INDIE BLACK COMIC-BOOKS

FRENEMY OF THE STATE #4


Ariana’s two worlds have now officially collided! Her life in shambles because of her cover story, Ari gets a surprise from her mother than may prevent her from taking part in her mission. Oh, and did we mention the nuclear bomb?

The action and suspense really picks up in this penultimate issue to this 5-issue miniseries. Ariana’s best friend/frenemy Haven tried to trick her into missing her flight to Nick’s birthday party in Russia, by stranding her in an apartment, where her mother, stepfather, and ex-boyfriend Ben have staged an intervention, along with a Doctor (who isn’t named, but is clearly meant to be a caricature of Dr. Phil). During this brief encounter, we learn a little bit more about Ariana. She doesn’t get along with her stepfather, even though he appears to be concerned about her, and her first boyfriend was named Henry, and he drowned in front of her, which is what originally sent Ariana on her downward spiral of drugs and alcohol. But Ariana won’t let this stop her from making her flight, so she excuses herself to the bathroom and then climbs out the window and takes a taxi to the airport where she meets up with Haven and Agent Byrne, who is still posing as her bodyguard.

On the flight, there is more sniping between Ariana and Haven (honestly, why they even pretend to be friends is beyond me), while Haven attempts to flirt with Agent Byrne. When they get a moment alone, Byrne and Ariana go over the plan again, and he gives her some tch to take with her, including the tracking for the nuke, a handbag with a video camera in it, and earrings with radio receivers built in. They get to the part, and Byrne has to wait outside because no bodyguards are allowed. In party, Haven snidely comments on some of the guests, and Ariana tries to play along. Then Jamilah and her father show up, and start dancing. Ariana talks to Nick, who appears to be interested in her now, so she pretends to accidentally spill something on her to have an excuse to go to the bathroom. She also spots some men from Georgia (the foreign nation, not the U.S. state), whom the C.I.A. suspects are the potential buyers of the nuke. Some more quick thinking, and the help of a radiation tracker on her iPhone, she finds the nuke in the basement and slips the tracker on it, but when she returns to the party she sees Nick’s dad isn’t there, which makes her think that the deal is about to go down. One thing leads to another (I don’t want to spoil it all), and suddenly Ariana finds herself alone in the basement with a nuclear bomb that is set to explode in about 4 minutes! TO BE CONCLUDED

Wow! Great, suspenseful story. Rashida Jones and her co-writers Christiana Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis really give it there all in this script, and Jeff Wamester continues to impress with his clean artwork. He’s particularly good in portraying the different facial expressions of the characters, which shows their emotions. All in all, another 5 STAR issue.

This issue is available digitally on Comixology for only $1.99

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