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Comic Book / District X

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Turn the right corner in Mutant Town and you can find anything...

District X was a short lived comic book series by David Hine that ran from 2004 to 2005. It takes place in "District X", also known as "Mutant town", a neighborhood in New York City where most of the people are mutants. The main characters are two cops, the human Ismael "Izzy" Ortega, and Lucas Bishop from the X-Men, replacing Izzy's hospitalised partner Gus Kucharsky.

The series was a police procedural, rather than a superhero comic. Mutants are not heroes or villains, just common urban people (cops, neighbours, petty thieves, "totally radical" teenagers, vagrants, etc) who simply happen to have weird super powers. There are almost no superhero costumes involved (not even Bishop, he goes around in normal police uniform).

The series had a Spiritual Successor called "Mutopia X", a tie-in with the crossover House of M, where Mutant Town becomes like the Hollywood of the new alternative reality.


District X contains examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: For both Mutant Town, which first showed up in New X-Men, and for Bishop.
  • A God Am I: Absolon Mercator
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Cuba. Bishop thought that Ortega was a mutant because he's was deported from Cuba in the 1980s, when Castro deported all mutants from the island. Ortega corrected him: Castro deported mutants and everyone else who may be a danger for his regime, such as intellectuals or writers. Ortega's parents? They were poets.
  • Badass Long Coat: Bishop
  • Bittersweet Ending: Leaning more toward the "bitter" side. Izzy manages to recover from rock bottom and get his family back, but it takes his daughter's death and and the depowering of almost everyone in District X to finally convince him to wise up.
  • Blessed with Suck: Most mutants in mutant town have powers that would be completely useless in superhero fights, and just make their lives suck.
    • If Gregor falls asleep, he begins to produce roots and turn into a tree, so he must stay awaken all the time. And if the roots begin to get out, they don't simply get back inside: they must be cut with pruning shears and the injuries cleaned.
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    • Falcone produces some strange creatures out of his body, half rats, half Alien-style.
    • Patricia Hamilton has fish-like physical features. She was a great swimmer, but was disqualified from the Olympic games because her mutation gave her an unfair advantage. So she left England and moved to New York, to the land of the opportunities... and works every night inside an aquarium in a porn club.
    • Armena creates a forcefield around herself when she falls asleep, which she can't prevent. Not much in comparison with others, but Ortega can't hug her while she sleeps, ever.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Mr. M turned the "toad boy" into a common human boy. He can not produce drugs from his body anymore, and the mafia will have no longer any interest in him. Besides, now that he's not a horrible monster, perhaps he can get a girl or two...
    • It also happens to all Mutant Town (except for Bishop and Mr. M) at the end of House of M.
  • Death Glare: Gus Kucharsky got an early retirement, because of injuries during service. He wants to visit Ortega to Celebrate. Hey, Armena, can Gus visit us? Her face says it all.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Mr. M
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Mr. M rescued the "toad boy" and his mother, and turned him into a common boy so that the mafia will lost their interest on him. But his mother, who lives stoned with the fantastic drug produced by her son, refuses to be rescued. Mr. M rescued them anyway.
  • The Dragon: Mr. Punch
  • Drugs Are Bad: More than bad, deadly. And they're made from a child.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Ortega and Bishop tried to interrupt a party where all the teenagers were about to taste the "Toad Juice", not knowing that it is fatal for H. sapiens. They arrived late.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Jake Constanza, a man who kept his wife jailed inside his department, fully gagged and locked to the wall. He said that, if he released her, she would zap anyone's will with a single word and make them kill just for fun. Guess what, he was right.
  • Fantastic Drug: The "Toad Juice", produced by all body fluids (spit, sweat, tears, urine, poop, etc) of the "toad boy". Mutants get stoned, humans have horrific mutations and die. Note: The character known as Toad, the one from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, is not involved; the "toad boy" is someone else.
  • Fantastic Racism: The usual one of Marvel Comics, the racism against mutants, but without superheroes involved.
  • Guns in Church: Ortega is fully aware of the risk of having a gun at home, but he has to, he's a cop. He's sure that the one day he forgets to lock and secure the gun, a tragedy will happen. And one day... he forgot his gun at home.
  • Happily Married: Ortega and Armena
  • I Have No Son!: The mother of the "Toad boy" is really angry of not being able to get stoned with her son anymore.
  • Just Think of the Potential!: A neighbour pointed this to Mercator. Such an awesome power, to restructure any material at will... and he uses it to repair kitchen appliances?
  • Karma Houdini: Daniel Kaufman. Thankfully not his even eviler House of M counterpart, though.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gus Kucharsky was a racist of mutants. He ended his first story in the hospital.
  • Nice Hat: Mr. M
  • Only the Leads Get a Happy Ending: The end of "Mutopia X". Armena is no longer Blessed with Suck, she does not project a forcefield in the night, and Ortega can hug her while they sleep. Sweet. But things did not go very well for the mutants in Mutant Town, or for their daughter, who lost their powers or even died.
  • Parental Neglect: When the mother of the "toad boy" discovered that his son (an horrible mutant who has never left his home and just plays with the X-Box all day) produced the "toad juice", a Fantastic Drug, she never left his side anymore. And "never left his side anymore" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. No work, no shopping, no business, no payment of taxes, no social life, no strolling in the park, nothing: she was stoned all day, all days. The kid even had to buy pizzas by delivery, to avoid starving to death.
  • Porky Pig Pronunciation: Kaufman
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Jazz, a Z-list mutant with a totally useless power introduced in this series, somehow managed to escape M-Day with his X-gene intact, only to become the very first mutant to die in the ensuing crisis in The 198 miniseries also by Hine.
  • Sex Is Good: All the guys in the party were about to try the "toad juice" (without knowing that it's mortal for non-mutants), all of them at the same time for a shared experience. All of them... except a couple that was more interested in having sex in the bathroom. This couple saved their lives.
  • Sliding Scale of Libertarianism and Authoritarianism: If the Ortegas invite you to a dinner, better don't mention Castro. Ismael will say that he's a President Evil, Armena that Hobbes Was Right, and you'll get caught in the middle.
  • Spiritual Successor: "Mutopia X" has the same author and characters from District X, in the alternate reality of House of M.
  • Totally Radical: Jazz (a guy named Jazz, not Jazz music)
  • Unreliable Narrator: When Ortega and Kucharsky tried to free a woman held captive by her husband, the woman zapped Kucharsky's will with a single word. She made him shot her husband, Kucharsky shot her to get rid of her control, and before dying she forced him to fire to his head. He was lucky: the bullet did not break his skull, and he only stayed unconscious in the hospital for some days and woke up with amnesia. He wanted to know what happened... so Ortega told him a white lie: that it was the husband who shot his wife, shot Kucharsky and then himself.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The crime boss Kaufman and his right hand, Mr. Punch. Kaufman is a mutant with periodic outbursts of super-strength and violent rage, which he can not prevent. Mr. Punch is nigh invulnerable and may receive any amount of beating without feeling pain or being injured. And so, every time that Kaufman has his outburst, Mr. Punch is there to receive the beating, he does not mind and allows Kaufman to avoid destroying the furniture or beating someone that may not be convenient to beat. Punch also isn't afraid to voice his concerns or opposition to Kaufman's choices at times, but also assures him he's loyal and will follow him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Bishop's boss, Colonel Alexei Vazhin, will do anything to avoid race riots in District X, up to and including ordering the murder of innocent people without batting an eye. Memorably, there's one point where Bishop strangles him into unconsciousness over this.