Tag Archives: assassinistas

Review: Assassinistas #1

In Assassinistas #1, writer Tini Howard, artist/Eisner Hall-of-Famer Gilbert Hernandez, and colorist Rob Davis weave the tale of a retired assassin named Octavia “Red October” Price, who gets back in the game one last time to rescue her friend/former colleague Scarlet’s baby from the third member of their crew, the enigmatic, dagger wielding Blood Diamond. And tagging along is her college aged son Dominic and his boyfriend Taylor, who are taking a kind of gap semester as her “interns”.

Howard and Hernandez’s approach to storytelling is economic, yet entertaining as they introduce the three “assassinistas” to the reader in a quick three page sequence ending in a posterworthy splash page of Red October, Scarlet, and Diamond causing mayhem for various corporate types. Howard swings nicely from past and present and uses the flashbacks to introduce relevant parts of the story like Dominic’s dad, and how even though she has a house and a son in college, Octavia still hasn’t completely said goodbye to her action-packed lifestyle unlike Scarlet, who is kind of the perfect health conscious young mother. She foreshadows this with some nice banter about Octavia’s theoretical wedding, including a grenade pin ring and “Xanadu” as a wedding march. The plot of Assassinistas is pretty tense, but Howard and Hernandez keep things tongue in cheek.

Tini Howard and Gilbert Hernandez also do an excellent job of making both Dominic and Taylor fully realized characters and not just comic relief or victims. Dominic gets about as many story pages as his mom, and Hernandez shows the adorableness of his relationship with Taylor in an extended cuddle scene that is the opposite of the violent cold open or his mom’s house littered with all kinds of weapon and body armor even though she technically works in insurance.  He’s just a college kid who misses his boyfriend and wants to have a normal life away from his mom, who he cares for very much. Letterer Aditya Bitika crafts dueling word balloons that work well with Hernandez’s six panel grids as Dominic gets kind of let down by his mom when she doesn’t pay his tuition or room and board, and he’s unceremoniously thrown out of his dorm on the first day of classes. The facial expressions are subdued, and Howard doesn’t up the melodrama level, but this isn’t really what Dominic had planned for the semester. However, Taylor is way into his mom being an assassin, and their physical closeness combined with their honest, easy rapport makes their relationship the strongest of the series so far.

I really liked how Tini Howard and Gilbert Hernandez handled the awkwardness of Dominic telling his mom about his boyfriend. Octavia isn’t overtly homophobic or anything, but Dominic does a little nod thing when she asks if he’s with a girlfriend and automatically assumes that his romantic partner is female when he talks about bringing someone along to help them on their mission. However, she doesn’t make a big deal about Taylor when he shows up at her house and immediately throws a bulletproof vest in his face because it looks like Assassinistas #2 will be the action issue. But it’s nice to have an issue to establish the character’s relationships and quirks before Octavia channels her inner Pam Grier.

Gilbert Hernandez’s art is one of a kind, Tini Howard combines domestic drama with grindhouse film thrills a la a  the opening scene of Kill Bill Vol. 1, and Rob Davis’ colors are brash and bold. Assassinistas #1 is the tasty comic book dessert you deserve for getting through 2017, and it’s cool to see a genre comic centered around a mother/son relationship that deals with both big guns and pointy weapons as well as finances and bringing your boyfriend to see mom for the first time.

Story: Tini Howard Art: Gilbert Hernandez Colors: Rob Davis
Story: 9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

IDW/Black Crown provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

30 Days of Night #1 (IDW Publishing) – A reimagining of the classic horror series.

Assassinistas #1 (IDW Publishing) – Mom’s an assassin who spent her sons’ tuition on new guns. Guess the son needs to get a job helping mom! Quirky concept, sounds like a lot of fun.

Backways #1 (AfterShock) – Writer Justin Jordan does Harry Potter… which is intriguing.

Catalyst Prime: Accell Vol. 2 #2 (Lion Forge Comics) – Lion Forge continues to entertain and their speedster is full of excitement and energy.

Catalyst Prime: Summit #1 (Lion Forge Comics) – A new entry in Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime universe. Any new release, we’re intrigued and must check it out.

Curse Words: Holiday Special (Image Comics) – Have you been reading Curse Words? If not, you’re missing out.

