Review – The Mission #1

Ever been given a task to do that you just didn’t think was possible? Something that is so contrary to your nature that you feel you just can’t do it? What if the person telling you about it was named Gabriel and seemed to indicate this was a battle of good and evil and you have been chosen? This person also inexplicably knows personal details about you that they shouldn’t and seems to know everywhere you are going to be. Things are getting creepy now right? At some point you’d probably just do the task in order to get this weirdo away from you, but there is a catch. The task is to kill someone and you have no idea why.

Jon and Erich Hoeber bring us The Mission with Werther Dell’edera, Arianna Florean and Dave Sharpe on art and Image Comics Publishing. I feel like I’ve seen the whole, “you have been called by a higher power to fight on the side of good” story before, but there are some different twists here that had me very interested. This isn’t – to my knowledge – the story of someone with an ancient bloodline calling them to be an assassin for God or anything like that. By all accounts the main character is a normal guy who has been selected to carry out a task that is beyond his means to comprehend.

The main character of the story is Paul Haskell. He is finishing up a doctor’s appointment where everything is right with the world to start off the story. He has a wife and twins and seems to have a job. Things begin to change while Paul is going to his car after his appointment. There he meets a man who calls himself Gabriel who explains that Paul has been selected to complete a mission in the war against good and evil. Pretty heady – and creepy in a dark parking garage – stuff.

As any rational person might do, Paul ignores his 48 hour assassination mandate at first thinking that Gabriel – Gabe – is just another wacko. Of course the next day when Gabe shows up again to reiterate the importance of the mission, backed up by some drastic changes in Paul’s health according to his doctor, things move to a level beyond disbelief. After some weird dreams that evening Paul decides to investigate his target, a man named Neal Corman.

From here the book takes an interesting psychological twist and we get to hear Paul’s thoughts as he tries to figure out if he is capable of killing a man and why he would be doing it. The writing is really solid and it had a very human feel to it...I could see someone having this conversation in real life. The end has a nice twist to it that I really did NOT see coming and I’m sure it will haunt Paul in the issues to come.

Overall I was really impressed with the title. What would it take to turn an ordinary man into an assassin for good? Is Gabriel the same as the similarly named Archangel delivering messages from God? Will Paul develop what it takes to take a life in the name of good? This issue has left me craving the next issue in the series, which in storytelling and comics is probably one of the better compliments one can give. Check out some interiors below and the book should be in stores today. Happy reading!