This Review Originally Ran on Comics Bulletin
(Duane Swierczynski, Eric Nguyen, Michelle Madsen; Dark Horse)
Last time I reviewed X, it was a Zero issue and there was a vigilante with a big red X on his mask cleaning up the streets of the town of Arcadia by spilling blood in the gutters and turning ham-faced hoodlums into sausages. Now we got us an honest to goodness FIRST ISSUE and… well… in this book there's a vigilante with a big red X on his mask cleaning up the streets of the town of Arcadia by spilling blood in the gutters and turning ham-faced hoodlums into sausages. OK, maybe not the sausage part, but still...
What separates this first issue from the previous zero issue, though, is that there seems to be an actual plot developing -- a narrative with some purpose. Who is this mysterious X? What does he have against ham faced hoodlums? Why are the Arcadian police trying to cover up his existence? You know, it raises the kind of questions you ask when confronted with the beginning of a story.
And Swierczynski actually introduces a narrative center, a character that serves as our access point to get our questions answered. Boldly breaking new ground, Swierczynski casts his narrative center as a plucky, down-on-her-luck female reporter. Leigh Ferguson used to work for Arcadia's Evening Journal until she got fired (for being too plucky, perhaps) and is now pursuing the kind of stories her corporate overlords wouldn't touch before. She's got an actual BLOG, baby, and writes her posts using the nom-de-plume The Last Muckraker.
Damn, that's plucky.