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Is It Good? X #5 Review

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Is It Good? X #5 Review

There are comics that show off brutal violence to pander, or to shock, but then there are other cases were that brutality means more. The first four issues of X showed brutal violence in a way that seemed to suggest it was necessary. That a hero, if you can call him that, must resort to such violence in certain cases. The first story arc ended last month and we got ourselves a quieter introspective-type dealio today, so is it good?


X #5 (Dark horse Comics)


Is It Good? X #5 Review
Miss our review of X #4? Check it out here.

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If you’ve been reading this series, the first gut punch will be the change of artist. Tony Parker takes over for Eric Nguyen and while Parker does an admirable job, a bit of the brutal force is lost from Nguyen’s pencils. Parker has a cleaner, less chaotic style to his work that makes things a lot less noisy and a lot more stable. He does however, add a bit of chaos with his layouts, which cross the page at diagonal angles, stacks on itself and gives a disassembled feel to the book.

And what if you haven’t been reading this series? Well in that case, this is a nice place to start reading, partly because this is a quiet interlude before the next arc, but also because the relationships of the characters and what’s going on is recapped nicely. Dark Horse’s synopsis reads as such:

Disguised as harmless suburbanites, “the Rents” are actually psychotic assassins, determined to take their place at the top of Arcadia’s food chain. Leigh delivers X’s traditional warning . . . but ends up in a construction-site firefight with some very unpleasant soccer moms!

Whoa, did that say soccer moms?! That’s right folks, X has to take on some rather insane villains, ones who use their innocent appearance to kill, stab and maim. He takes them on because they’re taking over for the crimelord X recently killed. After being brutally beaten in that event, X is being nursed back to health by Leigh, an ex-journalist-turned-blogger, who befriended him in his recent quest to kill a crimelord. It seems crimelords are like rats, you kill one and another takes its place. This issue touches on the odd relationship that has sprouted between Leigh and X and also the lengths X will go to enact justice.

A good one-shot story that has long standing implications for the relationship of our two main characters

Since this is a quieter issue allowing readers to catch their breath, it’s more of a one-shot or done in one comic story. Writer Duane Swierczynski was probably aware of this, so he’s concocted a rather insane group of villains here. As the synopsis reads above, the bad guys are soccer moms who seem to have no conscience. In a sense they’re just opportunistic Americans who want to make a buck now that the big crimelord is gone. Unfortunately for them, X won’t have any of it, especially when they attempt to hurt Leigh.

I want to say the soccer moms are humorous, but Swierczynski and Parker have actually made them frighteningly evil. They’ve got a Mad Hatter type presence that’s evil for evil’s sake. In a way this story validates X’s brutality and unquestioning choice to kill for justice, but in another they read as rather vapid and pointless. Luckily Swierczynski ends the issue with a bit of a evolution to Leigh and X’s relationship. I won’t ruin it here, but their relationship may be becoming permanent now that Leigh has been so close to actual murders.

Is It Good? X #5 Review 8.0

Is It Good? X #5 ReviewIs It Good? X #5 ReviewIs It Good? X #5 ReviewIs It Good? X #5 ReviewIs It Good? X #5 ReviewIs It Good? X #5 ReviewIs It Good? X #5 ReviewIs It Good? X #5 ReviewIs It Good? X #5 ReviewIs It Good? X #5 Review
  • Interesting turn of events at the end that could mean developments for our heroes
  • Nutso villains that are fun, but also scary
  • Art isn’t as chaotically beautiful!

What we have here is a good one-shot story that has long standing implications for the relationship of our two main characters. The art takes a dip, but only because Nguyen’s was so iconically brutal. It’ll be interesting to read where this story goes in the next arc because of how Leigh and X are growing as one.

Is It Good?

Yes. Enjoyable read that continues the brutality of the previous, but can be enjoyed by newcomers too.

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