Words: Duane Swierczynski
Pictures: Eric Nguyen
Reading X is like riding a ride at a county fair. I don’t mean like the bumper cars or the merry go round. I mean you climb into some off branded Tilt-a Hurl type contraption and you strap yourself in with what looks like an old dog leash and before you know it you’re launched into some kind of Helter Skelter trajectory as you hurtle forward at speeds that are probably well past the tolerance level for this thing (not that it’s been rated in this decade, or even inspected, gawd, don’t think about the last time it was inspected…) but this thing rockets you nearly off its rails (which is weird, because you didn’t know it had rails) and you’re screaming, your friend can’t help laughing because that’s what your friend does when he’s scared and everyone else on the ride is screaming, and you’re pretty sure the Carny with three teeth and the Motley Crue Theater of Pain T-Shirt is laughing as well, and you’re pretty sure this is the last thing you’re ever going to do in your life ever… and then it’s over. And you made it, and you realize, “Damn, that was fun”. That’s kind of how I feel about reading X.
Duane and Eric launch us (and X) into a brand new arc with our intrepid vigilante with a vengeance. X continues on his highly reckless yet amazingly calculated war on crime and bad dudes. This time around, it’s an arms merchant. An arms merchant with a bunch of lackeys… Heavily armed lackeys even. But does that stop X? Nope. These guys have a tank. A. Tank. So X goes at them with his sword. That seems right. Dude is nuts. The action is hot and heavy early, and Eric doesn’t disappoint us with his gloriously violent imagery. On one page there are no less than seven severed limbs. (And that’s not even the page where X blows up the entire room.)
Leigh’s encounter with The Mark is nothing short of awesome. Here’s the big bad superhero, The Mark, and Leigh grabs a gun and one of X’s spare masks to go confront him. She’s awesome. Of course, facing down a super in the world of X isn’t easy.
I love the hectic feel of this book. Even at twenty one issues, this still feels fresh and exciting and new. The reckless abandon that Duane and Eric tell these tales is exciting and in a way a bit uncomfortable. It’s like X just flings himself at every situation like a wrecking ball into a wall. And the wall just keep getting a little bit taller and a little thicker, but he keeps throwing himself right at them. It’s dangerous, and fun as hell. I do like me some X.
4 out of 5 Chunks of C4
By the way, it’s totally appropriate for you to be singing Motley Crue’s Merry Go ‘Round and ‘Round in your head now. You’re welcome.