Friday, August 1, 2014

Comics Friday: Naja by Jean-David Morvan

From Goodreads:
Naja is the perfect killer - because she feels nothing. Literally. Her body registers no pain, nor does her heart, coldly executing jobs given to her by her mysterious boss, known only as "Zero." When another killer in Zero's organization targets Naja for elimination, she has no choice but to fall off the grid and seek answers, as bloody as they might be.
Oh dear.  This was, sadly, not the best comic I've ever read.  It was all over the place, and not in a good way.  I did care about the characters, and I liked Naja a lot, but I absolutely could not get past some of the very weird plot twists and turns.  The idea was original, but the writing itself left a lot to be desired.

It was hard to follow and, honestly, a bit porn-y in parts (yes, that's a technical term).  I'm not automatically turned off by sex and nudity in comics, but in this one it had that salacious, only-there-for-titillation feeling.  I feel like in a comic about a tough, merciless female assassin, the "sexy" parts didn't add to the story and were there just to be there.  It didn't fit with my view of Naja - she's presented as this hardcore, heartless killer, but she's given no sexual agency.  The nude/sex scenes don't show her as taking any action, only being acted upon, most commonly against her will/while restrained.  It just didn't fit her character and felt very male-gaze directed.

Entertainment Value
Despite my complaints about the writing, I do have to say that I stayed late at work in order to finish this one.  It's not all bad - as I mentioned above, I liked the plot (for the most part) and I liked Naja's characters (with the exception of her sex scenes).  I was into the story and wanted to find out how things would turn out.  But I was HUGELY disappointed with the ending.  Things took such a bizarre and unrelatable/unlikable turn at the end that I felt really let down.

I mean, it's not the worst I've ever read, but, ultimately, it's also not one I'm going to recommend to others.  There were interesting, edge of my seat parts, but they were overshadowed by the salacious-feeling sex and the crazy ending.

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