I’m curious about her approach to heroism, since this satire has run its course. Plus Spidey’s guest appearance is disappointing, esp. his too Kirby-like rendering by Allred.

last issue: X-Statix #13
next issue: X-Statix #15

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
Daredevil #51
Daredevil #52
Fantastic Four #502
Fantastic Four #503
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

X-Statix #13

April 4, 2015

X-Statix 13Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2003
****

A celeb rises from the dead to make the world a better place with X-Statix. Word is, this pop idol/philanthropic activist was to be Princess Di (you can still see the resemblance in Allred’s tight work). Pity that this black joke was edited away, since its current form, though cheeky, lacks teeth.

last issue: X-Statix #12
next issue: X-Statix #14

also indexed for Oct. ’03
Alias #25
Avengers/JLA #2 of 4

Daredevil #50
Fantastic Four #501
New X-Men
 #145

X-Statix #12

April 3, 2015

X-Statix 12Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
September 2003
*****

After over a year on the team, Dead Girl finally gets some time centerstage, & she makes the most of the spotlight. Her mutant ability to speak with the dead allows her to protect a goth suicide from her necrophiliac dad. The disturbing weird tale brings out Allred’s best work since the retitling.

last issue: X-Statix #11
next issue: X-Statix #13

also indexed for Sept. ’03
Alias #24
Daredevil #49
Fantastic Four #500
JLA/Avengers #1 of 4
New X-Men #144

X-Statix #11

April 2, 2015

X-Statix 11Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
August 2003
***

X-Stat’s new recruit is a throwback to ’90s kewl: a focus-tested Latino mutant skater with ‘tween appeal & a symbiotic relationship with his board. But instead of a satiric approach, Milligan shows the mag’s more sinister side as Doop et al work on peeling the kid away from his norm GF.

continued from Wolverine/Doop #2 of 2
last issue: X-Statix #10
next issue: X-Statix #12

also indexed for Aug. ’03
Alias #23
Daredevil #48
New X-Men #142
New X-Men #143
Fantastic Four #70

Wolverine/Doop #2 of 2

April 1, 2015

Wolverine-Doop 2 of 2Peter Milligan // Darwyn Cooke
late July 2003
*****

Wolvie & Doop fight a big-game hunter of cryptozoology—then do it w/ a sexy femme fatale & her pink stole!? This gonzo comics pastiche of Spillane-style detection is wonderfully surreal, its tongue-in-cheek plot perfectly suited to Cooke’s ’50s lounge-style art; his Wolvie has Dean Martin’s nose & hair!

last issue: Wolverine/Doop #1 of 2
continued in X-Statix #11

also indexed for Jul. ’03
Alias #22
Daredevil #47
Fantastic Four #69
New X-Men #141
Wolverine/Doop #1 of 2