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Longshot

Longshot

Longshot is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero best known as a member of the X-Men. He was created by writer Ann Nocenti and artist Art Adams.

He is one of the few X-Men (along with Wolverine, Cable, and Banshee) to have a relatively well defined archenemy apart from Magneto.

Publication history

Longshot debuted in a six-part, eponymous 1985-1986 mini-series that parodied television. The series featured the "Mojoverse", an alien dimension whose residents are addicted to gladiator-like entertainment and ruled by the tyrant network head Mojo. Longshot, who possesses probability altering or "luck" powers, is an action star who escapes enslavement by Mojo. The series became a cult classic. This series features an early example of Art Adams' detailed art and Ann Nocenti's slightly trippy dialogue and ideas.

After the series, Longshot briefly joined the X-Men, and has appeared in Marvel comic books occasionally, particularly various X-Men titles, beginning in the late 1980s.

The 1997 one-shot Fools has Longshot restlessly searching the Mojoverse for "something" he feels he has lost.

A Skrull posing as him appeared in X-Factor in 2008.

Fictional character biography

Longshot is an artificially created humanoid life-form, with the ability to defy probability. He is from an alternate dimension known as "Mojoworld" or the "Mojoverse". He is one of many slaves created by genetic engineers in the employ of Mojoworld's masters, the grossly obese, virtually immobile Spineless Ones, who are ruled by the media-obsessed delusional maniac named Mojo. The head geneticist, Arize, gave Longshot and his other creations (such as the ram-headed Quark) free will and a conscience, hoping that one day they would rise up against their masters.

Longshot and many of his fellow slaves rebel against the slave-masters. They undergo a mystical ritual that gives them the power to create good luck for themselves. Despite this power, their masters win the war due to their superior weaponry and the limits of the slaves' luck. Longshot is rendered amnesiac by the Spineless Ones, but he manages to flee from Mojoworld to Earth. A number of Mojo's servants, led by the hound-like Gog and Magog, pursue him, but get stuck between Longshot's world and Earth. Unable to remember his real name, Longshot becomes an adventurer and takes the name "Longshot" after several humans call him that due to his incredible good luck. While recovering, Longshot befriends the human stunt-woman named Ricochet Rita and works as a movie stuntman himself. He also adopts the docile Magog, who he renames "Pup". Finally, Mojo and his assistant, the six-armed sword-wielding assassin named Spiral, follow Longshot to Earth. Longshot battles Spiral, and defeats Mojo with the aid of Ricochet Rita, Quark, and Doctor Strange, who then send Mojo and his minions back to the Mojoverse. Longshot, Quark and Rita return to the Mojoverse to free the other slaves.

A once-again amnesiac Longshot is sent back to Earth by Mojo, where he joins the X-Men. With the X-Men, he battles the Juggernaut and the Marauders. Longshot dies while defeating the Adversary, but is then restored to life by Roma. Longshot and the X-Men fight the Reavers in Australia for the first time. He battles the Brood. With the X-Men, he next invades Genosha. He soon becomes Dazzler's lover. However, he suffers a severe identity crisis, and eventually leaves the X-Men.

Before long, Longshot is reunited with Dazzler, and is teleported with her to Mojoworld. For a short time, they live in Mojoworld, until they are captured by Mojo. They, with the X-Men and Mojo's temporary successor, "Mojo II: The Sequel", lead a revolt against Mojo. Longshot and Dazzler also learn that they are expectant parents. The pair also care for the X-Babies, a group of Mojo-manufactured child clones of the X-Men. One of the many X-Babies created is a young version of Longshot himself. Dazzler's pregnancy has not been mentioned since; the child may have been born and never seen by the readers, although evidence suggests that Dazzler may have had a miscarriage. Both Longshot and Dazzler have since returned to Earth separately from one another with Dazzler believing that Longshot has been killed.

Longshot: Fools

After being "killed" by the Thingy and denied entrance into Heaven, Longshot realizes he has lost his innocence, the main source of his luck power. Ejected from Heaven and Mojoverse, Longshot finds himself stranded between Baum and Barrie, Kansas, pursued by the vengeful Thingy. When a child who has befriended the broken hero is damaged by the monster, Longshot, helped by a group of mental patients, rediscovers his faith in himself and his own purity despite the suffering of his life to restore her to health. In the end, the unlikely group sets out for the big city, searching for adventure, secure in their luck and their innocence.

