Saturday, June 4, 2011

X-MAN: Worst Class

DISCLAIMER: The following post contains themes not suitable for children. Adult discretion is advised.

Published from 1993 to 1994 by West Publishing, Inc., X-Man Legend Comics was probably the worst Filipino comic book ever made, and not just because it's an X-Men rip-off. In fact, it failed miserably even in that. Apart from the title, in no way, shape or form does it resemble anything from Marvel's merry band of mutants. Not for lack of trying, it just seemed like they didn't really know what they were doing. Take the title character's look, which is actually a dull copy of a one-off costume worn by the Black Knight in an issue of The Avengers.

So, they intended to capitalize on the X-Men by ripping off the Avengers. Genius.

The thing is, for a comic that's supposed to be "inspired" by the X-Men, the end result was rather uninspired. The series suffered from bland artwork and bad stories, and I wish I could say they were so bad that they're good, but... Well, let's just say they can be so bad that they're interesting. At their worst, they're really terrible. But at their "best," they're at least very bizarre.

I'll do a more detailed feature on the comic in the future, but for now, I'd like to review one particular issue which I think best encapsulates how weird this series could get (and if this is to be considered their best, you can shudder to imagine how, um, good the other issues were).

Our hero, X-Man, is a super-powered android who fights evil in the future. At the start of his comic's 16th issue, entitled Taoyop: Taong Hayop ("Humanimals: Human Animals"), he had just returned from a 100-year mission on the planet Saturn. Upon arriving on Earth, he is surprised to find that the planet is now inhabited by half-man/half-animal creatures.

Eventually, X-Man does find a town populated by humans, but they all happen to be female, and there are no men in sight. It turns out all this strangeness that happened while he was gone started in the year 2100, a technologically-advanced age where people take pills to become 5 years younger, and getting OD'ed on said pills can turn you into a baby...

At some point, the female population got so sick and tired of their male-dominated society, that they decided to declare war against all men...

Pictured above are the leaders of the female and male factions, who we later find out are husband and wife. So, basically, World War III was caused by a marital dispute.

Anyway, the destructive battle of the sexes has wrought heavy casualties on both sides of the conflict. And since no one's been making out for close to a hundred years, the human race is rapidly dwindling. To save the population, the female faction comes up with a radical solution...

Thankfully, this all happens off-screen.

So apparently, in this high-tech future, they have pills that can keep people young, but they haven't developed cloning or even artificial insemination? Or are they just making up excuses to get some inter-species action?

Back to the present (well, the present in the future), X-Man finally locates where all the men have been hiding out. However, he is mistaken for a spy and attacked by a guard.

Well, I guess if you haven't been with a woman for about a hundred years, you'd probably have trouble remembering what one looks like.

So X-Man convinces the guard that he isn't a woman and goes to see the leader of the male faction, Mhacarius, who remembers X-Man from a hundred years back. When Mhacarius asks where he's been all this time, X-Man (or rather the caption box) says that he came from a mission in the South Pole.

The South Pole? I thought they said he was on Saturn? Maybe he should have stuck with that story. I mean, what, was he chilling with the polar bears while Armageddon broke out in the rest of the world?

[Correction: Apparently, there are no polar bears on the South Pole.]

Meanwhile, the women's leader, Rhominda, orders the Taoyop to attack the males' base. You remember the Taoyop, right? You know, the guys that the story was titled after? After their first appearance on page 3, they make only their second appearance on page 21. Oh, and this page is about as much action as they get in the entire story. The rest of the time, they're just standing around.

Not wanting to see any more lives lost, X-Man surrenders himself to the Taoyop. When he is brought to the females' camp, he figures out that Rhominda still has feelings for her husband. X-Man then breaks free and takes Rhominda with him, while the Taoyop just stand there and watch them leave.

I can just imagine what these guys are saying.

"Dude, the flying guy just kidnapped our leader."


"Should we go after them?"


So, Rhominda and Mhacarius (jologs names of the future!) are reunited, and they both realize that they're still in love with each other. And to think it only took a deadly 100-year World War for them to kiss and make up!

Rhominda then convinces the females to reconcile with their husbands, who are more than happy to take them back. I guess if you're really in love, you can forgive anything. Even mass-genocide and bestiality.

As for the Taoyop, God decides that He's had enough laughs, and a miraculous rain falls from the heavens which cures their condition, turning them fully-human.

Now, if there's anything to be learned from this story which we can apply to our current situation, it's that divorce should never be legalized and married couples should always stay in love with each other. Because if they don't, it could start a war and cause the extinction of the human race. On the other hand, reproductive health should be practiced so that we don't end up giving birth to a race of hideous mutant freaks.

Just kidding. Well, half-kidding.


  1. I remember how this title came about. The editor-in-chief wanted to introduce a comic with one full-length story each issue (something similar to those published in the US), not something common during those days when anthologies ruled the newsstands. Myself and a friend pitched an idea for this, I even drew up some pages. Our pitch wasn't approved, then after some months this came out. I guess when they said they wanted something similar to US comics, they really meant it.

  2. How the hell did we get away with a comic book called X-Man?

  3. By being so bad that Marvel wouldn't think they'd be worth going after?

    Incidentally, this X-Man came out before Marvel did theirs.