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Agent X #9

Posted: Monday, March 31, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Buddy Scalera
Artists: Mitchell Breitweiser (p), Mark McKenna (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
After getting his hands on his invisible target we see Agent X attempts to get some answers, and he wants to know why he's suppose to kill this man, and how he became to be invisible in the first place.

Comments:
With the news of this book's impending cancellation hanging in the air, I can only think of what might've been. I mean Gail Simone injected a real sense of life back into these pages and coming on the heels of what had been a absolutely dreadful run by Frank Tieri I had such high hopes. Now Buddy Scalera's two issue arc never real delivers anything that I consider all that amusing, and there's far too many moments where the jokes simply fall flat.

However I did smile a couple times during this issue, and the ending manages to have Alex smartly point out how blatantly manipulative the wording was when the invisible man was tagged with the label kidnapper. However, the book has a few too many moments where the jokes come across as a writer forcing humor into the book rather than letting it flow naturally from the situation it has set up. The humor also seems to feel the readers will find sudden outburst of seemingly pointless violence amusing, and while I'm a fan of the Three Stooges painful brand of physical comedy, this humor doesn't really translate all that well into the comic book format, or at least it didn't seem to in these issues.

As for the art, the work tells the story well enough, but it's a little too realistic looking to effectively convey the gags it's called upon to deliver.

Final Word:
While it's not painfully unfunny, it's also not all that amusing, as what Buddy Scalera finds funny is not exactly in line with what floats my boat in the humor department. Now I'm sure his work will make some people laugh, and I'll even concede that I did smile at a couple of the gags, but overall the book has far too many moments where I was left unimpressed by a gag that went nowhere. There's also a certain degree a smugness to Buddy Scalera's version of Agent X that makes it difficult to really find the character all the appealing, and the story is a little too aware that it was messing with the readers, when we learn the kidnapping label was simply inserted to throw us off track. In the end I won't be sorry to see this book go, as frankly there's nothing quite as painful as a humor book that simply isn't all that funny. Plus given the sheer volume of titles I collect, I welcome the opportunity to not have to review a title I no longer find all that enjoyable.



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