REVIEW: ‘Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex #1

Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex #1 features the one and only Fantomex! Published by Marvel Comics, written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by Rod Reis, and letters by Ariana Maher, Fantomex is known for defying expectations.  Created to be a super-soldier by the Weapon Plus program, Fantomex instead chose to live the life of a gentleman super-thief. And, as thieves do best, they break into things. But who would have thought Fantomex would break into the very place that created him, the World? A laboratory unmoored from time itself, just what is he looking for?

Fantomex doesn’t do things by halves; he doesn’t break into the World once but five times. Each time, the storyline becomes more and more clear and Fantomex’s connection with the World, and specifically with a person inside the World, becomes clearer. Although we don’t know exactly why Fantomex is so obsessed with breaking into his old stomping grounds, by the end of the issue it feels like we’re getting close. This move from ambiguity to clarity over the course of the issue is just another example of Hickman’s impressive storytelling. Hickman also weaves in the connection this new series will have with the Dawn of X timeline by the end and it not only provides answers but also more questions.

Fantomex is sarcastic and flippant and often purposely aims to get under people’s skin. He’s not quite a people-person and can have little regard for other people’s safety. This personality is apparent through the dialogue and his actions as Fantomex makes one snarky comment after another while using people as bait to get through the front door of the World. The creative team made sure to get his character down and it really shows.

The World is a crazy place and the art relates this well. Each time Fantomex returns, the World shifts and takes on new themes found in the outer world. The first time Fantomex enters, the World encapsulates a nondescript town that, besides having a few guard robots, seems rather pleasant. But each time he breaks in, new elements are added from aliens to robots to skyscrapers and pyramids. The once structured, normal landscape eventually turns into a landscape with a myriad of contrasting elements. Even the panel frames reflect this descent into chaos with the panels often being haphazardly placed and the frame outlines scrawling.

Reis’ art is one-of-a-kind and absolutely gorgeous. From the backgrounds to the characters themselves, each panel looks like it’s been painted. The wide range of colors used keeps each panel interesting and reflects the tone of every page perfectly. Fantomex probably isn’t the easiest character to draw, especially given the only part of his face shown are his eyes. But Reis manages to make this masked super-thief wonderfully expressive through both animated eyes and body language. Along with the wonderful use of action lines and panel placement to simulate movement, the fight scenes were just as pleasant to look at as the static, dialogue-heavy ones.

The story is captivating, the dialogue is fun, and the art is gorgeous; there’s absolutely no reason why anyone shouldn’t pick up this issue.

Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex #1 is available now wherever comics books are sold.


Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex #1
5

TL;DR

The story is captivating, the dialogue is fun, and the art is gorgeous; there’s absolutely no reason why anyone shouldn’t pick up this issue.