Secretary Assassins and Spontaneous Combustion: Free Comics Vol.2

Round 2! Last time didn’t turn out so well. What mysteries await us in the Comixology vault today???? Click below to find out!

Imaginary Boys #1: A goth girl recites Linkin Park lyrics awful poetry as she’s being buried. She wakes up in the after-life and meets an angsty goth grim reaper dude. Also apparently she’s only 9 years old which I am seriously having a hard time believing based on her narration but anyway. The author who wrote this does not use contractions and so every character states what it is they are and/or are not going to do in a really terribly fake and hollow sounding way which, I must say, is really very annoying. The author sporadically remember the protagonist’s age and has her speak stereotypical “kid” dialogue but the rest of the time she just acts like an adult. Apparently all of the evil demons smoke because being in hell gives you “smoke addiction” and this is getting really stupid. The art looks like it was drawn in Flash. More goth demons show up and the main character is Super Special for some reason and ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz Thumbs down

Executive Assistant Iris #0This one is about a sexy Asian woman 😉 😉 😉 who is a secretary and also an assassin for some huge corporation. She works for a guy called Ching because all Chinese people are named Ching or Chong or something that sounds like one of those two names. Anyway Iris goes to secretary-assassinate some Russian dude who declined a business deal for her company which kind of makes her out to be a bit of an asshole. She wears a skin-tight catwoman suit with a giant purple visor for some reason. Apparently as well as secretarying and assassinating Iris also provides certain other “Executive Services” if you know what I mean 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉 (I mean sex). She fights some dudes and there’s a panel that I swear makes it look like she has a sword sticking out of her ass-cheeks. Then she threatens to kill the Russian dude’s daughter if he doesn’t agree to the deal which seriously makes me wonder whose side we’re supposed to be on here. It pains me to say this, but of all the comics I’ve read this probably has the best artwork and pacing. Which doesn’t change the fact that it’s brain-meltingly stupid. Thumbs down

The Truman Virus preview: “Ha, ha I think I’ve done it! Years of work has finally paid off! This could be the cure for cancer, this right here!” So a guy makes a cure for cancer and it turns people into, in the words of an extremely eloquent news reporter, “horrible mutant-like zombie creatures”. Hey did you see that I Am Legend movie with Will Smith? Just checking. One of the backgrounds on the first page is a photo of a desert run through Photoshop paint filters. I stopped reading after that. Thumbs down.

Girls #1: So we open with a dude who looks uncannily like the main character from Ctrl-Alt-Del, who just so happens to also be named Ethan, masturbating over a photo of a woman in lingerie. Unfortunately yes, this is the main character. A woman shows up at the convenience store he works in and exchanges lazy double entendres that get our hero all hot and bothered (will you squeeze my melons for me tee hee ). He thinks she’s asking him out but oh no it was all a misunderstanding why are women so confuuuuuuusing poor Nice Guy. Despite what it must seem like right now I swear I go into these with an open mind. Anyway a woman at a bar who he sort of knows him sits on his lap and teases him so he tries to kiss her. After she says “no” he calls her a whore and gets punched. I have the sinking suspicion we’re supposed to be on his side here. Then his Mom(?) or someone who is also at the bar berates his Dad(?) for not doing anything about it and oh won’t he just get off his useless ass and be a man. And then Ethan puts her in her place for shitting on her husband’s self-esteem and goes on a crazy rant about how women are all stupid whores and cock-teases and no seriously, we’re not supposed to be agreeing with him here, right? Right? Anyway he gets kicked out of the bar. There’s a weird explosion and he almost runs over a naked woman on the road being chased by two farmers with guns. That’s where the issue ends. Just out of interest I took a look at a later issue. It had guys with guns fighting off waves of naked clone women emerging from a giant glowing ovum in a corn-field. Thumbs down.