Dark Ark #4 (AfterShock) – A new take on Noah’s ark, but this is the other arc, with all of the monsters. The last issue pivoted the series and we’re excited to see what’s next.

Dark Nights: Metal #4 (DC Comics) – Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap.

Fence #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue was amazing. The series is a western take on sports manga. It’s so good!

Hellboy: Krampusnacht #1 (Dark Horse) – Hellboy does Christmas. Nuff said.

Marvel Two-In-One #1 (Marvel) – If you’ve never read an issue of this classic series, it’s a lot of fun. Here’s hoping this new one captures that of the original.

Rom & the Micronauts #1 (IDW Publishing) – Two properties coming together. We’re intrigued.

Sink #3 (ComixTribe) – Maybe the most disturbing comic series of the year?

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #15 (Marvel) – If you don’t know Aphra, you’re missing out. Think Indiana Jones but in Star Wars.

Star Wars: Poe Dameron #22 (Marvel) – Filling in the gaps of the Star Wars universe.

Tales of Suspense #100 (Marvel) – Another classic Marvel title returns! This one’s exploring the “death” of the Black Widow.

Transformers: Optimus Prime #14 (IDW Publishing) – Optimus vs. Dinobots.

Transformers: Till All Are One Annual 2017 (IDW Publishing) – Wrapping up this series, one that’s been full of political intrigue and giant robots.

Quantum and Woody (2017) #1 (Valiant Entertainment) – If you’ve never read Quantum and Wody, you’re missing out. A new series that’ll get you to laugh.

X-Men: Grand Design #1 (Marvel) – Ed Piskor takes on the X-Men.


Preview: Assassinistas #1

Assassinistas #1

Tini Howard (w) • Gilbert Hernandez (a) • Rob Davis (colorist) • Gilbert Hernandez (c)

Dominic Prince and the Semester Abroad, Part 1 of 6. Dominic Price is a college-age kid who just wants to spend the semester making out with his boyfriend, Taylor, in between rounds of TurboLight Fighter and maintaining a solidly passable 3.2 GPA. His mom, Octavia, formerly a badass action-movie-quality bounty hunter, didn’t pay his tuition, because she had to get back in the business and spend 40K on black market weapons and body armor. And she’s bringing Dominic with her, because the alternative is making lattes for a semester, and he’d rather die. Good thing in mom’s line of work, dying is an option.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

IDW Publishing Announces More Black Crown Series

Situated at the cross street of Great Yarn and Canon, the Black Crown Pub anchors a peculiar street where characters commingle and corrupt. As previously announced by IDW Publishing, legendary editor Shelly Bond has opened up shop at the publisher and is hurtling towards the launch of her creator-owned imprint, Black Crown. Peter Milligan and Tess Fowler, whose Kid Lobotomy will be Black Crown’s debut title in October, now welcome some rambunctious new residents to the neighborhood.

Come December, writer Tini Howard and Gilbert Hernandez will combine their talents on a 6-issue miniseries with more attitude than you can shake a sword or a game controller at in Assassinistas. Octavia is an ex-hitwoman who comes out of retirement to pay for her son’s college tuition — and, with any luck, rescue the kidnapped child of one of her former bounty-hunting partners. Octavia recruits her reluctant son Dominic and his boyfriend Taylor to become the next generation of Assassinistas.

Then in January, the British invasion is back in full force with Punks Not Dead, co-created by novelist David Barnett and artist Martin Simmonds. Fergie is a lonely, bullied teenager raised by a single mom who unexpectedly finds himself in search of the dad he never knew.  But Fergie won’t be traveling alone.  For some reason a strange branch of MI5 is hot on Fergie’s trail. Could it be the ghost of Sex Pistol Sid Vicious who becomes Fergie’s ethereal companion and unlikely father figure? Bound to Fergie for reasons unknown, is Sid in search of redemption himself or out to prove that punk is alive and well 40 years later?

Right on the heels of Kid Lobotomy is the Black Crown Quarterly, a 48-page compendium of all things comics, culture, and cool. It features a wraparound cover and a regular 10-page lead story set in the Black Crown Pub by Rob Davis. Other features include a two-sided pull-out poster with a view of the street and Frank Quitely‘s Kid Lobotomy #1 B-cover, music connections via CUD: Rich and Strange and Swell Maps, Canonball Comics, an exquisite corpse, and much more.

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