[identity profile] traveling-storm.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] ship_manifesto
Title: Amigos and More

Fandom: X-Force (Marvel Comics)

Pairing: Rictor/Shatterstar

Author: Stormy1x2 ([profile] traveling_storm)

Notes: The Marvel X-Verse is a huge, complex world composed of thousands of characters, and it's supremely difficult to link them all together, even when you have the issues to go through (over 1500 at last count, oi vey). But the pairing of Rictor and Shatterstar is so talked about, is so well-documented, that it's a bit easier to show you. And that, in itself, says a lot – that the pairing is not just one fan's slasher bias here, but that it is a strongly hinted at pairing, and that they are a viable, plausible, and totally adorable couple.

Though the little pictures are edited for size, at the bottom of each quote is a link to the full picture the quote is from.  Unedited pics don't have extra links. Additional pictures are linked to the appropriate text.

I am so glad to finally have gotten to the floor of all this.”

'Bottom', amigo. To the bottom of this.”

Whatever, Rictor.”

  • Shatterstar and Rictor, X-Force #60.

Shatterstar: aka Benjamin Russell, Gaveedra 7

Birthplace: Mojoworld, 100 years in the future

Powers: Exceptional reflexes and agility (more due to endless training and genetic tampering then actual x-factor, I think), a healing factor (not as strong as Wolverine's), and has the ability to use his sword (metal) to channel sound vibrations and turn them into plasmic blasts

Blood Relatives: It's been hinted that he's the future offspring or descendant of Longshot and Dazzler, but never confirmed. A single panel in an X-book has Dazzler announcing a possible pregnancy with an excited Longshot suggesting 'Shatterstar' as a potential name.

His Story:

Shatterstar/Gaveedra 7 has a very strange, very convoluted back story, even by Marvel standards. He was raised in the Pens, fighting as a Gladiator on Mojoworld for Mojo's audiences. His warrior/TV name was Shatterstar. After escaping the Pens, he became a member of the rebellion, joining the Cadre Alliance to fight Mojo. He arrives in the X-Verse, looking for the X-Men to help him in his home world battles, but finds the New Mutants instead. Cable senses a chance to beef up the ranks and convinces Shatterstar to stay, promising to help him in his home battle if he did.

Shatterstar is a phenomenal warrior who spends his days sleeping, training and watching TV. He rebuffs advances from two members of his team (Feral and a drunken Siren) but assists in general repairs, showing a talent for mechanics, computers and engineering. Aloof from the team at first, he ends up responding to Julio's (semi) friendly advances, and the two of them form a tight partnership that dominates any battlefield they're on – as well as forming a closeness off the field as well. This doesn't begin right away – admittedly, Star was not impressed with anyone, not even Julio. Though he does consider Julio a friend, there are times when we need to speak up when said friends are being idiots.

Well, who the heck ever said I was a good soldier?”

Certainly not I. Now quiet yourself...or I will do temporary damage to your larynx and spare us all your complaining.”

It takes some time, but a good sign of their burgeoning friendship (outside of them watching TV together) was when Star first spoke to Rictor in Spanish, Rictor's native tongue.

How the heck did you learn Spanish?”

By watching television, of course. I thought it would allow us to communicate if necessary, in ways that others would not understand...be it our enemies in the midst of battle – or our friends, when the topics of conversation are of a personal nature.”

Is Shatterstar gay? It's hinted at but never revealed definitively, though Shatterstar did stop a gay bashing incident in X-Force #49, prompting a wave of speculation that his sexuality was something they were going to elaborate on, but the plot line was later dropped and ignored completely. There's also the mournful little, 'I miss Julio' part too. :)

Then again, forget sexuality – his species in general is under intense speculation. In later X-Force issues, it's revealed that the warrior may (or may not be) a human boy named Benjamin Russell, who's in a coma. See, Shatterstar died in a battle against Mojo and so Spiral and Longshot transferred his spirit into the human body of comatose mutant Benjamin Russell, which is why he possesses the X-Factor.

Genetically engineered alien warrior? Comatose earth mutant? Son of Longshot and Dazzler?

...yeah. Don't ask. And don't look too closely.

Rictor - Julio Esteban Richter (he spells his battle name with the 'o' because he chose it before he *ahem* perfected his reading and writing skills. ^^;;

Place of Birth: Guadalajara, Mexico

Powers: Can create seismic vibrations like earthquakes, using his hands to direct forceful blasts.

Blood Relatives: Julio's grandmother, mother and younger sisters live in Mexico. His father is dead. His uncles run a gun-smuggling operation.

