Beyond Spider-Man : 2003 : Agent X-Cellent?
Agent X #6
Feb 2003 : NM ($2.25) : No Spider-Man
Agent X Quote of the Month:
Ms. Tarantula: "But you, senor, have not yet faced the skills of the daughters of Batroc the Leaper and the Tarantula!"
Taskmaster: "Listen, I knew both your fathers, and may I say, with all due respect to those brave and talented men... You cannot imagine my surprise at finding out that they were heterosexual."
Agent X might seem like a reasonably new title on the market, but it's actually got a bit of history behind it. Many of you might remember the recently departed Deadpool title. Well, Deadpool didn't really depart, instead the title was relaunched. It was thought the sales would improve with a new creative team, new direction, new #1 and an X in the title. Thus we get Agent X. BUT, instead of Wade Wilson/Deadpool as the star of the book we have Alex Hayden/Agent X, who might possibly be Wade Wilson, but nobody (including Alex) are quite sure. Sounds a little confusing and maybe even a bit convoluted, but in the end Agent X is an excellent book and definitely better read than left on the shelf.
The basic plot to Agent X, so far, revolves around an amnesia stricken Alex Hayden trying to set himself up as the greatest merc who ever lived. He sets up an agency, gets some training from the Taskmaster and tries to get some work. One of his first assignments is to try and steal the Punisher's guns, which leads to some very humourous consequences.
Agent X is one of the funniest comics I've read, it's wacky, unpredicatble, but still manages to maintain a serious undertone that keeps you reading for more than just the laughs. Writer Gail Simone writes some funny dialogue and situations. Her work is very reminiscent of Joe Kelly's awesome work on Deadpool. In fact I think she is the only writer besides Joe Kelly that seems to mix wacky humour and darker undertones into a comic successfully.
The art provided by Udon Studios is also top notch and conveys the action and hijinks excellently.
There are some problems. Like the question of whether Alex Hayden is really Deadpool. It's a definite hook for Deadpool fans, and there has been significant carry over of plots from the defunct Deadpool series, but the question has yet to be answered, with many clues for and against. It's not really a mystery you can drag out too long. It'll either annoy Deadpool fans or confuse new readers, wondering who the hell Deadpool is in the first place. And in my opinion, the mystery has gone on too long. There is another problem, writer Gail Simone, who seems to be the main reason for this book being so great, is leaving as of issue #7. Which means this title might not continue to be so great.
There's plenty to like about this title and a lot of fun to be had reading its pages. I strongly recommend hunting down the first 6 issues and treating yourself to some quality entertainment and memorable laughs.