Last year, a small mini-series called Five Weapons appeared from Image. I was, at the time, determined to try every brand new series or mini-series the company has put to see why everyone was going crazy for Image. I never fully figured out that answer, but I did come away rather enjoying Five Weapons quite a bit, so when I heard it was coming back I was very excited. After several months of anticipation, the newest issue is finally here. Is it good?
Five Weapons #6 (Image Comics)
It’s a new semester and a whole new ballgame. Enrique Garcia is back at the school, under the new position of medic student (being a lower class citizen, he’s not allowed to be an assassin or even hold a weapon) and is on a tight leash, that if he even tugs a bit, he’s out of the school. His old friend, Tyler Shainline, is now at the school as well and he is up to something. New students, new teachers, a new principal, an assassination attempt, and so much more. Things are different all over the place, so how will Enrique handle what comes his way?
I’m pretty sure Russia’s not communist anymore.
This was an excellent issue and great start for the new arc. It did so many things in a single issue that most series can’t even accomplish in a single arc, and it did them excellently. It established the new status quo and what’ll be happening in the arc, while also progressing the story as well so that issue doesn’t feel merely like it is just setup. It establishes the new characters and what kind of people they are in simple dialogue and actions, while also reintroducing all the old characters and what has been happening with them as well. Heck, it even establishes the villain for the arc and gives him proper motivation for why he’s doing what he’s doing. You can easily understand his situation and why he is like that (only to a certain point though, since this is a pretty big turnaround in almost every aspect). Also, with how everything is presented and told in the comic, a new reader could jump aboard here without too many difficulties (I still recommend reading the first arc to get the most out of the comic) and old fans can easily get back into the groove of things.
The writing in general is pretty good here. Besides how well it established everything, it’s a very well-paced and structured comic. With all of that content going on, you might think that this is very fast paced story and that it barely goes over any of the story elements well; that is not the case here. The comic is very capable in knowing how to tell its story, giving each scene the right amount of time to make its point and pace it well. For instance, establishing how Enrique is on a tight leash is done in three effective panels. No need to over explain why, just the body language and simple dialogue do the trick (plus another three panel flashback later on, but still just as effective). It’s tight and packed full of content, but its overall well put together.
Quiet, or my cheetah will eat you!
Besides all that technical stuff, the story is a lot of fun. It follows up on many of the plotlines, threads, and character relationships rather naturally from the last arc. Like mentioned earlier, it does bring back many of the characters from the last arc and show us where they are currently (a bunch of them in flashbacks, but still appreciated). The characterization for them and the new characters are pretty good, still making them very unique and memorable (though the principal is going to have to define herself a bit more). The issue also did some minor world building as well, like bringing up the fact that Assassin are a well-respected part of their communities (I have no idea why, frankly). The reveals and twists in the story are pretty good and add some mysteries to keep the audience reading to see where they go. Ultimately, it’s just a very well-written issue with some good humor. There are some minor nitpicks, however, like why the archer kid is considered to be Enrique’s friend when he barely spent any time with him and never acted friendly to him.
The artwork is done by the same person who is writing the comic, Jimmie Robinson, and it’s pretty nice. His characters are all distinct with some neat designs to them, facial expressions are good and are downright amusing at points. The locations are nice (though the backgrounds can occasionally be empty and bland); imagery is often nicely detailed and has something interesting things going on in the background every now and then, and the colors by Paul Little are decent. While the layouts are pretty standard and the artwork is not really pushing any boundaries, it works overall for the title.
I so trust that mouse lady to teach me math.
Is It Good?
Five Weapons #6 is a great start to this new arc and return for this series. It has a well-told story and likeable cast, is great from a technical writing standpoint, and features solid artwork. It’s not a series that’ll make you think, be very serious and deep, or try to revolutionize comics themselves. No, it is a series that is about having fun, giving the audience an enjoyable experience, and you know what? It does it with flying colors. If you need a break from the super serious stories out there, this is the comic for you.