Review – Frenemy of the State #2


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Frenemy of the State #2 (1)The mashup of Alias and Chuck continues with the second issue of Frenemy of the State #2.  An entertaining “girl power” comic that sees tabloid material Ariana dragged into the world of spying by the C.I.A.  Produced by Oni Press the comic book series is the product of Rashinda Jones, Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis and continues to fun tone of the first issue.

Ariana’s test mission might have not have gone as smoothly as planned but her handlers at the CIA are running out of time to stop a weapons deal that could have grave consequences for several countries. Ready or not, it’s time for this socialite to jump into the world of international espionage while trying to avoid the “Spoiled Rich Girl” section of the tabloids!

The second issue picks up directly where the first left off with a rather improbably save from a falling building.  But the comic as a whole asks us to suspend disbelief in general.  Ariana then has to choose if she’ll continue in the spy business considering her first mission didn’t exactly go as planned.  After a very nice spin on how that decision is made she’s off the the Middle East to prevent the sale of nuclear materials.

The comic isn’t deep and pretty write by numbers, but it’s a fun read.  Its definitely one to pass off to a tween girl who might be interested in comic books and wants a strong female protagonist.  There’s lots of material here to mine, only time will tell what direction the creative team goes.

Plot: Rashida Jones , Christina Weir, Nunzio DeFilippis weave an entertaining if not “write by numbers” issue where the bad guys are stereotypical and the issues Ariana has with her new job is pretty predictable.  Overall the tone is pretty light and fun, but the series lacks a bit of depth.  For a tween who might just want action with a female lead, this might be enough.  But I give the audience’s sophistication the benefit of the doubt, in that they’re looking for a bit more character depth.  Rating: 7

Art: Jeff Wamester’s art is pretty interesting.  The style is fairly basic with just enough detail given as needed and it fits the story quite well.  Especially if you consider the teen audience.  There’s an animation feel to it.  It’s different, and nice to look at.  Rating: 7.75

Overall: The comic clearly has an audience in mind and writes towards them.  I just hope they’re not selling that audience short with a lack of sophistication.  The comic overall is entertaining if not predictable.  Overall rating: 7.25

Recommendation: Buy for a tween girl

Page count: 32    Price: $3.99     Release: Wednesday 7/14/2010

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.