THE ASSIGNMENT #1 Titan Comics

Book Retort: The Assignment #1

Written by Bill Coffin

Frank is a suave contract killer who flies from city to city accepting high-end assassination gigs in what appears to be a life with no attachments, no real goals, and no real plan, apart from killing for money.

It all goes wrong when his latest job turns out to be a trap and Frank wakes up months later recovering from some off-the-grid surgery. Mummified in bandages, Frank tears them off to see that while he was under, somebody conducted gender reassignment surgery on him. We know the person who did it is some weird evil genius currently in lockup, but what we don’t know is why. Frank has always expected he would be made to pay for his crimes, but…this? This was unexpected, to say the least. And so the series begins.

The first issue of The Assignment is all just a big set up to the final reveal, which I’ve spoiled for you, but not by much. In this, the real pleasure is the journey, not the destination. The Assignment #1 is another entry from Titan Comics (this time their hard boiled Hard Case Crime line), featuring writing by Walter Hill & Denis Hamill, with adaptation by mat, art by Jef and translation from the original French by Charles Ardai.

This is a pretty solid opening entry. Visuals work nicely for this world and its tone, and the overall pacing works well, too. The dialogue comes off as stilted and repetitive sometimes, but as with French-to-English works, this feels like a matter of translation more than a matter of source. If there is any lasting critique here, it’s that there isn’t a huge amount of story in this first issue, so it goes quickly, and one is left wondering exactly how the team will address our transgendered protagonist. The story is already a little squirmy, the question is…how much squirmier will it get? Surely cause enough to read for the next few issues to find out, at the very least.

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