Giant-Size X-Statix #1

Issue Date: 
September 2019
Story Title: 

Peter Milligan (writer), Michael “Doc” Allred (artist) Laura Allred (colorist), Nate Piekos of BlamBot Studios (letterer), Michael & Laura Allred (cover artists), Aaron Kudar & Laura Allred (variant cover), Lauren Amri & Danny Khazem (assistant editors), Darren Shan (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Years after the death of most of X-Statix, U-Go-Girl’s younger sister Katie, now a high school senior, lives an ordinary life with her father and wants things to continue that way. That changes when she is contacted by Dead Girl, who reveals that U-Go-Girl was not her sister but her mother, and hints that Katie has inherited her power. Katie is furious at her mother and refuses to have anything to do with her lifestyle, but it soon becomes clearer and clearer that she has inherited her mother’s teleportation talent. A secret evil mutant organization is also after her and blackmails her boyfriend into helping them. Eventually, the evil mutants kidnap Katie at the behest of their leader Zeitgeist, the former leader of X-Force who was believed dead and who wants to recruit her for his evil superteam. Dead Girl and Doop, in the meantime, have contacted X-Statix survivors Mr. Sensitive and Vivisector, as well as recruited new members the A and Phatty, children of dead X-Statix members, to form a new team and save Katie. Dead Girl gets the team there and a battle (which is of course transmitted live) ensues. However, they can barely hold their own, until finally Katie accepts her power and teleports them to safety. She continues her normal life but understands her mother better and is somewhat tempted by the superhero lifestyle.

Full Summary: 

A news feature:
The report shows a battle with the X-Force team originally led by Axel Cluny aka Zeitgeist, the team that fought pay per view missions filmed by the unlikely sex symbol Doop. Zeitgeist and most of his team (with the exception of U-Go-Girl, Doop and the Anarchist) were killed on a mission. The thing X-Force (later X-Statix) was most famous for was their insanely high body count.

The report is watched by a young, redheaded woman, Katie, who except for her tooth-gap and her healthier skin tone is the spitting image of Edie Sawyer aka U-Go Girl. Edie is in fact the one X-Statix member Katie is interested in. She still has the pillbox hat from when X-Static fought the League of Evil Out of Work Actors. It’s the only thing of her she has. Apart from being horribly objectified - this was years before #metoo – Edie was the team’s teleporter. And Katie’s big sister. The family changed their names to “Jones” though after Edie died, so the paparazzi wouldn’t bug them. Katie’s mother died a few years later, but she and her father got through it. She has friends at high school and, while not the best, she isn’t at the bottom of class either. When she graduates, Katie plans to be an engineer. She has a death metal-loving boyfriend named Mickey Halloran whom she isn’t sure about yet. She is happy. Her life isn’t exciting and that is how she wants it to stay.

And then everything changed.

Katie wakes up and finds herself in a graveyard at her mother’s grave. She believes this to be a dream… until Dead Girl shows up to announce it isn’t. When Katie bursts out that she looks way plumper on TV, Dead Girl blames Doop and glares at him as he come from the shadows. She explains she’s managed to wrangle a four-minute-pass from the land of the dead… for someone who will speak to Katie. What must be said will come better from her mother.

Edie appears and greets Katie. Disbelieving, Katie points out that isn’t her mom but her big sister. Edie admits that it’s no mistake and begins to explain….

In the meantime, Katie’s boyfriend Mickey Halloran sits on the porch of his home, listening to death metal, when an energy beam hits him courtesy of two mutants in X-costumes plus a giant flying eye. The male identifies him as Mickey Halloran, boyfriend of Katie Sawyer, daughter of dead hero U-Go Girl. Micky stammers he is dating a girl named Katie Jones who is as far from super as you can get. The eye blasts him again and the man warns Mickey that Uno’s evil eye will liquefy his skeleton… unless he arranges to meet his Girlfriend here tomorrow. Mickey groans he still thinks they have to the wrong person. The man orders the woman - Mirror Girl - to show him whom they seek, and the woman creates an artist’s impression of Katie.

At the graveyard, Katie can’t believe what she just heard. Her mother is lying in the grave in front of her! Edie explains that was Katie’s grandmother, Edie’s mother. She was only seventeen when she had Katie… and she was ambitious. She means she didn’t’ want a baby cramping her lifestyle, Katie spells out. Her racy lifestyle wasn’t a healthy environment to raise a child, Edie defends herself. Katie accuses her of putting fame before her own baby!

