I was a big fan of Jimmie Robinson’s “Five Weapons” mini-series last year, which introduced Enrique, a young man undercover in a school for assassins who is doing his best to not use any weapons, ever. While “Five Weapons” had a beginning, middle and end, the setup and characters were strong enough that I’d hoped for more — and clearly I wasn’t alone in that respect. “Five Weapons” #6 has Robinson find a way to bring the series back in a logical manner, and sets up the series for a lot of fun down the line.
I love the idea of having Enrique (no longer under a false identity) working at the school as a medical assistant — not only because it fits with his non-fighting character, but also because Robinson addresses the fact that Enrique really knows nothing whatsoever about medicine. It would have been easy to just install him in that new role and call it a day, but instead Robinson’s made it a plot point. In many ways, that sums up “Five Weapons” as a whole.
Nothing’s ever by chance or entered into lightly here. Robinson thinks through every character interaction, every route that the book can move forward. It doesn’t hurt that Enrique’s weapon is his mind; he’s an incredibly observant character who picks up on little clues and ideas in the same way that my fictional young adult sleuth heroes like Jupiter Jones and Encyclopedia Brown did. It’s part of the charm of “Five Weapons,” because everything ultimately comes together.
Robinson also adds in a lot of new characters; while we’re only getting an initial glimpse of them now, I have faith that they’ll be filled out as time goes on. Robinson did that in the initial story arc — turning stereotypes into full-fledged characters — and between the exchange students and the new Principal Z, we’ve got new candidates for the same process. Already getting fleshed out is Tyler, the character that Enrique pretended to be in “Five Weapons” #1-5. What starts out as a simple friendship turns out to be much greater as we get to know him; it’s a nice twist and one that makes perfect sense with everything we know about the Shainline family.
Robinson’s art is crisp and smooth; I like the energy that his characters have, and the teens move across the page easily and effortlessly. There are some nice little touches too, like the baleful looks from Principal Z’s cheetah, or the tight focus on the school nurse’s eyes and nose-bandage as Enrique explains what he’s already figured out on why he’s at the school. Robinson’s still good with the physical comedy, too; the montage of scenes as Enrique is used as a test dummy by the five weapon clubs at the school is funny and silly, especially the expression on his face when he’s being garroted by the Exotic Club’s members.
“Five Weapons” #6 is a great example of how to turn a mini-series into an ongoing series. It’s not just a rehash of what’s come before, but rather an expansion of the original concept and moving into new and interesting places. With a collection of “Five Weapons” #1-5 also on sale, now is as good a time as any to see what you’ve been missing out on. Good stuff.