A purple-haired assassin who can’t remember that she’s an assassin? It can only be the fabulously intriguing Eve Stranger, the titular heroine from IDW Black Crown’s new series from writer David Barnett and artist Philip Bond.
The series is set a hyper-realised world where a mysterious organisation hires out a memory-wiped waif – Eve – who can complete any assignment, assassination, or task required, her loyalty assured with her amnesia and with the micro-bombs lurking in her unique blood.
The second issue sees Eve plunged into a new assignment – namely running with the bulls at the gleeful behest of Madden, a diminutive and wealthy thrillseeker who has plenty of history with Eve, although the amnesiac super-spy has zero knowledge of that. The buoyant Madden is soon joined by Eve’s handler, the bespectacled Jimmy Mac (think a more together Chidi from The Good Place) with whom he has both an instant connection and a long-running history.
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These new additions are fantastic and fun in their own ways – Madden is a slice of pure id, using Eve as a means to checking items off his bucket list, but in a respectful and considerate way, while Jimmy provides an interesting cipher in Eve’s romantic sphere as well as the first person that seems aligned with Eve’s journey into self-discovery (complete with another mysterious flashback to her father and childhood).
There are also a few beats to continue the ongoing corporate story at the heart of the EVE Project, and the overlords’ meeting with prospective ‘buyers’ of Eve balances the fine line between intrigue and horror and pitch-dark comedy, touching upon the seediness of hiring a worker with no memory and no consent. This darkness is countered by journey’s end of this issue which sees an almighty cliffhanger that marries spectacle with sincere goofiness and which teases the new adventure ahead.
Closing with a sequel to the bright and sunny alternate version of Eve that spies Jimmy from across a pool and encounters her own alternate version, the second issue of Eve Stranger continues the story of the violet-haired spy and, in adding some new players to the board, begins to set up for what should be an interesting journey for our heroine.
Eve Stranger #2 is available now from IDW Publishing.