Dead Girl interrupts, she didn’t get U-Go-Girl a pass from the afterlife so they could have a family drama. She reminds Edie that she has an important message to give. Edie agrees and tells Katie she is going to have to accept her inheritance. Katie shoots back she can keep her money. Edie explains she is talking about the mutant gene inside Katie.

But her daughter isn’t interested She isn’t some stupid celebrity superhero. She is going to be an engineer. Something real. Edie sadly tells her a time is coming when she is going to have to use the special gift Katie inherited from her. Katie throws a tantrum. She doesn’t want anything from her! Why couldn’t Edie have stayed dead?!

That moment, Edie gets dragged back and tells her goodbye. Katie shouts she can’t go yet, but it’s too late. She turns to Dead Girl accusingly. That was never four minutes. Dead Girl shrugs apologetically. A technical glitch. Stuff like that happens all the time.

The following morning, Katie ditches Edie’s pillbox hat, throwing it from a bridge. She is determined to forget and studies even more, focusing on her grades. But suddenly, she finds herself disappearing from the library to reappear in graveyard, and she wonders if meeting Edie triggered something in her.

She gets her answer the next morning, when she looks into the mirror and finds she has Edie’s greyish complexion. Angrily she shouts, why couldn’t Dead Girl and Edie just leave her alone?

A sentiment shared elsewhere by Myles Alfred, the former Vivsector and Guy Smith, once known as either the Orphan or Mr. Sensitive, both former members X-Statix, both believed dead, both informed by Doop. Guy reminds Doop that, since their lucky escape, they both have new careers. Myles writes books that give him migraines when he is trying to read them and he is the unseen force behind Mr. Sensitive skin products. Myles spells out they are not at Doop’s beck and call.

Suddenly, he contorts in pain courtesy of Dead Girl, who is trying to see if she can get him angry enough to turn into Vivisector. Guy snaps, asking if it wouldn’t be easier to ask him and asks Doop to do something. Undeterred, Dead Girl replies she has seen a vision of the future, a team that perverts everything X-statix stood for… Fame, money, entertainment? Guy points out wryly.

Myles has finally changed into his more feral self, causing Dead Girl to drop him. Guy catches him as Dead Girl announces that only X-Statix can stop this deadly new crew. Guy asks if she means a reunion with Edie and Tike. And maybe even El Guapo, the skateboard kid. And Billy Bob, Myles growls, referring to his former lover, “Phat.” Dead Girl reminds them they are dead. Guy retorts if he can come back from the dead, why can’t they?

Standing next to Doop, Dead Girl refuses to discuss such complexities now, but it’s true they are a little light on numbers. Which is why she and Doop took the liberty of reaching out to the younger generation…

In the meantime, Katie visits medical experts about her condition. They either tell her she will grow out of it or don’t believe her. As a result, she teleports one of them to the Arctic and figures she will have to work on her anger issues. Finally, with a mix of meditation and epilepsy medication, she gets some control over her involuntary teleportation. Still, she sometimes wakes up hugging Edie’s star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood and, of course, no amount of medication helps with her skin problem.

Visiting her boyfriend Mickey, she tells him he better get used to the way she looks now. Mickey stammers there is nothing wrong with the way she looks. He is very liberal-minded. He once dated a girl with a Coldplay tattoo, he assures her. Katie demands why he has been acting weird all evening then. He admits there is something on his mind and asks if her mother was that old superhero U-Go-Girl? She was never her mother! She will never be her mother! Katie snaps. Why does he want to know? He apologizes and stammers that those scary dudes said they would hurt him if he didn’t help them find her.

That moment, the three villains burst into the room, attacking and injuring Micky. They are unimpressed at the sight of Katie, but their leader wants her. Micky groans that he is hurt.

That moment, Dead Girl walks through the wall into the room and tells Katie she can save herself and her boyfriend. She instructs her what to do but Katie refuses. Dead Girl replies she knows she is upset about her mother... Katie interrupts, noting that the selfish cow wasn’t her mother. She abandoned her!

Mirror Girl interjects she wants to be her own woman. She can dig thar. She tells Katie to look into the mirror; she is going to see her true self. Katie looks to see Edie. She refuses to believe that. Mirror Girl assures her that her mirror doesn’t lie (this time).

Dead Girl gets between them and orders her to concentrate. But the male villain, Hurt John, touches her and his power manages to cause even Dead Girl pain, psychological pain that is - recalling an unhappy memory of her childhood. Katie tries to help her and gets attacked by Uno.

