Assassination Nation #2
Former number one ranked assassin Chekov’s Gun called for a meeting of every ranked assassin to find out who is trying to kill him. Mayhem ensued and from the rubble, Chekov’s Gun made an offer. Take a huge money deal to be his bodyguards until his nemesis is uncovered.
The new team of bodyguards find out about each other’s first kill before setting out on their first mission. Move their new employer to another safe house. Needless to say, things don’t go off without a hitch.
If you’re going to spend your hard earned on a comic, no matter the genre, it better be entertaining. Assassination Nation’s second issue delivers entertainment in spades, buckets, bullet shells, and whatever other connective metrics you want to measure with.
Kyle Starks builds on the excellent work of Rock Candy Mountain and scales back the house style Rick and Morty humor without losing any of the funny. His characters chew scenery and deliver lines that you demand from caricatures of every assassin type you’ve seen before. He takes them beyond simple trope and polishes them with a little dimension. Then he lets them run free of their own volition against the simple but strong premise of this series.
He controls pace, thrills, and reveals with authority. It’s a manic tale with manic characters delivered with frenetic, manic, fervor. It all works and it’s HIGHLY enjoyable from panel to panel. From page to page.
Eisner winning artist Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) clearly has as much fun as readers will in bring the script to life. Her cartoony style tilts more towards an Eduardo Risso-like depiction of characters which leads the cartoon violence into territory that favors the violence more than the cartoon. Her understanding and delivery of the comedic beats and her design of each assassin is what makes the writing land so successfully and the characters become so well realized
The lettering by Deron Bennett (Batwoman, Darkwing Duck) goes the other way. It leans towards the cartoony to embellish the violence. It’s comedic were it has to be but also evocative of crime comic staples like Stray Bullets.
This book is stylistically, and story-wise, a mixture of indie bizarro’s like Scud: The Disposable Assassin and Burn the Orphanage. I can feel notes of Steve Purcell’s Sam & Max property in here too. But despite its influences and its play on stereotypical killers for hire, it all comes together as something fresh, original, and once more HIGHLY entertaining.
If Assassination Nation were a movie (and it is, but the recent, similarly titled, film is not the same thing) it would be a gloriously violent romp through hitman tropes. If it were a video game, surely rockstar games would develop it further into criminal mayhem and hours upon hours of bloody fun. But Assassination Nation #2 is a comic book. One that delivers as much of the above as a film or video game could. A gleefully violent, sharp-witted, comedy-infused, good time with big bangs and sharp turns.
Assassination Nation #2: I Came Here to do Two Things. Get Kills and Make Dollar Bills
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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