cover image Mister X: The Archives

Mister X: The Archives

Dean Motter, . . Dark Horse, $79.95 (383pp) ISBN 978-1-59582-184-3

Almost 25 years after he first haunted the streets of the dystopian metropolis known as Radiant City, the mysterious Mister X returns in this beautifully restored collection, showcasing the comic's entire run. The brainchild of Toronto-based graphic designer Motter, the first issue of Mister X appeared in 1984 and introduced readers to the shadowy title character who had returned to Radiant City after a long absence. Purporting to be one of the city's original architects, Mister X is determined to repair the broken metropolis, which has gone mad as a result of his own invention of “psychetecture,” wherein buildings can alter a person's mood or neuroses. In order to accomplish his task, Mister X must forgo sleep entirely, with the help of a drug known as “insomnalin,” as well as battle a revolving group of thugs. The landmark series, with its nods to German expressionism and Bauhaus, introduced readers to the early work of several artists who would become influential in alternative comics, including the Hernandez brothers (Love and Rockets ) and Seth (Palooka-ville ). A treat for longtime fans and new readers alike, this journey through one man's waking nightmare is still an eyeball-popping visit to a stunning retro future. (Nov.)