Okay . . . having reviewed the last two volumes of this serious, I knew it was violent (which normally doesn’t bother me), but if you’re not prepared for it or don’t like it, this might not be the comic for you. Just saying . . .
A couple of new bad guys make their appearance and have a connection with X that we never suspected. The first one, Deathwish, kills a man who he discovers later was his childhood mentor. Driven by guilt, he decides that “suicide by X” is the most appropriate punishment. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending upon your point-of-view, X doesn’t kill him but snaps both his legs in half. Meanwhile, X’s reluctant sidekick, Leigh, decides to do a little more investigating on her own when X accidentally reveals that he was raised through the foster care system like she had been. Digging around into people and places she shouldn’t, what Leigh learns not only puts her own life in danger, but the one-eyed vigilante and everyone who ever supported him as well.
It also looks like X’s threats to kill anyone he has warned to either leave town or clean up their ways appears to be working on everyone except for one man – Carmine Tango. Now, Carmine is a bit of a superstitious kind of guy. So much so that he has kidnapped the local newspaper astrologer who was writing them as a lark. The extremely powerful Tango uses the pseudo-astrologer to justify sending out an old nemesis of X’s out to kill him. He almost succeeds while the mobster is busy blowing up a power station just so his thugs can ransack the city. Deathwish hasn’t forgotten his destiny and when released from prison joins Tango’s gang to hunt down the one-eyed vigilante. X hasn’t got much to lose in his life, but he manages to pretty much lose it all in this volume.
I actually like the chapter break art better than the cover, but that could just be me. Daniel Maia’s pencils serve the story well in Chapter 11, and, as usual, Eric Nguyen’s art brings out the raw energy which carries the theme of unrelenting violence and heartbreak. The story holds together much better than in previous issues and integrates new characters in more smoothly. Though for the life of me, I can’t understand how Tango’s people could blow up a power station. There had to be security guards, alarms, or something. It just seemed too easy even for a bad guy. X can’t be the only person in town who understands basic security protocol.
Be sure to check out the pretty cool sketchbook at the end.
Written by Duane Swierczynski, with art by Tony Parker and Eric Nguyen, colors by Michelle Madsen, and letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft, Volume 3 covers Issues #9-12 and will be out on August 27, 2014.