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Executive Assistant: Assassins #13 [Aspen Comics] Review

Posted on August 2, 2013 AT 07:39pm

The second issue of the “Daisy” arc for Aspen’s first ongoing series is now on shelves, and the reveal about where Daisy fits into this very strange universe is finally beginning to reveal itself. With Daisy still on the run from her abusive father, her and new boyfriend Shen find themselves in a lot of trouble, looking for a new start somewhere far away from Daisy’s home of  New Orleans. With both sides of the relationship drawing attention for their actions prior to their meeting, secrets are revealed on both sides, bringing this new Assassin’s story into full swing.

This arc has been a very odd, in comparison to the others of the series. While taking a different path from the other Assassins, who were basically born in the Academy, Daisy starts off as an adult an ocean away. This has been both a positive and negative path thus far, with the characterization of Daisy looking more and more like an excuse to objectify the skilled women who serve as Assassins and less like a celebration of a culture, a skill and of the Assassins themselves, who were dressed to look attractive but never felt as though they were being placed in a situation where that was the goal. Their sexuality was used more as a weapon and less as just what it is, and this time it feels as though a sexually attractive woman is being placed into that culture instead of the culture enabling them to use their beauty as part of their skill set. This makes this a much harder arc to read, and hopefully, this will change as the arc continues and Daisy begins to show her role with the Executive Assistants.

Writer Vince Hernandez has so far done a great job of making this a believable universe, but this arc is falling far short. Daisy is less of a product of a culture based on loyalty, respect and commitment than she is of abuse, victimization and poor decision making. This brings her story into a completely new direction as far as how she gets on her own road, and Hernandez seems to do more to bring this out than ever before.

The art team of Lori Hanson, Joe Kennedy, Teodoro Gonzalez and letterer Josh Reed do a solid job in making the book look as good as most Aspen books do, though some of the poses, something Aspen is usually very skilled at not making look like an excuse to show skin, are a bit questionable. The backgrounds are also lacking a bit, something that Aspen usually seems to use to put emphasis on the characters (and to make things just a bit easier on the artist), but that isn’t a major drawback to the issue. The problem with the artwork here is that the characters, mainly Daisy, seem to be a bit more sexually charged and sexualized than the usual Aspen title, which takes away from the subject matter of the book. The variant covers are the culprit especially, the Variant B cover by Elizabeth Torque being one of note.

Summary: The newest arc of this ongoing series has its share of problems, though the series as a whole has been a pretty fun read so far. With issues ranging from the use of classic tropes that bring down the female gender in comics to the objectification of that same female character, this arc could use a lesson from some of the former issues, who did a much better job. Hopefully this trend will correct itself in the future, but as of now, this is the least pleasing arc of this ongoing series.

Pros: Solid artwork, unique universe

Cons: Exploitative Poses, lack of believable story

Grade: C-


Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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