Five Weapons #8
I will most certainly be SPOILING!
The Story So Far:
Welcome to the school of Five Weapons. In this world, Assassins are something like aristocracy, and the country, most likely America has at least two classes, Servants and Assassins. Generally speaking, assassins send their children to the School of Five Weapons to be trained and educated. As it’s name suggests, the school offers five separate specialties for violence; knives, clubs, guns, arrows, and exotic.
The story of the first five issues is entertaining, but not terribly complex. Tyler Shainline, the son of an increasingly infamous assassin, is starting his first day in school. Early on, Tyler showcases his Sherlock Holmsian powers of observation and deduction by besting the presidents of each of the schools clubs, or weapon specialties.
It is revealed that Tyler is, in actuality, Enrique Garcia, the child of the Shainline’s servants. He is standing in because the mysterious Vera is coming for the Shainline’s family. He has made a promise to his father to never take up a weapon. Throughout all of the five issues, Enrique bests each and every one of the clubs presidents until Vera shows up, halting the faculties attempt to sabotage him. As it turn out, Vera took Principle Olivia’s place in a field trip decades earlier, and the bus went off of a cliff. There were only two survivors, Vera, who was injured, and Shainline’s servant. In the aftermath, the servant took up Shainline’s name and became an assassin, a bloody version of the Prince and the Pauper. With Shainline confessing and making amends with everyone, the first story arch ends.
With issue #6, Five Weapons starts a new semester, with three foreign exchange students, one of which is Enrique, who is a student Medical Assistant. The intruige begins with the Nurse admitting she applied for his entrance and got him accepted, because someone is trying to kill her and she needed his help. The second bit is Tyler Shainline, the REAL Tyler Shainline is attending this semester.
We know after the end of issue #7 that Tyler is nearly as insidiously ingenious as Enrique and out to destroy the life he had created amongst the students. What is also noteworthy, is the revelation that there is a sixth assassin discipline that is no longer recognized, psionics. Issue #7 ends with one of Tyler’s plans putting Enrique on the business end of the Archery teacher’s bow and arrow.
And the Review Begins:
Five Weapons issue seven opens with a rather comedic display of Enrique’s improvisation skills as he faces down Ms. Featherwind’s arrow. With tactical use of politically incorrect cliché’s and indignation, Enrique saves his friend Hannah and seems to be inducted into Featherwind’s tribe with his very own Native name; Running Dog.
Shortly after, we are treated to the archery teacher’s heroic and tragic origin story. Her origin is so thorough as to not only explain her half mask and the arrow through her head, but her savagely cliché attitude and style.
After treating Hannah, the Nurse tells Enrique that her current suspect for who poisoned her is non other than Jade, Enriques sometime crush and girlfriend. In an attempt to find clues that will clear her name, Enrique finds the means of ingress for the poisoner, even going so far as to search the heating ducts for the entrance to Nurse’s office. Even when he isn’t trying, Tyler makes things harder for out hero, as he turns on the heater while Enrique is in one of the main ducts leading from the boiler. Enrique has an embarrassing exit into his ally’s office and is given a job to do.
The medical assistant travels to the Exotic Weapons club to find all of the students suffering from snake bites! Joon explains they have created an anti-toxin and all of the testing is parent approved, right before her boyfriend seems to be dying from the same bite. Joon and Enrique argue over the best idea on how to save him, and Joon forces her snake to bite him. With only sixty seconds to live, Enrique cries out for her to stop. Before she gives him the anti-venom.
“You’ll regret it if you give him that and I can prove it…before I die!”
Five Weapons is a fantastic read. While the dialogue and the reactions of characters is sometimes clunky and cliché, the overall concept and suitably mysterious machinations of characters other than Enrique keep it running at a good pace. The mood is fun, Tyler is an excellent rival, and it is amusing to see Enrique playing a high stakes Dr. House lite. I’ll be waiting for this title next month, wearing a grin.
My rating 4 / 5