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CSBG Archive

The Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – X

We continue our tour through the alphabet, with a different cool comic book item each day, from A to Z!
Here‘s an archive of A-T.

Today we look at a great character who may be making a comeback soon!

Xombi was one of the many great books that Milestone put out, but it might very well have been the closest the company came to a truly unique title, a result of giving John Rozum room to move.

The concept of the book is that brilliant scientist David Kim is working on a nanotechnological virus that could assist in tissue regeneration. Well, a villain breaks in trying to steal it and mortally wounds David in the process. His assistant figures that the only way to save David is to inject him with the virus. And it DOES save David by turning him into a techno-zombie and at the same time, the nannites partially “eat” said assistant to give David the matter he needs to get back to “living.”

Here’s where it gets tricky. Yes, he’s a zombie only through scientific means, but as David finds out, being a zombie through science really does not matter much – you’re still a zombie, and suddenly he’s now a freak AND tied into a world that he never knew existed.

Basically, Rozum just went absolutely NUTS with some trippy ideas in this series, and artist JJ Birch was there along the way to illustrate everything Rozum asked for – even a super-powered teen girl named, of course, Catholic Girl (she prayed for her powers).

Rozum’s descriptions of magic (or magick?) were brilliant and the series had a real literate nature to it that was great to see.

Milestone clearly liked it, too, as they got it 21 full issues even while the Milestone line was crumbling around it.

Recently, Dwayne McDuffie showed an alternate universe where David Kim was Green Lantern.

Pretty soon, Xombi is going to make his DC Universe debut (I believe up against the Spectre).

Should be fun (although I’d love to see DC let Rozum return to the character).

9 Comments

The Mad Maple

May 30, 2009 at 5:22 am

I was wondering how you were gonna do “X” without using the X-Men…

Haven’t actually read the comic (the stores here stopped carrying the Milestone line long before it came out; must have something to do with the racial mix in my hometown, I suppose), but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I should definitely look it up online one of these days….

(And an interesting side note I’m surprised you didn’t mention: “J.J. Birch” was actually the pen name of artist Joe Brozowski. During his and John Ostrander’s run on Firestorm, he tried out a new style that was so dramatically different from his old one, he used another name so as not to alienate the fans of his original style. BTW, “Brozowski” is Polish for “Birch”.)

I didn’t discover Xombi until late into its run, unfortunately, but I sure did love it! It was not unlike Grant Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol, only not so wacky, or some of the better Vertigo titles.

I hope DC collects this series at some point because I’d really like to read it.

Well, Ian, I just picked up a new trade rereleasing the first issues of Static Shock this week. Hopefully integrating the Milestone universe means will get even more trades of the old stuff.

Xombi is awesome! I have all 21 issues, and lent it to someone that was heavily into heady, wild comics… their mistake was dismissing it as being of little value.

I hadn’t heard he was returning. Now I’m paying very close attention! That’s great Milestone-related news to balance the sadness of McDuffie being kicked off JLA.

The Mad Maple

May 30, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Anyone placing bets on the Final Two?

I’m leaning towards “Young Heroes in Love” and “Zot!”, myself.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

May 31, 2009 at 5:38 pm

I was wondering how you were gonna do “X” without using the X-Men…

I’m wondering how you thought he could write up the x-men as ‘cool’…

X is for Xuasar! Hell, I shoulda been trying alternate spellings all this time. Kwazar! Zwasar!

Of all the Milestone books, I want this one collected the most, because it is the one I quit reading too soon (issue #3 or 4?) and it would be all new material to me. At the time I felt like I suddenly found myself buying too many crappy comics, trimmed my pull list ruthlessly, and dropped this book without giving it an honest chance. The innocent bystander in a drive-by.

Of course, if DC could start reprinting ALL the Milestone books, I’d fine with that too. ;)

EM

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