Monday, April 4, 2011

The Uncollected: Xombi

The first issue of the revived Xombi series gives just enough introduction to protagonist David Kim, his powers and the world he inhabits to allow readers to jump into the story at hand with a minimum of confusion.  If this new series was standing independent of the original Milestone Media Xombi series of the 1990's, that might be sufficient.  However, it appears that's not quite the case.  
According to the Comic Book Data Base, the current story line, "The Ninth Stronghold," takes place prior to the last two pages of Xombi #21, the final issue of the previous series.  Those two pages, I assume, were hastily tacked on to the issue in order to bring some sense of closure to a story that had barely even begun.  Several times in the letters pages of the original series, writer John Rozum stated that he had anywhere from fifty issues to six years (the number, naturally, got larger each time he made the claim) of the series plotted out in advance.  He only got to tell a fraction of the story he had envisioned, as the series lasted a mere 22 issues (#'s 0-21).  It appears that he is using the title's new lease on life to pick up exactly where he left off fifteen years ago.
I think that if DC wants to insure the success of the new series, they should make some sort of effort to bring new readers, or those older fans, like myself, with short memories and who may no longer have copies of the original series on hand, up to speed on the story so far.  I have, since the release of the new Xombi #1, spent several hours over the space of a week and a half digging through about a dozen boxes of back issues marked "X" in the basement of Packrat Comics, past countless unread and unwanted copies of X-Force #1 and all five variant covers of X-Men #1, to uncover most of the old Xombi series up to #17.  For those without the patience or obsessiveness for such a quest, what DC should do; what they probably should, in fact, have done before the release of the new first issue; is reprint the  original series in its entirety.  Two trade paperback collections, containing eleven issues apiece, should be sufficient.  The first would contain issues #1-11, comprising the characters origin and the first two story lines, "Silent Cathedrals" and "School of Anguish."  The zero issue, while it appeared prior to #1, takes place after "School of Anguish," so it more properly belongs in the second volume, along with issues #12-21.    
Xombi was my favorite of the Milestone titles back in 90's, and I'm very glad that it's back and  that Rozum is getting a chance to continue David Kim's story.  I hope that DC does whatever they can, not only reprinting the original series as I've suggested but making an effort to promote the series to new readers and fans of the original, in order to ensure that Rozum gets to tell the full story as he had originally intended.

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