The next issue of Five Weapons by Bomb Queen writer Jimmie Robinson is here! After besting the Knife Club, imposter “Tyler Shainline” now takes on the staff club using only his wits as his weapon of choice. Will he be able to talk his way out of this one? More after the jump!

FiveWeaponsCoverFIVE WEAPONS #3
Writer: Jimmie Robinson
Artist: Jimmie Robinson
Letterer: Jimmie Robinson
Colorist: Paul Little
Editor: Laura Tavishati
Publisher: Image Shadowline
Cover Price: $3.50

Previously in Five Weapons: Enrique, standing in for “Tyler Shainline,” has bested the Knife Club president, Jade, and become a thorn in the side of the Five Weapons School staff. Refusing to carry or use a weapon, Tyler challenges the Staff Club president, Rick the Stick, to a duel for not only the club’s presidency, but also an apology to all the students he’s bullied for far too long.

EXOTIC WEAPONS CLUB, FTW!

Robinson continues to entertain in his high school drama with a welcome twist. “Tyler” of course is challenging the staff club this week and makes a number of enemies amongst the staff and most of the club presidents. And, in awesome underdog fashion, makes friends with the school’s “losers,” chief among them members of the Exotic Weapons club. However, the less than amused schoolteachers set up a plan of their own to not only oust Tyler but also embarrass him in front of the whole school.

Aside from the Exotic Weapons club seeming like the coolest out of the five clubs, Joon, their club president, is further delved into. She’s a likeable girl, if not a little off, and quite possibly one of more interesting to analyze as a character. She’s torn between her duties as club president and her desire to at least have one friend despite her eccentricities. Being more or less a slave to her teacher L’Harma and looked down upon by Principal O, her struggle to help her new friends Tyler and Dennis, who’ve treated her with kindness and respect, becomes fascinating to watch. Robinson made a character that is genuinely torn and genuinely goes back and forth, not just the typical character who ultimately chooses the “good guys” right off the bat.

The character of Enrique, posing at Tyler Shainline, also continues to develop into an appealing character. As his past is slowly revealed, the usage of his brain instead of the arsenal available to him makes every duel he takes part in a cool sort of junior Sherlock Holmes mini-story. Plus, it engages the reader to try and figure out each club president’s weakness as well, with Robinson dropping hints throughout the story’s progression.

DO THEY HAVE TO LOOK LIKE THAT?

Robinson doing his own art in addition to the story is impressive. Initially, I was put off by art, feeling it a little too close to the manga style for comfort, but it grew on me. Also, for a book about assassins, it’s an interesting choice to make the series so bright and colorful, with ‘happy colors’ as opposed to the typical dark and grim motif given to a lot of stories about people in this particular occupational trade. Plus, I really like the styles he’s given some of the female characters, like Joon, Jade, Principle O and the school nurse. They all register as distinct, with their personalities reflected in their appearance.

One thing that’s a bit of a red flag is Robinson’s usage of some cultural stereotypes. While there are a number of strong characters representing various cultures, I was a bit put off by the teacher of the Archery Club being a Native American woman in what can only be described as stereotypical garb—complete with feather, fringes, and braids. There were other ways to portray a Native American woman without going all out.

Plus, the character of L’Harma can be seen in one of two ways. On the one hand, she could be seen as a strong potentially Middle Eastern woman, the burqa being more of a way to give her mystique and a means of misdirection. On the other hand, with a lot of tension concerning the Middle East right now, making a Middle Eastern woman the teacher of the Exotic Weapons club and a dangerous assassin is a bit iffy.

Then again, from the creator of Bomb Queen, political correctness isn’t exactly expected. This is tame compared to some of his work.

BOTTOMLINE: PICK IT UP IF YOU’VE BEEN FOLLOWING THE STORY SO FAR

Making a series that is not only creatively refreshing but also one that is illustrated by the writer himself is no mean feat. Robinson’s series is a fun take on what could be a formulaic story. Developing a number of strong female leads, this book is a good addition to a series that appeals to readers of both genders. While I question his using a few stereotypes with some of the teachers, it’s forgivable given his normal line of work. Pick this up if you’ve been following the series so far. Overall, Five Weapons earns 3.5 stars out of five.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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The Author

Danielle Luaulu

Danielle Luaulu

Danielle Luaulu lives in San Francisco where she constantly toes the line between nerd and lady. As a teenager, she fell in love with Sandman’s Morpheus and started wearing lots of black. Now, she's a graduate of SFSU where she studied creative writing and lives vicariously through her level 10 drow bard. She has a love and fascination for all things super and natural, as well as supernatural. Comics are her life, as well as playing games in which she gets to be the hero or villain or a combination of both. Depends on her mood.

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