His Story

Julio was born in Guadalajara Mexico, and at the young age of 13, was abducted by the Right (an evil organization) because of his seismic powers. They tortured him until his powers lashed out, destroying entire cities. He was rescued by X-Factor and became a part of the New Mutants until Cable got mixed up with it.

See, Julio believed that Cable (the future son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor {clone of Jean Grey}) killed his father (though it was later revealed to be the work of Stryfe, Cable's evil clone) and when Cable started nosing around the New Mutants, Rictor left. He set off on a self-imposed mission to rescue Rahne Sinclair, a fellow New Mutant whom he became fond of, in Genosha. Eventually, he winds up joining X-Force which would be his home for the next couple of years.

It is during his stay with X-Force that he meets Shatterstar, a genetically bred warrior from the same universe that spawned Longshot, and home of the villainous TV producer Mojo.

Rictor is a hot-tempered youth with abominable fashion sense, prone to wearing vests and bandannas, which generally does not help stem the flow of gay rumors. His hair has gone from mullet to mushroom/bowl cuts and has rarely ever been truly flattering, but we all still love him anyway. ^_^ He's rather protective of his friends (chasing down Rahne in Genosha) and appoints himself Shatterstar's de facto teacher of earth culture, which results in a strong bond of friendship between the two – and maybe more.

The pairing:

Poor Shatty. Stuck in a world he doesn't know, working for a promise that will never be fulfilled. It's a good thing Rictor takes him under his wing....er, sorta. :)

As you will read here and see in the photos I've stuck in here, there are plenty of canon moments where they seem to be paired up. And why not? They both have a love for battle, they like television – and they have the same horrible fashion sense (Shatty, step AWAY from the suspenders). But more then that, is how they rely on each other.

Rictor was the first person to breach the gap between Shatterstar and the other X-Force members. Shatterstar was too intimidating, too aloof to get close to anyone else. Rictor extends the hand of friendship over a TV session, in which Shatty proceeds to drive him absolutely batty by changing the channels a million and one times.

I know this place. Rictor took me here.”

- Shatterstar, X-Force #49

As time goes on, Rictor introduces Star to the modern world. He takes him dancing (a distressing thing for him when he's forced to dance with a female), they discuss their virginity (and Shatterstar assures Rictor that he does in fact, possess the necessary breeding 'equipment'), and Star even learns Spanish so that they can have private conversations. In return, Julio learns the language of the Cadre Alliance (as seen in X-Force '99 Annual).

They speak each other's languages. How many of YOU would learn a completely new language so casually? ^^  But now, it's time for some sadness:

...But, I need you. You're my best, my only friend."

...And I'll always be there for you, amigo.”

X-Force 44 is the heartbreaker, when Rictor decides to leave the team and go back to Mexico. As you can see in the scan, the absolute horror on Shatterstar's face speaks volumes about how he feels about this decision.

Cable #22 is where your heart really gets ripped out. Rictor boards the plane to Mexico. This is very upsetting for Shatterstar, accompanying him, who begs him not to go on almost every panel, culminating with the saddest lost-puppy look I've ever seen.

I hope I don't miss my flight, 'Star.”

To be honest about it Rictor...I kind of hope you do.”

What am I going to do without you?”

Rictor's departure makes Star a bit crazy, and so he winds up charging headlong into an altercation outside the airport. This ends up with him getting shot and a sentence in Beast's medi-lab/torture chamber. Despite a healing factor, he takes an abnormally long time to heal, to the point where other X-Force members wonder if he's gonna live. Turns out he will – I think he was just moping in the lab, despite the claims that Beast wouldn't let him leave. :)

Then comes X-Force #56 and the admission that rocked the fandom. During a routine training session with Siren, the narrator gives us this:

She has lost Warpath. He has lost Rictor.
Both see these missing teammates as 'friends.'
Both too stubborn to admit they may mean more then that.

Heavy stuff. And further proof that poor Star was suffering during this separation period.

Let's move on to the reunion scene. Yes, Rictor makes a return when Star is facing his identity crisis. Unsure of whether he's an alien warrior from Mojoworld, or a mutant from Earth, he starts to freak out. Enter Rictor who's appearance has an immediate calming effect on his *ahem* love.

I told you when I left—if you need me, I'd be back. And 'Star needs me.”

