Fantomex MAX

fantomex max cover trade paperback tpb
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 8/10

Some good art

Wanted more from the story

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Fantomex MAX

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Andrew Hope

Artist:  Shawn Crystal

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2014


Fantomex MAX #2

Reprinting Fantomex MAX #1-4 (December 2013-March 2014).  Fantomex is an international rogue who manages to stay one step ahead of Agent Flemyng who has been ordered to bring him in.  When an organization called Grover Lane is brought in to take over Flemyng’s operation, Flemyng finds that Stuart Stirling, Alexandra MacReady, and Richard Gaunt might have ulterior plans for Fantomex if they find them.  With an underwater base and a plot that could threaten the world, Fantomex is up to his neck in intrigue…and loving it.

Written by Andrew Hope and illustrated by Shawn Crystal, Fantomex MAX is the first solo outing for Marvel’s New X-Men character.  The story falls under Marvel’s adult MAX line and features covers by Francesco Francavilla.

I used to love X-Men limited series…especially in the ’80s when everyone from Iceman and Nightcrawler to the Avengers and Micronauts seemed to have X-Men limited series adventures.  Now, characters have limited series within their regular series and the limited series is less of an event.  Despite this, I decided to give Fantomex MAX a chance.


Fantomex MAX #3

The story is a bit lacking however.  I don’t dislike the set-up of Fantomex as an international target of organizations trying to stop him, but it feels a bit redundant.  Fantomex gives me a bit of a Gambit feel in the context of this story but on a bigger scale.  I wanted a more developed villain that was more James Bond, but the characters of Grover Lane don’t ever feel more than cartoon versions of Superman II’s Zod, Nod, and Ursa.

The MAX line never really took off with me.  Simply adding swear words to a story doesn’t make it adult or edgy.  MAX seemed to be Marvel’s attempt to combine both Epic Comics and DC’s Vertigo, but it doesn’t have that same adult feel.  Marvel seems to shy away from their more mainstream characters from having MAX stories so we get MAX stories from the Punisher and other random characters like Fantomex.

Fantomex is wrapped in great art by Francesco Francavilla.  I feel a bit sorry for Shawn Crystal who is forced to follow up with the interior art.  The art in general is rather strong, but I wish Francavilla had penned the whole series…I might have forgiven some of the story falters.

Fantomex MAX could have legs if it were to catch on but in the competitive comic book world a so-so first entry probably won’t make that possible.  The story does set-up future adventures, and I don’t know if the story is in canon (if that term even applies anymore to Marvel).  I’m guessing we might never know Fantomex and Flemyng hook up.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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