Leisurely, El Guapo lies in bed, enjoying the early morning. Shirtless, he lies on his back, his hands placed his head and a brown fedora hat covering his eyes. Thinking back to last night, he muses that there were three in his bed last night… same as usual. Already up and dressing is his girlfriend, Consuela, who is “cool” with the arrangement. She knows she has to share him. Hell, he thinks, he’s a mutant; she accepts that things are different with them. Now dressed, Consuela brings her boyfriend a cup of coffee, sitting down next to him. Finally moving the fedora back and uncovering his eyes, El Guapo smirks that the board would like some oil. Regarding the skateboard at El Guapo’s side, the item that she had to share the bed with last night, as usual, Consuela jokes that “the board” can go lubricate itself.
As Consuela rises from the bed, El Guapo does so as well. Following El Guapo is the skateboard, which floats nearby its master. Coffee cup in hand, El Guapo wraps both arms around the moving Consuela, embracing her playfully. He reminds her that today is his big day; Spike Freeman wants to talk to him. The car, he continues, should be there any minute. As if on cue, the door buzzer chimes, causing the three to open up and look outside. Waiting on the street below is a limousine and its driver, waiting to take El Guapo. Smiling a devilish grin, El Guapo announces that it sure beats joggin’ to work.
In X-Statix’s screening room, Guy Smith and Tike Alicar watch a video of El Guapo balancing atop his flying skateboard, while carrying the deranged and deformed Sharon Ginsberg. Almost in jest, Guy asks aloud if they haven’t seen this before. Tike responds in kind that they have; it’s the part where he saves his sorry behind. Frowning slightly, Guy replies that she caught him off-guard. Undaunted, Tike tells Guy that she would have ripped his head if it hadn’t been for that kid.
Watching the scene with his customary enthusiasm, Spike Freeman announces that here he comes! The hero of the hour! Also looking on, Vivisector declares that El Guapo is so lucky; the camera loves him. Meanwhile, it is not even on speaking terms with himself. Having half listened as she speaks on a mobile phone, Venus tells Vivisector that that’s because he’s not “the handsome one.” Sounding the name El Guapo, the ”Handsome One” aloud, Tike asks if it is any name for a member of their outfit. Spitting back with sarcasm, Venus retorts that she’d say it was perfect for them.
Still concerned, Guy asks the team if they think he’s a little lightweight; he is just an actor. Sitting in the row behind, Dead Girl counters that she was under the impression that they were all actors. Smiling wildly, Spike informs the group that the P.R. folks live him. They’re calling him the fresh, new face of X-Statix. For this statement, all members of the team, presumably representing the old faces of X-Statix, collectively give their employer looks of daggers.
Getting the message, Spike adds that he’s just joking. El Guapo will be aimed strictly at the barely-pubescent market and won’t affect their Q-ratings one bit. Right, Tike responds; but they can check him out before they make a final decision. Already on it, Spike announces with another grin. He figured he’d give El Guapo a taste of the violent, unpredictable and perilous life of the modern super hero…
Champagne… Vivisector says, offering Robbie Rodriguez, also known as El Guapo, a flute of the drink. Completely unaware of Vivisector’s awkward attempt at flirting, El Guapo points over to another section of the pool area, asking if it isn’t Wolverine talking to George Clooney. Behind the two of them is the pool itself, from which a young blonde has emerged, topless and wearing only the bottom of her bathing suit. Around the pool itself, which is surrounded by a cabana, the ocean and various palm trees, are the members of X-Statix and their invited guests.
Appearing from nowhere and interjecting himself between the two, Spike Freeman asks El Guapo if he is enjoying himself. Attempting to reply nonchalantly, the new recruit replies that it’s just how he imagined they lived. Winking an eye, Spike tells El Guapo to not let anyone tell him it isn’t as good as it’s made out to be; because it is. Looking up, El Guapo sees Doop floating nearby and holding a camera, which is focused on him. Upon asking what Doop is doing, El Guapo is told by Spike that he is filming; Doop films everything. Adding to this, Doop makes a statement in his own language. Not understanding it, El Guapo leans into Spike, asking what he is saying. Not answering the question directly, Spike tells El Guapo that he’ll learn.
The thing is, he says, changing the subject, they wanted to say thank you for saving Guy’s life. And, Guys says, interjecting, they wanted to ask him to join them. “Wanna a slice of this life, man?” Tike asks. It’s all one long party, Vivisector adds, interrupted only by sporadic fugues of death and mayhem. Asked directly by Spike if he is interested, El Guapo’s eye widen in excitement and he asks who wouldn’t be interested? Joining X-Statix… it’s, like, every teen mutants dream!