-Rictor, X-Force #59

But he's not back for long. After helping Star and X-Force, Rictor takes off again, to take on his family of gunrunners and make them see the light of justice. The difference is, this time, he takes Shatterstar with him! We don't hear too much about what they get up to in the series (except for the Annual, which I'll get to in a second) but Star makes a reappearance in X-Force #76. Arcade has captured Rictor and this forces Shatterstar to do as he says to save his life. It turns out, Star has to face his old X-Force leader Domino in a match pitting mercenary against mercenary in a bid for position as a head of security for some rich mogul. Or something. Anyway, Star does as he's told but loses against Dom.

Here comes the '99 Annual! The best of the best! The two of them have been fighting gunrunners together and are now fighting another doing some genetic tampering and stuff in addition to weapons procuring.

Private quarters, or can you share a room?”

Sharing's fine.”

-Bad guy, Rictor, X-Force #99 Annual

Along with sharing a room (with only one bed drawn in, heh heh), we also see signs of Rictor's influence – Star is cracking jokes, smiling and looks generally much more relaxed then he did in previous issues. Rictor even comments on this change. Rictor also keeps an eye on his boy – Star winds up using his mutant power, which exhausts him, and during the run over the hill, Ric can't help but call out to him to see if he's okay.

Sadly, the two are all but written out after the Annual, disappearing into the void that is Marvels background for a long time until they resurface in the newer editions of X-Factor. The only thing you need to see is a single page from the new X-Factor #14:

But hey, at least you know Pietro and I aren't an item, so that's good, right?”

I suppose. I mean, God knows you wouldn't want to make Shatterstar jealous.”

*Rictor spews his drink across the table*

Did Jamie touch a nerve there, Ric?

Ric and Star work well together. They accept each other, and look out for one another. There is no one the other trusts more, up to and including blood family. They are insanely protective of each other, as is evidenced in X-Force 16 – in a battle against the X-Men during the X-Cutioner's Song, Wolverine attacked Shatterstar, thrusting his claws through his gut, prompting Rictor to unleash a devastating blast of seismic energy.

Shatterstar! That does it! Rahney, I'm sorry – but this ends now!”

Why do I like it?

Them being friends is a no-brainer. And there are enough implications from the comics to make it plausible. I like this pairing because it's just so easy to take them one step further. In fact, it's been well documented, through letters on various comics letters page, that there had been tentative plans by Fabian Niceza and Jeff Loeb to actually have Rictor and Shatterstar 'come out' as a gay couple, but the plot threads – and the writers themselves – were shelved, and the two disappeared from the X-books for quite some time. The new writer who took over pretty much ignored the entire set up and began to almost reconstruct the friendship as though it hadn't been there, making it more, I don't know - main-stream friendly?

The friendship is quite built up and is very touching in its own way. The concern they show for each other is evident in every battle they fight in, and there's never any hesitation to involve themselves in the other's business, especially when it involves the others safety. It also doesn't help that they – despite horrible fashion sense and the oddest hairstyles known to Marvel – are fairly good-looking young men. Aesthetically, mentally, physically, these guys just belong together, and it's obvious to anyone who picks up an old X-book with them in it.

The Opposition:

Well, it wouldn't be fair to not include the challenger's to this relationship. The most dangerous one, to me, is Rahne Sinclair:

Rahne has the mutant ability to shapeshift into a wolf, and is often found in her half-human, half-wolf state. She is a devout catholic, which used to have her sometimes believing her very existence was a sin against God. It took a long time to get her to the point where she embraced her powers, but she still has a very strong moral code based on her religious beliefs (which can get annoying at times). Initially, Rictor sees her as a little sister and looks out for her. When Rahne was in Genosha being experimented on, Rictor took it upon himself to try and rescue her (a futile effort, but a heroic notion).

In the new X-Factor book, Rahne thought Rictor was going to jump off a building (after he lost his powers and was having an emo, 'woe-is-me' moment) and talked him down via threats and admonishments. The clincher is this scene from the new X-Factor #21 where she and Rictor actually have sex.

...but I maintain if Shatterstar had been there, it wouldn't have happened. ^^;;;; Still, she is the contender.

Shatterstar, on the other hand, has had numerous admirers. From the lust-driven Feral (who gives him the nickname 'Shattybuns' in one of the first issues of X-Force)) to the drunken Siren who tries to entice him, to complete strangers who try to pick him up:

But unlike Ric who finally gave in to Rahne's advances, Shatty has remained true to his partner. :)

Still, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Windsong. Windsong was Shatterstar's wife in Mojoworld, joined together for their genetic perfection by Mojo scientists. However, Windsong is dead (and unlike most Marvel creations, has not returned from beyond the grave) and they never actually mated – their genetic material was mixed in a lab.


