Monday, November 19, 2007

X - Statix : x - plotation x - travaganza

It´s been 2 weeks since my last post and it has been a really stressful time. Aside from the usual things that take up your time like all the stuff with the unemployment office and the things to sort out with my new comic shop I found a website with art from one of my favorite artists.

As is typical for me I spent the better part of a week downloading the pics one picture at a time till I found out that I could also download whole batches via rapidshare. Or just download it in ZIP - format. Figures.

Anyway, I have now downloaded all the stuff but I still have to sort it all out to put all the Zatanna pictures in one folder, all the Power Girl pictures in one folder, all the Wonder Woman pictures in one folder and so on.

To top it all off I´m not certain if I can use any of the pics on my blog. Not only because 99,9 % would rate as " not safe for work " or outright " adults only " ( which seeing as 99,9 % of comic readers are older than 18 should not be a problem ) but also because I don´t want to rip the guy off. So I´m not sure if any of this artwork will pop up in future episodes of comicbabe battle. I still have to sort through 3000 pics so it will take a little while before I can use any of them anyway.

But back to X - Statix.

In my last post I wanted to write a bit about the members of X - Statix since so far I only mentioned Deadgirl. I think I should talk a bit about the other team members and the series which of course will lead to a few spoilers. If my last two posts have already piqued your curiosity than you can leave it at that and pick up the trades or go through the dollar bins.

If you want to know more then you can read on.......but be warned oh faithful one that you are on a path that is paved with numerous spoilers. Beware.

I can´t say too much for the first incarnation of the new team. Not only because I started reading when the second round up took over but also because most of them get killed off in the first issue like I already mentioned. So the team members of X - Statix for me were :

Guy Smith a.k.a. Orphan a.k.a. Mr. Sensitive

Like his name says Guy is supersensitive which means he has to wear a specially designed suit to protect his body because the slightest breeze feels like a thousand razorblades on his skin. And his personality is also very sensitive. After the un - x - pected demise of almost the whole team he is one of the new additions to the team ( if I remember correctly ) and he becomes team leader.

Guy functions as the moral compass of the team because he seems to be the only one who has a clear sense of what´s wrong and what´s right. Which doesn´t mean that he always acts like a hero or does the right thing. But he does it more ofthen than the other team members who may know what they should be doing but mostly just don´t care. Or do the wrong thing because that´s good for their image. But Guy tries to be the hero, make the tough choices and do what has to be done. Sometimes he has to dupe his fellow teammates to support him by playing with their fears or wants and sometimes he outright lies to them. But since anybody of the team lies almost constantly I´m not sure if that´s a bad thing or just Guy trying to fit in. I mean, is it such bad thing to lie to somebody if you only want him to do what´s right ? You just know he will feel better afterwards.

Naturally there are instances where the team can´t be lied, coerced or bribed into doing the right thing. And that´s when Guy uses his position of team leader to just order them to do it. Which leads to all sorts of friction and back stabbing but which good opera can live without those elements ? And isn´t any good comic book just a superhero opera ?

One of the members of the team who´s constantly trying to substitute Guy as team leader is Tyke Alistair a.k.a the Anarchist

As one of the two surviving members of the first round up he feels he should be the team leader. So of course he´s pissed that they made another one the leader. Because there´s only one reason why they didn´t make him team leader : because he´s black. Yes, Sir. Can´t have the brother as the team leader.

With Tyke it´s always a black or white thing and he plays the race card quite a lot in the series. But since I have no x - perience in that field I can´t really argue about it. Tyke was adopted by a white couple and because he tried to blend in he tried if he can´t wash his blackness off. Which not only lead to him becoming a hygiene fanatic like Mr. Monk always washing his hands in times of stress but also to a deeprooted fear of not being black enough. Of course these fears really start to fester when the Spike is trying to become a member who´s just " more ghetto " than the Anarchist. And just when the finger of death has pointed at Tyke. There´s a second brother on the team and then it´s " Better don´t start reading any long novels. "

By the way I know that white guys are not really white and black guys are not really black. Especially Guy Smith ( what a brilliant name by the way ) who´s more violett. But since this is a comic book that works with absolutes I think it´s fitting to use the terms black and white.

