Well there was bound to be a weak link in the chain and unfortunately for the “Hit List Agenda” it’s Executive Assistant: Violet. Each of the titles in the crossover event have started differently which is both good and bad since a familiar pattern could have been developed to tie the books into each other. The case in two of the books has been an event that forces a rich person to buy an Executive Assistant thus kicking off the story. Violet is one of those books, but her cast of characters are less interesting that’s for sure. The story begins with a washed up action star riding with his father, who happens to be the top guy at some oil company that’s destroying the planet. The washed up actor, Henry, is then left the company after his father is poisoned. Henry spends some money and bam! Violet is now his bodyguard. Violet stands out a bit more from the other Executive Assistants because she’s not afraid to snap back at her employer, especially when he hits on her.
In general this issue was not as action packed as the other EA titles have been and that could have been a good thing. The problem is the book talks to much, all the characters say way too much and it’s not even the writer Marc Andreyko giving them unrealistic dialog either, they all just talk too much. A simple conversation seems to eat up page after page. For instance, Violets walk-through of Henry’s house literally could have been one page and just the part where Henry hits on her. After all that’s what the rest of it is there for. The writing isn’t bad, but it could have been tightened up more so that more of the story could have been told. As it stands this series comes across as having less to say and do than the rest of the crossover.
The art also struggles a lot in this issue. Pop Mhan does a good job drawing people and action, but his page layouts are overly simple and poorly set up. There’s usually one panel that’s larger than all of the others and then smaller panels that fill the top, bottom or sides of the page and it’s not very interesting to look at. The larger panel usually lacks any interest and isn’t eye-catching in the least bit which keeps you from being drawn into the book. Mhan isn’t bad, but he has a lot to learn about storytelling in general and how to direct the reader’s eye.
The book isn’t terrible, but it’s not very enjoyable. Especially if you’ve read the other series tying into the crossover, even if you haven’t this title will not entice you into picking up the others. Really the one thing that ran over and over in my head is that this book feels like work. After the first scene I felt like I had to read it just to see how it ties into the crossover rather than wanting to read it like the other Executive Assistant titles.
Score – 1/5
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Pop Mhan
Publisher: Aspen Comics