RV9 isn’t like any other futuristic assassin stories out there. As you may know, Jay Sandlin and I did a review of the first issue of RV9 together. When you get into issues two and three, we get deeper into the revolutionary mindset of Signor Volta and his absolute rule over the others. There is also a deeper view of why Velveteen has turned her back on the Order of 9. The one thing that impressed me about Volta’s views was how he truly believed in the Books showing the way of revolution and order from chaos. As I read both issues, the more I saw some of today’s eschatological beliefs scattered in the storyline, but fitting so well within the future, it does make it seem as if the axiom is true, “if you fail to learn from the past, you’re doomed to repeat it.”
In issue two, one of the things that really made me sit up and pay attention is when the others in the group talk a bit about their past. There’s mention of setting up humans for hunts- letting them be hunted by rich socialites. It shows others being chosen to be part of the group by Volta while others are ignored. The definite thought there is some are more preferred over others- just as we see today. It made me uncomfortable, which was the point. When you glimpse the reason Velveteen left, it will upset you. I found myself disliking both Velveteen and Volta almost equally, though as with most cults, you mostly understand the brainwashing aspects.
Velveteen trains with Hunter, trying to get him ready for infiltration of the group. One thing that remains from the first issue is that Velveteen, even apart from the others, is still deadly, dangerous, but has clung to her humanity in a way the others have slowly shed. Yet, in a way, you wish she was a bit more realistic, a bit less trusting in the others who remained at the monastery. Especially the mysterious Cain, whom you know that Velveteen is barmy over. Nyx is a character in RV9 which probably intrigues me more than I can say. Not just because she hates Velveteen, but because there is more to her story than is hinted. On some level, she knows how Velveteen acts and reacts, yet, she seems to be a bit less able to control her own self. Is it because of the Book she read? Or is it something more? Which then begs the question- how much of what each of these assassins do is linked to their Books?
Yet, when we get to the part where Volta and Velveteen have their first major moment in issue three, what Volta does will cascade in future issues. It makes you wonder just what is his purpose with the others, what does he really care about or for them, and in the end, is it all about revolution or something else? I’m eagerly awaiting issue four in February to see what will happen as Velveteen squares off against Nyx and the others. Volta will be stepping up a notch in his plans to bring about revolution, and the hacker, Jasper, is struggling to keep up and keep out of trouble.
The colours are everything you need them to be, cascading across the pages, bringing the world to life as the fights happen across so many pages. The artwork is stunning, complex, and something beyond the mundane. The lettering is distinct, easy to follow and makes the story come alive with something more than just words—it’s style.
RV9 #2 & #3
Writer: Ben Goldsmith Colourist: Maria Santaolalla
Artist: Travis Mercer Letterer: Nicolas Salamanca
Publisher: Mad Cave Studios Editor: Giovanna Orozco, Chris Fernandez, Brian Hawkins
Available: Everywhere comics are sold, Comixology. Issue #2 available Dec 2, 2019, Issue #3 available January 8, 2020.