Also I´m not a big fan of this new kind of thought control that´s so popular now called political correctness. For once I think that the basic ideas of " politic " and " correct " are such strong opposites that you can´t use them both in a sentence. What´s that political correctness ? Is that the same as an honest politician ?

Second I think at 40 years I´m not only old enough to know what´s correct and what´s not. I also don´t need anybody telling me what I´m allowed to say - or more correctly - to think.

Thirdly I don´t think that all this political correctness does anything more than sugarcoat the truth. Like if the news use terms like collateral damage or such. They don´t change the facts they just sound better. I don´t think I really need that. Some people may say that political correctness is a good thing but to me words like " afro american " sound more racial than just saying " black ". Because what people will be saying is " afro american " but what they will be thinking is " black " or even " the n - word ".

Wow. I didn´t want to get on my soapbox but I just had to mention that.

Of course Tyke is not just a bunch of stereotypes but it´s always an issue with him. Should it be an issue ? No, not in an ideal world. But since X - Statix doesn´t take place in an ideal world all that stuff was included which in my opinion is one of the strengths of the series. It´s in big part a mirror of the society and the times the members of X - Statix live in.

But the problem is that like in the old saying of Nietsche where you can´t fight monsters without becoming a monster yourself there is always the danger of a book like X - Statix becoming x - actly what it´s rebelling against. If in fact it is rebelling and not reveling in it, in all the filth and glamour and hype and death. One of the things that I didn´t like very much was the announcements that they would include Lady Di in the book who comes back from the dead.

What was even worse than the whole idea is that they went back when they suddenly realized that maybe that could lead to negative reactions and angry protesters with torches and pitch forks. Yeah, right, like they couldn´t have know that desecrating her wouldn´t have people around the world up in arms. As you can see by the revised covers they just changed her hair colour and made her a pop princess instead of a princess.

Not only didn´t they have the decency to leave the dead alone but when push came to shove they didn´t even have the balls to go through with it. They caved in ! I always say if you are an a$$hole than at least be honest with it. In the end they got the publicity and it´s not like reading the book you don´t realize who she´s supposed to be. To my eyes that´s cheating. But that´s also a part of the book.

Eddie ( Edith ) Constance Sawyer a.k.a. U - Go Girl

The other team member that survived of the " old " X - Force " is Eddie the team´s teleporter who gets romantical involved with Guy Smith. Which of course doesn´t mean she won´t try to ( like Isnogood would say ) become team leader instead of the team leader.

She´s his first love interest in the book and even if she´s an emotional wreck and a drug addict she´s one of the characters I liked very quickly. Maybe it´s got something to do with the fact that she couldn´t bring herself to kill Guy to become team leader in the first issue I read.

Anyway the friction between her and Guy leads to all sorts of funny stuff like in the storyline where they have let themselves be rescued by the CIA to smooth things over with them ( Guy made one of those tough choices I mentioned earlier and the team suffered because of it and the CIA was pissed ) and U - Go girl stands up for her guy. Not only does she bully the CIA guy to treat Guy with a little more respect but she also insists that he has to be the team leader on this mission.

And when Guy talks to her because he admires that she chose to let him be the team leader instead of herself.....what she was always working for....her only comment is : " What ? Do you really think I´m that crazy that I´m going to lead the team on the only mission we plan to loose ? " That´s like instant reality check right there.

Myles Alfred a.k.a. Vivisector

Now is it just me or does Myles Alfred sound a lot like Mike Allred ? Not that I want to say that Mike Allred has the mutant ability to transform into a kind of werewolf. It would be cool, wouldn´t it ? No, that´s not where I´m going. I´m just saying it can´t be pure coincidence that the team´s literate art guy has a name that sounds like the artist on the book. Like it can´t be pure coincidence that the billionaire owner of the team who´s a scheming machiavellian SOB looks x - actly like Rob Liefeld.

