Review: Fantomex MAX #1
Wow do I hate when this happens. A character I really like gets put in a terrible story and the aspects that make the character great get thrown out. I really, really, really, wanted to like Fantomex #1 but I just couldn’t bring myself to pretend that I loved it. When I first heard that Fantomex was getting his own miniseries I was very excited. I am a big Fantomex fan. Fantomex was created by Grant Morrison in 2002. His inspiration for this character was the Italian comic book Diabolik. This comic served as the inspiration for his appearance and instead of a girlfriend named Eva he has a ship that he is mentally connected to called E.V.A.
Fantomex MAX follows Jean Phillipe on a solo mission involving a shady spy organization. We see him doing what he does best – stealing. He’s stealing some kind of brain looking thing that also shoots laser beams. He shoots his way out of this fight but he never uses his mutant powers. Master of misdirection but doesn’t use it to get out of here with the item he wants? Remender made full use of this power in Uncanny X-Force.
There is some good in this issue. However there’s very little good. The art is great. We even get to see Fantomex’s face which is rare. The cover is definitely poster worthy. One nice aspect was despite the story focusing on a spy organization and not on Fantomex’s master thieving skills, his letter to the agent was done well. It was full, charming Fantomex while still holding on to his dangerous aspect.
What completely killed this comic for me was that the relationship between Fantomex and E.V.A is strange. Its as if they were a couple. They have banter that is sexual and as crazy as this sounds it was like reading a rated R version of Plankton and Karen from Spongebob. E.V.A is very defensive of the female agent Fantomex is flirting with. Then when they are alone together she creates sexy holograms for him to look at. It is very strange and very off-putting. I think there is something to making a character your own. I have no issue with that. The issue I have is that instead of adding new wrinkles to the character, old wrinkles are being changed. The character is not classic. He only debuted in 2002!
I have low hopes for this series to be perfectly honest. I don’t think this will end up being something I’ll remember fondly. I wish we could have more of the master of misdirection ladies man who pretends to be French that I’m used to. Let me also say that a huge opportunity has been missed with this book. We could have had a great 4 part story about Fantomex pulling off a huge heist. Instead what we have is some weird sexual relationship with E.V.A. (now knows as Eva) and some flirtation with an agent from a shady organization that wants to kill Fantomex. I’m going to keep reading this and hope for the best but I’m not getting my hopes up. Where is Rick Remender when you need him?