There’s no denying that Marvel’s Longshot has some issues. From the haircut to the four-fingered hand to his oddball origin, this blonde-locked 80s warrior hasn’t fared well in terms of longevity. Sure he’s joined the gang over at X-Factor, but that’s still a long way from his heights with his epic 1985 miniseries and his tenure in the Australian Outback-era X-Men. But I’d argue that he’s largely been lampooned and lambasted unduly for the haircut, and given the short end of the stick when there’s a fertile ground for the character waiting to happen.
Between Longshot and his associated host of friends and foes from Mojo, Spiral, the Warwolves, Dazzler, and even Shatterstar, it’s a unique tangent on the Marvel Universe that’s largely been forgotten. But while it may have been out of favor for some, many people fondly remember it — and those that don’t, well, now’s the chance.
Forget what you know about Longshot and let me put his story in perspective to give you a better idea of how intriguing it is. A vat-grown clone born to be a slave to a maniacal overlord breaks free and attempts to overthrow their society and make a new path. The world is build upon the consumption of mass media (both good and bad) pirated from other dimensions and force-fed to the masses while Mojo, an obese technocrat, rules them all. Unable to turn the tide on his own, this rebel slave escapes to our own dimension and finds colleagues and a diversion from his homeworld’s fate, but has never been able to successfully mount a rebellion.
Beating around the bush for years, imagine a new Longshot series giving a modern context on the unique paradigm of Mojo and the Mojoverse in a Nicolas Roeg-ian sort of way, with Longshot — then a product of the 80s (hence the hair) — finally comes into his own (and his own style) and begins to mount a rebellion against Mojo. This is swashbuckling fiction told in a future world, mixing politics, media critiques and straight-up swordfighting. There’s no doubt the comics market is tough, but with the right introduction — say for instance, in an Uncanny X-Men arc acting as a back-door pilot to a full series or perhaps a mini-crossover with Longshot looking to recruit. It’s a longshot, but pardon the pun… that’s his name.
The Writer – Kieron Gillen: His most prominent title might be Uncanny X-Men, but for me it’s his other Marvel title Journey Into Mystery that shows off Gillen’s most unfettered imagination. Imagine that kind of creativity mixed with the writer who mined UK pop music in Phonogram writing Mojoverse and eviscerating mass media and giving a modern-day makeover to Longshot.
The Artist – Eric Canete: The original 1985 Longshot series was a coming out party for Art Adams who had done smaller work for years before that, and although Canete might be further along than Adams was at this time I’d argue he’s still waiting for some overdue mainstream attention for his dazzling work. Canete’s currently focusing on the European comics scene, but just imagining him drawing Longshot, Mojo, Spiral and the others is this fanboy’s wet dream (not in a creepy sort of way).