The moment is interrupted by the sounds of everyone’s wristwatch. Duty calls, announces Vivisector as Spike speaks to someone on his mobile phone. Malaysia, Spike says to the party on the other end; as discussed, a tropical breeze. Hearing their assignment, Venus playfully tells the others to fasten their seatbelts.
Turning to El Guapo, Spike asks him why he doesn’t come along for the ride. ‘S gonna be wicked, announces Phat. He can see if he still likes the party when the music’s stopped, comments Tike. Taken aback, El Guapo states that he thought there’d be training before he saw, y’know… action. Rubbing El Guapo’s shoulders, Spike tells him to consider this his first exercise. The guys, he tells him, will watch his back. Hearing this, Dead Girl mutters to herself that they will, as long as they don’t get blown to bits themselves. Still not sure, El Guapo tells the team that he’d better call his girlfriend, Consuela. He promised he’d take her to a movie that night. Seeing this statement met by incredulous states from the team, El Guapo replies quickly that maybe he will call her later.
Watching his team ascend through one of Venus’ teleportals, Spike Freeman is met by Wolverine, who tells him that El Guapo’s a good-lucking kid. Spike replies that he is; in a Benjamin Bratt kinda way. They think his sex appeal will cause quite a stir. Among his fans?, Wolverine asks. Among his teammates, replies Spike.
Snarling his command, Vivisector tells El Guapo to get down. Reaching his newest teammate, who is already on the ground, holding his injured knee, Vivisector asks if it is bad. In obvious pain, El Guapo replies that it is not. Vivisector’s subsequent attempt to look at the injury is met by anger from Tike, the Anarchist, who informs Vivisector that, the next time he leaves his position like that, he’s a dead werewolf. Snarling back in response, Vivisector replies that he is not a “werewolf;” he is an overeducated mutated human with lycanthropic tendencies. A dead one, repeats the Anarchist. And you, he continues, this time speaking to El Guapo; he’d best try not to get under anyone’s feet.
El Guapo watches as the Anarchist walks away, rejoining the battle, and wonders about his motives. He had spoken to him as if he were a useless kid. If he thought that, then why did he bring him along? To shame the hell out of him? To have some fun at his expense? As he watches the rest of the team make their way through Malaysian troops, El Guapo wonders if he can cut this. How can he compete with these guys? How do they drink so much and then go straight into action? Personally, he thinks, he feels like barfing.
Still recovering, El Guapo marvels at how incredible Dead Girl and Venus are in combat… and how they scare him. Guy Smith may be Mr. Sensitive but he still goes in where it hurts. These guys, El Guapo thinks, have no fear. Him? He’s got nothing but fear.
El Guapo’s thoughts are grounded into reality by the whirr of a camera. Looking to its source, he sees Doop, filming away. El Guapo voices a protest and realizes that he must look pathetic. Doop responds, but in his unintelligible language. El Guapo replies that he doesn’t know what he said. “Mi no habla Doopy.” But not to worry; if he keeps shooting, he’ll give him his good side. Shamed into action, El Guapo mounts his floating skateboard and flies into the fray, shouting “action.”
In the battle, the Anarchist, pinned down by enemy soldiers’ rifles, calls out for help from Guy. In the midst of hand-to-hand combat, Guy replies that he has his hands full. From the sides, a voice announces that he has it. Following this, a blur flies overheard, nearly nicking Tike but managing to lay low half a dozen soldiers. It is the speeding form of El Guapo atop his aerial skateboard. Unfortunately, El Guapo’s grandstanding is short-lived, as he runs into a branch of a tree. Moments later, Venus and the Anarchist are standing over the unconscious X-Static, with Venus declaring him a sweet boy. Hearing this, Tike tells Venus to take them home. He needs a drink… and a haircut.
Back at X-Statix HQ, Tike, the team leader, berates Spike, reminding him that he said it’d be a breeze. That was the only reason he agreed to take the kid along. Dismissing the accusation, Spike reminds Tike that he’s the Anarchist. He, of all people, knows how things can get… outta control.
Venus interrupts the two, telling Tike that it’s looking bad. Accompanying Venus to El Guapo’s bed, Tike is told that he hasn’t lost that much blood, but he’s slipping away. Vital signs are failing and, any minute now, he’ll be in a coma. When Spike replies that he wouldn’t be the first one of them to die on a mission, Tike retorts that he should have been on a mission. He wasn’t ready. Having just emerged from his sensory deprivation tank, still naked, Guy reminds Tike that he’s the leader now. If he took him, then it’s his responsibility. Snarling at this personal attack, Tike asks Guy if he is saying that he’d have done something different. Responding in kind, Guy tells Tike he knows it.
