Shatterstar, a genetically altered mutant and founding member of X-Force, is getting his own miniseries from Marvel Comics next month. With the return of Sina Grace’s Iceman, this new Shatterstar series makes two queer mutants headlining their own comic books this fall.
Shatterstar debuted in New Mutants #99 in 1991, the creation of prolific artist-writer Rob Liefeld.
“I was 12 years old when I first saw Shatterstar in the pages of New Mutants, and I was the perfect age to be intrigued by him,” series writer Tim Seeley told Newsarama. “The dude’s an alien gladiator! And within pages of us meeting him, he stabs himself with his own swords in order to kill the bad guy standing behind him.”
Seeley says he wants to take the character in a more “hardboiled noir” direction.
“He’s this guy whose life was violence for sport — and now he’s trying to move on from that. But it’s such a thin thread that keeps him in this new line of lawfulness, and it’s an easy one to break,” Seeley says. “When the life he built crumbles, Shatterstar is forced to ask himself if he truly ever gave up the gladiator ring.”
He describes the miniseries as “part John Wick, a dash of Will Eisner’s A Contract with God, and … lots of lots of interdimensional X-Men superhero mythos.”
The solicit for the Shatterstar series, out October 3, reads: “A gladiator, a warrior, a hero … the man called Shatterstar has been many things, but one thing he’s always been is deadly. He’s not a man you want to cross or you’ll learn that fact all too well. Walk back into the darkness with Shatterstar.”
Earlier this year, the character had a very brief appearance in Deadpool 2.
His origins are pretty fantasy-sci-fi, but in the pages of X-Force, writer Peter David made Shatterstar part of a more grounded street-level team. David also introduced a romantic relationship between Shatterstar and fellow mutant Rictor.
The two had their first on-panel kiss in the pages of 2009’s X-Force 45, earning David a GLAAD Media Award.
Rictor will be part of the new miniseries as well, though it’s not clear where their on-again, off-again relationship will land. Seeley revealed new designs for both characters from artist Carlos Vitta. The looks hearken back to their ’90s origins, with a more modern spin.
Another lil' sneak peak. (I'd be afraid we're showing too much, but we haven't even revealed the mystery villain yet!) From our October debuting #Shatterstar series. @Cfvillaart 's designs for our bad ass hero: pic.twitter.com/WAkCnRIzIW
— Tim Seeley (@HackinTimSeeley) August 29, 2018
— C.F. Villa (@Cfvillaart) August 28, 2018
Liefeld praised the new design: “Smart to hew closer to Liefeld Legacy look,” he tweeted. “Fans will be thrilled. Rooting for this one!”