This series is not for the youngsters…those under 18 need not apply. So let’s go ahead and jump into the stereotypes of Executive Assistants being dressed in provocative clothing and wear way too much makeup. I will be honest with you, I am not a fan of the stereotype. I will put that aside and give my remarks on the writing, plot and artwork.
As I have failed to read Part 1, I have jumped into this series with kind of a blindfold on. I have no idea what is going on and the title lead me down a completely different path than what the story decided to take me. And for those of you getting ready to say “never judge a book by its cover!”, I would have to reply by saying, that is marketing 101 right there. A cover is part of the story, you have a limited window to grab my attention, especially when you are among other well-known books fighting for my hard earned dollar (or $3.99 for those keeping track). I got lost immediately, my attention span as you can see is that of a five year old on Christmas morning having to wait for dad to get his coffee and sit down before I can open my first present. Oh look a bird.
What threw me for the biggest loop was the fact that these characters are based in Japan, but drawn to look more American. Is it too much to ask that the characters be drawn to look like who they are supposed to look like? I wouldn’t consider this to be too much of a task…I could be wrong as I am just a fan not an actual artist. One thing that I will point out until my final day is that the artwork is part of the story. The depth of each line, the colors that set the mood and the action that cannot be seen in motion should all stand out and assist in the forward motion of each story. Now with that said, the artwork in this story does stand out and brings depth to the story.
The plot in this story isn’t one that I would consider award winning. Of course I am sure that most of it was set up in the first book. This is a mistake. You should always be able to pick up a book no matter where in the series that particular story is taking place. The reader should not feel lost and if they do feel lost you should be able to get them up to speed by the second page. As readers and fans we spend money to read these stories and if we’re going to spend money we shouldn’t feel lost. I can understand that this might seem hard to do since you don’t want to simplify it too much or it would seem like a Sunday Morning Newspaper funny. The writing is also artwork and critical to get right. I was not impressed. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that the writing is sophisticated it is, the story lines didn’t flow and the build up wasn’t enough to keep me interested.
This brings me back to the artwork. Halfway through the story I felt like I was watching Cinemax; instead of using the creativity to build the story, this book turned to near nudity and at one point actual nudity. I am a firm believer in not needing to turn to events like this to keep the story interesting. There are times and places for such things and I believe that Comic Books are not the place. I know I’m going to sound like I am talking about of both sides of my mouth here but the artwork is done well. The lines and the detail to shadow and possible movements in a still frame worked well. I do appreciate the attention to detail in the settings and characters…even though they appear to be Western and not Asian.
So, the story involves some former employees of a lower level crime lord that are now assassins out for blood (for revenge or other reasons). We also see characters get involved with the C.I.A.? I can’t buy it. Forgive me but I am starting to feel like this series was built on a dare. I could be wrong, but this is not believable. Not that I am involved with any underground crime scenes in my life but I have watched enough mysteries and even read some darn good comics that are mysteries in my life. I am not going to downgrade any of the comics I have read in the past by considering this one a good mystery.
What this comic could be is a good story board or screenplay for an after hours Cinemax or FX movie. It is not enjoyable, it is weak at best. The story line isn’t even plausible, not that all comics are plausible, but come on more crime series stories have to be based in a little bit of reality.
I just can’t see this one being any type of reality even in another dimension. The scantily dressed women, the horrible male characters and the rough flowing dialog is not at all what I would spend my hard earned money on. I do not recommend this series. I mean I would hate to give this series a raving review only to have you come back and say that I was all kinds of wrong.