Book of the Month

Book of the Month – X-Statix Omnibus

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xstatix
Story by Peter Milligan
Art by Mike Allred, Darwyn Cooke, Philip Bond, Paul Pope, Nick Dragotta, Sean Phillips and Marcos Martin
Cover by Mike Allred

Size: 1200 pages
Price: 125.00

One of the most recurring questions we get here at iFanboy is the one asking what stories we think deserve to get the Omnibus or Absolute treatment? Everyone seems to have an opinion on what books deserve the gala collected edition. We’ve seen some timeless classics get the treatment, as they deserved, but we’ve also seen some questionable collections, such as material recently released in issues.  If you’re one of the folks who think that the Omnibus treatment should be reserved for great works in comics history that may be hard to track down, then you probably are excited for this month’s book of the month, the X-Statix Omnibus from Marvel Comics.
Best known for the work of writer Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred, X-Statix is so much more than a platform to enjoy the work of these two excellent creators. In fact, while Allred did the majority of the art chores, some of the other names associated with X-Statix may surprise you, but we’ll get to that in a bit because there’s something about X-Statix that makes it far more important than those involved on the book.

X-Statix represents an important moment in the comic book industry.  For those not familiar with X-Statix and why or how it’s important, allow me to recap. Turn the clock back to 2001. Marvel had just started getting their feet back on the ground after their bout with bankruptcy, Joe Quesada had just taken the reins as Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics and in doing so, starting bringing in new and different talent, including editorial with the hiring of Axel Alonso, who was best known for his work at Vertigo at DC Comics doing alternative and groundbreaking comics.  Alonso should be a familiar name to you as he took over the Editor-In-Chief chair from Quesada last year, but 10 years prior, Alonso was the alternative guy.  In coming to Marvel, Alonso brought along creators such as Peter Milligan, who had already built a reputation for being a writer with some out there ideas.  Alonso paired Milligan with Mike Allred, another big name today, but at the time was firmly set as an indie darling with his award winning work on Madman in the 1990s. So with his creative team in place, Alonso placed Milligan and Allred on a title that no one expected.

X-Force was the title started by Rob Liefeld 10 year prior as part of the big early 1990s X-Men launch. For 10 years the adventures of Cable, Cannonball and the rest of the X-Force crew went on as an X-Men book would.  When X-Force #115 came to an end, I had no idea what was to come next.  With no warning, they completely scrapped the original X-Force characters, replaced the creative team and when X-Force #116 hit the stands in early 2001, I was absolutely blown away. Milligan and Allred came in with a bang, with brand new characters, looking like no other X-Men book has ever looked and demanded your attention. It was one of the biggest stunts ever pulled in my history of reading comics and one I would never forget. It was a bold and ballsy move that, despite recent bold moves by publishers in the past year, I can’t imagine this specific type of move ever happening again.

As a loyal X-Men fan and X-Force reader, I had built up relationships with the characters and I’ll admit, I was skeptical of what was happening. But from that first issue of X-Force #116, I knew that we were in for something special. Something unexpected and unpredictable that would challenge me as a reader and entertain me in ways I never could anticipate. Milligan’s take on X-Force was to introduce a group of mutants who were usurping the name X-Force and positioning themselves as celebrity heroes.  It’s a concept that had been broached before and has done after X-Statix, but no one has ever done it in such a shocking and amazing manner. Eventually X-Force gave way to a re-titling/re-numbering to X-Statix and for the length of the run, which lasted 39 issues, was truly great comics. Anything could happen in this book and it did. Even as far as to wantonly kill off characters left and right. Truly no one was safe in the pages of this book.

As mentioned, artist Mike Allred moved from his indie roots to mainstream comics and blew people’s minds with his modern, clean style. I cannot imagine X-Statix being envisioned by anyone else.  Allred’s unique sense of style and storytelling is was the perfect compliment to Milligan’s out there concepts and defined the look and feel of the book. But Allred was not alone.  He was joined throughout the run by Darwyn Cooke, Philip Bond, Paul Pope, Nick Dragotta, Sean Phillips and Marcos Martin as some of the amazing talent that brought the adventures of X-Statix to life.

Weighing in at 1200 pages, the X-Statix Omnibus is the most comprehensive collection of X-Statix stories ever put together. Bringing every issue of X-Force, X-Statix and all the following mini-series and one off stories under one cover, this makes for the ultimate mutant pop experience. X-Statix was one of the most unique and adventurous titles ever published by Marvel Comics and to see it again in this grand collection is a dream come true (It also helps that I ordered it from my local comic book store, Isotope Comics, who provided a limited edition dust jacket to for pre-orders with some amazing Allred art).

With mind bending stories featuring incredibly compelling characters drawn in a style that helped to define a time period in comics, X-Statix is one of those great series that no only deserves the Omnibus treatment, it’s safe to say that it’s long overdue. Marvel did the title right by putting together a beautiful collection, with a healthy amount of covers and extras to make this a must have for any fan of X-Statix, Mike Allred, Pete Milligan or anyone who’s a fan of the comics that changed the world.

