X #20 Preview from @DarkHorseComics

X #20
Dark Horse
Words:  Duane Swierczynski
Eric Nguyen

X 20 Cover

I’ve talked in the past about how brutal X is; about how violent X is; about how jammed with action it is; about how good it is; but have I mentioned it has some pretty humorous moments as well?  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a “funny book”, nope.  It’s still brutal and bloody and violent… there just happens to be some humorous moments that I really do appreciate but have probably failed to mention. 

Let’s start with our title for this issue: Remains of the Flay.  C’mon.  Ya gotta love that.  X has just been skinned alive, and we get that title.  I love it.  It’s not gut bustingly funny, but it does give you some insight into the warped nature of Duane Swierczynski.  I get the feeling Duane knows that with X being so violent you have to take a minute and give a nod to the humor in life when you can.  The title alone is a bit of a wink and a nod to let you know that there are people behind the scenes making this happen that really care about the story being told, but aren’t afraid to take the pun when it’s offered.  This isn’t the first time the title has made me smile, it’s just the first time I’ve mentioned it.

And then there’s the exchange between X and Leigh out at her car.  X seems more human and connected here than he has at almost any other time in this series.  Again, this isn’t slapstick funny.  It’s just humor built out of a relationship that has grown close over time without either person knowing it.  The way X just keeps coming back with simple questions seems very natural and all the more humorous set in the chaos of the surrounding elements. 

Like I said, this isn’t slap stick or outlandish, there’s just a nice bit of genuine humor in the midst of a very chaotic environment that I really appreciate in this book.

Now, trust me, there is waaay more violence than humor here, thanks again to the tag team of Swierczynski and Nguyen.  Right up front we get to see Heide perform one of his surgeries that transform a normal dude into one of his pig headed Skin Traders, and I’ll tell ya what, there’s something wrong with Dr. Heide.  And the way Heide just nonchalantly dons his gas/pig mask in the middle of the hospital and just starts ordering his pig people to just grab up X by any means necessary, that dude has a sack on him.  Big, bold, brass balls that dude has. 

And how about X, flying in, guns blazing as he takes out a pile of pig dudes who just happen to be surrounding Leigh?  Again, church bell sized balls on that one.  And Leigh… keeping it mostly together while the slaughter happens literally all around her; She rocks out loud. 

Let’s not forget poor Maureen, the woman who was at the start of this whole Flesh and Blood arc.  She pops up at the end all nice and filled with the crazy. 

Again, kudos to both Duane and Eric for continuing to raise the bar on this title.  The story continues to hurtle forward damn near recklessly, and the art continues to keep pace with it’s stunningly, brutally gorgeousness.  Check out the preview for proof of the awesome art.  And yep, I dig this book a lot.

4.75 out of 5 Pig Chorts


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