Archive for the ‘Phat’ Category

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

X-Statix #9

March 29, 2015

X-Statix 09Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
May 2003
****

A visit to Hollywood—in the ’60s a standard plot, & perfect for this mag. It advances the love triangle btw Venus DM, Mr. Sensitive, & U-Go Girl via a flirty starlet playing the late heroine. #9 also develops Tike A, in his new role as team leader, his racial views, & in his manifestations of OCD.

last issue: X-Statix #8
next issue: X-Statix #11

also indexed for May ’03
Alias #20
Daredevil #45
Fantastic Four #67
New X-Men #138

X-Statix #8

March 28, 2015

X-Statix 08Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
April 2003
****

Supplying what #7 lacked, #8 explains that the arc’s monster has manifested as Venus DM’s worst nightmare. Plus a fraternal reconciliation btw Guy Smith & Tike Alicar, a sororal moment btw VDM & Dead Girl, & best of all, a Doop’s-eye-perspec on VDM’s loss of virginity, as she teleports to ‘heaven’!

last issue: X-Statix #7
next issue: X-Statix #9

also indexed for Apr. ’03
Alias #19
Daredevil #43
Daredevil #44
Fantastic Four #66
New X-Men #137

X-Statix #7

March 27, 2015

X-Statix 07Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
March 2003
***

This 3-issue arc spotlights Venus Dee Milo, a black girl (yay!) made of Kirby Dots & fitted by Prof X with a red latex suit. Crushing on Mr. Sensitive, she’s facing an evil mirror-self: an extra-dimensional monster also fitted w/ X-suits. It’s a solid concept but doesn’t inform her character.

last issue: X-Statix #6
next issue: X-Statix #8

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #41
Daredevil #42
Fantastic Four #65
New X-Men #136

X-Statix #6

March 26, 2015

X-Statix 06Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
February 2003
****

It’s Professor X, designing suits that help a mutant control his or her powers! But the gear’s been stolen by a supervillain—is it Mr. Sensitive, in disgrace after last issue’s intrigue? Doubtful, but that set-up, plus the destruction on Rodeo Drive recall the original X-mag at its (low) best.

last issue: X-Statix #5
next issue: X-Statix #7

also indexed for Feb. ’03
Alias #17
Daredevil #40
Fantastic Four #64
New X-Men #135

X-Statix #5

March 25, 2015

X-Statix 05Peter Milligan // Paul Pope
January 2003
*****

Mr. Sensitive has Lacuna (“the 8th member of X-Statix”) assassinate his new & highly dangerous recruit mid-mission. In one dark issue, Milligan undercuts my misgivings about a loss of edge. He’s also more savage, less tolerant, of celebrity worship—a theme enhanced by Pope’s lovely ugliness.

last issue: X-Statix #4
next issue: X-Statix #6

also indexed for Jan. ’03
Alias #16
Daredevil #39
Fantastic Four #63
New X-Men #134

X-Statix #4

March 24, 2015

X-Statix 04Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
December 2002
****

The Orphan, AKA Mr. Sensitive (a better moniker, as one character points out) rouses his dispirited teammates into action by facing solo a 13-year-old misfit who can alter reality. As usual, excellent technique in script & art—though the view of superheroism is sentimental rather than satiric.

last issue: X-Statix #3
next issue: X-Statix #5

also indexed for Dec. 02
Alias #15
Daredevil #38
Fantastic Four #62
New X-Men #133

X-Statix #3

March 23, 2015

X-Statix 03Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
November 2002
****

X-Statix disintegrates in the wake of U-Go Girl’s death, while a rival team of celebrity mutants face a small-town kid w/ reality-altering powers out of The Twilight Zone. Allred’s charming, retro art plays against the horror—note how this arc’s shyster looks like a Moldoff/Sprang Bat-character!

last issue: X-Statix #2
next issue: X-Statix #4

also indexed for Nov. ’02
Alias #14
Daredevil #37
Fantastic Four #61
New X-Men #132

