By Chris Tresson
This is my first review of the new year* so I thought I’d pick something I wouldn’t usually go for… and this week’s comics up for review weren’t all that great, so that’s another reason I picked this book. I will say that when I first opened the review copy of this book and saw the first few panels I thought to myself, “Shit! This looks pretty nice… I might have to review it just for the art. This looks really good!” So, this is why I’m here reviewing it. This is my review of The Assignment #1 (formerly known at (Re)assignment) from Titan Comic’s Hard Case Crime imprint.
For those of you who don’t know what this one is about, the basic gist of it is that there’s a hitman out in the world who pisses off the wrong people and they turn him into a woman. I was pretty interested to see how this one would turn out and from my first impressions of the art, I really thought I was in for a treat… I was wrong.
Looks, as we all know, can be deceiving. The art lured me in and by that point, it was too late to pull out. I was locked in for forty pages of torture. I liked the concept of the book, but the execution of the story failed to impress me. The writing is poor and often jarring, which completely takes you out of the sexy noir vibe that the art gives off upon first glance. I may be being a bit harsh on the writing because there’s something else at play here that makes this a bad read…
The major element letting this book down: the fucking lettering. I don’t usually mention letterers in my reviews but I’m making an exception here. The lettering is absolutely atrocious. The dialogue balloons and captions used in this issue are too big. There’s a complete lack of apostrophes on the contractions. The spacing is fucked. There’s absolutely no way this thing saw an editor before print. No way. The worst thing is that I don’t even know who lettered it because there’s no credits page on this PDF.
As we all know, lettering is a huge part of comics and when it’s done badly it completely ruins the book. It’s rare for me to see such a bad job on the lettering because as I mentioned above, people know that good lettering is key. And that’s pretty annoying, really. I know loads of decent letterers who could’ve knocked this out of the park and maybe saved me rambling about it but with it being such a key element I feel I have to.
The artwork by Jef is the only decent thing about The Assignment. I liked it, but it isn’t enough for me to want to continue reading the series. I’m probably going to pick up a copy of this one, though. Just to see if it actually went to print in this state**. I realize it may be the PDF that’s gone to shit when it’s been sent, but for fuck’s sake. Whoever is sending these review copies out should checking to make sure the files are okay so they don’t end up with shitty reviews. Given my experience doing this, some titles actually do get published with the lettering all fucked up like this book is, so I’m standing by it. Even without the lettering botch, I wouldn’t’ve said it was all that great.
The Assignment #1
Writer: Walter Hill, Matz
Publisher: Titan Comics
*This was the first review I wrote in 2017, but upon searching for the cover to do the banner image, I found out that this book won’t be coming out until 11th January. This seems to be a running theme with the Titan books I review…
**Also, whilst getting the cover from the Previews site, I decided I’m not picking it up to see if it’s fucked up. It’s $5.99. Nope.