X-Men, Kajagoogoo, and Leighton Buzzard: The secret history

X-Men Dark Phoenix is in cinemas now
X-Men Dark Phoenix is in cinemas now

This month has seen the final installment of the X-Men film series - a franchise which spans 12 films over 20 years, grossing $6billion.

X-Men Dark Phoenix will star the likes of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence.

But do you know what links Earth’s mutant heroes and Leighton Buzzard - via the style of 1980s pop stars Kajagoogoo?

The story goes back to September 1985, when a new character called Longshot made his debut in Marvel comics.

Like so many of us, Longshot is a member of the Mojoverse slave race. The character was created by writer Ann Nocenti, who was inspired by existentialist authors to give him powers to manipulate good luck whenever his motives are pure.

There was not, in truth, a lot of hype around the miniseries where Longshot made his debut. But it did make an impact across the industry for one important reason - the artwork by Arthur Adams.

As Adams recalled: “This was actually the early days of MTV, and there was a group called Kajagoogoo, and I saw the lead singer and said, ‘Oh, that’s weird hair! I don’t see anyone in comics with that kind of hair, I can use that for Longshot!’

“I’m not sure where the rest of the costume was from, I was just trying to make it look different than other costumes that I was aware of.”

Longshot became a comic sensation, and was swiftly added to the X-Men’s ranks.

And over the next few years countless other superheroes also sported mullets, from Superman to Venom to Thor to Captain Planet.

Superheroes (or at least their hairstyles) would never be the same again. And it was all thanks to Leighton Buzzard and Kajagoogoo.

X-Men Dark Phoenix is in cinemas now.