Thanks to its recently successful revival Ghost, Dark Horse comics is bringing back its other successful original creation, X. The X killer is the Punisher with Deadpool’s powers. He works in Arcadia City, a place that rivals Bludhaven in corruption and violence. Yes, this premise is unoriginal and it can remind people of a certain caped crusader, but that does not matter. What matters is what’s done with it.
The series is very visceral . Thanks to his powers, X can never die and he regenerates if damaged, faster if he’s been damaged the same way before. That means, it is possible to harm X in many interesting ways. It is also possible to harm Wolverine and Deadpool in the same fashion, but the artists and writers are afraid to do that, unless it’s integral to the plot. Here, it is more of an after thought, one where it’s used but not really. That kind of works because the series is not afraid of its premise at all.
The success of this book is it does not rely on prior knowledge to work. With some reboots, it is impossible to read without knowing something about the character or the universe he lives in. While not a hard reset like Ghost, this book does not need a lot of prior knowledge to enjoy. It allows new readers to come in and enjoy the book without a lot of baggage.
The problem I have with this issue is how silent the main character is. While X does talk, it is only in word balloons. He does not get exposition bubbles, thought clouds or anything else to let us know what he’s thinking. This makes him feel like he’s a guest in his own book. This tactic worked with Greg Rucka’s Punisher, but only because there was a sympathetic character the audience could relate to. The PoV character for X is one of X’s victims. It’s hard to sympathize with a cold-blooded killer.
While it might be hard for certain readers to pick up and enjoy, X Zero is an interesting take of the character. It revives the old character to the modern-day while still keeping to its roots. Depending on how successful this series, we might see a reboot of the 3rd successful original creation, Barb Wire.
Images Taken from Darkhorse.com
Publisher: Dark Horse
Artist: Eric Nguyen
Writer: Duane Swierczynski