With a new John Wick movie out this week, it’s hard to get enough assassin action. Thankfully Image Comics has our fix with Assassin Nation #3 from the creative team of writer Kyle Starks, artist Erica Henderson, and letterer Deron Bennett.
After the explosive events of the last issue, the assassin bodyguards plan their next move. That plan? To move on the only person who could have ordered that drone strike against them. The Echidna. As Mr. Rankin explains, the Echidna was the head of the number 2 gang. Until they were knocked down a peg by Rankin’s gan. So it would only make sense that Echidna would want revenge and to regain his previous spot. With their target decided, the assassins look for the best time to strike. According to Rankin, Echidna leaves his facility regularly for medical checkups and it just so happens today is one of those days.
For most of the assassins, this hit is simply their job as bodyguards. However, for others, it’s a chance at revenge. Navi, the one remaining Mamba Twin, is looking to avenge her brother killed in the drone strike. With the stage set and the players in motion, the plan goes into action. The resulting panels are filled with the same action, humor, and a large body count that we’ve come to expect from this series.
As Assassin Nation goes on, writer Kyle Starks seems to be picking up steam. The characters and their motivations are becoming clearer and as their numbers are whittled down we get to see more of them. This allows for even more of the hilarious interactions and dark humor that has made this series so compelling. Additionally, despite the somewhat aimless first issue, there are a few mysteries developing. I have some suspicions of how these will play out, but I am still excited to see what Starks has in store.
Henderson’s art continues to be a high point in Assassin Nation #3 that is already filled with high points. With the explosive action scenes, Henderson has a chance to show what she’s got. Every panel oozes style and, while quite gory, it never feels like too much. Henderson has a unique talent to breath life into the subject material and adds legitimacy to whatever is happening.
Regardless of how silly the script is, she is capable of helping the reader to feel what’s going on as well as see it. Bennett and his letters deserve special recognition in this issue. This is due to a page where the SFX lettering explodes as a profanity-laden riff on the Kool-Aid Man’s catchphrase. Besides this excellent panel, the lettering maintains it’s high quality.
Assassin Nation remains one of my favorite comics to read every month. The blend of humor, ultraviolence, and a compelling story are superb. The characters who, admittedly, started a little weak, have all won me over. The central mystery of the series is going strong, with a few hints as to what might actually be happening in this issue. Overall, I loved this month’s issue. If you’ve read the previous issues or just need something else filled with dark humor and assassin action, then this issue is can’t miss.
Assassin Nation #3 will be available in comic book stores everywhere now.
Rating: 5/5 Times that Fuck Tarkington has been the best character in the series