Their argument is interrupted by Dead Girl, who announces that El Guapo’s trying to speak. Barely conscious and reaching out for something not there, El Guapo haltingly asks the group where’s… his… !@#$&!… board?! Realizing what he’s speaking about, Venus emits an innocent oops, guessing that she must have left it in Malaysia when they ‘ported out. Smiling wryly nearby, Vivisector adds that he’s got the feeling a replacement just won’t do.
Later, in the X-Statix’s lounge, El Guapo, back in health and clutching his skateboard, addresses the rest of the team. He tells them that he thought if he’d told them about the problem he gets when he’s separated from the board… he wouldn’t have wanted him. Defensively, Vivisector promptly announces that, of course, they wanted him. Hearing this, Phat walks by the embarrassed Vivisector, whispering for him to be careful.
Unaware of any Vivisector’s embarrassment, Spike informs El Guapo that he is right: they do want him. They just have to be careful that none of their enemies know about his particular relationship. Leaning over the couch on which El Guapo is sitting, Guy tells him that, maybe, he should take a few days to decide if he wants to join them. This is a one-way door, he tells the youth. Once he’s in X-Statix, the only way out is in a body bag.
Seeing El Guapo’s worried countenance, Venus tells Guy, for God’s sake, to leave the poor guy alone! He isn’t dumb, she continues. He knows that with great rewards come certain… risks. When asked by Guys why she’s so keen on having him around, Venus replies that she thinks he’s good for the team. And good for anything else? Guy replies. Clearly angered by the insinuation, Venus replies that she cannot believe him! All the crap she had to go through with his previous dead girlfriend… and then he get jealous of her? Taken aback by her response, Guy replies defensively that, jeez, they call him Mister Sensitive.
Excusing himself, El Guapo speaks up, declaring that he does have a question. At the party, they were all totally tanked up. Then, soon as they started fighting, they were sober. Is that, like, something that comes with training? Nah, replies Vivisector, opening a small tin. It comes with these little pills. They do something to the liver, he explains. Sober up the world’s biggest drunk in fifteen seconds. When asked by El Guapo if there are any nasty side effects, Vivisector asks, who cares? With their life expectancy, they don’t worry about the state of their internal organs. Take some, he says. They come in both vanilla and mochaccino flavor.
Next to a pier, on a deserted beach, El Guapo sits in the sand with his girlfriend, Consuela. Addressing him by his true name, Robbie, Consuela pleads for him to not do this. Clutching his skateboard, he asks her if she is kidding. This is it, he tells her. The big time. He’s gonna really be someone. He is someone now, she counters. Someone she loves.
Holding her against his form, Robbie reminds Consuela that he is a mutant. He’s different. He’s been called that all his life and this is the only way he can use it… use it for both of them. And what about her, she responds. He won’t want to see her when he’s rich and famous. They’ll see each other all the time, El Guapo counters… but not for a few nights. They want him to stay in his new quarters for a while, just until his training’s through.
Having arisen, the two walk hand-in-hand down the beach, flanked by the ocean. Worried, Consuela tells Robbie that she’s scared. So many of these X-Statix people, she points out, end up dead. It’s like… it’s part of their act or something. I’m not going to die, Robbie assures her. He’s lucky. He’s El Guapo.
Standing outside the door to the “Private Residence of El Guapo,” Vivisector leans with his ear to the door, listening to the various chaotic sounds coming from within. Vivisector’s attention is drawn away by the voice of Phat, who innocently asks Myles what he is going. Replying with equal innocence, Myles replies that he’s just listening. El Guapo, he continues, is obviously practicing with his board. He’s so keen, so eager. Turning the questioning to Phat, Myles asks if he has noticed how fresh and innocent he is compared to with the rest of them? Like one of those newborn lambs…
Turning away, Phat tells Myles that he will say it again… “be careful.” When asked defensively by Myles what he should be careful of, Phat replies making a damn fool outta himself. Taking this as a personal attack, Myles wolfs up into his Vivisector form, asking his teammate how dare he? How dare he suggest that… Bulking up in his “phat” form, Phat spits back for Myles to cool down. Not hearing his friend, Myles continues his rant, asking if he thinks he would be so idiotic as to fall… to fall for someone like… Trailing off, Myles lowers his head and completes his sentence. … like him. Realizing that this is what has happened, Myles asks Phat if he looks like he’s doing something embarrassing, could he please “phat-up” and knock him unconscious? Wid pleasure, bro, Phat responds.
Over the next few days, training begins for El Guapo. Despite already being fluent in English and Spanish, he takes lessons from Doop on Doop-speak. When not studying his Doop-ablative cases, he’s in the virtual reality zone. Clad in a sensor suit, he hovers atop his skateboard over a sphere. After much practice, he is able to now go ten minutes without losing his breakfast. At night, after training, there are parties; the kind of partying people do who are going to die the next day.
