“If At First You Don’t Succeed…Die, Die Again! (Pt. 1 of 2) “
Writer: Evan Dorkin
Artists: Juan Bobillo (P); Marcelo Sosa (I)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Alex Hayden comes back home after taking care of some business, only to find Taskmaster boozing on the couch watching PPV. Alex finds out that Sandi (his “secretary, but not like in the movie, well, until now that is”) went off on her own to make a hit. They then argue a bit, fight a bit, you know how it goes. In the midst of the battle, Sandi calls and needs help, TM is too drunk to help (plus his leg is of the non-working capacity), so Alex heads out to save her. When he arrives he finds her drunker then a girl’s-gone-wild chick. He soon finds out that she is not in trouble, but instead can’t kill the target; who is sleeping with a teddy bear. So, Alex attempts to handle it, but curse that bear and his accusing button eyes. Anyway, they “kill” the guy together and next you know they’re doing the horizontal tango. The next morning Alex wakes to a phone call from Sandi, who has been kidnapped by the people who hired them. The target was not eliminated and if he isn’t dead by midnight, they’ll kill Sandi. So, Hayden breaks into the guy’s house and waits for him. When the target shows up, Alex tries to kill him, except he’s a bullet-proof ex-super-hero named Fight Man. Well, Fight Man wants to die, for many reasons and Alex tries everything he can to help him out with that. At the end of the issue the two have bonded, and are kidnapped by evil robots.
Another sad issue without Gail. Oh, how I miss her. The series just isn’t the same without her, and apparently Marvel knows it, thus the cancellation after issue 12. The story for this issue wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t top-notch Agent X material either. It was corky, which is always a plus, but it seemed like it was trying too hard to be a Simone story. Also, I’m not sure how I feel about Alex and Sandi making with the lovin’, seems a little awkward. Nothing seemed to come together in this issue. The plot, the art, the drinking, it just wasn’t happening. But, there was a Chupacabra head, which sort of evens everything out.
The plot was very much B-rate. It was just sort of there, it had no spunk, it had no “Umph”. The dialogue seemed like it was trying its best to be like Gail’s, and that’s what hurt it. After Gail Simone left the book, it’s been down hill with no sign of upward struggle. I’ve been a fan of Deadpool for awhile, and I’ve always loved the sheer goofiness of the title. However, I’ve always felt that the writers never actually mastered the character, he was sort of incomplete. Then along came a Simone, and with her Deadpool was complete. Then she killed him, and brought forth Agent X who strangely enough was just like Deadpool. She was, in my opinion, the greatest writer to take over the title of Deadpool/Agent X. Suffice it to say, I’m a little more than disappointed in this issue. Mainly because, Dorkin wrote one of the funniest comics ever, Milk and Cheese (not to mention his work on Spaceghost), and this is no where near what he is capable of.
I haven’t even touched on the art yet. I’m a little confused on how Marvel can go from Udon to this. I know I shouldn’t knock the art, seeing as how I can’t even draw a stick figure, but the art was probably the worst I’ve seen in a Marvel comic. (Bucket loads better then I could’ve done though). It’s pretty bad when the characters don’t even look like they should. I mean, if it wasn’t for the Prologue I would have no clue that that was Sandi. Let’s not even talk about what they did to Alex and TM, but if we did I’d say stuff like, “eww” and “what’s wrong with the world?”. I don’t mean to be so mean (that sounds funny), but come on, this was bad.
Alright, now it’s time to wrap it up. The plot was bad, but it had its ups (not many, but they were there). There were a couple good one-liners that you’d expect to see in an Agent X comic, but they were tired one-liners. The art was, well, it was from the not good category. The best panel of art was of the cat eating the Chupacabra head. Which is probably the only reason to buy this issue.
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