"No. 1 With a Bullet #6" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Jacob Semahn
Illustrated by Jorge Corona
Colored by Jen Hickman
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 11th, 2018
Nash Huang's life has been torn apart in recent weeks after a sex tape she didn't know existed was released to the public. Since then she's had hallucinations, stalkers, and so much more. Now the culprit stands revealed and she's about to understand what led to this mess in the first place.
At least, that's what No. 1 with a Bullet sets out to do. As a finale, I'm not sure it sticks the landing. There seem to be some leaps in logic and I don't totally comprehend how we get to the end result. This might be more clear when it's read all together when the series is collected in June. For now, I feel like I missed something, particularly when it comes to Nash's girlfriend, Violet and how she's involved or not involved in this whole thing.
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When we last left Nash, she was clawing her eyes out in fear of mistakenly using new augmented reality contact lenses which would have explained the visions she'd been having. It was a horrific scene. As a result, her eyes are bandaged up and she can't see well.
Artist Jorge Corona takes this idea and runs with it, allowing us to literally see through Nash's eyes, creating a hazy view of shadows through gauze. This is a brilliant effect and really heightens the tension of the scene, especially since Nash is restrained in a bed. The whole thing feels claustrophobic. It's like a creepier version of Misery.
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Corona's pencils coupled with Jen Hickman's colors create a white-knuckled climax when the action picks up. The panels are shaded in alternating hues, bouncing between a cool blue and an eerie red as police cars close in. The blood has a viscous quality to it, like it's going to paint every surface it lands on, leaving a mark that will last some time.
In hindsight, I thought the perils of near-futuristic technology would play a larger role in No. 1 With a Bullet. The special contact lenses were a major plot point in the first and second issue as that is how the sex tape came into being, then they just kind of faded away. Instead, No. 1 With a Bullet scratches a different itch, highlighting just how quickly someone's life could completely unravel through no fault of their own with the fast-moving news cycle and social media.
That's the thing in all this. Nash is entirely innocent. She is most definitely the victim and instead of getting help, she's forced to defend herself both virtually online and in real life. While the story is wrapped up and there's a happy ending of sorts, there's the uneasy feeling that this could all happen again. It wouldn't even be that hard. There's no defense against something like that short of eliminating all technology from one's life.