At one such party, Robbie tries to leave early, telling Spike that he promised he’d see Consuela. Shrugging off his recruit’s statement, Spike suggests that he make some excuse. Tell her he’s on a secret mission. Undeterred, Robbie rises from his bar stool and leaves the bar. Very aware of the smiling stares of two beautiful girls, Robbie thinks about how the rest don’t like the way he keeps seeing Consuela and how he’s not going to be tempted by all of the beautiful women who throw themselves at him.
(two weeks later)
Robbie Rodriguez decides that he has really learned something. He might be a mutant… but he’s also human. From under the covers of Robbie’s bed, a feminine voice tells him he is so… beautiful. Emerging from the covers, along with the source of the voice, Robbie tells the young woman who made the statement, as well as the other young woman who accompanies them, that they’re both beautiful too. Hey, the dark-skinned of the two replies, they’re all beautiful.
Grinning playfully, El Guapo adds that he hopes they’re all… discreet, too. He doesn’t want his girlfriend finding out about this. Sitting next to El Guapo, the other girl, the green-eyed redhead, tells Robbie to relax. They’ve got reputations too. Speaking up, the dark-skinned girl adds that they’re mutants him, if he thinks about it. He’s got super-powers… they have, like, super bone structure.
Trying in a different way to allay, El Guapo’s fears, the redhead informs him that they used to do this with Zeitgeist sometimes. And he never heard about that. Zeitgeist?, Robbie repeats; the former leader of X-Force? When asked by Robbie if they’re kidding, the dark-skinned girl closes her eyes in remembrance, recalling that he was, like, insatiable. He liked to fool around while watching films of the battles he fought. Yeah, the redhead agrees, there was always some kina movie running with old Zeitgeist. As the conversation continues, all three are unaware of the camera aimed at them from a potted plant, or the green-skinned hand of Doop that is holding it.
Tears in her eyes, Consuela calls Robbie a bastard. In her hands is the Sleaze to Pleaze News, a tabloid magazine which features a photo of Robbie in bed with the two girls. Placing his head in his hands, El Guapo attempts to apologize, but is shut down by his ex-girlfriend. Consuela tells him not to say that he’s sorry. He did this, she tells him, because he wanted to. He did this because… because he’s evil and she… she hates him!
Left alone, El Guapo tries to figure out how this happened. He was careful. They were discrete. Who could have filmed this? It’s impossible. It’s… El Guapo’s thoughts come to a conclusion, as he has answered his own question. Everything, he says aloud. He films everything.
Making his way through the bar on a mission, El Guapo yells out for Doop, cursing at him in Doop’s own language. Finding Doop with the rest of X-Statix, El Guapo questions him angrily in Doop-speak, the language in which Doop, as ever, responds. Shouting angrily in English, El Guapo begins to shout that he is gonna kill… His words are cut off as Guy tackles him, exclaiming that he will not.
Rising back to his feet, El Guapo informs Guy that she left him. He’s alone now. She was the only one who ever loved him and now she’s left him! When Guy tries to console him by telling him that he will get used to it, El Guapo replies angrily that he wont. Undeterred, Guy reiterates that, yes, he will. That’s the way it is. Pointing out the gathering crowd of paparazzi, which Tike is attempting to hold back, Guy tells El Guapo, for God’s sake, to smile. They’re in the papers tomorrow.
Later, back at X-Statix HQ, Vivisector and Phat find themselves walking by El Guapo’s room, from which a loud commotion can be heard. Hearing the cries from El Guapo for his assailant to stop, Phat jokes that it sounds like he got some ’splainin’ to do. But to whom, Vivisector asks.
Within the room, El Guapo declares that he’s sorry. He knows that it liked Consuela! He didn’t want to lose her! Don’t hit him again, he cries. Unfortunately, El Guapo’s cries go unheeded and he is struck once again by his angry skateboard. Reeling from the blow, Robbie tells his board that he knows he doesn’t deserve it… he can’t live without it… But please, he begs, not in the face. Another blow comes against El Guapo’s backside, impacting loudly and painfully.
Making their way down a red carpet, the members of X-Statix all smile and wave. The announcer covering the arriving guests introduces to the viewers X-Statix’s latest recruit. He’s young, cute and the things he can’t do with his skateboard aren’t worth mentioning. Robbie Rodriguez, aka El Guapo! Word is, the announcer continues, is Robbie’s going to be the fresh, new face of X-Statix. As the rest of the team basks in their adulation, El Guapo is the only one of them whose smile does not seem genuine.