a review by Elyse Taylor
Illustrator: SeungHui Kye
Release Date: 2010
Daniel X is a typical teenager who is anything but typical. He is an orphan who lives alone with only the mental projections of his dead parents and sister for company. Creepy. Oh yes, and of course, Daniel X (no last name because he has no family) is an elite alien hunter.
This volume of Daniel’s story documents his life and death confrontation with an alien named Ergent Seth aka Number 6. You see, Daniel has ‘The List’. The only thing he has that belonged to his parents which survived their murder and the destruction of the family home is the top secret list of alien criminals residing on Earth. With his parents dead, it is Daniel’s job to hunt down the scum of the universe one by one and protect the planet. While he’s at it, he’s also planning to avenge their deaths by finding the alien who calls himself ‘The Prayer’.
After the essential back story the novel opens with Daniel at the end of one mission and about to start another. When Six’s number comes up, Daniel is particularly interested in the designated bad guy. He is running a child slavery ring: to the outer reaches of space. Just to make things interesting, the little sister of the girl Daniel has a crush on at school appears to be one of the kidnapped children.
In the tradition of good graphic novels, this story has only tenuous links to reality and places a low value on believability. A 15 year-old who has been living independently since the age of 3? Who just happens to be able to manifest anything he wants with just the power of his mind. And of course, he can survive a gunshot wound for the duration of an intersystem space journey without any medical attention. Oh, and he’s an alien too. Regardless of that fact, much like Superman (also an alien) it’s not likely to be an issue. After all, who reads cartoons for realism?
Graphics are well done and the book is printed in standard European format making an easy read for first time anime readers. Strangely though, the principle bad guy looks like some kind of zombie horse. Daniel X is one for the teenage boys. There is plenty of mild, stylised violence and a definite undertone of rebellion against authority. Interest in superheroes a must.
This article was previously published in Dark Matter issue 3, April 2011, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.