So there you have it. Not the love story of the ages, but one of a wonderful friendship, forged in battle and strengthened over time. While they never officially became a couple within the pages of a Marvel book, it doesn't prevent the fans from stating unequivocally that Rictor and Shatterstar were partners in more ways then one. It's not a passionate love affair, or a love-hate link built on that that thin line, but of a canon bond growing naturally, strongly, and becoming the firm foundation upon which a loving relationship can grow in the minds of fans everywhere.

The lost pairing of the Marvel-verse. Who knows what would have happened had the writers had the courage to finish the plot they'd so carefully built up? We can only dream.


Fan Art Samples

Eternally Yours - by Stormy1x2

Forever Mine - by Stormy1x2

Shatterstar and Rictor - by Cesar Hernandez

Star and Ric - by Phoenix-Gal (gorgeous Photomanip!!)

Rictor - by Ian Nottingham

4:00am - by Lady Northstar

Proof Links:

The Rictor and Shatterstar Page: Tangerine does an excellent job cataloging a great deal of the Ric/Shatty moments. Without her work on her site, I wouldn't have had a starting point. Heck, I wouldn't even have become a fan, because it was her site that made me a Ric/Star fan in the first place. Major props and kudos to her.

[community profile] scans_daily has always been a wonderful source of slashy fun and Ric/Star has been a much gnawed-on bone in that community. This page in particular, was also a big help for me.

Fanfic links

The Rictor and Shatterstar page – 21 awesome fanfics in various ratings for your reading pleasure. I highly recommend everything by Tangerine, particularly her trilogy: Alegria, Libertad, and finally, Esperanza.


Day of Worship (NC-17) – by X-Trick. Wonderfully written and scorching hot.

There are some other great works at X-Tricks site. I strongly recommend you check them out.

Hand Over the Bandana or the Remote Gets It! - some good fanfics that'll tug your heart strings, make you laugh AND make you cry. :)

Last but not least, don't pass by [personal profile] ricstar  here at livejournal, for a small but decent collection of fics and fan art.

Please enjoy! And feel free to join in - this fandom is due for a revival. :)

Date: 2007-08-13 12:12 am (UTC)
ext_2512: ([bop] lesbian icon finally)
From: [identity profile] tafadhali.livejournal.com
Ooh, this is really cool! I've managed to miss these two in most of the X-Men I've read, but I might have to seek them out.

(A Bostonian, I am not ashamed to admit that my favorite part was when the Red Sox were mentioned, though. I'm such a loser.)

Date: 2007-08-13 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] train-diskense.livejournal.com
This was well put together, especially since I'm a fan of the pairing. :)

Date: 2007-08-13 02:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] violent-rabbit.livejournal.com
This was a great read thank you! And lovely lovely art :D

Date: 2007-09-01 01:55 pm (UTC)
ilyena_sylph: picture of Labyrinth!faerie with 'careful, i bite' as text (write)
From: [personal profile] ilyena_sylph
Awesomely put together essay, and *whine* I miss them!!!

Date: 2007-11-20 09:49 am (UTC)
sarkka: midsummer bonfire that looks like a feenix (Default)
From: [personal profile] sarkka
*squeeees* =)

Date: 2009-07-02 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pindrops.livejournal.com
Just wanted to let you know (just in case): it's canon now. Hopefully.


oh peter david, Difficult Choice

Date: 2009-12-18 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hohaiyee.livejournal.com
re: the crossed out [livejournal.com profile] scans_daily...

I can't help but wonder if Peter David would have legions more fangirls now, for the Shatterstar/Ric, which does sound awesome, if it weren't for well, the [livejournal.com profile] scans_daily incident.

On one hand, I'm getting curiouser and curiouser about X-Factor, on the other hand, the scans_daily incident...and then there is Young Avengers by Allan Heinberg...while it's currently Not Playing and there had been no on screen kiss yet, Hulkling and Wiccan's relationship is acknowledged, and the team is lead by an African-American (Patriot, Eli Bradley ) and a survivor of sexual assault (Hawkeye, Kate Bishop)

Date: 2010-03-25 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-music666.livejournal.com
How do you feel since the kiss? XD
From: [identity profile] pingback-bot.livejournal.com
User [livejournal.com profile] sineala referenced to your post from But why didn't anyone tell me Rictor/Shatterstar was canon? (http://sineala.livejournal.com/1565547.html) saying: [...] have been secretly dating a while. Eeee.) If anyone else needs to know: there's a ship manifesto [...]


ship_manifesto: (Default)

January 2012

222324 25262728

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 03:55 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios