I really wanted to like Surgeon X. Right there on the front cover, third credited, Karen Berger–the editor getting cover credit. And John Watkiss art. It has to be something special. Only it’s not. The super sad part of Surgeon X is it isn’t special.
It takes place in the future after a medical crisis. I think it’s the second or third Image book with a medical crisis going on. There are rioting people because of refugees and racism basically. It takes place twenty years in the future, but writer Sara Kenney is pretty obvious in her commentary and she’s just trying to make a future where things get worse. But mundanely worse, not fantastically worse. The narrator is a doctor who quits to become a rogue surgeon, dealing out life and death in equal amounts. There’s a lot of narration. It’s not good narration.
But the real problem is Watkiss’s art. It’s not clear if he’s not the right artist for so much dialogue–exposition everywhere–or if he’s just rushing. The script’s an information dump not a narrative and Watkiss is never able to generate any tension off the thrill scenes. Maybe the colorist is just wrong for Watkiss.
Regardless, I’m really bummed. I wanted this book to something vaguely exciting.
The Path of Most Resistance: Chapter One, Cutting Loose; writer, Sara Kenney; artist, John Watkiss; colorist, James Devlin; letterer, Jared K. Fletcher; editor, Karen Berger; publisher, Image Comics.