Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Not that those things aren't fun, obviously. But the focus has seemed to be more on the city than the man -- though I admit I only dip in and out of Mister X at long intervals.
And I dipped back in recently for Mister X: Razed, written and drawn entirely by Motter (the old Mister X stories from the '80s were drawn by other people, and he's had other collaborators along the way, I think). It collects a miniseries and some short stories from the last couple of years, but it doesn't tell a single story.
There are a couple of through-lines: two girlfriends of Mister X (more or less, past and current), a shopgirl and a reporter, in their various daily lives and investigations; a robot private detective on his own cases; a skyscraper that disappeared mysteriously. There are two longer plotlines, and a number of short stories loosely related, all assembled here. Mister X drifts through many of them, but, again, he's not usually central -- he's an observer and a catalyst, maybe the ultimate creator, but not the central actor.
And it's all vaguely noirish without having the essential noir downbeat endings and vengeful, moralistic universe -- noir as attitude and style rather than substance. (At least for our main characters: they all make it through everything unscathed.) Now, noir taken pure gets pretty depressing, so that's maybe not a bad thing, but choosing style over substance too often leaves you with no substance and only a pretty glittering facade.
Mister X isn't that far along: there's still plenty of bite here. I hope Motter continues to keep those impulses towards pure style in check, and lets some noir consequences free in his dark world. And I do wonder if there are any answers to the core questions of the Mister X stories -- who he really is, how the city works, how it can all be fixed -- somewhere in the Mister X stuff I haven't read, or if that has to stay unfinished so Motter can keep telling more stories like these.
 And the timeline never entirely made sense to me. This city doesn't feel like a new place, but the people who built it are still alive?