Ron Richards
If only we knew what we had when it was happening
ron@ifanboy.com

If you want to pick up the X-Statix Omnibus you can find it on Amazon:

Comments

  1. koryrosh koryrosh says:

    This sounds fantastic, and I would love to check it out. I just find some of these Omnibus editions too unwieldy for reading purposes. Hopefully they’ll put out some trades soon…

  2. srh1son srh1son says:

    Any idea why it’s not available NEW from Amazon? It can’t already be out of print?!

    • KrelPlat says:

      I believe they’ve already sold out of the first printing. I’m pretty sure there’s been a second printing (but don’t quote me on that), but that it might have been delayed due to the recent holidays.

    • LucasEwalt says:

      I actually just ordered one online last week (specifically because I saw it was sold out at Amazon). They seem to still be available from a few different online retailers – I got mine from Cheap Graphic Novels, but In Stock Trades, Tales of Wonder, Things From Another World, and even Barnes & Noble all said they were still in stock. As of last week, anyway.

  3. I’ve wanted to read this for so long. I’m glad to see it’s getting some love on this site. Great review.

  4. Neb Neb says:

    I wanted this after watching the video show on Allred. I was stoked to see it come out, and had a brief freak out when it wasn’t available on Amazon when I was ready to buy it. Luckily, Instocktrades.com saved the day, and mine is sitting in my stack, waiting to be read. I can’t wait to get to it.

  5. tomistommy tomistommy says:

    Great pick. I got this for Christmas and have loved it so far. Milligan is a madman and I love him for it.

  6. SEChambers says:

    I remember buying these issues monthly. It was right up there with early 00s Powers and Y the last man for me as top of the stack material. Good memories.

    Still holds up well today as well. The boy bandish undertones aside, it is really a great ever green for Marvel’s catalog

    Does it include the Dead Girl mini? I felt that was a nice little coda a few years later that added a bit of closure.

  7. I’m a huge Mike Allred fan, and I’ve been waiting for this to come out ever since I heard about his run on X-Force/X-Statix on your Allred spotlight episode, and now it’s here!

    …and very expensive. One for the wishlist!

  8. edward says:

    That was a really great run of comics. Very funny, very unusual. The best of what Joe Quesada did for Marvel.

  9. Arg Amazon xmas gift card burning hole in pocket plz get back in stock soonn…

  10. LucasEwalt says:

    After I got this in the mail, and was trying to decide what to take out of one of my two bookcases dedicated entirely to comics in order to make room for it, I discovered that I own 45 Marvel Omnibuses. I think I have a problem…

  11. Cedric Cedric says:

    It’s already sold out

  12. YESSSSS! Great choice Ron. I gotta get my hands on this. This is one of my all time favorite X-Books ever! Now if I could just convince Marvel to bring the Anarchist back from the dead…

  13. Man, I really want this, but with a 125 price tag… Will definitely be saving up for this!

  14. thepowerout thepowerout says:

    this was half price on amazon pre-order and was sooo close to getting it, but not can’t really afford it! it annoys me how quickly omnibuses sell out and how quickly they re-appear on the internet at insane prices!

  15. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    Check out thwipster. They have it now.

  16. albabycakes albabycakes says:

    I just picked it up for $69 from DCBS using the 11 o’clock comics discount code (EOC8)…Can’t wait to read these again.

  17. I read this when it first came out, just as I was getting back into comics. I haven’t read it since then and I’m really impressed by all the talent they had on that book.

  18. YES!!! X-Force (the first 18 issues) is probably in my top 20 best comic runs. When it shifts to X-Statix, it drops a little in excellence, but it still kills.

  19. Spoons Spoons says:

    If I wasn’t in the hole monetarily because of Christmas presents I would totally get this. But there is the whole eating and making rent thing.

  20. JSAkid JSAkid says:

    This is one I’ve always been curious about by the collection of creators involved alone, now I must find me a copy….love the look and idea of this concept as an eccentric whole. Was off and in reader w comix in general when this came out and would like to know Doop’s connection to Deadpool after seeing him in the package w the Marvel Legends Deadpool figure.

  21. SlightlyMad SlightlyMad says:

    I would love it to contain the original unedited script (and artwork) for the originally-intended Lady Diana back from the dead story, before it mutated (ironically!) into the Henrietta Hunter Europa popstar story, but doubt that will ever see the light of day.

    Despite that I still rate Milligan & Allred’s X-Force/X-Statix as my second favourite comic/graphic novel of all time and urge anyone who hasn’t read it to check it out.

    • JSAkid JSAkid says:

      2nd favorite of all time is a pretty bold statement and has me adding it to my Amazon cart, what’s your 1st, and any other random good runs you would suggest? I like recommendations from readers w a taste for the obscure.

  22. j206 j206 says:

    Thanks for the recommendation, Ron. I’ve had this on my “to read” list for ages. But your touting the series on the podcast and in this article along with finding a good deal on the omnibus finally got me to take the plunge. LOVE IT. So good. Why can’t there be book like this today?!!!

  23. Lexavi80 Lexavi80 says:

    Now THIS is a very deserving title (and edition) for book of the month!