“The Good and the Famous, parts 3 and 5” (sic)
Only a few more issues until this comic is gone. It’s too bad, because with the current Avengers vs. X-Statix storyline, the comic has come more alive than it has since Edie a.k.a. U-Go Girl was killed off. After Edie died saving the lives of her teammates, the book has missed her unique combination of intelligence, charm and sexiness. In turn, the book has lost its edge somewhat, hitting its nadir with the six-issue abortive Princess Di storyline, which felt completely emasculated.
Now, however, with what seemed at first like perhaps the silliest storyline of the while Milligan/Allred run, the creative team seems instead to have found their collective voice once again. Issue 23 contains some of the most fun, intelligent and startling scenes in this comic for some time. The first half of this issue, a battle between Hawkeye and X-Statix’s werewolf character Vivisector, contains more intelligent characterization of Hawkeye than the latest incarnation of his solo book contained in its entire run. We see Hawkeye and Vivisector first on opposite sides, then on the same side, of an African war. We see both character’s intelligence and passion, and get a feel for what really makes each of them heroes. At the end of the story, we see veteran hero Hawkeye school his younger counterpart.
In the next chapter, erroneously called chapter five of the story (the Hawkeye/Vivisector piece was called chapter three), we see Venus Dee Milo battle Ant-Man. The story features some very unique moves by Ant-Man, and a very strange plot twist at the end that really doesn’t make sense – nor should it. One of the cool things that writer Milligan has played with through his run on X-Force/X-Statix is the inherent strangeness of super-heroes, how sometimes their powers seem like some surreal sort of agic. This story depends on that type of twist, and Milligan pulls it off beautifully.
Only three more issues till this comic comes to an end. It’s amazing how a few issues can change your perception. I was ready for it to come to an end a few months ago; now I’ll really miss X-Statix. This is a great comic book.