Exiles

Longshot is recruited for the Exiles by Heather Hudson to help against Proteus. Mojo claims that he and all the other inhabitants of Mojoworld are "unique" in that there is no parallel counterpart to his realm. This would extend to Longshot, though what impact this will have on his membership in the Exiles is unknown. Morph reveals that Longshot's abilities cancel Proteus' reality warping powers, making him a perfect candidate for the team. He is brought aboard to replace the dead Mimic. Longshot saves Blink from Proteus in 2099, and saves Blink, Morph, Sabretooth, Star Brand, Lenore Fenzl, and Nightmask from Proteus in the New Universe Approximation. When the Exiles visit Future Imperfect, Longshot tries to stop Maestro's rampage and stop Proteus from taking over Maestro's body. The Exiles finally corner Proteus at the Heroes Reborn world, and trap Proteus in Morph's body. With the hunt for Proteus at an end, Longshot remains an Exile to continue fixing damaged realities. During their last mission, Longshot is seemingly brainwashed into attacking Blink by Madame Hydra and the Hand. Afterwards, Longshot leaves the Exiles to be with Dazzler.

Secret Invasion

Longshot meets up with Darwin sometime after Messiah Complex and is leading him to Professor Xavier because Darwin wants to help him. Longshot says his powers have been failing him recently and tests them out on a bunch of people, causing them to turn on Darwin. After Darwin escapes, the crowd then attack Longshot but he manages to mysteriously get away. He reappears in an alleyway and doesn't notice he is being tracked by Jazinda. He then reveals himself to be a Skrull and goes to meet up with Darwin as they move through Detroit. Later, they are attacked by Jazinda and She-Hulk.

The Karma Project

Longshot shows up in Detroit after seeing an article about him appearing there during the events of Secret Invasion. After a small fight with Guido he helps the team find out what happened to Darwin and his father leading them to the Karma Project. He also complains that women are too friendly towards him and reveals why he and Dazzler are no longer an item. Monet also hits on him alot.

Powers, abilities, and equipment

Longshot was created through genetic engineering by Arize. Longshot has only three fingers and an opposable thumb on each hand. He also has leather-like skin, hollow bones and two hearts, giving him superhuman speed, agility, endurance, and reflexes. He has exhibited advanced healing abilities as well.

He has a star shaped scar on his left eye from being branded. The scar is only visible (glowing brightly) when Longshot uses his superhuman powers. He was genetically engineered and augmented by magical means to have certain superhuman abilities. The mystical augmentation gave him the ability to affect probability fields through psionic means in order to give himself "good luck" in his activities. This allows incredibly unlikely events to happen in Longshot's favor. This power operates even when Longshot does not consciously will it to do so. This ability is tied into the positive aspects of his personality: should he attempt to use his powers for a selfish or evil act, or should he give up hope, his powers will fail to function or even backfire, giving him bad luck. By creating "good luck" for himself psionically, Longshot creates an equal and opposite effect elsewhere, thereby creating "bad luck" that may affect someone else or even Longshot himself.

Longshot can also telepathically "read" the recent memories of a person by making physical contact with him or her. He also is sensitive to "hearing" the voices of spirits of the dead. Moreover, Longshot can read "psychic imprints" that people leave on objects that they have handled, and thereby learn the thoughts that an individual had while handling the object, otherwise known as psychometric powers. Longshot, in the present, can sometimes can even look into the future of the person or object he touches, and can read the thoughts that that person will have when handling it in that future time.

It is eventually clearly stated that it is hardwired into his DNA that most women tend to fall in love with him and those who do not (including most men) fall before his charisma..

Longshot carries cleaver-like blades, stored in a bandoleer, which he hurls with inhuman accuracy or in some cases, completely dependent upon his luck powers. He is also shown as proficent in other types of bladed weaponry. During his X-Men years, Longshot also carried a folding grappling hook and rope either carried looped around one shoulder or stored in his shoulder bag, and a set of throwing spikes which produced net-like wires between them to restrain a target.

Longshot is proficient in the use of jetpacks for flight, and in the use of beam weapon side-arms.

