Marvel's X-Statix was a soap-opera-of-an oddball superhero series. Part self-destructive super team, part reality TV show, the book was funny, action-packed, and dark.
An X-Men title that reimagined Rob Liefield's hyper-violent X-Force, it was created by Vertigo writer Peter Milligan and indy comics darling Mike Allred (Madman). X-Statix was made to satirize the melodrama of the superhero genre and pop culture-- but from a place of love. Now that the self-torturing team has made its return in the form of Giant-Size X-Statix, this is the moment to review the utter strangeness that made this book a delight.
10 U-Go Girl
Blue-skinned and (mostly) moral, U-Go Girl is stranger for her character traits than for her powers. A girl from a small town, Edie Sawyer was the team's transportation and its emotional heart. A capable warrior and savior, she even rescued team leader Guy Smith from himself when she had every reason to want him dead. She's a mass teleporter, which isn't that strange a mutant power. But her abilities were wrapped up with blue skin, red hair, and narcolepsy, pushing her into the top 10.
9 Mister Sensitive/ The Orphan
If U-Go Girl was the X-Statix's emotional core, Guy Smith was the team's emo core. Often a moral leader as well as a mission leader, Guy still had emotional problems and shortcomings. It was his propensity for Russian roulette that would have ended his life. Only U-Go Girl's intervention saved him from the team's psychotic trainer, Coach. Unlike most fictional tortured souls, though, Guy earned his despair. His Super Senses put him on par with Wolverine or Daredevil but were also his greatest weakness. The friction of air against his skin was incredibly painful to him, so it's no wonder he was overwhelmed. This realistic drawback to his powers, plus its effect on his complexions, secures Guy the #9 slot.
8 Mysterious Fan Boy
Arnie Lundberg was a weird addition to the X-Statix, even by their strange standards. Introduced as an adversary, the "X-Statix biggest fan" used a combination of telepathy and reality-warping powers to emulate the plot of The Twilight Zone's "It's A Good Life," but with zombies.
When Guy Smith decided to let the Fan Boy join the X-Statix, he was both trying to direct the unstable mutant and keep him close in case Arnie had to be killed. Arnie was a sad figure who regularly went beyond the bounds of sympathy. You don't get to telepathically torture people even if you were the victim of a hate crime. It's hard to say how different Arnie's powers are from, say, the Scarlet Witch's. Regardless, the fact that his go-to moves were 1) zombie horde and 2) peaceful village=psychic playground makes him a high-level weirdo.
Ah, "Billy-Bob" Reilly-- performative and fame-obsessed, "gangsta" white boy from a poor urban background, and surprisingly effective hero. His watershed moment came when he and his werewolf-faced teammate Vivisector plotted to grab more screen time by pretending to be in a homosexual relationship. The farce ended when they realized they were gay-- but had no sexual interest in each other.
Phat's mutant power of controlling his body's fat edged into the truly bizarre. The effect as he inflated his limbs with subcutaneous fat was grotesque, but he turned it into an effective weapon and shield. Phat's death was particularly heroic, enveloping an exploding bomb, saving his teammates but not himself.
Mickey Tork was only briefly a member of the X-Statix. Along with most of his version of the team, bad guys massacred him in the first issue. Still, the idea behind the character was interesting: A big monster of a guy as strong as The Thing and also super into Gay Pride. Openly homosexual, Bloke still fit in with the macho X-Force team that morphed into the X-Statix.
Tork had a murderous reputation, killing people on missions. Sometimes teammates. Bloke's power set was physical. He had super strength, super reflexes, super endurance... So what makes him weird? Bloke also had the power to change his skin color. His physical abilities were keyed to his color scheme: Pink gave him super strength, and camouflage-mode negated his other powers.
5 Venus Dee Milo
Dee joined the X-Statix after U-Go Girl's death. She lacked an intricate back story, but series writer Peter Milligan remembered to keep her emo. A vessel for living energy, Dee accidentally killed her family and obliterated her own body when her powers first manifested. She survived inside a containment suit designed by Professor X.
Readers have seen the energy body/containment suit thing in characters like Captain Atom and the Vorlons on Babylon 5. But Dee's powers were more versatile than most. In addition to standard energy blasts and the floaty-arm thing that inspired her code name, Dee could teleport en masse like her predecessor. She could also heal people and had access to a “Dark Dimension,” just like Cloak and Darkstar except her dimension was... Heaven? She could teleport to Heaven? Now we're getting weird.
4 El Guapo
Not the villain from The Three Amigos! Robbie Rodriguez was a handsome stuntman who saved the X-Statix in a firefight. He was recruited chiefly for his good looks and youth appeal. Still, Robbie proved more than capable in battle, though his career went downhill after he lost his legs to a stray missile.
Robbie's odd power was he controlled a flying skateboard with his mind. Telekinesis or a telepathic connection to a sentient piece of wood? Either way, he believed it was alive. At least once when he was feeling guilty, the board went after Robbie's handsome face. To his credit, Robbie struggled to be not just a Hero but a genuinely good guy. But like most of us, he didn't always succeed.
3 Dead Girl
A hero whose power is... she's dead? A super zombie of sorts, Dead Girl was a murdered actress named Moonbeam whose death triggered her unusual power set. A dark-but-likable heroine, her main power was that she was unkillable, instantly regenerating any damage to her body, including her brain.
The sardonic and sometimes mean heroine also had some ghostly qualities, like walking on air and speaking with the dead. On top of all that she also had razor-sharp claws. When she died with the rest of the team the reason given was "a decaying disease." But given the way she'd reconstructed her obliterated body in the past, it wasn't convincing.
A ghostly figure, Plazm was another short-lived former member of X-Force who died in the “Issue #1 Massacre.” Plazm was a peaceful sort, but he never got a chance to define his personality or even backstory. His powers were some of the strangest ever to grace ink and paper, though.
A lighter-than-air mutant who could ooze around as a semi-liquid (Jello?) and fly at nearly the speed of sound, maybe he should have been named 'Untapped Potential.' RIP Plazm with a 'Z.'
A legless, 3-foot tall Slimer look-alike, Doop joined the X-Statix as the team's cameraman. Weirdly, Doop was easily the team's most powerful member. He could change his shape and size at will, had defensive and offensive psionic powers, could travel dimensions, send people to other dimensions through a hole in his head, and was so strong he won a fight with Thor. Doop was unironically described as an 'unlikely sex symbol' by the media, which probably counts as a superpower, too.
Oh, and he had an emergency backup brain, because of that time his brain exploded.
The bad guys who massacred the team in the final issue must have had some magic bullets because Doop died alongside Dead Girl, Mister Sensitive, Venus Dee Milo, and the rest, an X-Static to end… Except it was a comic book death, so he’s been hanging around with Wolverine since at least 2014.