PhenomX #1 (REVIEW)

Nov 10, 2021

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PhenomX, Max

PhenomX #1 (REVIEW)

PhenomX begins with the injustice of being wrongfully imprisoned, and Max Gomez gets a second chance at life. The second chance is gaining superpowers from an underground government experiment to battle against gangs and reclaim the streets of New York City.

Image Comics
Written by: John Leguizamo, Aram Rappaport & Joe Miciak
Art by: Chris Batista
Colors by: Christopher Sotomayor
Letters by: Andworld Design

PhenomX is from the collaborative work of actor John Leguizamo and legendary artist Todd McFarlane. It focuses on Max Gomez as he goes from one prison to another in search of his freedom and clearing his name. His goals are to be a good father to his son Luka, get out on parole, and live a clean life. To achieve his dream, Max must become a weapon for the government. 

The story from Leguizamo, Rappaport, and Miciak lacks depth and connections for the reader to become invested in it. The characters come off as stereotypes of a stereotype from a 90’s movie. The story feels lost as it tries to bring a comical insight on systematic racism and wrongful incarceration into every conversation. It cheapens the characters and their development by constantly giving them a chip on their shoulder. 

Unfortunately, the art doesn’t fare much better. Batista’s biggest flaw in the issue is the lack of emotional rang on the characters. Some of the panels feel off as the characters’ expression doesn’t match the feeling of the panel. When Max says he is innocent, it comes off as more of an unsure answer at bar trivia. 

Final Thoughts on PhenomX

The issue isn’t good at all. It relies heavily on stereotypes and wants to bring awareness to a social issue. The series has the potential to be good, but the creative team needs to figure out what type of story it wants to tell. Is it a social commentary on life as a minority in America or a superhero story about those who suffer from being different and oppressed?

Score: 4