X-Statix #2

March 22, 2015

X-Statix 02Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2002
****

This arc intros a prefab, fame-hungry superteam (AKA O-Force) as foils to show how far this mag’s heroes have come in its first year. While Milligan keeps tossing out fun concepts (like the dysmorphic Phat’s conflict w/ queerness & class), his second act has slowed, as if in mourning for U-Go Girl.

last issue: X-Statix #1
next issue: X-Statix#3

also indexed for Oct. ’02
Alias #13
Daredevil #36
Fantastic Four #60
New X-Men #130
New X-Men #131

X-Statix #1

March 21, 2015

X-Statix 01A-story: Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
B-story: Peter Milligan // Darwyn Cooke
September 2002
A-story: ****
B-story: ****

This gonzo, au currant approach to superteams gets a rename. Too bad: the franchise exploitation was central to the theme & part of the fun. More to the point, the new #1 is more an act-two opener & not the revolution that #117 was. U-Go Girl’s replacement (a girl made of Kirby dots) has immediate visual appeal. A back-up is a macabre riff with Doop on the stale Blair Witch.

continued from X-Force #129
next issue: X-Statix #2

also indexed for Sept. ’02
Alias #11
Alias #12
Avengers #56
Daredevil #35
New X-Men #129

X-Force #129

March 20, 2015

X-Force 129Peter Milligan // Duncan Fegredo
August 2002
****

The team grieves over U-Go Girl’s death (the Spike’s, not so much). Milligan peppers a transitional ish w/ a bevy of high-concept ideas, like arena matches to audition her replacement, & a mutant agent for mutants. Morrison collab Fegredo’s shadows have an emo atmo—so why isn’t he on New X-M?

continued in X-Statix #1
last issue: X-Force #128

also indexed for Aug. ’02
Alias #10
Avengers #55
Daredevil #34
New X-Men #127
New X-Men #128

X-Force #128

March 19, 2015

X-Force 128Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
July 2002
*****

As foreshadowed, one of the heroes gets killed in action, tho’ the creative team expertly wring tension & drama from feints & red herrings. Even better, Allred lays out several lovely pages—not just Edie’s death scene or funeral either. In a nice contrast to #116, this death is genuinely moving.

last issue: X-Force #127
next issue: X-Force #129

also indexed for Jul. ’02
Alias #9
Avengers #54
Daredevil #33
New X-Men #126

X-Force #127

March 18, 2015

X-Force 127Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
June 2002
****

Cleverly, this mission into orbit stems from Mr. Sensitive’s decision to save a kid from corporate organ harvesters, which gives X-F‘s first year a sturdy arc. W/ the main triumvirate (& Doop!) shot into deep space, the b-team must foil a rogue CIA operative—not noticing their most rebellious member has been replaced!

last issue: X-Force #126
next issue: X-Force #128

also indexed for June ’02
Alias #8
Avengers #53
Daredevil #32
New X-Men #125

X-Force #126

March 17, 2015

X-Force 126Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
May 2002
****

A formulaic plot—rocket to a space station, save the crew from monsters—gets jazzed up by X-F‘s creative team. There’s Dead Girl, the new teammate whose power, it seems, is to resurrect (rather gruesomely). Plus Phat & Vivisector come out of the closet! And those monsters have a nicely Kirby look.

last issue: X-Force #125
next issue: X-Force #127

also indexed for May ’02
Alias #7
Avengers #52
Daredevil #31
New X-Men #124

X-Force #125

March 16, 2015

X-Force 125Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
April 2002
****

This cover nods to 1950s horror comics while paying homage to the early Silver Age. Even better, it actually stages a moment in the ish! It also raises the stakes—who will die on a CIA-planned Big Pharma-sponsored mission into orbit in a mag where even the main chars are expendable?

last issue: X-Force #124
next issue: X-Force #126

also indexed for Apr. ’02
Alias #6
Avengers #51
Daredevil #30
New X-Men #123

X-Force #124

March 15, 2015

X-Force 124Peter Milligan // Darwyn Cooke
March 2002
*****

A one-off covers the backstory to Edie Sawyer (AKA U-Go Girl, a great moniker). She’d abandoned a kid back home, & her power to teleport stands in for her escapist denial. It’s bold & played for comedic pathos, not melodrama. Cooke’s jazzy ’50s retro is a perfect sub for the mag, hot to Allred’s cool.

