Cover to 'No. 1 With a Bullet' #2. Art by Jorge Corona/Image Comics

Cover to ‘No. 1 With a Bullet’ #2. Art by Jorge Corona/Image Comics

By Brendan F. Hodgdon. When I reviewed the first issue of No. 1 With A Bullet last month, I felt that it was a solid start to a series that could potentially lead to something really great. And since reading that first issue, in spite of my earlier minor quibbles, I’ve continued to think about this series and where Jacob Semahn and Jorge Corona might take it. Now, with issue #2 hitting the stands, I can happily report that No. 1 With A Bullet #2 is a terrific continuation of the series, and one that cements my interest in seeing how this story plays out.

Much like the first issue, the strength here is how well the creative team dramatizes the very real social and mental pressure that comes from having one’s privacy violated in the internet age. Nash’s plight is rendered in clear and heartbreaking fashion, both by Semahn’s thoughtful script and Corona’s expressive illustration. Even without the sci-fi and horror elements, this would still be a harrowing read due to the sheer emotional impact of Nash’s situation. It also continues to be incredibly timely, actually even moreso than the first issue; Nash’s legal confrontation with her employers and the eventual revelation of her traitorous tryst’s identity directly parallels to the ongoing post-Weinstein fallout and conversation.

Interior page from 'No. 1 With a Bullet' #2 Art by Jorge Corona, Jen Hickman, and Steve Wands/Image Comics

Interior page from ‘No. 1 With a Bullet’ #2 Art by Jorge Corona, Jen Hickman, and Steve Wands/Image Comics

The fact that the genre elements of the story almost feel unnecessary should, by default, make them feel like overkill or a distraction. But in fact, Semahn’s script uses them deftly enough that they feel like perfect grace notes that externalize the horror of what Nash is going through. During a montage of people reacting (in awful ways) to Nash’s sex tape, we see one guy using the computerized contact lens at the heart of the story to experience the video in 3D, bringing the detatched objectification of Nash to visceral life. And having Nash actually being stalked in real life adds a tangible dimension to her sense of violation and dread, as well as providing the means to raise the stakes of the story going forward.

Whatever reservations I may have had about No. 1 With a Bullet in the first issue have been largely dispelled by its second. This creative team is really coming together and presenting a blunt, unapologetic treatise on how we relate to each other in the 21st century, and all the horrors that entails. As perverse (and ironic) as it may sound, I can’t wait to see more.

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by Jacob Semahn.

Art by Jorge Corona.

Colors by Jen Hickman.

Letters/design by Steve Wands.

8 out of 10