Fifty Greatest X-Men Characters #41: Shatterstar

shatterstar-x-force-x-factoNext up is another character that I’ve always enjoyed. He is as sharp as a tack, well the signature double-bladed swords that he carries. I’m talking about the X-Forcer turned X-Factorer Shatterstar.

His debut was fairly straight forward. Shatterstar is a test-tube grown mutant from the Mojoworld of the future who traveled back in time to help the X-Men to help them defeat the alien Mojo who rules the dimension he calls home. His introduction was just like so many of the characters that first appeared in the early 1990s; he shows up, joins a group and starts kicking ass. For the most part, everyone did a good job writing him. He was a displaced warrior who would be much more comfortable fighting people. Needless to say, he jived perfectly with being in X-Force under Cable’s tutelage but not so much when it was the other young mutants running the show.

Eventually they gave him more of a character, with him at one point having acquired the memories of a deceased teenager. But the biggest character growth was under Jeph Loeb’s direction, with an allusion to Shatterstar having a secret relationship with his teammate Rictor. A decade later, Shatterstar and Rictor became public with their relationship and creating Marvel’s premier gay couple. It’s been handled very well, and Rictor and Shatterstar have an extra complexity going on. This is his first romantic relationship of any kind and he doesn’t want the exclusivity that Rictor is seeking. And to make things more confusing, Shatterstar finds himself attracted to both sexes. I like the direction that they’ve taken, making him a coming of age character who is pushing thirty.

Oh and one more really cool thing about Shatterstar…HE’S THE SON OF DAZZLER AND LONGSHOT!!!! Way back in 1992’s X-Men Annual #1, there’s a one-off comment between Dazzler and Longshot talking about naming a child Shatterstar and kicking off two decades worth of speculation. As part of Peter David’s conclusion for X-Factor, this is revisited and is FINALLY confirmed.

$(KGrHqUOKkEE7HvjNWkzBPmuqeVlyQ~~60_35And one more thing…Toy Biz made some really cool Shatterstar figures back in the 1990s. I remember vividly picking up the figure on your right when I thought I was way too old to be stopping into a Kay Bee Toys and buying anything. I was a freshman in high school and would have been quite embarrassed if anyone saw me. But then again, I wasn’t invited to any of the cool kids’ parties any way.

So there I was proudly plopping down five bucks to get an awesome action figure which I still have to this day!

3 thoughts on “Fifty Greatest X-Men Characters #41: Shatterstar

  1. Shatterstar was such a Rob Liefeld character. He oozed Liefeld. The hair. The mark over his eye. The swords. The shoulder pads. The head pad. The unnecessary pouches. The only thing that keeps him from the ultimate Liefeld creation is the fact that his name doesn’t have any variation of “blood” or “death.”

    As other writers used him, he got an unnecessarily convoluted backstory (the teenager thing, specifically).

    It wasn’t until Peter David grabbed the character that he actually became worth reading about. His bisexuality – and more, his polyamory – were really interesting quirks, and he had a much more compelling personality than he’d ever had.

    Being the midwife at his own birth was another nice touch.

    • lol…. How in the world does reading about where somebody puts his penis make a character more worth reading???? How stupid have we become? Comics are not pre-romance novels.. They are about action and fun….. There’s no need to make much of a person’s sexuality. Comics have become so boring now. The only thing worth anything is watching them in a movie. As far as reading them? Waste of time….

      • I couldn’t disagree more with this attitude. Superhero comics can be an entertaining way of exploring complex issues. Yeah, plenty of them are about action and fun. But a lot of others are about less about the action and more about the characters, and those are generally my favourites. Spider-Man didn’t become an icon because he punches supervillains in the face, he became an icon because of his problems as Peter Parker.

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