No. 1 With A Bullet #2
Writer: Jacob Semahn
Artist: Jorge Corona
Colorist: Jen Hickman
Letters: Steve Wands
Publisher: Image Comics
A Review by Greg Brothers
Comics tend to either mirror the environment that they are being written or they try to take on current issues. Some writers and artists are more direct with those social commentaries. Others will instead be a little subtler while telling that story.
No. 1 With a Bullet #2 picks up right where the first issue left off. Nash is dealing with the fall out of what we find out is a non-consensual sex tape. Her girlfriend while saying she does not blame Nash has decided she needs some time away to figure things out. Corporate lawyers of course are doing anything that they can to make sure that their star is protected. In an ode to the real-world Nash is dealing with the social media backlash, and the unwanted stares and paparazzi.
The creative team mentions in the in the back of the book that is fiction but loosely based on some of the harassment, bullying and cyberstalking they have dealt with over the years. They do an excellent job of really bringing in many of the real-world parts into the story and adding wrinkles to it. With adding the non-consensual part of the taping, it makes it obvious that Nash had no part in the leak of the tape. And although it shouldn’t matter the fact that she did not know she was being taped makes her an even more sympathetic character.
The progression of Nash’s emotions feels organic and not forced at all. She progresses from shock, to sadness, to fear, and finally anger. Each step of the way not only do we see how Nash reacts, but the creative team adds social media reactions to the latest news. It is in those social media reactions that the creative team really tackles the idea of cyber bullying. While No. 1 With a Bullet #2 more than likely went to print before some of the more current issues came to light. It does touch on what happens when someone who is rich and powerful with lawyers needs to protect themselves from someone that they may have wronged.
The colors used throughout No. 1 With a Bullet #2 unique. Each panel is usually filled with shades of one primary color that has the focus of the panel being a primary color that pops to the reader. Nash’s facial expressions also show those changes in the emotional steps. The first page particularly shows the pure shock for Nash, as we focus on her eyes, to her face, to her sitting still on the bed staring as her girlfriend packs her bags around her. It drives the emotion of the situation home.
Throughout there are some unique layouts of panels. A panel filled with a still of Nash from the video surrounded with people reacting to the video from the slut-shaming to a Fox TV like pundit declaring this being the moral destruction of the world. The layout reiterates how Nash’s story is not her own anymore. The building in of social media contents within some of the panels drive home the fact that there is no escape from the internet and trolls. The character designs have a western manga feel, but without some of the over the top reactions that you get in some manga.
Buy! No. 1 With a Bullet #2 continues the social media and bullying commentary that started with issue number one. While it really does focus on the issues at no point did it feel like you were being preached about how to fix it. Instead the creative team is taking into how complicated the entire situation is. The art jumps from the panels and the contrast in colors allows for readers to easily be drawn to the focus of the panels. Be sure to check out the back matter as the creative team has promised to use the space for more discussions of social media and bullying.