Marvel’s Most Unusual X-Men Team Returns in New Miniseries
Marvel’s most unusual X-Men team, X-Statix, returns in a brand-new miniseries debuting next March. The book, called The X-Cellent, will see writer Peter Milligan reunite with artists Michael Allred and Laura Allred to bring readers a sequel to this year’s X-Cellent, which marked the seminal group’s return to the Marvel Universe. The first issue of the five issue miniseries goes on sale in print and digital March 15th.
Marvel Comics revealed more about the forthcoming miniseries in a post on their website. Billed as a sequel to X-Cellent, the new book will feature X-Statix stalwarts such as U-Go-Girl, Zeitgeist and the fan-favorite Doop. The press release revealed that Zeitgeist is still trying to achieve “social media godhood” and will go to any lengths to do so–even if it means killing someone. Matters are complicated further when the next generation of X-Statix members show up on the scene. And what about the X-Cellent, X-Statix’s dark, villainous counterparts? What role will they play in this series? The press release was mum on these questions, but did promise readers “more mutant celebrity exploits,” a hallmark of the classic X-Statix title. Milligan was excited to work with the Allreds once more, saying: “there are few finer feelings in comics” than working with them. Likewise, Mike Allred was quoted as calling he and his wife’s collaboration with Milligan “pure comic book bliss.”
X-Statix is one of the most unique X-Men titles ever. It began as an X-Force reboot in the early 2000s, a time of experimentation at Marvel. New Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada and publisher Bill Jemas were trying new, outside-of-the-box concepts, including hiring Peter Milligan and the Allreds to overhaul X-Force. Overnight, the book’s new creative team reinvented the team, changing them from a paramilitary mutant strike force to a group of mutant fame seekers, who used their powers and gifts to be celebrities–not heroes. Later, Marvel decided to take X-Force back to its original concept; the characters Milligan and the Allreds created then became known as X-Statix, the name they have maintained to this day. The members of X-Statix are cult favorites, especially Doop; the book remains a high mark of early 2000s Marvel. The book was a scathing (and prescient) critique of celebrity culture. And it was these criticisms of popular culture that made X-Statix such a unique book–one that still resonates with fans over 20 years later, a fact Marvel acknowledges in the press release.
X-Statix Was Ahead of Its Time, And Now The Team Is Back.
And over these 20 plus years, Milligan and the Allreds have managed to keep X-Statix fresh and compelling. The book skewered the biggest tropes of the X-Men’s corner of the Marvel Universe; it was artsy, edgy and thoroughly unlike anything else Marvel was releasing. Milligan and the Allreds took the floundering X-Force and truly brought it into the modern era. Now, they have returned to the iconoclastic team once more, promising fans another joyride through the weirder corners of mutant celebrity.
X-Statix’s return comes at an interesting moment in the X-Men franchise. The X-Statix team has not been seen on Krakoa, the mutant homeland. Will The X-Cellent acknowledge this exclusion? Doing so would make for a good commentary on the X-Men’s Krakoan era and its many wonders; for example, how would X-Statix’s Dead Girl work with the Resurrection Protocols? While X-Statix’s forthcoming book may not touch on these concepts, it will serve up the celebrity skewering action that fans have come to expect of the X-Men’s most unusual team.
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