At this point talking about Mister X is just a guilty pleasure. I’ll be quite honest there won’t be any new insights presented in this review. I won’t crack some new nut with the newest installment, Mister X: Razed, and I’m okay with that. I just like this series. I like this world and wish that I could explore it monthly. If anything I wish that Dean Motter would surprise me and just bust open the inner workings of Radiant City, but even if he doesn’t… I’m okay. Because this world is rich, it’s full, it feels like ours while looking like this fantastic hybrid of sci-fi 30s to 50s design and engineering. I’m not into steampunk, not that I’m saying Mister X is steampunk, but it is in the same vein of a bygone era mixed with the future. The old mixing with the new, but still looking old. I absolutely love it.
I’m also a big fan of Christmas and snow, two things that this book has as well. Fear not though, as I said Motter has grounded this fictional world in our reality and there is the struggle between “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays”, but then also the celebration of Hanukkah as the front cover alludes.
The first story is actually about Hanukkah as Miss Stone rushes to the train station to get her father who is a rabbi. He gives her grief when she gives money to a Santa just to hammer home the world. Miss Stone is working on a case involving dead Jewish men that are all being stabbed in the mornings, but no message or weapon has been found. Mister X is also on the case and it’s likely between the two of them they’ll crack it.
What’s wonderful about this issue is that it’s all in black and white with the exception of the color red. Different shades of red are found throughout, but it’s the only color. It’s fantastic though as it give so much life to the world and of course makes certain parts pop. Like Miss Stone in her red dress or Mercedes’ red wig to go with her red Santa outfit. It makes the book look wonderful.
I would love to complement Motter’s artwork all day, but I would quickly run out of words to describe it. His clean linework, his balance between extreme details and light details. The way he uses the gutters to make the imagery look animated and alive. Motter is a master storyteller and I simply lack the vocabulary to point out how magnificent his work is.
Also the man can draw snow. Again, if you know anything about my review history this is an instant win for me and the fact that the entire issue has snow and Christmas made my day.
You’re not going to read this story and come away with an understanding of the overall story of Radiant City and Mister X. You won’t know the characters histories or understand why they’re doing what they do, but you will understand the surface level story. You can enjoy the world and the story without knowing anything else about the world. Hell the first time I read a Mister X story I didn’t know anything. After one issue though I was hooked and had to have more. Now I can’t get enough.
Mister X: Razed #1 Writer/Artist/Creator: Dean Motter Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 2/25/15 Format: Mini-Series (1 of 4); Print/Digital