last issue: X-Force #123
next issue: X-Force #125

also indexed for Mar. ’02
Alias #5
Avengers #50
Daredevil #29
New X-Men #122

X-Force #123

March 14, 2015

X-Force 123Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
February 2002
****

Feb ’02’s “Nuff Said” gimmick: dialogue-free comics. Milligan echoes Morrison in New X-Men by penning a surreal adventure within someone’s head. But instead of character reveals, X-F goes gonzo: a popped pimple opens a vortex into Doop’s noggin, so the tator folds itself inside out to rescue the team!

last issue: X-Force #122
next issue: X-Force #124

also indexed for Feb. ’02
Alias #4
Avengers #49
Daredevil #28
New X-Men #121

X-Force #122

March 13, 2015

X-Force 122Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
January 2002
*****

Slapstick satire! An aspiring X-Forcer causes havoc on the set of Larry King, netting her own talk show. Meanwhile Tyke Alicar admits he doesn’t want another African-American to join—not because the rookie is ‘more street’ but because pop culture (EG comics) won’t allow two black men on one team!

last issue: X-Force #121
next issue: X-Force #123

also indexed for Jan. ’02
Alias #3
Avengers #48
Daredevil #27
New X-Men #120

X-Force #121

March 12, 2015

X-Force 121Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
December 2001
*****

Arcs about drafting new teammates can be dire, but Milligan revises the trope by pinching lurid voyeurism from reality TV (newly popular in the UK & US). A pair of wannabes apply for membership, a flibbertigibbet and a street tough, while the team’s second-tier goof-offs look to raise their profiles.

last issue: X-Force #120
next issue: X-Force #122

also indexed for Dec. ’01
Alias #2
Avengers #47
Daredevil #26
New X-Men #119

X-Force #120

March 11, 2015

X-Force 120Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
November 2001
****

No surprise the manager (modeled on J. Kirby!?) was manipulating the new X-Force, or that he’d arranged their deaths. But the execution’s superb, w/ guest-star Wolverine playing the cavalry as a favor for Doop, that weird, spud-like cameraman who speaks in alien font & has sinister plans for the team!

last issue: X-Force #119
next issue: X-Force #121

also indexed for Nov. ’01
Alias #1
Avengers #46
Avengers: The Ultron Imperative #1 of 1
New X-Men #118

X-Force #119

March 10, 2015

X-Force 119Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2001
****

After the team racks up another dead member, it turns on its manager for trying to harvest a mutant kid’s organs. The twist leaves U-Go Girl (a Holly Golightly type, incl. Ozark upbringing) in an ethical quandary. Surprisingly X-Force turns out to be moral about superheroics, even sentimental!

last issue: X-Force #118
next issue: X-Force #120

also indexed for Oct. ’01
Avengers #45
New X-Men #117

X-Force #118

March 9, 2015

X-Force 118Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
July 2001
****

Another member bites the dust mid-mission (rescue an Elian Gonzalez-type from a banana republic’s mad scientists). Much of X-F‘s appeal is the with-it tone, so rare in Marvel comics (esp. ’90s X-mags). But it also returns to the craft of Claremont, w/ soapy conflicts deriving from personalities.

last issue: X-Force #117
next issue: X-Force #119

also indexed for Jul. ’01
Avengers #42
Daredevil #18
New X-Men #114

X-Force #117

March 8, 2015

X-Force 117Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
June 2001
*****

Having killed off the whole team, Milligan gives a new set of mutants the reality-star treatment. The focus is on Mr. Sensitive, so hyper-delicate he’s got super-senses & an emo attitude! In a twist on an old Marvel formula, the former New Mutants challenge the team over the trademark for “X-Force”!

last issue: X-Force #116
next issue: X-Force #118

also indexed for Jun. ’01
Avengers #41
Daredevil #17