"Good Omens Part 4: Talking About Edie With Arnie"
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Michael Allred
Once again, the team of Milligan and Allred serve an appetizing dish on paper, as X-Statix continues to impress me with its solid characterization and real world sensibilities. This issue serves as the "climax" to the first arc (although the 5th issue is the last part of the story), as leader Guy Smith comes into confrontation with the mysterious fanboy who has his town under his control.
With the group "disbanded" in the last issue, and Arnie, the aforementioned fanboy, ripping apart the forces who have come to stop his reign of terror, it is up to the Guy to save the day. This issue, and as for most of the arc, is where the Orphan takes the spotlight, as the story finally begins to tie-up the all the plots that have been raised in the issues before, mostly regarding to the effects of the death of his lover, Edie Sawyer. However, he is not alone, as the team regroups, Humpty-Dumpty style, and turns the tide in their favor. Guy's epiphany is X-Statix's epiphany, as the confrontation ends not with a very bloody showdown to the maximum Authority-style fight, but with milk and cookies.
Peter Milligan's tale of redemption has its ups and down all throughout this issue; there are some gaps that have been left unfilled in relation to some of the members, notably Phat and Vivisector, which just doesn't seem right to me. Nor is the role and personality that Simon O'Sullivan play clear as crystal, given his portrayal in the last issues. Because of these, the aftertaste of this book seemed a little sour to me, and isn't really something that I would read again without having the first three issues at hand. The good in Milligan's writing is that while the issue may be of less caliber than the last ones, it never loses the fun factor of X-Statix, nor the one-line comments that just resonate in your head. The Cliffhanger itself is intriguing, and makes one anticipate the next issue; something that this creative team has as a standard. Finally, it brings a sense of conclusion to what seemed to me as a long draught of Edie-related stories. Oh come on, while I do miss her badly, it's as if we're already milking her death one too many times. Seeing it all end and Guy finally lightening up is a relief for me. Maybe we can now move on to other stories that have the potential to be just as great.
Mike Allred's retro-style art is always a treat to look at, as it perfectly contrasts and compliments Milligan's script. It's as if these two had one mind, and that's just what makes X-Statix a solid example of perfect writer/artist relation. Moreso, the cartoony look masks the light and dark aspects of the story, something that if a "realistic" artist would have a go at, would maybe just seem more gritty than relevant. By gritty, I mean 1990s gritty.
X-Statix is one book that suit well to those with the eclectic and refined taste; among the Marvel selection, this one stands out as one of the most intellectual and realistic of them all, second only to the Ultimates. A unique book, from a very unique creative team.
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