X-Statix #1-5 (2002): Good Omens


I continue to love this series.  We get the first issue (#1) as part of Marvel’s September relaunches of multiple series, but unlike the other new #1s (which seem to exist just to pull in new readers), this reboot fits organically into the narrative.  To now, the team has been calling itself X-Force and its stories were told in that series, with inherited numbering.  But in the final issue of X-Force, the team wanted to shed that name—and, in fact, the original X-Force team had challenged them about using it in the first place.

Now, with a tongue-in-cheek reference to the relaunch of X-Men from the core original team to the Wolverine/Storm/Thunderbird/etc. lineup, we get Giant Size X-Statix #1.  I love how Pete Milligan has fun playing with the “real life” publication requirements and the in-story content.


The first issue has two stories, one by the regular creative team of Peter Milligan and Michael Allred, and a second drawn by Darwyn Cooke, who did a previous fill-in.  Story 1 introduces the extended “Good Omens” arc, while Story 2 focuses on a new member and Doop.  It’s creepy and defies words, but at the end of the day a prospective X-Statix member proves unable to control his powers so Doop cuts his head off with an axe.  This will be important later.

Let’s move to the main tale…

Good Omens has an overarching story but it’s important to note that the constant in-fighting and excellent character work continue.  In that respect, X-Statix is like Uncanny X-Men on steroids.  Where that title pioneered a “soap opera” style of team-based superheroics, this one takes it to a hyper-realistic and meta level.  There is a reason that this book is so celebrated.  There are way too many subplots to cover.  There’s the creation and end of “O-Force.”  Several more recruits arrive, make one appearance, and die.  Phat and Vivesector continue their romance.

For the actual story, a kid named Arnie Lundberg is a mutant with a vague power-set who has taken control of a town in Minnesota and raises an army of the dead.

Check out all the tombstones—they are characters from The Simpsons.

Out of his love for U-Go Girl and X-Statix, Arnie sends his army to destroy O-Force (a team of heroes who have names that begin with “O,” which Solomon O’Sullivan formed to take over after X-Force said they wanted to be independent and form X-Statix).  The team gets saved by Orphan, who then convinces Arnie to join the team as “Mysterious Fan Boy.” 

This moves us to issue #5, drawn by Paul Pope, in which Arnie has his first mission.  During it, Arnie has a heart attack during a fight with a mutant called Razorhead.

Razorhead will return, despite that Arnie appears to blow him up into pieces in the issue.

We learn at the end that Lacuna actually caused the heart attack with the goal to kill Arnie—on instructions from Orphan, who did it because Arnie’s immense power and mental instability made him a threat to the entire world.  When Lacuna challenges his decision on this point and accuses him of murder, Orphan says he is quitting the team.

(We also learn that that creepy Doop story in issue #1 ties in—there, too, Orphan ordered the murder of a team member.)


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