100 Days, 100 Comics #12: ‘Citizen Rex’ #1

Citizen Rex #1Hernandez Bros. stories are always enticing when I find a new one getting underway at the shop, and this new sci-fi mini Citizen Rex by Mario and Gilbert includes a lot of the organs and parts that come standard — mesmerizing line work, pungently inspired genre tones and moments that you can feel yourself enjoying as a reader as much as you feel they must have had putting them on paper.

This one comes with a mise–en–scène descended from one part Lars von Trier, one part Phillip K. Dick, and a pinch of the old George Reeves Superman episodes. The textures and character designs are a real visual treat as always, and there’s a good beating heart of a crime noir mystery beneath it all in the vein of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? or I, Robot. What’s really impressive is how they still manage to keep that dramatic heft while endowing their characters with a light, Hanna-Barberian physicality.

I interviewed Gilbert and Jaime for a Wizard retrospective on their work (which is unfortunately not longer available on WizardUniverse.com, so I may have to rectify that on here soon) a few years ago — and Gary Groth too, actually. It was one of the more fascinating explorations into comic history that I got to do while I was there, and the full version of it only ran online. I also ran into Gilbert at the subsequent SPX, where he did me up an awesome sauce Matter Eater Lad sketch (I should post that on hear, too). Anyway, the point I was going to drag this personal history into was that I adore how these guys are able to dive into their incredibly unique storytelling abilities without taking their content too seriously, by which I mean that an occasional moments of emotion can feel as rhetorical and outlandish as a moment in Archie, but the bones of the story and the plot’s momentum almost always seem to stay intact despite the levity.

It was a rich beginning, and I’m looking forward to more, even if this month’s budget hinders ample issue #2’s from appearing in my stacks.

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