Elsewhere, Doop is filming Guy, who is crying while looking at a photo of Edie. He still misses her. Annoyed, he orders Doop to get the camera out of his face. He knows they’ve got a contract for a three-hour docu-drama and they are still missing a third act, but he doesn’t have the strength or courage to do X-Statix again. Not without Edie. And nothing Doop says can persuade him otherwise. Doop replies something and Guy thinks.

Elsewhere, Myles is in bed with his husband, defending his decision not to return to X-Statix. Did James Joyce grow fur? Did Saul Bellow have fangs? It has taken him ages to be taken halfway seriously as a writer. His partner Fenton gently tells him he cannot change the past. Myles points out that, at the moment, Vivisector can be seen as the result of youthful indiscretion. And of mutant genes, Fenton adds. And his books sales will rocket. Myles is more concerned with the literary establishment. Fenton reminds him that, if they were really worried about what others thought, they wouldn’t be together. Myles gently touches his face and wonders what he would do without him.

X-Statix “bad boy” Tike Alicar aka the Anarchist was known for his womanizing lifestyle. However, all of that was a smokescreen hiding his relationship with his high school sweetheart Marsha Davies, with whom he had his only son Mike. At an early age, Mike showed he had inherited his father’s power of acid sweat when a cop tried to arrest his mother for a minor traffic violation. At 17, he used his power to clear out a drug gang from his block. Angry, smart and brilliant, Mike is determined to be every bit as famous as his father was. He refuses to be called the Anarchist, going instead by “the A.”

And he is perfect for X-Statix, Dead Girl finishes her introduction. She means he is tough? Brave? Resourceful? Myles asks. She replies he already has a record deal with Bad Rap Records and he’s designed a radical new line of sneakers.

Guy is mildly impressed and asks who’s next. Dead Girl reminds them of their dead teammate Phat, Billy Bob Reilly. Doop had secretly extracted genetic material from him. Nine months later, a girl was born, also displaying her father’s power of cellulite manipulation. Now she’s Phatty. And according to her PR material for this young woman, Phatty is always a feminist issue!

Watching the video of her taking out a few gangsters with her powers, Myles wonders how something so grossly misshapen can looks so feminine.

Dead Girl continues that she is a rising star on the plus-size catwalk. Of course, they are going to have to offer these guys points at the back ends and image rights. This isn’t like the old days when everyone from CAA to William Morris would come running to X-Statix.

She notes that Guy looks worried. He replies it’s hopeless, unless they can get into and out of fight scenes. Who could ever take the place of Edie Sawyer or Venus Dee Milo? Yes, the teleporter, Dead Girl agrees. She was just coming to her…

A building complex in Death Valley:
The unconscious Katie sits strapped to a chair, watched by her abductors and their leader, who warns Uno about the consequences should he have permanently damaged her. The flying eyeball asks what the big deal with that one is. There are more teleporters out there. What about the one from New York, Doctor Whoosh? Mirror Girl opines she likes the British girl with the cute lisp, Toodle Pip.

Their leader decides that they are passable but none of them is the daughter of Edie Sawyer!

Katie wakes up and bursts out she recognizes him. He’s Zeitgeist. Looking at his scarred face, she adds that he used to be handsome in an old guy kind of way and now… He’s monstrous, he agrees. He’s the spirit of the times. Look at him. Does she see the world they are living in? She doesn’t understand what he’s talking about and bursts out, he’s dead! They saw his intestines hanging out. Zeitgeist reveals that Axel Cluney died. But thanks to Doop’s naïve intervention, Zeitgeist survived the Boyz’r’Us massacre. He was in a coma for a year during which time he had major bionic surgery. It suited his purposes to remain officially dead. He is gathering a team of evil dada shock troops for the culture war that lies ahead. He calls them the X-Cellent. The only thing he is missing is a teleporter. Behold…

Who the hell says “behold?” Katie bursts out. Behold, he repeats, the Bohrometer. He points at a giant test tube that contain fragments of what looks like Venus Dee Milo. Zeitgeist rambles, it was built by the finest scientists he could kidnap and drug, based on notes left by physicist Niels Bohr, this machine is attracting and reassembling Venus Dee Milo’s many atoms which were scattered across the universe after X-Statix’ final joke of a mission. Unfortunately, there is a problem. It will take another fifteen years for Venus’ body to fully reassemble. He can’t wait that long for a decent teleporter, which brings him to her.

Katie refuses, and what makes him think she won’t just port out of here? With an evil grin, Zeitgeist informs her that electric impulses from the chair to her brain mean it is impossible for her to teleport. She will remain here until she agrees to join the team. Fine, then she’ll remain here, Katie announces.

