Comic Reviews: Assassin Nation and Buffy The Vampire Slayer!
Assassin Nation #1 (Image Comics)
What happens when a bunch of the world’s top assassins are put into a room together? It might look something like Assassin Nation, the new Image title from Ryan Starks and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl artist Erica Henderson. Unlike that Marvel title though, Assassin is very much an M-rated title, and it’s all the better for it, as Henderson’s talents aren’t hindered in the slightest by removing the restrictions of Marvel.
The assassin known as Chekov’s Gun has retired, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t want him dead. After surviving multiple attempts on his life, and frustrated with his security team, Chekov assembles twenty of the world’s greatest assassins and offers to pay them their per diem fee to keep him safe until the threat is eradicated. The only problem? Almost all of the assassins he’s assembled have already signed contracts to kill him, so now it’s winner take all when it comes to who gets the bounty.
I mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating: this book is as far from Unbeatable Squirrel Girl as it can be. While not gratuitous for the sake of being gratuitous, the book does have some pretty strong language and violence, so anyone expecting the goofy humor of Squirrel Girl should definitely keep their expectations in check. Kyle Starks is well known for more harder edged stories like Sexcastle, and that doesn’t lessen up here, delivering some pretty brutal moments that also have a touch of dark humor as well.
Erica Henderson’s art really benefits from the Image imprint. Her style worked wonders for Marvel, but it works even better for this kind of title. She and Starks already make a great team, but it’s really refreshing to see how hilarious her panels can be when she’s drawing three dudes getting their heads shot off by one bullet, or the way she gives every assassin their own distinct personality before they even speak. This book is easily going to make Henderson an even more sought after artist.
Assassin Nation may not be the book you’d expect from members of the creative team’s previous work, but it is a book that showcases the range that these two creators have. Who knows, if this does well, maybe we’ll see more creator owned work from Henderson in the future.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #3 (Boom! Studios)
If you had told me earlier this year that Boom Studios’ Buffy The Vampire Slayer comic would be a comic that I’d look forward to every month, I never would have believed you. But surprisingly, the publisher’s “reimagining” of the cult classic show has gotten its hooks into me, and that’s due largely in part to the creative team of Jordie Bellaire and Dan Mora, who absolutely nail the feel of the show.
While a lot of fans of the series may bristle at the term “reimagining”, Jordie Bellaire’s script is so great that you’ll swear you’re reading an adaptation of the original series. Bellaire’s love of the show and characters bleeds through the script, and you can tell that she’s really enjoying the chance to put her own spin on the story of the Slayer. As welcoming and on point as her script is, at no point does it feel like something you’ve already experienced. Instead, it reads more like an “Untold Story” series, though you need to do a few mental tweaks to the continuity to make it all make sense.
Bellaire’s script is awesome, for sure, but she’s also paired with the fantastic Dan Mora on art. In an ideal world, Mora would be the artist for every single licensed property comic book. His characters have the perfect balance of looking like the actors that portray them, but also have a distinct look that is definitely Mora’s own. He’s easily one of the best artists in comics today, and I have high hopes that Buffy will raise his status in the industry in a lot of fantastic ways.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a surprisingly great comic. It works well for people who’ve devoured the adventures of the Slayer, and those that wouldn’t know Xander from Spike. It’s a comic made by a creative team that clearly loves the source material and want to do it justice, but in their own way. With only three issues available, it’s easy to get caught up, depending on if you can find the issues before they sell out, of course.
Posted on March 13, 2019, in Comic reviews and tagged Assassin Nation, Boom Studios, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dan Mora, Erica Henderson, Image Comics, Jordie Bellaire, Kyle Starks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.