Sanctuary #1A bunch of Dreamworks animation talking animals are at a zoo waiting for the arrival of a new male Panda. There’s some really unfunny banter between the animals, and then the panda arrives…. I guess? He’s sort of standing on this cliff thing overlooking the other enclosures. Sometimes the backgrounds just sort of disappear and I can’t tell what’s going on. Everything is in varying shades of grey but there’s no contrast so it all just blends together into an indecipherable mess. We cut to some…. cats? Tigers? They look like giant mice. I think they’re supposed to be tigers. Anyway they’re watching an operation on another mouse-tiger. It turns out the zoo staff have a security system where they…. implant bombs in the animals? I think? They make a squirrel explode to test it out. Then the other animals find the Panda dead. I guess it’s supposed to be a mystery or something? I don’t really care. This is poorly drawn and reading the dialogue is like pulling teeth. Thumbs down

Spontaneous #1An overweight fellow goes to a food court and orders a shit-ton of food (hur hur hur because he’s fat see). The obnoxious teenager working at the burger place taunts the guy about having difficulty peeing….. for some reason. I dunno. Anyway the fat guy starts to spontaneously combust and the obnoxious teen runs over and asks him what he sees…..? The scene is randomly inter-cut with flashback panels to the teen’s childhood, I think, so it’s pretty confusing. It turns out teenager dude and his hacker buddy are investigating spontaneous combustion and they were trying to get footage of the food court dude bursting into flame (with hacking). The teen (whose name is Melvin) watched his father explode on his birthday and now he’s obsessed with researching more cases like it. Which is actually a pretty neat concept. The characters are interesting. It’s decently paced, if a little confusing at the start. There are a few problems though. The art is done in this inexplicably popular style where everything is inked in sketchy thin lines and then coloured with blotchy grey and brown paint as if the colourist just nailed the pages to a wall and threw shit at them. There’s also an Intrepid Reporter character who I can see getting annoying, and it’s really obvious that Melvin is actually causing the fires so I hope that’s not supposed to be some sort of twist. Still, a promising start. I’d probably read more of this. Thumbs up

The Homeland Directive previewSo its sort of a political thriller and woah, someone just discovered their first graphite pencil. Smudgy shading everywhere, banjaxed anatomy and none of the character have eyes for some reason. Thankfully the art style changes after the first few pages. Anyway, some CIA dude is the head of a shady project involved with fightin’ turrrists and protectin’ ‘Murica and all that. Then we switch to some researchers coming back from the airport and the art style switches again, to the aformentioned smeared-shit-on-ink. Some CIA spooks knock one of them out with a tire iron and stuff him in the boot of the car, then drive away with hilarious road-runner clouds of smoke coming out of their back tires. It’s a pretty generic political mystery thing. C-, would not subvert the Geneva Convention for the purpose of maintaining national security again. Thumbs down


Post-game analysis: Oh dear. That didn’t turn out so well, did it? Six nea and one lukewarm yay. Executive Assistant Iris was bad in the same love-to-hate-it way that Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose is bad, but The Truman Virus was just inept and the less said about Girls the better. I’m beginning to wonder where all these good comics people keep talking about are. Maybe next time? I’ve still got a ton of these to go.


3 thoughts on “Secretary Assassins and Spontaneous Combustion: Free Comics Vol.2

  1. Pingback: Hallway Sharks and Amnesia Font: Free comics vol. 3 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Lal

    I read the collected edition of Girls in July and it was such a mind-boggling slab of misogynist bollocks that I was shocked that anyone could think highly of it (one Amazon reviewer commented that this and Y: The Last Man made him confident that comics were on a par with films as an art form, at which I had to pause for a moment to try not to die laughing). I’d also successfully struck Girls from memory until reminded by this capsule review so thanks for that. 😛

    As for good recent comics, if you don’t mind traditional superheroes then Mark Waid’s current work with Daredevil has been pretty awesome (and blissfully self-contained for the most part), then there’s Kieron Gillen’s run on Journey into Mystery and I’ve heard very good things about the new Hawkeye comic.

    Nelson by Blank Slate is also an excellent indie press work (a “collective graphic novel”), featuring lots of artists taking turns to tell a day in the life of one Nel Baker.

    1. ronanwills Post author

      Re: Girls, is the main character’s misogyny in the first issue ever refuted, or are we supposed to agree with him?

      Thanks for the recommendations, I might check a few of those out!


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