Zeitgeist declares her as stubborn as her mother was. Katie retorts the only mother she knew was a dressmaker all her life and died two years ago. So, unless he had a secret hankering for off the shoulder damask-print cutoffs, the two of them probably didn’t meet. Not amused Zeitgeist uses his power against her and Katie screams.

Dead Girl phases inside the room and notes she always thought there was something sadistic about him. Hurt John attacks Dead Girl and gets rebuffed.

A little later, X-Statix break through the wall, including the new members (all of it, of course, filmed by Doop). Guy criticizes the A that he used a little too much sweat on the wall, and the young man retorts he is not taking lessons from him. Phatty tells Doop to make her butt look really big - think Jennifer Lopez. Doop sends the howl thing live (Provided you subscribe to X-Statix TV).

Guy is astonished to see Zeitgeist alive who tells him he doesn’t like what he did to his team. Guy stammers it wasn’t his team. Besides X-Statix were Entertainment Weekly’s superheroes of the year for three consecutive seasons. Ignoring the others fighting, Zeitgeist insists he shouldn’t have changed the name from X-Force. He turned the team into a laughing stock. The Keystone Cops in spandex. Guy retorts Zeitgeist led his team into a massacre. Most of them were expendable, is the reply, Edie Sawyer wasn’t. And Guy let her die on his watch. He lashes out at Guy, who replies he’d rather have died himself.

Zeitgeist orders Uno to give them the evil eye. Uno blasts the X-Statix members. Vivisector ends up next to Katie and introduces himself, adding she may have read his last novel “Some are Born Great.” Katie suggests they discuss literature after he’s gotten her out of the damn chair. He apologizes while slashing her loose. He’s out of practice with the superhero business. Been too busy storming the old cultural barricades, if she knows what he means. She doesn’t and calls him weird.

Uno is still blasting away. Calling the A “Tike,” Guy asks him to put up a little sweat there and give them some cover. The A snaps, he is Mike. He guesses they all look the same to him. As touchy as his old man, Guy groans.

Vivisector protects Katie from one of Zeitgeist’s blasts and muses that he supposes it is all rather exhilarating. If you like that kind of thing, Katie mutters. But she doesn’t, does she? he observes. She spent her entire life running from it. Katie retorts she saw what this life did to Edie. Fame ate her up and spat her out again. Myles insists this is about more than fame, which Katie doubts.

Guy dodges a blast and asks her to teleport them out. They can’t take much more of this. Katie stubbornly insists that she is a normal high school kid, not a superhero. She doesn’t transport anyone anywhere!

Mirror Girl scares Phatty with an image of her nightmare: herself slim.

Guy asks if she can’t see what is happening to them. Like it or not, she has the power, she carries the X-gene! And she can’t fight what she is. None of them can. Katie retorts that Edie’s love of fame made her leave her family. She won’t step into the same spotlight!

A rapt audience at home watches as one of Zeitgeist’s acid vomit blasts mutilates the A’s right arm. Angrily, he shouts at Katie to help them. Guy tells her he is not asking her to be like Edie, just use her special talent to help them.

Katie gives in and teleports voluntarily for the first time, taking the whole team back to the graveyard. The A groans about his agent warning him against taking up with them freaks. Guy assures him Doop will get him a prosthetic - he will be better than new.

He enthuses that Doop will get Katie a new outfit and they need to think names. Angrily, she cuts him off: she is not getting into any celebrity superhero team. Her life is her own! She walks away.

Myles wonders if they should stop her. Guy points out that, if she is anything like Edie, she won’t do anything she doesn’t want to.

Sometime later, Katie admits to herself that the fame she got through the adventure as well as using her powers was a thrill. She is beginning to understand why Edie chased fame. Maybe one day she will even be able to think of her as her mother…

Characters Involved: 

Katie Jones
The A, Dead Girl, Doop, Mr. Sensitive, Phatty, Vivisector (X-Statix)

Hurt John, Mirror Girl, Uno, Zeitgeist (X-Cellent)

Mickey Halloran

Story Notes: 

The team first showed up in X-force (1st series) #114 in which Zeitgeist’s entire team was killed, with the exception of the Anarchist and U-Go-Girl. Later the iteration of that team continued in X-Statix until all members of the new team died in issue #26

Some of them got better, like Mr. Sensitive, as explained in explained in X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl.

In Vivisector’s case, the death was retconned.

Keystone Cops was a series of comedic silent films, the humor of which centered around a group of grossly incompetent police officers.

The story is continued in The X-Cellent in 2022.

Page 9: I forgot how touchy you were.
Page 16: I’ve designed you a new suit. No vpl (visible panty line)

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