The city of Arcadia has a cancer of crime, and X is the surgeon. Now he’s turned his scalpel to the Dogs of War, a corrupt unit of violent narcotics officers . . . but when a lone good cop stands in his way, can X remove the tumor without killing the patient?
“GOOD COP/BAD COP”
This issue opens with the Dogs of War, described as “Arcadia’s fiercest narcotics squad,” busting a little bodega owned by a nice old couple, on flimsy pretext. But they’re really just robbing the place. That’s when X appears on the scene, but he doesn’t kill any of them, he fights them all hand to hand, telling him that he knows who they really work for, and that this is just a warner (their first and last warning). A new rookie arrives on the scene, Daniel Ruidoso, who manages to shoot X in the shoulder, but X still gets away. Ruidoso does some investigating on his own, and finds out that the Dogs of War were trying to rob that store, thanks to the store security camera which he confiscated. He turns the tape over to Internal Affairs, who, unbeknownst to him, are just as corrupt as the rest of the police force. They then turn his evidence over to Ruidoso’s boss, Lt. Jeffrey Setter, who just so happens to be the secret drug boss behind the Dogs of War. Setter’s response is to arrange a meeting with Officer Ruidoso…TO BE CONTINUED
It’s interesting that in this issue X takes a bit of a background role, as it focuses more on Ruidoso and the inner workings of Arcardia’s police department, which is trying to rebuild it’s force after all the officers X has killed in the previous arc. There is a brief scene with X and Leigh back in their hideout, as X patches up his gunshot wound with some special gel from the military, which provides a hint into his background. Leigh is pleased that X didn’t actually kill anyone this time, and they have a little debate over whether that is the best method to cleaning up Aradia. Leigh believes that public exposure can be just as effective in rooting out corruption, while X thinks of the city as a sick patient with cancer, and he is the surgeon ready to cut out the tumor. It’s good stuff.
Regular artist Eric Nguyen returns this issue, and does his usual stellar job in both the interior artwork and the cover. In particular, I like the way he draws the officers in the Dogs of War unit to all look like they have dog-faces. And writer Duane Swierczynski continues to amaze with this urban crime-drama. Another FIVE STARS for X #6