Beatrix Rose is getting her comic book debut this week via ComiXology Originals’ Beatrix Rose: Vigilante. Based on the novelization by Mark Dawson, the lead character is ex-British Intelligence and now an assassin for hire living in Hong Kong. Think Tomb Raider meets James Bond.
The first issue of a five-issue run drops readers familiar with the character or those new to the character like me into a dangerous world. It’s a world where criminals deserve killing and Beatrix doesn’t feel too bad about it. Writer Stephanie Phillips keeps us up to date on the character’s thoughts and backstory via captions that move along nicely. The book never feels stifled or overly expository.
The first issue has a bit of mystery to it. Phillips drops some interesting tidbits about the character that eagle-eyed readers will cling to. Is the threat she’s meant to take out by the end of the issue related to her, or is it something else?
The humanity of the character is captured well by artist Valeria Favoccia. Beatrix is a stone-cold killer, don’t get me wrong, but in between killing you can see she’s in her own head and has the stuff to work out. Colors by Ellie Wright are a little muted, which helps ground the visual style.
As first issues go (and not having read the novels) I can say I’m intrigued by where this is going. I can’t say I know Beatrix very well, but this is only one issue. I imagine fans of the books will understand the character far better and her motivations, as it’s clear Phillips did her homework. It’s just not on the page at this point in the story.
This issue doesn’t give readers a lot, but it’s apparent the full five issues probably will. This issue opens with an action scene, details Beatrix’s one friend and their relationship, then sets her off on the next mission. There’s not a lot to hook the reader into beyond Beatrix herself, and as a reader who doesn’t know this character, that’s a lot. Still, I was left wanting as far as who the main villain may be.
Beatrix Rose: Vigilante is a good espionage action-adventure that has all the fixings of a narrative worth exploring. The assassin narrative is a strong one to explore backstory, mystery, and the underbelly of criminal worlds. Beatrix Rose is a great vehicle for it.
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