Everyone in Arcadia knows: commit a crime, and sooner or later X will come for you. But how to get his attention if you want to die right now? And what if the notorious vigilante doesn’t want to execute a willing victim? It’s a clash of wills as X’s newest, most formidable nemesis takes the stage!
“SUICIDE BY X”
Funny story. This is actually the first issue of this series that I ever bought. I never followed it before, didn’t know anything about it. I was just logged onto the Dark Horse Digital site to buy some other comic and I saw this cover. I assumed that the face on the cover was X, and I thought “Oh wow, a series about a Black vigilante! I have to get this!” So I not only bought and downloaded this issue, I went back and ordered all the previous issue at once. Then, before reading any of it, I mentioned this online and someone pointed out that the face on the corner was not X, was just a random villain, although he assured me that the series was great. Well, it took me a few weeks to getting around to reading the series, because I felt kinda stupid for buying it, without researching it properly, just because I thought the lead character was Black. But then when I finally started reading it I was instantly hooked, so I’m glad that I did.
Well, it turns out that the Black guy on the cover is a hired assassin named Turner who kills a man in the opening pages, but then finds out that the man he just killed was a good man who befriended Turner as a little kid and tried to be a mentor to him another other kids in Arcardia, keeping them off the streets and out of trouble. While it obviously didn’t work on Turner, he now feels overwhelmed with guilt for everything he’d done. Now he believes that he deserves to die, but doesn’t have the conviction to kill himself. He was to die for justice, and decided that the only way for the to happen is to be killed by X. So he tries different ways to encounter X and force X to kill him, but when X sees that Turner wants to die he refuses to do it. And instead – SPOILER ALERT – he ends up just capturing Turner and handing him over to Lt. Ruidoso to be arrested and thrown in jail.
Meanwhile a subplot here is that Leigh and X have moved into a new secret location. During this time, Leigh gets a brief side-glance of X without his mask on. And when X innocently lets it slip that he grew up in “the system,” Leigh gets curious and starts researching Arcadia Social Services records, eventually coming across a picture of a kid that she thinks might be X…
So this is a rare single issue in the series, giving us one complete story, while the subplot propels the narrative forward. Very masterfully done by the usual creative team of Swierczynski, Nguyen, and Madsen. Chacebook rating: FIVE STARS