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I have a soft spot for one-shots. There is something about being able to pick up a single issue from the shelf and get a complete, albeit brief, story. Imagine my delight when I opened Mister X: Hard Candy to discover it is a one-shot told in three parts.
Mister X is man who solves mysteries in the remains of Radiant City. Once the City of Dreams, Radiant City has collapsed into a corrupt state hooked on pharmaceuticals when the supply is abruptly cut off. An heiress has been kidnapped with a ransom demand to continue production of “Brain candy,” an aforementioned pharmaceutical that has stopped production. Mister X is hired, in noir fashion, to find the kidnappers and return the heiress to her grandmother.
Mister X: Hard Candy is a fantastic noir romp of a comic. Dean Motter has a fantastic grasp of the genre in both his writing and his artwork. The panels don’t sit on the page but rather blend into the paper as though they were carved out of the blank state. Motter has blended art nouveau perfectly into each panel and managed to breathe action into a style that largely consists of “captured moments”. Needless to say, you should treat yourself and pick up a copy – a great read from cover to cover.
My first experience with Mister X but certainly not the last.