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Comic Book / Longshot

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Longshot is a 1985 miniseries by Marvel Comics, written by Ann Nocenti with art by Arthur Adams.

The series follows Longshot, An artificial human bred for slavery in the media-obsessed Mojoverse. Improbably lucky, he is able to emerge from any scenario victorious.

After rebelling against the Mojoverse's Spineless Ones and freeing his fellow slaves, Longshot finds himself transported to New York in the mainstream Marvel Universe.

After the end of the series, Longshot would soon join the X-Men as a member of their field team.

Longshot was originally a standalone title not connected to the X-Men, but would retroactively become an X-Men miniseries due to his later membership and general association with the mutant side of the Marvel Universenote . Future collected editions would therefore be titled X-Men: Longshot.

Longshot provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The mini actually seemed to be setting Mojo up as a villain for Doctor Strange, who he never fought again.
  • Artificial Human: Well, artificial other-dimensional "human". Longshot and others like him were created by the Spineless Ones to serve as performers in their TV-like entertainments.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Longshot catches Spiral's sword between his hands. It helps that part of his powers is to have chance fall in his favor.
  • Blank Slate: Longshot has no memories from before escaping to New York.
  • Cool Airship: Mojo uses one of these to get around.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mojo is perhaps the most bizarre example ever. On Mojoworld, TV is life, and Mojo has the remote. So if you don't amuse him, you're cancelled.
  • '80s Hair: Longshot was modelled on the singer Limahl.
  • Flanderization: In the original Longshot mini-series, he made movies with his slaves, but it was not the all-consuming obsession for him it would later become in X-Men.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The original Longshot mini showed her as being very jealous and resentful of ordinary humans, seeing herself as a freak compared to them. Mojo states outright this is why he gave Spiral her extra arms.
  • Hourglass Plot: In his debut solo the bounty hunter sent by Mojo who hates his guts at first develops a deep respect for him while his son who assisted him at first is corrupted by absorbing the ambient magic on Earth and grows to hate him.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Explicitly a part of how his luck powers work in the earlier parts of his continuity. So long as his motives are pure rather than selfish, everything that can possibly go in his favor will do so, frequently in drastic fashion. If he attempts to use his luck for his own profit, however - such as his attempt in his introductory LS to work as a stuntman - his luck turns against him and reality quite painfully ensues.
  • In Medias Res: The story opens on the then nameless Longshot running from goons in another dimension.
  • Ironic Nickname: Mojo likes calling himself 'Mojo Lifebringer', which couldn't be further from the truth.
  • It Amused Me: Mojo let Arize and his rebellion run around for this reason, and because it occasionally gives him cool things to steal and play with, like Longshot.
  • Kick the Dog: Shortly after arriving in our reality Spiral rips the shawl off an elderly woman and walks on the poor woman's head while making cracks about her 'pathetic face'.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Gog n'Magog (or "Pup" as Longshot calls him) from the original miniseries starts the story as something best described as a clawed monkey/bear hybrid with a beard and a mohawk. He keeps absorbing Earth's magic during the story, thus mutating from issue to issue. He ends up with a reptilian tail and stegosaurus plates on his back.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Mojo is heavily implied to be doing this.
    Spiral: You act completely psychotic but I know you're really thirty moves ahead of everyone.
  • Oddball in the Series: Longshot is an X-Men miniseries that stars an alien rather than a mutant. It also doesn't feature any X-Men members, mutants or associated elements of the Marvel Universe at the time. Though, this all makes sense when one considers that it's an X-Men series retroactively speaking, and was originally meant to be standalone.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Longshot has a real name, but doesn't remember it due to being mindwiped.
  • Trope Codifier: For a whole host of visual tropes from the Dark Age of comics. Art Adams' scratchy style in the original Longshot miniseries was a major influence on his inker, Whilce Portacio, and Jim Lee, and Adams actually gave Longshot pouches because of his dislike of the hyperspace arsenal trope.
  • Utility Belt: Longshot has bandoliers for his throwing knives because it bothered Art Adams when characters with weapons like this just pulled them out of nowhere. Ironically, given the connection between Longshot and Shatterstar, this may have been the inspiration for the Rob Liefeld tradition of characters with belts full of pouches they don't use for anything.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The then nameless Spiral and several other nameless Mojoworld Mooks kidnapped a woman's baby. Her distinctive appearance led to her returning two issues later as a proper villain.