With the success of Executive Assistant: Iris, it only made sense to follow it up with another series. Not only would Iris receive another series, but three other Executive Assistants would as well and fall under the banner of the The Hitlist Agenda, a crossover of sorts that each title would take part in. Aside from Iris, the other Assistants would be Lotus, Orchid and Violet and as each series was released, another piece of the larger puzzle that would tie all of these books together would make itself known. Of course, all of this started in the first series starring Iris where we learned of her background, of what the Assistants do and how she escaped her boss for good. Things would not last though as Iris would soon fall prey to another man who would in turn, just be another cog in a global mystery involving multiple companies, corporations as well as the various Assistants.
Each series within the context of the larger series was done well, being not only interesting, but engrossing and at times, quite exciting. Meeting these new Assistants and learning who they are and why they are, kept you glued to the page and when the series was over, you immediately wanted more. The various writers, including Vince Hernandez, Scott Lobdell, Marc Andreyko and David Wohl, would craft their story so that they could essentially stand alone, but read better together as each contained part of the mystery that was the driving force behind these books. One thing that was touched upon more than once is the fact that there are many Executive Assistants all over the world and aside from the few who are present in this crossover, excluding the main four, is just a drop in the bucket. What is still the most interesting aspect about these women is that they do not only serve as bodyguards, but as whatever the employer needs them to be, whether servant or slave, friend or lover, they do what they are bid and there is no argument to the contrary. Very rarely anyway.
One of the better things about this crossover is the artwork, in most cases that is. The weakest of the bunch was drawn by Pop Mhan who, for whatever reason, did not seem to be on the top of his game. Mhan has done some great work in his career including Spyboy and the recent Masters of the Universe books and while his pencils on Violet are decent, they are by no means the best we have seen from the man. The other artists, including Oliver Nome, Micah Gunnell and Ryan Odagawa, do a fine job of their particular portions, though if you were to read all four series in one sitting, there is a little bit of incongruity between them which finds you trying to settle into each new style instead of it flowing as smoothly as it could have. The collected edition of course, features all of the various multiple covers reprinted in their entirety and they look wonderful, but in some cases they outshine the interiors which is a shame as it kind of imposes an injustice upon each series as they cannot live up to those cover artists in most cases, though that is often the case with most titles these days no matter the publisher. On their own, each book and series looks quite good, it is only when they are together that they falter a little bit.
While the series was quickly paced and truly intriguing, the only gripe that could really be found was leaving the entire crossover without a real payoff. Sure, the Assistants freed themselves and gained some small measure of revenge, but the big question that was posed throughout the run was never really answered and to find that out, you must purchase the further volume of Iris and the ongoing title, Executive Assistant: Assassins. Though you most likely would have done so anyway as these books are quite good, how much longer into those particular runs does the reader have to go to get a resolution to the big picture that was started in the first volume of Iris?
Aspen Comics are usually looked upon as that company that features the ‘good art and artists’ while in truth, though the books look fantastic, the writing is usually just as good. Whether it is Fathom or Jirni or Soulfire, each book has thus far, been well written and featured stories that are just as good as the artwork looks. With Iris, and the other Executive Assistant books, that tradition continues.