The Necrosha storyline continues in this issue as an invading force attacks Utopia Island, the new home of the X-Men. The battle, which started in the previous issue turns sour very quickly, as some of the bad guys have literal power over life and death. Mister Jeffries appears as a regular member of the X-Men Science Team, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #505 and Diamond Lil appears as well.
Diamond Lil, who had been tending to Iceman in the previous issue, can be seen very tiny on the intro page in a reduced version of the 2pg spread at the end of issue #22 which shows the invading force blinking in by teleportation. However, once the issue begins, she suddenly becomes extremely impatient with the situation, dumps Iceman right on the ground (poor Bobby) and rushes headstrong into the fray. She ignores Mister Jeffries’ admonition to wait and is immediately taken out by Mortis’ death touch which kills her instantly. It’s just “HK–!” and then THUD! and that’s the end of Lillian “Creepy” Crawley.
Later, Jeffries can be seen holding Lil’s limp dead body, lamenting, “I never stopped loving you,” a confusing statement given the unknown status of their relationship at the time of publication. Even more confusing was the relative ease with which Mortis’ death touch was able to penetrate Lil’s impenetrable bio-aura, unless it is far more disruptive to energy fields than previously known.
Just like the sudden reappearance and immediate subsequent death of Marrina in Dark X-Men: The List #1, the initial excitement over Lil’s resurfacing in last issue took a turn for the worse. It’s not clear why Chris Yost felt compelled to kill her off, in addition to a few other mutants, but he did have this to say about it:
…Pretty much every comic, artist, writers, you name it has people that love it, or people that hate it. It’s subjective.
It really is an interesting situation here, though, with comics – because even when people hate a book with the power of a million exploding suns… they will keep reading it because of a love for the characters. I get that…
…We’re still taking heat from the New X-Men bus explosion four years ago. There’s some dude on Comixfan that will probably hate us forever for killing Quill. We’ll take heat for Diamond Lil forever, too. And that’s okay.
If you guys weren’t passionate about these characters and stories, good or bad, it wouldn’t be worth doing.
Chris Yost lacks a needle in his moral compass. His logic is: writing that results in fans hating him for killing a beloved character or writing that results in fans loving him for resurrecting a beloved character are morally equivalent because there will always be one person somewhere who will hate him. Since he can’t ever please 100.00% of all people 100.00% of the time, he ought not make any attempt to please anyone, ever, and just sit back and be hated, or loved, happy that he was able to evoke an emotion at all while showing complete indifference to the nature of the evoked emotion while somehow still existing in a state of wonderment and admiration for comic book fans. Terrible. He ought to get over this angsty perfectionism and stop assuming that fans will continue to buy comics he writes just because they love comic books more than they hate his writing.
It really is very disappointing to lose Lil this way. There was no reason to kill her off, except for he fact that she was an unused character who precious few would mourn. It didn’t advance the storyline nor add characterization to anyone. All it did was completely ignore her life story, which was one of redemption from a checkered past into a top tier super-hero as an Alpha Flight member. She was also a survivor of a breast cancer scare and a troubling love triangle that caused immense suffering in her heart, the only weak part of her otherwise indestructible body. Her meaningless death by means of an instant death touch from a character she had no previous connection with, and without any resistance is incomprehensible, shocking and undeserved.
Note: this issue has a variant cover, also by Clayton Crain.
||X-Force #23 – Clayton Crain variant
Note: a portion of the actual panel depicting Diamond Lil’s death was reproduced on the Intro page of X-Force #24. That issue also has a variant cover, also by Clayton Crain.
||X-Force #24 – Clayton Crain variant