By Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman
If you’re not reading No. 1 with a Bullet, you’re missing out on something special.
No. 1 With A Bullet doesn’t waste time in getting where it wants to go, which is just what the book needs. We’re three issues in and it’s rare that it slows down. It’s always moving, advancing the plot and characters in the best way possible, rarely wasting a moment. Semahn opens the book by establishing that there’s a threat to Nash, words left splattered on the wall, raising the stakes almost immediately as she’s becoming far more paranoid following the leak of her sex tape. You can’t really blame her when everyone knows who she is.
Nash is left in a dire predicament from the morning after the leaking of the sex-tape. She’s been fired from her job and dumped by her girlfriend, and things are going downhill by the minute for her. The book plays to the strengths of its themes, exploring the nastiness of society very well. It’s helped that Nash herself isn’t exactly a perfect one-dimensional character either, but one with raw, well-crafted emotions that serve as both her character’s strengths and her weakness. It’s turning into Nash vs The World, and the book puts you in the perfect place to support her character and want her to succeed.
The artwork from Jorge Corona is excellent here, with some great colors by Jen Hickman as well, with both bringing an energetic and exciting feel to the book. The faces and expressions of the various characters are different from the norm, adding a quirky touch that gives a fresh feel to them even when working within the confines of a traditional page layout structure. Whilst there are restrictions in layout design, there is no such restraint applied to the artwork contained inside the panels. Multiple scenes can feel downright chaotic, but despite this, the story never loses control of what it is. All the events are portrayed in a clear and decisive way where it’s never hard to follow. There’s a scene that allows Corona’s imagination to shine that really helps make No. 1 with a Bullet incredibly interesting and unique, with the book delving deeper and deeper into the horror rabbit-hole at times while also drawing on several noir themes despite a modern setting.
With all these elements to work with, Hickman’s coloring skills do a fantastic job at establishing the atmosphere for these key scenes, fleshing out the characters and the world that they inhabit. The tone and the atmosphere of the book that Hickman brings to the table feels right at home for fans of Francesco Francavilla, and fans of his artwork will definitely like what Corona and Hickman are doing here.
Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman continue to make No. 1 with a Bullet a pure delight to read, pulling the reader in and leaving them hooked from start to finish. Each new issue just keeps getting better and better, and as a result, this reviewer cannot recommend this book enough.