Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I'm all about the pink (Or, damn you, you blew it up! You maniacs! I don't know this quote fully!)

I can't remember when it was, but a while back, Timothy Callahan made some mention of a two-issue Marvel mini and wondered what other ones there were, thinking the series in question (which I also can't remember--way to research posts, Chad!) was a fluke. I added another to the list, Wolverine/Doop, a two-issue mini by Peter Milligan and Darwyn Cooke published as filler (sort of) between issues of X-Statix (I think). And at a time when X-Statix was in the decline as far as sales and general buzz went--it had become old news, that always wacky, often good, indie-cred mainstream book that always dies eventually (watch out, Iron Fist!). But, mentioning the book there made me want to reread it since I got the two issues sometime ago on a trip to the shop that involved little new comics of interest, which meant browsing in an effort to make my journey downtown worth it. I settled on these two issues since I always dug X-Force/X-Statix. My memory of the series then is vague. I think I enjoyed it, but who knows.

Last week, I reread it and, man, it's kind of weird.

The story is very simple: there's this thing called the pink mink, which is basically a mink wrap that's pink. When exposed to oxygen, it apparently causes a pink lady to appear, but only to mutants and even then, probably only crazy disease-ridden mutants. Oh, and it's been stolen. Wolverine is going to get it back and he kind of does, but not really, because he sees the pink lady and Doop thinks he's infected with Code-X and he thinks Doop is infected with Code-X and people are turning pink and zombie-like and showing mutant developments despite being adults and OH MY GOD MARVEL ACTUALLY PUBLISHED THIS! Which I say with affection, but it's a damn fun and wacky comic.

At the end of the first issue, both Wolverine and Doop pretend to be infected with Code-X (which means they're crazy or something) in an effort to see if that makes the OTHER one follow along, proving he's actually the one infected--and then, if so, kill the motherfucker. The issue ends with both of them ready to gut the other one.

The second issue involves the two of them making up MORE things--except those things turn out to be true as coincidences happen more frequently when the pink mink is involved. The secret government agent lady hires a professional hunter to capture the pink mink--and Wolverine and Doop. This guy has killed unicorns and shit and likes to skin stuff. He's evil. And the pink people all go to Toronto--which I wonder was Milligan's idea or Cooke's.

In the end, they kill the crazy hunter, get the pink mink back, learn the pink lady is indeed real and everything is great. Until it looks like both Wolverine and Doop want to have sex with the pink lady--but oh wait, Doop actually wants to fuck the pink mink. And once he does, the mink reproduces asexually, so the pink lady can continue to exist and the government can get its mink back.

What the fuck? Marvel published this. What happened to Marvel?

One of the more interesting ideas thrown out in the book and not really picked up since is the idea of people with low level x-genes that are activated by particularly stressful situations, which is what the pink people are. There's a nice exchange where the Orphan explains it to a cop who is freaked out that his partner is now a mutant when he was normal up until then. Of course, this could only produce MORE mutants, so damn the possibilities for stories, NO MORE MUTANTS!

But, this book almost seems like the last hurrah of the initial stage of the Quesada Era where things were new and exciting and original and damn the torpedos, ramming speed! Was this book what did it? Does the summer of 2003 sound like when it changed and became more like a retread of the '90s for a while? Was pink new-mutants all flocking to Toronto what made Quesada go "Wait--we've gone too far--my god what have I done?" Or was it Trouble, which is advertised in the second issue? But still...


What the fuck?

I actually don't have much to say about this book beyond suggesting you pick it up and see one of the weirder things published in the past four or five years. And wonder what happened.