Well this certainly wasn’t the issue I was expecting… if the ending holds true going into the next issue it will be one ballsy issue. Diane is looking into her husband’s death which has become the jump off point to the entire “Hit List Agenda” crossover. As she’s about to give up for the night Acteia shows back up and attacks the police officers standing guard outside of Diane’s house. Diane reprimands her and tells her to let her know when she needs time off in the future. Acteia swallows her pride and tells her she understands, but really she’s been in the clutches of her enemies and can’t tell her. From there we’re rushed to a board meeting as someone is trying to buy Diane’s company and it one of her husband’s friends. Diane declines Duncan’s offer, but he’s not don’t with his negotiations just yet as he flies her to his house in Vegas from LA to discuss the purchase over dinner. From there a huge piece of the puzzle is revealed to the reader with an ending that you’ll see coming, but still won’t believe.
The first two acts of this book where loose and boring, there’s no getting around it. Everything is just there to build towards the unbelievable third act which makes the first two acts forgivable. One thing that this series is particularly guilty of is trying to explore the world that Diane lives in with conversations from back ground characters and really scenes that just go on for far too long. At times it feels like the story is trying to rub the wealth of the characters in the plot’s face as if it can't find any other way to show the characters. It’s like watching a rap music video when there is ten different luxury cars for no reason other than to show off. But all of this is forgiven when you get to the third act, which as I said as long as they stick to their guns will be an awesome comic that will move the cross over into a new and interesting territory.
The art takes a major dive in this issue. I’m not sure when if the art changed after the first issue, but current issue artist Ryan Odagawa does not live up to the high standards the other “Hit List Agenda” books have set. Diane looked like a distinguished woman that still maintained her beauty in the earlier issues. You could tell her age, but that didn’t make her unattractive. In this issue she looks sixteen and basically ridiculous. Lotus makes an appearance in this issue as the funeral scene is repeated in this book as it played out in the issue two of her own series. She too looks significantly younger and somewhat boyish. Odagawa is not a bad artist; he just really wasn't the right choice for this series and this type of story in general.
Even with the story hang ups and the art switch I still really liked that third act of the comic. It pulls it’s punches a bit which makes me suspect the outcome turning out to be different in the next issue, but it still got my attention and made reading the rest of the issue worthwhile. Hopefully the artists that started the series will return with issue four or Odagawa will make some attempt at studying the earlier material to give the series a consistent look. One thing is for sure, after this issue I’ll be back for more.
Writer: David Wohl
Artist: Ryan Odagawa
Publisher: Aspen Comics