Comic Judgment: Asset #1

Asset #1
Writer: Filip Sablik, Jenny Frison (cover)
Art: David Marquez
Colors: William Farmer
Letters: Troy Peteri

When a character name-checks Pat Benatar and Mata Hari, how can the comic not be good?

Madeline, the secret agent at the center of Asset #1, has seduction and manipulation down to a science, and she wields them ruthlessly in this winning book. Asset is one of Top Cow’s Pilot Season 2010 books, and it’s got the makings of a serious contender thanks to Filip Sablik’s suspenseful story and David Marquez’s attractive artwork.

The comic opens with Madeline striding into a Washington, D.C., restaurant to meet a date, and the dude doesn’t have a chance. It’s not just that Madeline is gorgeous, but it’s clear that she’s on a mission far beyond getting her companion into the sack. And once she does, she begins to play him like a Stradivarius — and he’s completely unaware that he’s being used until it’s too late. Amazing what a good pair of jeans and the right pair of pumps can do.

Asset has some moments of shocking violence, so it’s not exactly a lighthearted romp. However, Sablik’s portrait of deceit is a blast to read, and Marquez is up to the task of drawing Madeline like the sexy, skull-cracking beast she is. If you see this woman in the D.C. Metro station, I’d advise you to avoid eye contact and scurry in the opposite direction.

Whether this comic has the makings of a long-running series remains to be seen, but I’d love to see what else Sablik has in mind for the main character and her long list of chumps. Here’s hoping that Asset gets enough love from Pilot Season voters to send Madeline on a second date.

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