Jimmie Robinson's FIVE WEAPONS is still a real joy. That's most definitely saying something since he's still using the "how will he solve this?" cliffhangers, too! Sure, he's set a bigger stage in this second volume and established multiple -- and not to mention very interesting -- plot threads, but ultimately, this book still revolves around Enrique using his mind to get himself out of a mess or stop the next bad thing from happening. Not that that's a bad thing, though. Robinson's kept the script sharp and because of that I'm continually looking for clues in each panel. You never know when a little detail will come back around, after all.
What makes this chapter unique is the fact that we get to witness some of Enrique's detective work as it unfolds. We're often treated to his thought process after he's already solved the issue, but in this chapter, we get to see what's going through his head as he faces a couple of different dilemmas. It's a nice little change of pace from the "ah ha! So that's how he did it" formula. Unless I missed something, there's no real way for us to be certain with our guesses just yet regarding the big mysteries and new developments that are introduced in this one, but just enough is tossed our way to create some strong speculation and keep a firm grip on our intrigue. Plus, he manages to include a couple of good laughs. The opening has a bit that's a tad awkward, but thankfully, that's briefly addressed in a following scene.
Along with Paul Little's powerful coloring, Robinson generates yet another set of pages that perfectly match the lighthearted and energetic vibe of this book's world. The characters and the school which surrounds them remains delightfully animated and full of little things that'll keep you smiling. Personally, I'm a sucker for the school's signs. Having a simple top to bottom panel layout on every page really helps the flow of the book, too. It's a consistent pattern that your eyes are used to and it allows all of the visual creativity to appear within the panels.
Miss Featherwind can kill three faculty members and they still keep her around? Yeesh. I'll just have to assume when the nurse says they "lost" the employees it means they left because they're afraid of her. However, following that remark with "you're lucky to be alive" seems to imply otherwise. Also, revealing her origin story does take away a bit from the pacing -- which is a noticeable departure since so many new plot points are being established in this volume and I'm anxious to watch them all unfold. That said, it certainly is an amusing tale. I just hope the character has another prominent role in the volume now that we have a better connection to her.
I just can't recommend FIVE WEAPONS enough. Jimmie Robinson has taken what could be a very graphic, dark and mature concept and handles it in a way that makes it appealing to readers of all ages. It's a book about kids who want to become assassins, yet it has a delightfully pleasant tone, a diverse and unique cast of characters, and a wonderfully fun and animated set of visuals. Throw in a consistently clever script and the result is a title that has continued to impress me since its very first issue. This should be a mandatory purchase for my fellow FIVE WEAPONS fans; however, if you're considering finally diving into this world, this is by no means an ideal jumping on spot.