Review - Executive Assistant #5

A life asea is difficult indeed. It's not much better when you live the life of an Executive Assistant being faced with the accusation that you've betrayed your master. Sophora's life as a pirate has finally caught up to her current life in Executive Assistant: Assassins #5 from Aspen Comics.

The second part of the two-parter is written by Vince Hernandez, with illustrations by Lori "Cross" Hanson, inked by Jonathan Bolerjack, colored by John Starr and lettered by Josh Reed.

The events of the first part of the arc really didn't end in the best way for Sophora or her secret lover Landon. Secret love doesn't go over to well with masters like Tikote and he's decided that it's time both Sophora and Landon are punished for their transgressions. Since Sophora is the hero here, you can imagine what follows. She taps into her Executive Assistant training to navigate the henchmen being thrown at her.

Hernandez doesn't really tread new ground as far as Executive Assistants go. Sophora is more or less the same as all of the others: a strong, combat ready woman with a checkered past that doesn't fit with the current master. "Lost at Sea" is only a two-issue arc and it hurts the characterization of Sophora. She doesn't have as much depth as some of the other EAs. In fact, she's really sort of comes across as just a woman who fell in love with someone she probably shouldn't have.

As an Executive Assistant, this is something that is generally frowned upon by employers. Granted, she's fully capable of taking care of herself and getting out of any situation she's faced with, but it almost feels as if she created the drama for the sake of the story, if that makes any sense. In the end, she finds what she's looking for, yet it's almost equally as vague and hazy as her present and past.

Hanson's illustrations are fairly simplistic. Most of the scenes are shown at night, allowing little opportunity for more intricate illustrations. The main characters are depicted very well, with the tattoos on Tikote efficient at characterizing him as a man not to be trifled with. Hanson handles the combat scenes very well, but most of the book serves as an introspective past for Sophora in the present.

The fifth issue in Aspen's first ongoing series is fairly low key. Sophora will likely be better served by teaming up with another EA down the line, as her motives and fallout in dealing with Tikote aren't exactly the most original when it comes to storyttelling. Still, she's another character in Aspen's burgeoning universe who's more than capable enough of holding her own when it comes to being an Executive Assistant.

Executive Assistant #5 is available in stores November 7 with interiors below.