Welcome to the School of Five Weapons, a place where parents send their children to become world-class assassins and hitmen. All students must choose one of five weapon clubs in order to graduate: Knife, Gun, Staff, Archery, or Exotic Weapon. Recently, Tyler Shainline has enrolled into this school, son of the world famous Shainline assassins. Much to the chagrin of everyone, he has not chosen a weapon yet. Tyler Shainline must use his wits to combat the teachers and students of Five Weapons, and prevent them from learning his true identity.
Previously in Five Weapons: Tyler Shainline has enrolled in the School of Five Weapons. After Jade the Blade, student president of the Knife club, introduces him to the teachers and students, Tyler escapes from choosing a weapon for the time being. Later, he enters the Knife Club and challenges Jade for student presidency of her club. However, the student enrolled as Tyler Shainline is not the real Tyler Shainline. His real name is Enrique and he is the son of one of the Shainline’s servants. Servants are not allowed to wield weapons in this world. Enrique is posing as Tyler Shainline while the real Tyler Shainline and his family go into hiding.
THE SMARTEST KID IN SCHOOL
Jimmie Robinson continues his Five Weapons mini-series with the battle for Knife club presidency between Jade and fake Tyler Shainline a.k.a. Enrique. Similar to the first issue, Enrique uses his superior intellect to defeat Jade. Once he has the presidency, he immediately gives it up, hoping to make a new friend in Jade. Meanwhile, the teachers plot against fake Tyler, since he is an unruly student who has not chosen a club yet. Eventually, Enrique enters the Staff club and challenges Rick the Stick for Staff club presidency. Since this is a five part mini-series, fake Tyler will probably challenge the other three presidents, like a villain-of-the-week TV show. It is predictable. Fake Tyler Shainline is a great character, whose incredible Sherlock Holmes-type mind allows him to outsmart students wielding dangerous weapons. With a school full of assassins and hitmen, you would expect a lot of violence in the comic. So far our protagonist has not needed to resort to violence against his opponents. Aside from Enrique, most of the other characters are underdeveloped and bear little creativity. Each student club president’s name rhymes with their weapon of choice as if they were bosses in a video game. The teachers’ personalities are dry and stereotypical. Their only motivation is to stop fake Tyler’s rambunctiousness. Aside from a few exceptions, most of the characters do not have the intelligence to match Enrique’s, giving the protagonist an unfair advantage. This makes for a very uneventful comic since the reader knows fake Tyler will eventually succeed using his mind without any conflict.
CARTOON ART AND SUBTLE CLUES
The character designs of Five Weapons are cartoon based. Surprisingly, there is a lot of racial diversity compared to other comic books. However, some designs fall into stereotypes and caricatures. Some examples include a Native American archery teacher and a turban-wearing Indian student. It is borderline racist. Since the writer is also the artist, he places subtle clues within the art regarding people’s strengths and weaknesses. It is one of the highlights of the comic, allowing the reader to follow along with Tyler to find these hidden clues in the art.
BOTTOM LINE: YOU KNOW WHATS COMING
For a comic based on a school for assassins, there is very little action or violence. The plot is really predictable since it is a 5-part mini-series and there are only three student presidents left for Enrique to challenge. Many of the character designs are caricatures, with only the main protagonist having any substance in character development. Overall, the comic needs improvement.
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