A while back, I was up for a gig writing an X-Men spinoff.  The gig didn’t happen, but I spent a year researching the X-Men universe anyway.

My favorite tributary of the X-Men river was X-Statix, which managed to have an involving story, evocative characters, biting satire and high-spirited parody all at the same time.  And one of the many, many great characters from X-Statix was Deadgirl.  Both utterly ridiculous and unexpectedly moving, Deadgirl brought the whole title to a new level.

Now she has her own graphic novel, X-Statix presents Deadgirl, in which she teams up with Dr. Strange to defeat a team of killed-off Marvel characters (including lame-os like Mysterio and Kraven) who keep coming back from hell to wreak havoc on Earth.

Again, the artistic team hits the pitch-perfect balance of silliness, adventure, drama and parody, creating an effect not unlike that of The Venture Bros.  In fact, Venture Bros came to mind almost immediately as we are introduced to Dr. Strange, who is found in his study simultaneously conjuring the netherworld and complaining about his hemorroids, all in the ultra-po-faced style of Mike and Laura Allred’s illustrations.  I immediately thought of Dr. Orpheus, and another brick in the Venture Bros wall of cultural influences fell into place.  It made me wonder if the Deadgirl team had seen the last season of VB and decided to take the idea back to its source.

Anyway, the book’s a hoot.


8 Responses to “Deadgirl”
  1. automatoid says:

    I feel like I’m a comic geek that never was. I love the idea of the format and have a lot of respect for it, but I just never got into them. The only comic I’ve ever seriously (/intentionally) read was Watchmen, because I’d heard it was just so good (and even then, it was the compilation). I think my problem is I just can’t get myself to buy something that’s maybe two dozen pages long which, within 30 minutes, I’ll have read the story front to back, upside down, and sideways before having poured over every milimeter of every frame, and processing every adverisement and disclaimer.

    I mean really, what else am I going to do with those 30 minutes or the few dollars that I scrape out of my pocket to get an issue? But for some reason, I just never got into them. Then graphic novels are a different story though, and I don’t have a problem paying $30 for one if I hear that it’s good, which I think is because it’s more like buying a book.

    Still, maybe some day I’ll pick up the right issue of the right series at the right time, and I’ll get hooked.

    • eronanke says:

      I reccomend Joss Whedon’s run on “Astonishing X-Men” if you like Joss Whedon’s TV work.
      His style translates really well to comics.

    • Todd says:

      I, too, never read a comic book until I was in my late 30s (that’s when “BANG! ZOOM! COMICS WEREN’T JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE!” Now, of course, they’re not for kids at all). I didn’t start until a Hollywood studio asked me to adapt Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, and then Wonder Woman etc.

      Mostly my response toward comics is just like yours, I just don’t “get” it, I go into the comic book store and stare at the wall of new releases and think “who buys this stuff?” But every now and then a title comes along that catches my fancy like X-Statix and I find myself using “work” as an excuse to read them.

      Good artwork, like that of the Allreds, helps.

  2. eronanke says:

    I regret never reading X-Statix (considering I read everything else!)
    The premise was always open for me, of a comical interpretation of the universe, but I usually had Alpha Flight for that, since Alpha Flight NEVER took itself too seriously.

    I mean, they’ve got a demi-god character who CANNOT LEAVE THE BORDERS OF CANADA or else SHE’LL DIE!!!!! (wtf?!)

  3. greyaenigma says:

    Mysterio, lame? A pox upon your house, sir!

    I’ve been hearing good things about X-Statix. Deadgirl added to my mental shopping list.

    • Todd says:

      If it catches your fancy, I would start at the beginning of the X-Statix saga (the first book is called X-Force; predictably, the team is sued for copyright infringement and has to change their name to X-Statix). The series only went on for a couple of years and the whole set shouldn’t set you back more than seventy-five bucks or so. A bargain, compared to Akira or Tezuka’s Buddha.