Review – Phenom X #1
Artist: Chris Batista
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: November 10, 2021
Variant Cover: Todd McFarlane
Wrongfully imprisoned and desperate to regain his freedom, Max Gomez agrees to become a subject in an underground government experiment. When the trial gives him phenomenal shape-shifting abilities, Gomez learns his new ‘freedom’ requires surviving a superpowered war fought on the streets of NYC
This is not your typical origin story. A shadowy Government Department finds that an area of the Hispanic population has been exposed to enough radiation that they can develop Super Powers using an experimental drug. Faced with a group of powered villains they recruit Max Gomez. he’s a wise-cracking, smart-add convict who is up for parole but just can help keep his mouth shut.
Leguizamo shines through the script, character and narration his 100 miles an hour style of acting and comedy shine through Max. It’s a double-length issue and is probably not for you if you like your heroes whitey and mighty, but for the majority of readers is this fun, anarchic and if it helps create positive role models all the better.
Image founder McFarlane helps out his old pal with a variant cover for this premier issue, but the work inside is skillfully drawn by Batista. It has a kinda 90s feel to the drawing and I can imagine it as a TV show with a sitcom-style laugh track whenever Max is on screen. there are lots of great little nuggets of artwork but the shower scene where Max finds out he has powers for some reason jumps out as I can Leguizamo working closely on this panel work to push the line to the limit. If you look at the bottom of the panel you can see the, ahem, action lines.
The complete creative team are Hispanic and the tone, character and plot seem right out of the Ghetto Klown stars fast-talking one-man show. It’s a comic you’ll have to read twice as it’s crammed with gags, jokes and a unique origin story that you’ll want to add to your subscription
If you enjoyed our review, look out for Phenom X #1 at your Local Comic Shop
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Have a look at our preview of the first few pages to whet your appetite