Review: ASSASSIN NATION #3
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist/Inker: Erica Henderson
Letters: Deron Bennett
Reviewer: Tony Farina
In this month’s edition of Assassin Nation, everyone lays down their guns and competes in a cake baking competition where Trish and Dave team up to just barely eek out a victory against Taipan, who chooses to go solo.
OK, no, that is not remotely true. This month’s edition of Assassin Nation is bloody and terrifying just like the previous two. You will be shocked to learn that there is a lot of killing. Dave annoys Fingerman. Taipan, who is working as protection for Echidna, seems unkillable even though no one else is.
The team that Rankin has built to protect him/avenge him/work for him is dwindling and it seems likely that their individual agendas will stop them from ultimately being successful. Of course, in this world, being successful is not really great because that means someone has been killed.
Erica Henderson is killing it (see what I did there?). Seriously though, a nation of assassins requires a large body count and a large amount of things that are supposed to be inside the body suddenly being on the outside of the body. Blood and guts can be quite a turn off, but Henderson manages to capture the oddly humorous and touching tone of the book and she doesn’t let the blood and guts get in the way of the story. Yes, there are times when we are happy this is not in 3D because she has projectiles and gore coming right at us as readers, but she then cuts that with some excellent facial work that show tenderness and emotion.
If you like more than just amazing artwork, there are also jokes. Seriously, absurdly, laugh out loud because they are so funny they hurt jokes. Take this for example. Trish, AKA Smoke, says she can just walk into any room and kill anyone because she is an Asian American woman in America. Cut to a witness trying to describe Trish to a cop. He says she was a woman who could be Chinese or Japanese somewhere between the ages of 15 and 500. I won’t spoil what Bishop says after that, but seriously, this is spot on social satire at its finest.
The characters are dying off pretty quickly and, in some cases, we just don’t care. This was the only problem with the ended too soon, totally brilliant Unfollow, from Vertigo a few years back. When we know people will die, we have a hard time wanting to care about them or we just don’t have enough time to care. Assassin’s are not, by nature, cute and cuddly, but they are, in this universe, somewhat endearing, so it would be nice to spend some time with them.
Assassin Nation is bringing the heat and folks should get on board. I know that there is that movie out right now that seems similar to this. I am not suggesting you don’t go see that, but you should get this too. It is totally fine to love more than one group of hitpeople.