Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"The End" Week: X-Statix #26!

There will be more than one like this issue this week, where this was the only way it could've ended. (By the way, I don't think any of you would, but no complaints about spoilers during "The End" week, eh?)

From 2004, X-Statix #26, "Are You Ready?" Written by Peter Milligan, art by Mike Allred. I thought it had been longer: it seems like forever since Marvel published a book like this, like a remnant of an old regime. I read the new X-Force, then X-Statix for some time, falling off when the psuedo-Princess Di storyline seemed to drag on a bit. I didn't pick up their crossover with the Avengers, or this final issue, until fairly recently. (2010, that's fairly recent...)

The X-Statix team, down to Mr. Sensitive, the Anarchist, Dead Girl, Vivisector, Doop, and Venus Dee Milo; is on the verge of retirement, but is approached for "one last payday." The Anarchist correctly points out, that's exactly what "punch-drunk fighters say before they step into the ring and lose whatever brains they got left." Mr. Sensitive's guts cramp up, seemingly at the very notion; but Venus persaudes him that mutants like them are going to need more money than usual, to lead normal lives.

The mission seems simple enough; a mansion full of armed gunmen. (The gunmens' goal is unstated and irrelevant, like a video game.) Anarchist seems especially contrary today, bringing up dead team members Zeitgeist and Edie; and that the team has rarely been in it just for the money before. In actuality, Anarchist had been trying to cover for Dead Girl, who hadn't been feeling well, but didn't feel like a dead girl could call in sick.

Of course, this is the last issue, so the team is gunned down to the last. But, as the cover points out, it's "downbeat but strangely moving." X-Statix goes out together, and goes out fighting. No bitterness, no finger-pointing, no self-doubt. Definitely something to be said for that.

X-Statix, and Milligan and Allred, would get a bit of a coda a couple years later, with X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl. Guest-starring Dr. Strange, but I haven't read that yet. Someday, I suppose. And Doop is seen as gutshot and apparently dead, but I know he's turned up since.

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