Longshot is an extraordinary acrobat, and has superhuman agility due to having hollow bones but musculature like an Earthman's.

Influences

The character of Longshot was created by a desire from Ann Nocenti to portray a perfect being in an imperfect world. It was her opinion that this would necessitate that Longshot be a "tabula rasa" or blank slate consisting of no memories of his own. The limitation on Longshot's powers that he must always do what he believes is right and his confusion regarding these complex issues fill the bulk of this work.

Focus on media in the identities of Mojo and Major Domo were likely inspired by the works of Marshall McLuhan and other media theorists which Nocenti credited on a similar work of hers on the title New Mutants.

Not long after Longshot left the X-Men, the team received a new member in Gambit. The two characters have personalities as distinct as night and day, however they share long hair, agility, thrown weapons, stunningly good looks, a mysterious history and a love interest in Rogue. In one issue, Wolverine even says sparring with Gambit is like sparring with Longshot. They're also the same height, 6' 2‘‘, and have generally been drawn at a similar build, though Longshot's hollow bones make him 100 pounds lighter than Gambit; the former weighing in at 80 lbs. and the latter at 180.

Longshot also inspired Shatterstar, a character written for Rob Liefeld's X-Force series, and Domino, another X-Force character with similar powers as Longshot. At times it was hinted that Shatterstar might be Longshot's son, but this idea seems to have been dropped.

Other versions

Ultimate Longshot

Ultimate Longshot first appeared in Ultimate X-Men #54, written by Brian K. Vaughan. In the Ultimate Universe, Longshot is not an alien but an ordinary mutant named Arthur Centino. His name is a tribute to creators Art Adams and Ann Nocenti.

Centino is accused of murdering a Genoshan politician; as punishment, he is sentenced to forced participation in a reality show where he will be hunted for sport. The show is run by Mojo Adams, the Ultimate version of Mojo (whose last name is also a tribute to Art Adams), who in this universe is a morbidly obese, albino human with dreadlocks. One of the opponents Longshot faces is a tall, fit, red-haired hunter, the Ultimate version of Arcade.

The X-Men journey to the island Longshot is on, assuming he is innocent and was framed and thus offer to help him. During the course of their time together, Longshot spends time flirting with Colossus, implying that he is either bisexual or very good at reading and thus manipulating people. It is later discovered that he is guilty; he had stumbled upon his girlfriend Spiral with the politician and killed him in a fit of rage. Later, Longshot is in the Savage Land foraging for food when he runs into the Ultimates' Scarlet Witch, who captures him and has him imprisoned in their Triskelion base. Longshot later successfully escapes from the Triskelion. During the escape, he seemingly kills Lady Deathstrike, saving the lives of two of the X-Men who had freed him before. One of the others who escaped is Magneto, who admits that he had tipped the authorities onto Longshot's location in the first place, as part of Magneto's own escape plan; Magneto wanted Longshot and his luck power present as an "edge" to guarantee success.

Ultimate Longshot has only three fingers (plus one thumb), like the original character he was based on.

This version of Longshot despises normal human beings; he regularly uses the epithet "flatscan" when referring to them, introducing the term to the Ultimate universe.

When Longshot is last seen, the death of Charles Xavier is announced, the news reaches "Somewhere Else," apparently Magneto's latest stronghold. Longshot is seen, still bearded from his time on the run, seated on his own low stool at Magneto's right hand side, suggesting that the sociopathic young mutant holds special favor with the Master of Magnetism. This story by Robert Kirkman is entitled Aftermath: Part 1, the multi-issue arc seemingly guaranteeing that Longshot will feature prominently in Magneto's plans to capitalize on his old adversary's death.

Shattershot

In the alternate reality future seen at the end of the "Shattershot" storyline (which ran through the 1992 annuals of the X-Men-related titles), a mysterious hooded figure appears in the background when the former slaves and the Spineless Ones finally make peace. The hooded figure throws back his hood, revealing himself to be an aged Longshot. He makes a philosophical pronouncement, then says "Gotcha!" as he did while he was with the X-Men.

In other media

Television

  • Longshot guest starred in the X-Men animated series episodes "Mojovision" and "Longshot" voiced by Rod Wilson. In the animated series it seemed to indicate that he might have a relationship with Spiral.

Video games

References

External links

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