X #0 review
Writing: Duane Swierczynski
Art: Eric Nguyen
Review by Melissa Megan
Dark Horse relaunches a vigilante character called X who makes his criminal victims aware of their impending doom by sending them a picture of themselves marked with his signature letter. His weapon of choice is the sword, which he uses to slice up his dastardly targets like human sushi. In this intro issue, X is hunting three run-of-the-mill top tier gangsters.
I chose to read X because Dark Horse called it brutal and “super violent”. And you know me, I love me some good blood shed. I’m really trying to expand my reading horizons and check out some hero type stuff that wouldn’t normally be my thing. X is most definitely brutal and violent, it’s almost caked in blood. The kills are graphic and colorful, the main character merciless. Unfortunately, I found that to be about all this issue has going for it and the violence here is more of a hobby for X than it is a plot device.
The artwork is pretty enough, every scene dark and foreboding, offering an appropriate atmosphere of doom to come. There are a few things that bothered me about this book. First, although X is drawn fairly life-like and line heavy, the gangsters are portrayed very cartoony. They’re all morbidly obese (I’m assuming intentional based on the title “The Pigs”) with floppy jowls and goofy features. Second, by the final scene of this issue X has taken a hell of a beating but seems no worse for wear. He somehow walks away from acid, blades and electrocution. Giving the book a free pass for being an intro issue, there isn’t any real story told here besides this vigilante who enjoys hacking up the ‘pigs who rule the city’. Is there an ambition beyond cleaning up the upper class of this city? Who is X? How the hell does he walk away from so much damage without being damaged?
Verdict: Skip it. I may read #1 just to see if the plot is opened up at all, but there really wasn’t anything in this issue that made me feel like I needed to know more. It was somewhat entertaining artistically, but otherwise very mediocre.