On the docks of Arcadia, long-time resident Mr. Lanzetti sees something and ultimately decides to move away. Concerned young neighbor Leigh Ferguson investigates to find that inside Warehouse 10 is littered with dead bodies. Two of which cause corrupt police Captain Wilder to have everything burned down, leaving no trace or evidence of who was present and what really happened. The next day, she receives an unmarked letter containing three pictures of men with red Xs slashed across their faces. She recalls seeing two of them among the dead bodies at the docks. The third she discovers has just been found dead. Killed inside a panic room that was supposedly unbreakable. Using her anonymous blog, she hopes to uncover the mystery of Warehouse 10. Not know what trouble she is about to get herself into.
This issue kicks off a new series from one of the longest running anti-heroes in comic books, who made his debut way back in 1994. Unfortunately, I am one of those who has never been familiar with him. Which makes getting into him difficult to do. Fortunately, Duane Swierczynski does a unique thing in piquing my interest by having most of the story told through a different perspective in would-be investigative report Leigh Ferguson, wanting to know what would be horrific enough to scare a long-time and hardened citizen into leaving and then trying to find out the secrets behind Warehouse 10. The story is told quite well with the pace moving rather smoothly from the suspense to the action.
The artwork is by Eric Nguyen, who takes the appropriately gritty approach with his illustrations. There are a number of panels that make the characters appear curiously out of proportion, such as in the opening page where I swear old man Mr. Lanzetti looks like he has a gorilla size arm. I’m wondering if this is merely done as a mean of exaggerating the visuals for greater effect. If it is, I find that it only works in the action sequences that take up the second-half of the book. They are fast, furious, and violent to the point of being over-the-top. I imagine this is something that has been a staple with the series for years, though I’m just not sure if it makes the book stand out in a positive way.
X is an interesting book, one that I am not sure if I can recommend. Duane Swierczynski makes a unique approach in telling the story through a point-of-view different from the title character, allowing for new readers to get pulled into a long-running series for the first time. The art is gritty, but there are some design issues that can be a turn off. Fans of the series might enjoy this new series of a popular anti-hero. Everyone else won’t feel bad if they avoid it.
Who is your favorite anti-hero in comics? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.