Pawn to Queen D1 (Assassin Nation #5 Comic Review)

Co-Created & Written by: Kyle Starks

Co-Created, Cover, & Art by: Erica Henderson

Letters by: Deron Bennett

Edited by: Jon Moisan

Logo Design by: Andres Juarez

Production Design by: Carina Taylor

The power of friendship may sound hokey, but sometimes it’s exactly the thing that will get you through.

In This Issue: Having established that Rankin was the one setting them up the whole time, Bishop, Smoke, Fuck, and Dave decide to exact some well-earned revenge. Smoke goes straight after Fingerman, who is still up in the building opposite them, trying to pick them off. Bishop, with the help of Fuck and Dave, goes after Rankin—who is calmly making himself an espresso while watching the carnage play out through his window like the smarmy double-crosser he is. While Bishop and Rankin are dueling it out (and Rankin is indulging in some Grade-A monologuing), Fuck and Dave come face-to-face with Taipan, Rankin’s newest hire, and Smoke and Fingerman take each other on one-on-one.

It’s a whirlwind of different fights for several pages until all the loose ends are tied up. Rankin comes clean to a bleeding Bishop that he set the whole sorry situation up in order to return himself to the top of the assassin leader board. Oh, and he was actually the one who shot Bishop’s husband, not Fingerman. He was aiming for Bishop, but he missed. Oops. Fuck and Dave nearly get blown up by a grenade Taipan leaves behind as he jogs off to Rankin—thank goodness for the quality of the construction on Rankin’s panic room—only to get shot by his boss when he moves to shoot Bishop. Smoke outwits Fingerman on a quick-draw and shows up in the nick of time to put one through Rankin’s gourd before Rankin can finish off Bishop, who is bleeding pretty heavily by this time. Fuck and Dave stagger in, and there is a brief but touching reunion between the survivors. Smoke just slid into the number one slot. So what is she going to do about that?

Become a Crime Queen, that’s what.

My Two Cents: We’ve reached the explosive conclusion of the Assassin Nation arc and it certainly lived up to expectations. We were able to get to know Bishop, Smoke, Dave, and Fuck pretty well during the course of the story, and we were rooting for them at the end. Starks’ writing and Henderson’s art continue to complement each other perfectly, with color providing exactly the kind of while, bright background needed for such a vibrant story. With its usual darkly whimsical attitude and rough-and-tumble warmth, Assassin Nation has finished out its run with a solid BANG and a tantalizing trail of gunsmoke. All the loose ends were tied up, and thee’s a tempting new thread to explore if the book gets renewed.

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Elizabeth Fazzio
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org
Elizabeth Fazzio
Summary
I have to say I'm sorry to see Assassin Nation come to an end. It's been a thoroughly entertaining romp filled with mayhem, murder, silliness, sensitivity, language as colorful as the panels themselves (there was a character named 'Fuck', FFS), and beautifully executed gags. My favorite little extra this time around came while Rankin had Bishop pinned down and was monologuing like a champ. As he says “I just wanted to be the number one killer again” with his gun held reverently to his chest, the background is a giant banner saying “Pettiest Man On Earth” surrounded by flowers and held by a pair of rosy-cheeked cherubs. Overall I truly enjoyed this book, and if it comes back for a second arc I'll definitely be reading!
Good
  • Quirky artistic details
  • Art and story blend seamlessly
  • Story elements are balanced
  • Fascinating color palate
Bad
  • Story is a bit predictable
8.3
Great
Art - 9
Story - 8
Writing - 9
Predictability - 7
Written by
South Bay native turned East Bay resident. Holder of two less-than-useful arts degrees. Human Resources professional by day, creative recluse the rest of the time. Favorite words: Weasel, toast. Mental health advocate--https://makeitok.org

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