Apart from that he´s always playing the gay factor together with team member Phat Boy.

Billy Bob a.k.a. Phat Boy

In X - Statix he´s always the Blue Beetle to Vivisectors Booster Gold.

Always ready to cash in the quick fame and ready to do anything to get more coverage on the tabloids. Which mostly means changing his sexual orientation at the drop of a hat. I don´t recall how often the two were gay / not gay / normal ? / bisexual / whatever. On one side it´s a clear storytelling device to keep the readers in suspense. On the other side it´s a clear parody of the times we live in that such things as sexual orientation are still the source for so much x - citement. And speaking of storytelling devices : last ( and in my eyes the least ) member of our cast is Doop ( no other known aliases )

This weird green blob is nothing more than a storytelling device. In the book he acts as the teams chronical catching everything on tape but since he always talks in " doop speak " and his interactions with the team are mostly for comic relief he has no real impact on the story. In fact the book would work without Doop ever appearing in it. Later on there is a storyline where he is the catalyst for a confrontaion with the Avengers ( which is when the book crosses from the satirical to the absurd ) but you can just substitute Doop for whatever Mac Guffin you want since the whole story is just a glorified whacko version of Contest of the Champions.

And if you haven´t guessed right now - I don´t like Doop. If you are like me and just hate it when they put kryptonian in the Superman / Batman books without translating them then you will just looove " Doop Speak ". I mean, what am I ? Eight years old ? I don´t need a special decoder ring to decipher the hidden messages of Buck Rogers and if the comic writer just doesn´t want me to read the book - hey, that´s okay too. Why not write the book in suaheli, hindu, arab or swedish ? Although I might understand that a little. It´s easier for someone who knows german and english to understand phrases like " Nu snap ick waroom da geen doer is. " ( which I got from an issue of VERGELDERS my brother bought in Spain ) than get behind the meaning of Doop´s hidden messages.

I really thought I could wrap up this whole X - Statix theme with this post but again I got sidetracked and it´s time to leave the rest for part four. I really wanted to get on with it since I´m rereading my comic collection like wildfire and wanted to post something about the other books like INVINCIBLE and ASTRO CITY. But that will have to wait.

Two things before I end this post :

I wanted to include two links for all who want to read more about X - Statix. The first one is a link to the complete chronology of the team with fully detailed description of the team members ( although they don´t include all the aliases but I already did that ) and what happens in which issue. The second one is a link where you can find reviews of all the issues of X - Statix ( I´m not sure if you can also find reviews of all the X - Force issues ) but there could be spoilers.  edit : second link is dead

Lastly I wanted to include some pictures of sexbomb Jennifer Ellison.

Back when I was doing the Comicbabe Battle part of Black Cat I included a pic of the lovely Jen as a possible real live version of Felicia Hardy.

Sadly she didn´t look much like the Black Cat in that photo but I think you can see more of a likeness in these where she is rollerblading.

Jennifer has a fantastic bikini figure ( Va - va - va - voom ! )

and she looks great in black no matter if it´s a black leather combo

 or black lingerie. She just looks gorgeous in anything.

And of course she can look like a real wildcat if she wants

although she can also look like the cat that just ate the bird.

I mean, who wouldn´t follow hardbody Jennifer upstairs

for a bit of one on one action ? You can count me in anytime, Jen !

In a lot of her pictures she looks like she´s just come out of bed but is ready to get back into it right away. Like : What are you waiting for ?

What´s also totally hot about Jen is that while she has a pretty big bust - and a perfectly rounded one - she also has a killer midsection.

There are a many pictures I could add - and I had to restrain myself not to post them all - but I think I got my point across that she would be perfect for the role of Marvel´s hormone overloading cat burglar The Black Cat.

Now since I edited the post I would normally add a video about X - Statix or Jennifer Ellison at the end of the post but since either my laptop or YouTube are currently on the fritz I have to leave that to a later date.
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