Review - X #2

If you're an unemployed journalist, you probably shouldn't make your hobby foray into the field tracking down the X Killer. Still though, that's just what Leigh Ferguson does in X #2 from Dark Horse Comics.

The issue is written by Duane Swierczynski, illustrated by Eric Nguyen, colored by Michelle Madsen and lettered by Richard Starkings.

Leigh is something of a muckraker. She's raking so much muck in fact, that she's started to follow the mysterious X Killer, finding out his motives and learning more about his targets. One of those targets is a man named Berkshire, who also goes by the moniker Mr. Juicy. Mr. Juicy is involved in all manner of shady dealings in the city, making him a perfect candidate for the harsh justice meted out by X himself.

Swierczynski thrives on tales of bloodlust and action. The latest issue in the X series is no exception, with the X Killer continuing to do what his namesake implies. He's really characterized as someone to be feared by anyone who isn't on the up and up. Giving him something of a sidekick to work with in Leigh is interesting and provides something of a foil to his killing desires. Watching him pull no punches to get the job done is strangely satisfying, even if it leaves a line of bodies in his approach.

Nguyen's art is visceral and that's a good thing for the issue. Exploding neck collars, knives to the face, bullet-riddled bodies and general madness and mayhem litter the pages of the book. There's a lot of blood and to some it will be a turn off. Those readers who know the writer know that the he's not exactly the calmest writer and Nguyen does great work in bringing his violence to the pages.

X #2 is a strong second issue, giving readers more of what makes X the killer he is. It also sets up a storyline for the next few issues at least, giving him one more greedy villain to make a play for. Leigh is clearly getting in way over her head, but maybe she'll be able to convince others to help her out and protect her. In the meantime though, readers can expect more weapons, more fighting and even more red splattered panels.

X #2 is in stores June 12.