A group of scientists have unlocked the ability to wipe clean areas of the human mind and is now marketing their services to those willing to endure the procedure. The catch is, the scientists link themselves to the subject and enter their brain in order to perform the procedure. What could go wrong? How does it fare?
X’ED #1 is a story centered on the technological advance to wipe individuals’ memories, but it has a ton of layers that make it both an entertaining, action-packed, humorous, and just plain weird adventure.
Writer Tony Patrick introduces the layers in an excellent fashion, pacing them perfectly throughout the story. He has you thinking the story is going in a certain direction and then he throws a number of enjoyable curve balls at you. These curve balls bring a ton of depth to the story and create a ton of points of conflict on a number of different fronts.
Not only are there a number of different points of conflict, but the issue ventures into an area where many dare not go or at least don’t take it as far as he does. What am I talking about? Genre crossover. Patrick incorporates science fiction, action adventure, bank heist, and western genres all in just one issue and he makes it work!
With all of these different genres he also incorporates a number of themes from social commentary on technology and relationships to the power of the imagination and the craziness that goes on in our brains; he even touches on how technology is aiding amputees. Patrick really slams one out of the park with his character choice for showing the craziness of our brains. He chooses an unsuspecting old lady, Evelyn, to undergo the memory wipe procedure and gives us just a taste of what happens inside her noggin.
Ayhan Hayrula delivers on depicting this craziness inside her brain. He gives us everything from flying hourglasses, fish out of water, the dangerous Mifs, or protectors of the brain with tentacles for fingers, and, finally, Evelyn’s own subconscious, a gun-toting, horse-riding cowgirl. Hayrula delivers on giving us weird, strange, and downright crazy.
His panel layouts are clear and flow well. You won’t be finding any odd or crazy page layouts. He uses your basic squares and rectangles. He only uses an inset panel once. This straight-forward structure provides an excellent point of contrast and hints there actually might be some order amid all of the chaos we are witnessing within the panels.
Doug Garbark’s colors do a good job of capturing the western/sci-fi feel of the book with plenty of browns mixed with reds while inside Evelyn’s brain to highlight the western portion. In contrast, he chooses lots of blues to highlight the sci-fi sections inside the lab. It really helps differentiate whether you are inside or outside a person’s brain.
The only real complaint is the introduction is a little cryptic. It is unclear how it ties into the rest of the story at this point. It can be a little jarring, but once you get past it, hold on to your seat because it is a wild ride!
X’ED #1 was a roaring, crazy, weird adventure. It takes you on a ride, laying out a number of points of conflict and paths the story can take. It provides subtle social commentary on a number of different topics, but what it does best is entertain. This book was pure entertainment and I can’t wait to read more. If there was one failing it was not enough time to really develop certain characters, but I expect that to be quickly corrected in the ensuing issues based on the characterization of Evelyn.
- Excellent combination of different genres
- A ton of different conflict points
- Just pure entertainment
- A little lackluster in the character development department
- Cryptic introduction sequence