Review – Citizen Rex (Dark Horse, 2009)

This is the new Hernandez Brothers book, and the solicitation for issue 1 reads;

“What compels life without a soul?”

Comics legends Gilbert and Mario Hernandez join forces to present a bizarre, sexy view of the future and what it means to be human. Twenty years ago, the most famous, lifelike robot in the world was engulfed in scandal, arrested, and deactivated. Since then, an anti-robot movement has developed, while body modification is in and prosthetic limbs have become hot, black-market items.

Stories like these are the stock-in-trade of gossip columnist Sergio Bauntin, whose startling revelations earn him the constant scrutiny of both the mob and the city’s mysterious investigators, the Truth Takers. When Sergio catches wind of sightings of the long-missing robot celebrity CTZ-RX, all of these interests will collide in violence and intrigue.

Well, let me say that the art is, of course, gorgeous, in that Love and Rockets way, and the story involves you straight from the start, even if it is a bit disorienting. Talk of ‘dog-piling’ and ‘truth-takers’ abound, and the mysterious artifact at the start of the book (with the graffiti statement ‘Why?’ splashed across its imposing granite flank) moves out of view, but just lingers, a question unanswered….like so many others throughout this first issue,

The story tends to focus on Sergio Bauntin and his robot assistant Hazel – Sergio is 30 and his life is a mess, a socialite blogger who has had enough run-ins with authority to make his Father despair and his Aunts investigate his funding for the forseeable future…

Elsewhere we have the conundrum of Crime Boss Tango Bangaree and his link to Renata Skink and Sigi Skink, Renata’s pneumatic daughter? What does it all have to do with prosthetic limb removal and prosthetic limb sharks?

Well, no doubt these questions will get answered in a charming and attractive way. Although Citizen Rex #1 poses nothing but questions and puzzles in this debut issue, there is enough charisma and personality about this book to leave you wanting more. In other words, it is very, very good, and will be a welcome addition to my pull list.


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