If the world of Arcadia and X wasn’t twisted enough, writer Duane Swierczynski brings us a new villain named Carmine Tango and his horoscope astrology prisoner, Night Watcher, and it gets even more disturbing as the story unfolds.
Official description from DARK HORSE:
Carmine Tango, the ruthless supercriminal obsessed with astrology, has returned to Arcadia! When his army stages a citywide blackout and begins looting the city, X takes to the streets… but as Leigh soon discovers, X and Tango have a history – this fight is personal! A new look into X’s shadowy origin!
When X first began it was full of action and violence but still had the heart of a slow burning plot. Now in X #10 Swierczynski seems to be hitting his stride and moving forward at break neck speed. With the introduction of Carmine Tango we are given a boss of bosses who twisted reign all hinges on a former horoscope writer and now bondage chained, drunk, slave to Tango. It’s spelled out right from the beginning but it’s a scenario that while warped seems to fit like a glove in the world of Arcadia.
X’s partner Leigh is dying to scratch the itch that is the mystery to X’s identity and she follows her leads right to a church and the mind of a frail nun Sister Grace. The information she gives is enlightening but a bit cryptic and there is still doubt and concern as to the validity her answers. Leigh seems to be on the right track but in this twisted world anything is possible. Swierczynski is stringing us all along with Leigh and that’s OK because the mystery of who lies under the hood is a key component of why X is such a good read.
The real showdown happens when X goes after Tango and his men and it’s an epic fight with plenty of violence and carnage which X is known for but it’s as much fun as it is horrific. Eric Nguyen does some very good work this issue. He seems to be hitting his stride as well and the major fight scene is the evidence. What struck me was not the violence and blood but a simple scene outside of a building as X throws two men through the front windows. The simple silhouette of a body approaching the window seems simple but it is also the sign of an artist in tune with the story he’s illustrating. I love those simple touches because it’s proof that the details are as important as the big splash.
By the end of the issue we get a final showdown with X and another new villain, Gamble. It’s obvious that not only does X have a history with Tango but one as well with Gamble as well. Once again an odd villain who’s love of the western gunslinger is obvious but the depravity and extremes he’s willing to go to are off the chart as well. X #10 was flat out entertaining and visceral. While this title might not suit everyone it’s definitely worth giving it a look. X is the vigilante that everyone loves and everyone fears equally which makes him a true dark hero in a sick twisted city. The progression X is making should warm the hearts of the blood thirsty but fan of crime, revenge and raw justice should jump on this book immediately. I like where X is headed and have bought in to Swierczynski and Nguyen’s world, lock, stock and bloody barrel!