This issue is part of a larger storyline pitting the mod mutants of X-Statix against the stalwart Avengers in a globe-spanning hunt for pieces of Doop’s brain (I don’t have the energy to explain Doop, so check out this helpful Wikipedia entry).
In this issue, the invincible Iron Man battles X-Statix team leader Mr. Sensitive at the Church of the Naked Truth in France. The leader of the nudist sect has part of Doop’s brain, and is being manipulated by a beret-wearing French simian named, heh, Surrender Monkey. Nothing like a cheap shot at the French, eh?
Anyway, Iron Man and the aptly named Mr. Sensitive are duking it out when the cult leader puts the kibosh on the fisticuffs, pronto:
Thus begins one of the funniest and most homo-erotic fight scenes I have ever read in a non-Chris Claremont comic book.
I like to think that in 2004, some kid in Idaho received a copy of X-Statix #24. Maybe his dad got him a handful of X-Men comics to keep him occupied during the road trip to Grandma’s house in Yakima and this issue made it into the pile. After finishing Wolverine, the kid moves on to X-Statix –
- and his pubescent brain explodes.
“What the--? There are naked people in this comic! Iron Man gets naked and fights this Mr. Sensitive guy. And they’re rolling around on the grass, moaning and sweating and stuff. Why is Iron Man naked? Should I tell Dad? NO! No, I’ll just keep quiet and… and I’ll read this again later at Gram Gram’s. Alone. Why is Iron Man naked? Should I like this? It’s got naked people in it. Why is Iron Man naked?”
Sure, comics aren’t just for kids, but kids read comics, and it amuses me to think of some youngster reading X-Statix #24 and just freaking the hell out. I've always enjoyed Mike Allred's work - Madman was genius - and Peter Milligan has written some great stuff. They make a good team, and produced a book that was funny, entertaining, and a little bit subversive.
Because really - that’s what comics are all about.
Oh, yeah. That kid from Idaho is totally gay now.