Current Reviews


X-Statix #19

Posted: Tuesday, March 9, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Peter Milligan
Artists: Mike Allred (p), Nick Craine (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Plot:
The book opens by looking in on Myles (aka. Vivisector), as he's finding it increasingly difficult to enjoy his celebrity, as he's come to believe people are embracing his mutant ability, rather than his person. To correct this problem we see Myles looks into a claim that has been made by a doctor who states that he's come up with a way to remove a mutant's power. After a conversation with his teammates goes badly, we see Myles decides to undergo the cure, but after his mutant abilities are removed, he discovers his concerns were correct, as he finds himself punted off the team.

The Good:
I like the idea that we're moving on to a new plot that looks like it'll wrap up in the next issue, as the previous arc went on a bit longer that it really needed to, and as such it's nice to get a story that looks like it's having to work to get all its ideas on the table within the issues it has available. The debate that this issue offers up is hardly a new one as the miracle cure plot has surfaced in the pages of the X-books numerous times over the years, but the surprise twist this issue offers up is that the cure actually looks to be a complete success, and while the creator of the cure is revealed to have sinister plan, the simple fact of the matter is that his cure does look to genuine. Normally these cure plots are resolved by revealing the cure has been a scam, or a sinister ploy that is being carried out by a mystery villain, but this book does have a decided advantage over the other X-Titles (except for Exiles), in that it has shown a willingness to kill off its characters. In fact one could almost say this book displays an eagerness to kill off its cast, as one almost expects a character is going to be killed off in every single arc of this series. In any event this story looks to have come up with a different method of removing yet another member of the group, but instead of killing them off, Peter Milligan strips the character of his power, and unlike most titles where a character loses their powers, I honestly can't say I expect this story to end with the character regaining his powers, even with the story providing a rather easy method for him to do so.

Mike Allred continues to be the perfect match for Peter Milligan's plots, as he manages to capture the sense that these character are not exactly the most heroic of creatures. I mean one has to love that when members of this group are engaged in internal squabbling, the situation can erupt into a situation that would have most teams demanding that these characters both be ejected from the group for the careless use of their powers. The art also does a nice job capturing the smug nature of Myles as he undergoes the cure, and then helps to sell the idea of its success on television, as I don't think a character can look more full of themselves than on these two pages. I also enjoyed his expressions in the final pages as he comes to the realization that by having his powers removed he no longer has a place on the team. Plus the Canadian in me had to smile at the visual of the rampaging mutated loggers of Newfoundland. Nice looking cover image as well, and I have to say I like the idea that this book remains on of the few Marvel titles that uses its cover to sell the plot one can expect to find inside.

The Bad:
The central idea of this arc has a member of the X-Statix come across a means of curing themselves of their mutant power, and once they subject themselves to this cure they discover they no longer have a role to play within the confines of the team as there's no role on the team for a former mutant. the problem with this idea if that given this cure does look to be a success and they advertised its success on a nationally televised program than the reaction should be far more substantial than having a member of the X-Statix learn he no longer can plat a role within the confines of the group. I mean the doctor than came up with this cure should have mutants beating down his door, as if there is one constant about the Marvel Universe it's that there's a wealth of mutants who would give their right arms to be free of their accursed abilities. One would also think government agents would be paying the doctor a visit as his cure looks considerably cheaper than the construction of highly undependable killer robots. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that this book has shown a history of being off in its own universe, and up until this point I've been happy to look past the idea that the events of this book are never acknowledged in the pages of other Marvel titles. However this issue introduces an idea that is far bigger than it seems to wants to acknowledge, and I found it difficult to pretend that its impact would be limited to the confines of this book's plot.

Maybe He Can Be The Team's Snapper Carr:
Not the most exciting of issues as the debate that this issue sets up is one that most readers of the X-books should be quite familiar with, and for the most part Peter Milligan doesn't bring anything new to the table. If nothing else this issue doesn't really doesn't do all that convincing a job of setting up why Myles wants to be rid of his power, as out of the entire group one would think that the one character who would be eager to be rid of his power would be Guy, who has never shown much enthusiasm for celebrity that comes with being a member of the X-Statix, and plus his power doesn't really afford him a normal life. Still, even without making a convincing case why Myles would want to have his powers removed, the issue does manage to offer up some fun arguments from his teammates, as I love the idea that their strongest argument is that after he receives the cure he'll be ordinary, which is something that they consider to be a fate worse than the ridiculously short life span that comes with being a member of the X-Statix. The issue also delivers a fairly powerful little exchange between Myles and Tike, as the two hotheads have at it, and they both walk away in pretty sad shape.

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