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Fantomex MAX #1 (Donald Ducked Spoilers)

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Punchy
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Fantomex MAX #1 (Donald Ducked Spoilers)

Postby Punchy » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:48 am

Hmmm, I’m not really sure what to make of this one, I love Fantomex as a character, but I was kind of disappointed here. Andrew Hope is a new writer to me, and whilst he throws plenty of outrageousness and MAX-level stuff at the reader here, it doesn’t quite hang together for me.

Perhaps part of my problem here is the art, Shawn Crystal is a decent artist, but his cartoonish style doesn’t really fit my idea of what a MAX book should look like. It’s all very stylished and it means the violence doesn’t hit, and the sexiness doesn’t work either. Really, the best thing about this book so far is the amazing covers by Francesco Francavilla, It would have been so much better if he was drawing the interiors, but maybe Crystal will grow on me as the story develops into something even crazier and more suited to his style.

The story here begins with Fantomex stealing some kind of weird, flesh-gun from a secret research base and fighting a security guard in a bad-ass robo-suit. Fantomex of course defeats him, but as he makes his escape with EVA, a secret-agent (Rhona Flemyng) has followed him. He kicks her off of EVA, and she is dressed-down by her superiors, who bring in a mysterious group called ‘Grover Lane’ to help her track down Fantomex. Grover Lane quickly reveal themselves to be evil dicks, who kill all of Flemyng’s fellow agents, and one of them, another woman, reveals she’s going to rape Flemyng. I suppose Lesbian Rape is a bit shocking, but it didn’t really register for me, and did feel a bit sub-Mark Millar shock-tactics.

I did like how Hope wrote the central character of Fantomex here, we see him at his dickish best, but also how he does have a noble side, such as sending Flemyng flowers, and also how he just gives away his money. He’s such a strange, unique character, and I love it. Less good is how Hope handles Fantomex’s space-ship/assistant, EVA, who is written like a jealous wife, which doesn’t really jibe with her previous portrayals. But I can let that slide, the MAX line is not the Marvel Universe.

So yes, whilst I was a bit let down by this issue, I’m still going to give the series a chance, I love the character, and we’ve only just been introduced to the other cast members. Grover Lane’s brutality is surprising, but I hope that Hope is going to have more than just violence up his sleeve for the next issue, and that, as I said, the story can rise to the cartoonish levels of Crystal’s art, which is good, just not entirely suited to the story. I did really like Lee Loughridge’s colours here, as he uses some cool, pop-art, Benday dot stuff. He’s a fantastic colourist.

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Re: Fantomex MAX #1 (Donald Ducked Spoilers)

Postby Grayson » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:11 pm

Punchy wrote:Hmmm, I’m not really sure what to make of this one, I love Fantomex as a character, but I was kind of disappointed here. Andrew Hope is a new writer to me, and whilst he throws plenty of outrageousness and MAX-level stuff at the reader here, it doesn’t quite hang together for me.


I definitely agree with you about not knowing what to make of this issue. Fantomex was an interesting character when he was introduced by Grant Morrison during his New X-Men run but Remender really made him fascinating during his Uncanny X-Force run. Andrew Hope threw a lot of different things at the reader in the first issue of this mini-series but aside from his portrayal of Fantomex I'm not sure that any of it really feels like it has any meat too it.

Perhaps part of my problem here is the art, Shawn Crystal is a decent artist, but his cartoonish style doesn’t really fit my idea of what a MAX book should look like. It’s all very stylished and it means the violence doesn’t hit, and the sexiness doesn’t work either. Really, the best thing about this book so far is the amazing covers by Francesco Francavilla, It would have been so much better if he was drawing the interiors, but maybe Crystal will grow on me as the story develops into something even crazier and more suited to his style.


Shawn Crystal's art didn't really bother me that much but I will agree with you that the cartoonish style did distract a little bit from the more mature themes that were used in this issue. Honestly, I would have loved for Francesco Francavilla to have been the interior artist for this series. Francavilla is easily one of my favorite artists in the business today and his style would have been perfect for capturing Fantomex and the crazy world that he inhabits.

I did like how Hope wrote the central character of Fantomex here, we see him at his dickish best, but also how he does have a noble side, such as sending Flemyng flowers, and also how he just gives away his money. He’s such a strange, unique character, and I love it. Less good is how Hope handles Fantomex’s space-ship/assistant, EVA, who is written like a jealous wife, which doesn’t really jibe with her previous portrayals. But I can let that slide, the MAX line is not the Marvel Universe.


Agreed on both parts. Fantomex has always been a fairly complex character. You never really know exactly what his true motives are at any given time and I feel like Hope did a decent job of capturing that essence here. However, he absolutely butchered EVA.

So yes, whilst I was a bit let down by this issue, I’m still going to give the series a chance, I love the character, and we’ve only just been introduced to the other cast members.


Since this is only going to be a 4 issue series, I think I will ride it out. Hopefully the next issue will improve and give us a little more insight into the intriguing new characters that Hope introduced.
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Re: Fantomex MAX #1 (Donald Ducked Spoilers)

Postby Stephen Day » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:00 pm

I have kind of a mixed bag of feeling for this issue. I did like it overall, but there were some things I had major problems with and chief among these was Grover Lane. The tone of the story was mostly joking, but there was enough seriousness there that the military hiring a group willing to kill their own troops for no good reason came across as a dumb story concept.

Having said that there was enough of a light hearted tone that I did enjoy what I read and I'll continue to buy it to see where things go from here.
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