A Dark and Gritty Take on Science Gone Wrong – ‘X’ED #1’ – Review

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b4fd6b77-78f5-4b0c-b623-0514ec788586Black Mask’s new series, X’ED, hits shelves today. The brainchild of writer Tony Patrick, brought to vivd life by Ayhan Hayrula and Doug Garbark, X’ED is a story of science gone wrong, corporate warfare, and hitmen you inject into your brain.

X’ED #1  has  very rough a gritty look and feel which perfectly compliments the story. The single toned panels, capture the emotion and mood the story wants the reader to feel; blue toned for somber, yellow toned for anger, the colors, art, and psychology of it all blend together. A lot happens in the first issue, and upon a first read it is kind of hard to sort out all of the names and characters.

The main character is Colin, who is in real life is bald and missing a leg, but embodies a longhaired, well dressed, shades wearing agent of some kind when traversing the minds of others, is sent into a clients mind to remove the memories of her scumbag brother who is being tortured for his crimes against humanity. While searching the mind he is forced to dive into the client’s subconsciou to avoid the attacks of her inner anxieties. While that is going on, his team of scientists who developed and operate the technology that allows him to enter people’s minds, have to deal with the clients surprise medical problems and an invasion by masked thugs with a killer phone app called “Sherry.” Sherry is capable of incapacitating and seemingly kill people at the users requests by playing or simply saying things from the 90’s, like “Vanila Ice” and “Hammer time.”

I can’t help but think this is a dark and gritty take on Inception and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless MindX’ED has people entering others’ minds and erasing memories. What I like about it, and what really sets it apart, is that the mind construct is not grounded and realistic the way Inception was with it’s buildings, cars, and structures. This is not to put down the movie or anything, but the mind is a random and infinitively creative. X’ED mind construct has swimming in sky, knife bladed cactuses, and fish out of water, these are beautiful embodiments of the way people think about things. Not to mention they even threw in bazooka wielding Catholic school girls who make fun of someone for having chicken legs.

Story wise, there is a lot going on; there’s the mission of erasing the client’s memories, the masked thugs breaking in, and the operation of the technology. I personally feel it’s being stretched a little to thin too early. When the thugs are thrown in, they are taking out random people, then are stopped by two complete random strangers. It’s also hard to tell of the thugs are invading the building of the people who are trying to wipe the client’s memories or just some random building. The panels cut harshly to other places and at times seem completely random rather than a cohesive story. Also, the dialog is a bit weak. Colin is declaring he wants to quit after his mission, and it seems like he’s trying to be made into a snarky and witty character but ends up being bland and whiny. However, the concept is intriguing and the drama from everything going on does help add the right amount of tension that makes readers have to know what happen next.

Overall X’ED #1 was a fun read, and hooked me in for the next issues. The concept, art, and execution work together seemlessly, but the story needs to be fleshed out more to clear up some of the confusion. I’m not complaining about being left wanting more, it is the first issue and I am definitely going to read the second, but some elements seem completely random instead of purposefully ambiguous.

X’ED #1 hits shelves today at your local comic store!

Written by: Tony Patrick
Art by: Ayhan Hayrula
Colored by: Doug Garbark
Lettered by: Jim Campbel
Cover by: Chris Visions

The Verdict
  • 8.5/10
    Story - 8.5/10
  • 7/10
    Art - 7/10


X’ED #1 is a fun read, and hooked me in for the next issues. The concept, art, and execution work together seemlessly, but the story needs to be fleshed out more to clear up some of the confusion.

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