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FX #2

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008
By: Kevin Powers

Wayne Osbourne
John Byrne
IDW Publishing
Last month I was pleasantly surprised by IDW Publishingís latest title, FX. It was a superhero title, which to me was fairly shocking coming from IDW, and it featured artwork from the legendary John Byrne. The story was more or less what one would come to expect from a superhero book: Kid gets powers, kid learns to use powers, kid uses power to fight for good. Okay, the superhero formula is fairly simple for the most part, but writer Wayne Osbourne did an excellent job creating something entertaining and refreshing. The second issue of FX hit stands this week, and while I am a little upset about finding out that the series will only go for six issues, Iím excited for whatís to come.

This issue doesnít exactly pick up where the last left off. Rather, it feels like it might be a few weeks, even a month or two later. FX has pretty much figured out his powers and he is still in the process of establishing himself in the world. Thereís an upside and a downside to this. The upside obviously being the fact that the story is moving along and we are getting more of the actual superhero than slow build up. The downside to this is that thereís really no room for explanation. While it was more or less established in the first issue of the series that this takes place in IDWís superhero universe, itís not 100% clear. IDW deals mostly with licensed titles, they are beginning to come more into their own in terms of original titles, but for the most part they havenít truly established their universe. This becomes a little problematic in the very beginning of the story. I really didnít mind FX fighting a giant intelligent gorilla last issue because giant gorillas always sell, but the appearance of the subway monsters in the beginning of this issue need some kind of explanation. Granted thereís also a giant ant that pops up, I really found myself caught up with FXís powers and the way they are displayed. I also love the way a woman gets slimed and FX runs away when she wants to sue. There are definite shades of the classic Spider-Man in FX and I really donít have too much of a problem with that.

Thereís really a lot going on in this issue and Osbourne does a good job maintaining a consistent pace and flowing the story from point A to point B before finally tying the issue into the last issue. He introduces another character with super-powers, Vicki. At first the introduction seems kind of out of the blue as she nervously approaches FX while at school. I honestly didnít catch it at first but after a few moments and then later during their gym class I figured it all out and put the pieces together. Vicki is basically Jean Grey, sheís a telepath and a telekinetic and hasnít yet figured out how to control her powers. Iím actually really intrigued where Osbourne, and ultimately IDW, are going to go with these potential superheroes. Vicki has the potential to be extremely powerful, and Osbourne spends a great deal of time exploring her character. Osbourne also seemingly plants the seeds for jealousy to overtake FXís best friend Jack and for an archenemy to be born. Thatíd be a pretty decent story-arc if Jack actually became a villain. His best friend gets super-cool powers and he doesnít, Jack knows every secret and it could definitely be a pretty compelling story.

Another random villain shows up at the end of this issue. Iím not really sure at all where he came from as itís another character Osbourne doesnít bother to explain. The guy just pops up and goes after FX, Vicki and Jack when they go to the movies. On one hand, the villain doesnít need much introduction. Fine, heís a bad guy and he brings classic movie monsters to life, thatís pretty cool. But on the other hand, thereís pretty much no explanation behind this guyís appearance and that brings on some confusion. Osbourne spends so much time exploring the main characters that he seems to just throw in random villains. While I can partially accept random villains popping up, I also really want to know who they are, or why they are doing what they are doing. Without that, the story seems to break up a little bit and itís possible a reader might get lost for a moment. Perhaps weíll get answers next issue as the real major villain of the story makes his presence known at the end of this issue.

Iím not really going to sit here and go on and on about John Byrneís artwork. If you donít know it, you shouldnít call yourself a comic fan, the man is a legend. What I really love about this issue and this series is the way Byrne draws FXís powers. I think FXís abilities are very cool to begin with and Byrne does an amazing job bringing them to the page. Definitely a highlight of this series, the artwork and displays of FXís powers are really wonderful.

This title is entertaining, fun and classic superhero stuff. Osbourne does the teenage superhero idea very well but this series might be moving too fast for its own good. This title has the potential to go beyond six issues and that would open up a lot of space to explain this universe and some of the characters involved. Otherwise, I really do love this book.



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