Next on RavingNerd’s preview look at Aspen’s 10 for 10 is Executive Assistant: Iris # 3
Now this is my first introduction to the EA: Iris universe. I’d seen it around in the local comic shops but from the covers it just looked like a buxom babes beating down bad guys and other bodacious hotties with big….arsenals book. Turns out I wasn’t that far off.
The current arc of Iris is a part of a cross over arc with Aspen’s Executive Assistant Assassin line. As the ominous titles would suggest, Executive Assistant Assassin is about assistants to wealthy businessmen with a rather broad range of responsibilities. The cross over arc, titled Executive Extinction, (the ominousness knows no bounds!) is bringing both of these books together to deal with a arms dealer, Mazutsu, whose hell bent on taking out the executive assistants by any means necessary. What would normally be an average day for any the executive assistant takes a turn for the worst when they learn that one of their own is working for Mazutsu.
Issue 3 of Iris starts off in the thick of things with Iris caught between a just defeated enemy executive assistant and a mobster with a gun to her boss’s head. However what could have been a great point of tension gets immediately resolved within the first few pages with the sudden, door smashing entrance of the C.I.A. Then, the story quickly moves to saving her fellow assistants from/capturing the rouge assistant which then leads the confrontation/torture scene. Again, this would have been a great point of tension but it was again subverted by another ruder interruption. This time it was from some unknown baddie.
This issue was all over the place. The pacing was just way too fast. There was so much information getting crammed into this issue that nearly every bit of internal monologue and dialogue was exposition. Even the pacing within the panels was crazy. More than once I found myself looking back, trying to see how someone got from A to B and not being able to make sense of it. In the end I just had to shrug my shoulders and say “Meh, it’s a comic” and letting it slide. Yet with as often as that happened in this particular issue I may have given the book a little more that it deserved. That and the art really missed the mark here. When everyone is standing around being pretty it works just fine, but as soon as someone needs to throw a punch things get wonky. Everyone feels stilted and awkward which, in an action heavy book like this one, really breaks the comic.
To be fair, EA: Iris # 3 isn’t that bad of an issue. It’s O.K. with the potential for being a lot better. EEA and EE:I seem like fun, ‘splodie, testosterone and girls comics and the for the most part that’s what they deliver. But all the little problems and misses just keep adding up and eventually overshadow what the comic gets right. The most frustrating thing is that most of these problems would have been fixed had this book been drawn out for one or two more books.
Final score: 5.5 out of 10