By Andrew Hope, Shawn Crystal & Lee Loughridge
Issue four wraps up the mini-series that was Fantomex MAX. It’s always nice to see a character get fleshed out in a mini so readers can understand them a little bit better, and Fantomex seems like a great person to have a MAX title.
Fantomex comes face to face with the remaining members of Grover Lane. Agent Flemyng’s life is in the balance as well as the rest of the world. Will Fantomex get back the laser and stop the bad guys from wiping countries off the map?
Andrew Hope certainly has a grasp on Fantomex, and this was the funniest issue of the series so far. This is also the first issue that really deserves the MAX title, as the other three really weren’t that bad language wise. Hope comes up with a clever way of having Fantomex escape his captors, as they argue and fight amongst one another. He also does a nice job of not giving the reader the ending they were expecting. It is always nice to learn new things about such a mysterious character like Fantomex, and Hope gives us a couple of brief flashbacks that could be touched on later with the character. This was the best issue of the series and the most satisfying.
The art of Shawn Crystal and coloring of Lee Loughridge really make this feel like an old-fashioned pulp comic. The violent scenes in this issue are drawn well and will whet your appetite for more. The fight scene between Fantomex and Agent Stirling are drawn very well and they are easy to navigate. There weren’t any panels where you would question what you were looking at. Everything is very detailed down to the veins in Stirling’s head as he tries to get inside Fantomex’s head. This is Crystal’s finest issue as well.
Fantomex MAX ends with a bang just as it was picking up steam. Perhaps there will be another opportunity for another solo in the future, but until then, he will be appearing in the pages of the new X-Force book. Fantomex MAX was a good read and a nice jumping on point for readers not familiar with the character.