TITLE: Dean Motter’s Mister X – Modern Generation TPB
RELEASE: October 2017
COMPANY: Dark Horse Comics
Written, Illustrated and Colored by Dean Motter
Penciller: Kurt Schaffenberger
Inker: Dave Hunt
Colorist: Gene D’Angelo
Foreward by Arlen Schumer
Back in 1983, “Mister X” debuted on Canadian company, Vortex Comics.
Hailed for its influences from Bauhaus and Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” for its setting, Radiant City, a dystopian municipality, “Mister X” revolves around a mysterious man who is an architect to the city and how psychetecture has caused citizenry to go mad, just as he did and now he wants to repair it. And he tries to remain awake 24-hours a day through a drug called “insomnalin” in order to repair things.
And you eventually learn that things are not right in the city and wherever there is corruption or crime, Mister X will be there to fix things. And “Mister X” would receive several volumes and mini-series through 2005.
While storylines have been featured from other comic book publishers (and now collected in TPB’s courtesy of Dark Horse Comics) and eventually, the character was rebooted by Dean Motter and these stories: “Mister X: Condemned” (2008), “Mister X: Eviction” issues 1-3 (2013), “Mister X: Razed” issues 1-4 (2015) along with extra stories that would be compiled in “Dean Motter’s Mister X – The Modern Age” TPB available in October 2017.
The stories featured in “The Modern Age” are somewhat different compared to the ’80s and ’90s comic books in the fact that a story featured prominently is journalist Rosetta “Rosey” Stone and often wherever trouble finds her, Mister X is there.
And the same could be said to Mister X’s girlfriend, Mercedes.
The first storyline “Condemned” revolves around corruption in the city and Mayor Ian Rand promoting a new project in Radiant City. The Academicians call it “Psychetecture”, a combination of geomancy, acoustics, forced perspective and feng shui and how the design theory is proposed that the size and shape of a building could alter people’s moods.
But when 150 aesthetic architects known as Vitruvians were killed in an accident, the people want justice by a huge robot that destroyed the building they were in. This was led by Zamora, a ruthless gangster who runs the underworld with the support of corrupt city officials.
Will the truth of psychetcture be revealed?
In “Eviction”, the authorities want Mister X and know he is Mercedes ex-boyfriend. In order to draw him out, they capture her and sentence her to purgatory.
As Mister X tries to find ways to save her, Rosey, who is also being targeted tries to get more information on how Mister X can save her and discovers a village of orphans.
In “Razed”, the storyline focuses on characters within Radiant City and a repo man who is caught up with infamous con artist, Jerome Goldfarb. Another storyline featuring the death of rabbi’s in Radiant City during the Christmas holiday and rumor of zombies turning up but what does this have to do with psychetecture architect Walter Eichmanns and his wife, Consuelo.
While reading the original series is not needed, there is a lot of written dialogue throughout the different stories and it wouldn’t surprise me if people had to read certain stories or panels a few times.
The artwork is cool and unique for comic books, while the storyline is helped with the addition of Rosey Stone, who brings a spunky adventurous character to the pages of “Mister X”. In fact, don’t be surprise of how prominent Rosey is compared to Mister X. But through Rosey’s research is what helps build the storyline and she plays an important part.
While Mercedes is Mister X’s loving girlfriend, who ends up being screwed over many times.
Mister X is more like the man overwatching these two women and while he’s able to get a lot of work done in his rebuild, it’s the two women in his life that he tends to finds himself visiting often and often trying to protect them.
Dean Motter’s “Mister X: The Modern Age” TPB is a complex, smart storyline with wonderful art influenced by Bauhaus and German expressionist influences. Recommended!