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Agent X #15

Posted: Friday, October 17, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Alvin Lee & UDON

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
After a cute dream sequence we see Agent X returns to consciousness, and along with the others he proceeds to discover the Black Swan is near unstoppable with his healing factor, and his formidable mental attacks. However, the group manages to emerge with a victory by delivering a series of attacks where none of them are aware of what the other are planning to do, thus allowing them to attack without the Black Swan being able to read what's coming next.

Comments:
It's rather a sad occasion as this is the last Gail Simone written issue of Deadpool/Agent X and while I'll likely be giving Fabian Nicieza's efforts a look, having the character partnered with the duller than dishwater Cable doesn't exactly sound all that promising. However, rather than lament the departure of Gail Simone, I'd rather use the rest of the review to praise the work she has done on this series, as this final issue is yet another fine example of her ability to deliver humor that is genuinely funny, while at the same time acting to advance the plot. I mean the opening dream sequence doesn't really do much beyond get the issue off with an amusing look inside Agent X's mind, but Doctor Doom's line being one of the funniest of the issue. There's also some fairly exciting action in this issue, as I must confess I was actively upset when it looked like outlaw had been the victim of a lethal attack, and the plan that they come up with to defeat the seemingly unbeatable Black Swan benefits from a rather clever bit of misdirection, as I had just assumed the explosives were inside the horse. I'm not quite sure what the deal was with Agent X's final bit with the dying Black Swan, and how it was able to remove the x-shaped scars from his face, but overall the book's happy ending managed to resolve all the various plot threads in a clever fashion, with the final fate of the Black Swan's body making for a hilarious parting gag.

As for the art, Alvin Lee and UDON Studios are quite good when it come to delivering the action, as there's some real moments of visual excitement to be found in these pages, with the sequence where the army of lackeys unload their weapons fire at the Black Swan being the most effective display. The art also does some nice work on the scene where our group makes its final attack (though I'm rather curious as to where Outlaw found the strength required to punch her fist through the man's stomach region). The art also does some solid work capturing more humorous elements of the issue, as the opening fantasy sequence made me smile, and the closing page with the photos of their first vacation featured some of the funniest visuals of the entire series. The cover to this issue is also a cute closing shot to essentially signal the end of an era, as I suspect Deadpool will be a far more serious-minded character in his upcoming series.

Final Word:
It's good to see this series go out on a high note as this issue has about half-a-dozen truly funny moments that helped me get over the rather sad realization that this was the last issue of the run. Now with "Formerly Known as the Justice League" in fine form over at DC, I can't really complain that the market is now completely devoid of a good humor-based title, but still this series will be greatly missed, and here's hoping that from time to time Gail Simone does find the time to come back for the occasional miniseries and or one-shot involving the characters who are now being ushered off into comic book limbo. As for the issue itself it's a solid action-packed affair, and while it's a little convenient that the Black Swan can do away with the unimportant lackeys with what is essentially a wave of his hand, while the important characters are able to deliver prolonged attacks, frankly this would be a rather boring issue if our cast was lying on near-dead, or dying by page three, so this little plot element is easily forgiven. Plus, how can on not love an issue with the line "Doom's codpiece is full of respect!"



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