The days are getting longer which means more time to read comics by the glare of a bright sun reflecting off a crystal ocean…or you know in your living room without the heat lamp on. Fortunately, this week has its fair share of debuting comics to make the best of that daylight.

Among the show stealers this week is the return of Aspen Comics bodyguard.

Executive Assistant: Iris #1


Story: Blake Northcott

Art: Donny Tran

Colors: Luis Guerrero

Published by: Aspen Comics


Last year, writer, Blake Northcott put together one of the most evolved stories for Aspen Comics flagship character Fathom. One that took notes from Aquaman in playing up living between two worlds, yet added a unique depth. Now the writer is taking on the world of assassins and espionage in this fifth volume of Executive Assistant: Iris.

In this newest launch, Iris’ best days of being a black market assassin or bodyguard might be behind her. Northcott opens the series by showing vulnerability to the character similar to the aged Bruce Wayne of Nolan’s final Batman movie. The wear and tear of a dangerous life have slowed down Iris as she’s taking more scratches previously avoided in the line of duty. Though she isn’t ready to get out of the game yet. When a corporation known as Magni Global acquires every private security firm on the planet along with tech from an underwater race known as the Blue, the now independent contractor Iris will become an asset the company is trying to acquire by any means necessary.

Newcomer artist Donny Tran does a solid job on figures, emotion, and action when it comes to illustration duties. Where it gets a bit dicey is in the panel layout choices. There’s a bit of unbalance in the way panels are laid out on pages; one page might look too weighted on top while others feel as if some animation is left out. Without a body of work to look at, it’s hard to say if the fault is with the artist or with the direction from the writer as Northcott herself is still coming into her own when in terms of writing for specific artist strengths.

Overall this new volume of EA: Iris has more going for it than against it. While it’s a bit of a slow start in the sense that the end is a bit heavy on exposition for a story that opens on an airport assassination foil, it does deliver big on early action scenes and willingness to explore the vulnerability of this badass character. Those things alone make it worth the cover price and at least a look at issue #2.

Here’s the rest of this week’s #1 books (from Diamond): 

(W) Ted Anderson (A) Marina Julia (CA) Victoria Maderna
When Finn breaks a promise he can't remember making, he is confronted by Chronologius Rex, the lord of Hours and All Time.
(W) Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson (A/CA) D'Israeli
A series of occult events mystifies the man known as the Witchfinder, but even more surprising is the revelation that he is not alone in exploring the paranormal in London.
(W) Marc Andrekyo (A) Kewber Baal (CA) Ken Haeser

(W) Gary Carlson (A/CA) Frank Fosco
The entire Image Comics TMNT run (a.k.a TMNT Volume 3) reproduced for the first time ever in full, four-color glory!
(W) Ta-Nehisi Coates (A) Daniel Acuna (CA) Tom Beland
T'Challa has fought off invaders from his homeland, protecting Wakanda from everything from meddling governments to long-lost gods. Now, he will discover that Wakanda is much bigger than he ever dreamed.
(W) Jim Zub (A) Thony Silas (CA) Greg Land
When Wolverine's former alter-ego Patch is sighted on the streets of Madripoor, the infamous island of ill-repute, Kitty Pryde pulls together a group of Logan's closest friends to try and find him:
(W) Chris Sims, Chad Bowers (A) Lim, Gang Hyuk (CA) Ron Lim
On Earth, Chris Powell is a patrol officer with the NYPD, protecting and serving the people of New York...but out in space, he's Darkhawk, the galaxy's only line of defense against the return of the ancient army of the Fraternity of Raptors.
(W) Ryan O'Sullivan (A) Anton Kokarev (CA) Pablo Fernandez Angulo
Return to the very beginning of the Dark Souls story with a dramatic retelling of the legends of Gwyn - Lord of Cinder and Knight Artorias!
PELLUCIDAR AT EARTHS CORE #1 (American Mythology)
(W) Mike Wolfer (A/CA) Clint Hilinski
It is a world of eternal daylight, where prehistoric beasts terrorize the land and primitive tribes fight for survival in an incredible landscape of lush beauty and vicious brutality. This is Pellucidar, the world at the Earth's core...
(W) Todd Livingston, Anne Toole (A) Bill Glavan