It’s a last-ditch effort to save the universe… ALL the universes. Your Major Spoilers review of X-Ray Robot #4 from Dark Horse Comics awaits!
X-RAY ROBOT #4
Writer: Michael Allred
Artist: Michael Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: Nate PIekos of Blambot
Editor: Daniel Chabon
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 25, 2020
Previously in X-Ray Robot: After an incredible trip through infinite universes, super scientist Max Wilding stumbles upon hidden truths and a climactic battle with consequences that ripple through dimensions… and time itself.
THIS ABSTRACT MISSION
Accompanied by TWO X-Ray Robots, Dr. Max Wilding has made his way to the end of reality in order to play catch-up on the threat to reality. The X-Ray Robot that is probably an immortal version of himself (it gets complicated) explains that all life in the universe originated from the same place, a central consciousness that split itself to fight loneliness. After centuries, the X-Ray Robot has collected people of empathy from throughout reality, but in order to protect everything that is, Max has to go back and keep himself from breaking reality with his original experiment. As his friends complete their missions throughout reality, Max is attacked by The Nothingness, losing both legs in battle. They make it back to the events of issue #1, convincing themselves to destroy their experiment and destroying The Ultimate NIhist in so doing.
THE ORIGIN OF SENTIENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE
I’m gonna be honest: There are a few holes in the plotting of this story and some of what happens in this issue comes across as inexplicable, as it wasn’t set up as well by previous issues as I feel it should have been. That said, this is a feel-good ending for me, and the frenetic pacing and explosive art pulled me past those problems with aplomb. The closed-loop nature of this timeline makes for a solid endpoint, too, so we’re probably not getting more of this particular version of Max Wilding, but the issue is an enjoyable one nonetheless, a passion project of a talented artist and creative team. There’s even a Madman appearance, placing this all in the universe we know from previous Mike Allred books, meaning that it’s the origins of life in his personal universe, and as such, I appreciate what the Allreds are going for here.
BOTTOM LINE: I AM THE TARGET AUDIENCE HERE
Even if X-Ray Robot #4 eschews some of the plot in favor of visceral moments of emotion and acting, and even though there are still some unanswered questions, I’d recommend this book as a nice palette cleanser for more serious and depressing stories, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. The book is just beautiful, and it hits emotional buttons that other comics can’t, making for an entertaining read.
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X-RAY ROBOT #4
Allred posits a unified field theory of existence, reminds us that empathy is the answer and does it all with his bright, wild, creative art. It's exactly my jam.