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Executive Assistant: Assassins #4 [Aspen Comics] Review

Posted on October 7, 2012 AT 06:01am

The continuation of Aspen Comics’ first ongoing series has returned once again, with the release of Executive Assistant: Assassins #4. The following issues served to introduce the assassin Lily, whose story has ended, at least for now. A new Executive Assistant has entered the fray, and this issue serves as an introduction to her story.

Saphora is another member of the highly-exclusive school for Executive Assistants, one that after many years, finally found her home on the ocean, working as an Executive Assistant on a pirate ship, doing the things she does best, which is mainly the things her employer (master is a better word), asks of her. Saphora is very good at these things, and while she has a few quirks that her master may not approve of, she’s a valued asset on the ship, regularly kicking the ass of many of the crew members who challenge her.

Writer Vince Hernandez is doing a good job so far of keeping the stories of the Executive Assistants separate, though they are all now a part of the same series, which will likely pay off when later plans for the series are set into motion. This doesn’t lead to a whole lot of continuity just yet, with the separate arcs feeling more like several mini-series released one after another, but perhaps that will change in the future with the planned cross-over. With this issue very focused on introducing the main character, the character herself isn’t really revealed too much. A few aspects of her personality are exposed, but it may not be enough to get anyone to actually care about her, just from this issue. She does do more than hold her own in battle, though, which is always entertaining.

The art/lettering team of Lori Hanson (pencils), Jonathan Bolerjack (inks), John Starr (colors) and Josh Reed (letters) created a beautiful landscape in the ocean-focused environments, with vibrant colors and glittering seascapes. The main issue with many of these titles (and it’s likely intentional, due to the subject matter), is the oversexualization of the leading ladies themselves. While they are meant to be known as sexy and deadly, nearly every page of this series so far has shown the main Executive Assistant wearing next to nothing. Whether that be the decree of Hernandez during script-writing, or the art team during their extensive work on the project, it seems to be a bit much. Not something that is detrimental to the material, but it is very noticeable.

Summary: This series, especially for the first ongoing for a company, is going very well, with exciting, bloody books that all seem to leak into a bigger picture, despite not showing any major relation to each other in continuity. The artwork is looking especially well done in this issue (not that the others haven’t been), with the ocean environment really playing to the strengths of the artists. The near nudity is a bit of overkill sometimes, but it’s not too detrimental to the series itself, making this a good start to a new arc, and one that will hopefully blend into the other arc (and future arcs) in the future.

The Good: Great artwork, Fresh Plot

The Bad: Oversexualized Protagonist

The Ugly: Lack Of Continuity To Other Arc This Far

Score: 8.0

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for 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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