Xpress Reviews: Graphic Novels | First Look at New Books, March 14, 2014

Week ending March 14, 2104

Motter, Dean (text & illus.). Mister X: Eviction & Other Stories. Dark Horse. 2013. 125p. ISBN 9781616552350. pap. $15.99. MYS
eviction031414Since 1984, Motter’s “Mister X” series has built a cult following, drawn to the books’ blend of pulpy noir and stylish sf. This new collection of short stories follows the titular character as he prowls Radiant City, a town combining a Fritz Lang–inspired futuristic art deco grandeur with Blade Runner’s claustrophobic grime, sorting out political corruption, rampaging robots, and all manner of madmen. Each piece is crammed with big concepts and wild ideas—Philip K. Dick–influenced reality-altering drugs, or the mystery behind the architecture of Radiant City, which was designed with the singular purpose of driving its inhabitants insane—but, unfortunately, summarizing all this might make it sound like more fun to read than it really is. Motter assumes that his readers come to this new volume already well versed in the 30 years of continuity he’s developed, and for anyone not previously invested in the series, these new tales will come off as a confusing slog through dozens of characters and plot points with almost no context.
Verdict Motter’s unique design sense mashes up his influences beautifully, making the book fun to flip through but will ultimately only appeal to die-hard fans.—Thomas L. Batten, Grafton, VA