It’s not the clothes that make the badass, it’s the asses they kick! Dazzler, Boom-Boom, Jubilee and Wolverine might not be dressed for a beatdown, but that’s not gonna stop them from handing them out! Make a joke about them – they dare you!
In X-Terminators #4, the tide finally turns in the X-Terminators’ favor. The X-Terminators’ escape from their space prison highlights the intelligence and resourcefulness of these four characters. Their determination to rescue the vast number of other prisoners onboard shows their compassion. This issue also emphasizes the camaraderie between Dazzler, Jubilee, Boom Boom, and Wolverine, as they have all grown closer over the course of this adventure. Now that Dazzler is free, she can finally give her vampire ex-boyfriend Alex the payback he deserves—with her girls to back her up.
The series’ emphasis on women suffering under the controlling eye of the male gaze persists in X-Terminators #4, as the X-Terminators find themselves in a special enclosure called the Aquarium located within the Collector’s spaceship. This enclosure houses women whom Alex, an agent of the Collector, has abducted. The Aquarium exists for Alex’s personal amusement, and its structure denies its occupants any sort of privacy. The walls are unbreakable but see-through, and Alex forbids the women from covering themselves while undressing or using the restroom—a rule he claims is due to security concerns but which Wolverine deduces is simply an excuse to force these women to fulfill his fetishes. The only articles of clothing available to the women in the Aquarium are skimpy, sexualizing costumes clearly also meant to cater to Alex’s fetishes.
As in previous issues, the male gaze is both violent and sexual. The Aquarium may not feature any actual bloodshed, but forcing the women to be on display at all times with no opportunity for privacy is unquestionably a violent act, and performing this violence gives Alex sexual pleasure. Even the name “Aquarium” for the enclosure is violent, as it dehumanizes the prisoners of the enclosure by likening them to animals. The inhabitants of the Aquarium are not the only individuals Alex dehumanizes; adjacent to the Aquarium is the Monster Menagerie, which houses magical beings that Alex and the Collector abduct and breed to fight in arenas like the one the X-Terminators just escaped. Though Alex uses the strange and sometimes monstrous appearances of these beings to strip them of their personhood, they are sentient. The X-Terminators sympathize with them and help rescue them along with the trafficked women when they make their escape.
X-Terminators #4 highlights the ingenuity of the X-Terminators as they escape the space prison and deal with the consequences. Dazzler devises a plan to blow up the plumbing, freeing the women from the Aquarium, while Wolverine leads everyone to the spaceship’s transport room, which she remembers from a previous run-in with the Collector. Once the group transports to Krakoa, Boom Boom sends a time bomb back through the portal to ensure that they’re not followed. And when Dracula demands the Quiet Council allow the Vampire Nation to punish the X-Terminators for their actions, it’s Jubilee who reminds Dracula that all the vampires the X-Terminators destroyed were enemies of the Vampire Nation, putting Dracula in the X-Terminators debt. All four women use their unique skills and knowledge to succeed in this adventure, and it’s both impressive and entertaining to watch.
This issue also emphasizes how close the X-Terminators have become with each other over the course of the series. This is clear through their teamwork as they execute the escape plan—the characters work together much more effectively than they did initially. It is also revealed through character interactions. Boom Boom excitedly switches clothes with Jubilee and lets Jubilee do her makeup; Wolverine puts her arms around Jubilee and Boom Boom while trying to come up with a plan; Jubilee fondly teases Wolverine for acting like she’s above the ridiculousness of their situation. Dazzler is slightly removed from all this bonding due to her strong focus on escaping and getting revenge on Alex, but it’s clear that the other women respect her as a leader and a friend in a way that they may not have before.
Dazzler’s vow to get revenge on Alex might seem disturbing, particularly because we know from the first issue that it involves bloodshed. However, Alex has proven himself to be so cruel and sadistic that it’s impossible not to be on Dazzler’s side. After everything he put her and her friends through, it only seems fair to let Dazzler get her licks in. X-Terminators #4 wraps up most of the overarching story of this miniseries, so it’s hard to predict what the final issue will contain, aside from Dazzler’s vengeance. Whatever is in store for the last chapter of this story, it’s sure to be a fun, sexy, and ridiculous send-off for this unconventional band of heroines.
X-Terminators #4 highlights the ingenuity and compassion of Dazzler, Jubilee, Boom Boom, and Wolverine as they escape the Collector's space prison and rescue the other prisoners as well. Their flawless teamwork and friendly camaraderie show how close the four women have grown over the course of their adventure.
X-Terminators #4: X-Traterrestrial
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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