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Mister X Archives (Archive Editions (Graphic Novels)) Library Binding – November 18, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Almost 25 years after he first haunted the streets of the dystopian metropolis known as Radiant City, the mysterious Mister X returns in this beautifully restored collection, showcasing the comic's entire run. The brainchild of Toronto-based graphic designer Motter, the first issue of Mister X appeared in 1984 and introduced readers to the shadowy title character who had returned to Radiant City after a long absence. Purporting to be one of the city's original architects, Mister X is determined to repair the broken metropolis, which has gone mad as a result of his own invention of psychetecture, wherein buildings can alter a person's mood or neuroses. In order to accomplish his task, Mister X must forgo sleep entirely, with the help of a drug known as insomnalin, as well as battle a revolving group of thugs. The landmark series, with its nods to German expressionism and Bauhaus, introduced readers to the early work of several artists who would become influential in alternative comics, including the Hernandez brothers (Love and Rockets) and Seth (Palooka-ville). A treat for longtime fans and new readers alike, this journey through one man's waking nightmare is still an eyeball-popping visit to a stunning retro future. (Nov.)
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From Booklist

Mister X was among the early successes of the nascent independent comics movement of the early 1980s, when the Big Two—DC and Marvel—began losing their stranglehold on the medium. Its toxic setting was Radiant City, a metropolis whose postmodern architecture (an uneasy mélange of art deco, Bauhaus, German expressionism, and film noir) drove inhabitants mad. Mister X, purportedly the city’s architect, had forsaken sleep to work ceaselessly to find a cure. The serial was conceived by designer Motter, who turned over much of the writing and nearly all the drawing to hired hands, most notably Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, just beginning their long run on the landmark Love and Rockets, and future alt-comix luminary Seth, who had yet to perfect his elegantly simple graphic style. No matter who was involved, Motter’s background as a record- and book-cover designer meant that style was always at least as important as the erratic and convoluted story line. Although unmistakably a product of its era, Mister X remains a visual and conceptual treat a quarter-century later. --Gordon Flagg

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Product Details

  • Series: Mister X
  • Library Binding: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595821848
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595821843
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 6.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,214,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Library Binding
Mister X blows away most anything that today's comics offer. Like independent projects such as The Rocketeer, Nexus and other classics of the 80's, it is a classic. When Mister X hit the comic book stands in 1984, it was truly a unique and inspiring vision. The story, artwork and interesting coloring choice was part film noir and part German expressionism, in the vein of the classic film, Metropolis. This book is just as good if not better than Dark Knight Returns or Watchmen, albeit probably not as important. This is the story of a futuristic city with Metropolis-esque architecture that drove its inhabitants mad, while a drug-fueled, paranoid, insomniac architect works tirelessly for a cure for its people while going up against the city's corrupt officials. Mister X captivated comics fans and creators alike, but sadly, may not be known to present day comics fans. This is Dean Motter's best work. It now holds up as one of the comics medium's best stories ever told. Quite disturbing, violent, visceral and enthralling all at once. Amazing!
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Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
I'm not "new" to the graphic novel/comic book world, but I'm no expert either.
That being said, I feel I should say that the Mister X title magazine was published, originally, years before I was born. I never read it in it's original pulp glory, and I probably never will, but I have an affinity for Art Deco and Sci-Fi that made this book stand out to me. I was not disappointed.

I couldn't have asked for better art in a comic of this style, truly magnificent. There are panels in it that I keep going back to, over and over, just appreciating their fantastical simplicity.

But since art is only half of what makes up a comic, I feel I should mention the writing as well. Motter's concept lands hard to a pulp sci-fi fan: an unbelievably enormous city, designed with an attentiveness to a phenomenon Motter calls "Psychetecture" (the buildings' affects on the mind), is driving its dinizens into madness, and one of the architects seeks to correct the mistakes. Mister X is the enigmatic anti-hero architect. He is a man whose identity is, at best, slippery. A significant portion of the comics are devoted to pinning down just who X is (a confusing endeavor at best). The rest is devoted to what seem to be disjointed sub-plots. This was frustrating for me to read, but I appreciated my own confusion as the story built and it became more and more clear just how far Mister X was from sanity. I felt like I was accompanying this nameless individual during his retreat from the wholesome and tangible.

To emphasize this descent, the book closes with a couple of one-shot glimpses back into the city after the events of the story. One of them is a collaboration between Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean.
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Format: Library Binding
I am new to Mister X. I first browsed the pages and loved the early Hernandez Bros work, but then I was quickly drawn in to this twisty developing story with such a great variety of Artists. I thoroughly recommend this to both lovers of superheroes (not me) and lovers of great art and social drama. Get it while you can.
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