When it comes to superheroes fighting crime with brutal violence there are only a couple things you need to be successful. Thankfully Dark Horse Comics’ rebooted series X has had gore, a psychotic villain and surprises galore. Hint: those were the three things. How does issue #3 dole out these factors, and is it good?
X #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
Check out our review of X #2 if you missed it.
For those of you just joining us, Leigh is an ex-journalist-turned-blogger who’s trying to figure out what X’s deal is when he cut to hell a corrupt politician’s face. He’s now after X and has set a bunch of goons to follow Leigh in order to find out where X is located.
Brings new meaning to the term, “Book ‘im!”
This issue spends a good deal of time inside Leigh’s head as she’s contemplating a photograph X sent of her. He slapped one red mark across her face, which seems to suggest she’s his next target and when the goons show up she’s not even sure if she has anybody to help her but herself. Writer Duane Swierczynski does a good job setting up the unsettling nature where Leigh stands with X and the bad guys. Just when expectations start rearing their heads, Swierczynski pulls back another layer of surprises which keeps the reader on their toes.
Nice job idiots! You hit every body part! Give them a prize!
Because a lot of the enjoyment of this issue lives in its surprises, you might think this is a quick read at the comic shop. Thankfully, there are also some interesting elements brought up with the villain. A doctor working with pigskin plastic surgery bungles the politicians face and…let’s just say it’s an inspired way of getting a inhuman villain in a very realistic comic. So often characters like the Penguin look monstrous just because, but Swierczynski has done a good job making this villain “super” with his look.
Having one eye must really make it tough to hit things with that blade.
Eric Nguyen continues to draw some impeccably gritty work. I wouldn’t say his layouts are as inspiring as The Dark Knight Returns, but the style and grit in every panel certainly has that feel. The guy knows how to draw action, especially when the blood is spilling and for the most part that’s the majority of the issue. When Leigh is running away from the bad guys in the opening pages though, the art is a bit stuffy and uninteresting.
That bullet is so hitting him in the head.
- Sweet street level art
- Some “killer” surprises
- Boring pages to open the book
The book certainly doesn’t open with inspiring writing or art. Leigh running away from the bad guys lasts too long with not much for her to do but look scared. That said, the rest of the book is entertaining with some interesting surprises. Anyone who digs crime comics with a bit of a superhero flair should check this out. In a lot of ways X is like Batman, only with a katana and a penchant to cut people’s heads and limbs off. If that sounds like a good combo, then stop sitting around and buy this book!
Is It Good?
Yes. Think Batman with gory violence.