Frenemy of the State #3

Frenemy of the State #3 cover

As we pick up from issue #2, Ariana is in Saudi Arabia and has been surrounded by the bad guys. Since she’s been taught her own form of martial arts, consisting of slick moves camouflaged as “oops, did I do that?” feminine fluff, handling them isn’t an issue. While her celebrity is an asset in getting her into the situations the CIA needs, it’s also a liability in how she can react to them, since her every move is reported by paparazzi. Thus, the unique fighting style, geared to making her seem less dangerous than she is.

It’s those kinds of twists on the spy formula, mixed with lifestyle trivia, that entertain me most in this celebutante series. In every issue, there’s at least one, usually more, clever ideas and fresh concepts blending the two genres. In this case, though, it leads into a too-long fight scene. Once I got the point, I was ready to move on to the next thing, but there were a total of nine pages to get through. At $4 for 22 story pages, I wanted something a bit more compact and value-packed.

It’s necessary to get some action into the story, though, since the rest of it is talky exposition in preparation for the next mission. The three co-writers are clearly working for the serial format, since each issue ends on a cliffhanger, and they’re well-chosen to cause readers to want to find out how Ariana escapes each danger. While the first two were physically life-threatening, this one is more lifestyle-oriented, but still risking her ability to complete the mission. But the pacing is such that I wish a bit more happened in each issue. At this point, I recommend waiting for the collection, which won’t be as pricey as the five $4 comics.

Still, with the celebrity tie-in — co-writer Rashida Jones stars on Parks and Recreation and appeared in The Social Network — this series is getting plenty of press. See, for example, her appearance on Craig Ferguson’s late night show (move ahead to 4:30 for the comic talk):

I’m not surprised to hear that they’re already working on the film adaptation. The comic makes a great demo for the role. I’d go to see the movie.

One Response to “Frenemy of the State #3”

  1. Grant Says:

    She is so funny. I first became aware of her when I went to see “I Love You Man”. I’d buy the comic just based on that interview. Good stuff.




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