The lives and futures of two individuals collide in Agent 47, vol. 1: Birth of the Hitman. This media tie-in follows Agent 47, the protagonist of the Hitman video game franchise, and his handler, Diana Burnwood.
In Diana’s backstory, she vows to kill those responsible for her parents’ death by a car bomb. She is taken in by a woman named Savi who trains her on how to be an assassin. Diana later fails Savi’s test. What she lacks in killer instinct, she makes up for in intellect. She is able to use her savviness to steal Savi’s clients away away from her.
Agent 47’s origins are more ominous. He is cloned by what is called the Institute and is created to be an assassin. His creator, Ort Meyer, marvels at 47 as a perfect specimen. After the other clones begin to malfunction and a brain wipe is initiated, 47 is the only one to remain unscathed by the procedure. Ort Meyer’s financial backers become intrigued and ask for 47 to be handed over to them. The Professor has other ideas in mind, and assists 47 in his escape from the Institute. Eventually, these stories converge.
The story is told with frequent cross cutting between Diana and Agent 47. While Diana’s story is told in chronological order, 47’s starts off with various missions that he is assigned to. There was very little context as to what the missions were about and why certain people were assassinated. I enjoyed Diana’s character development, but I found the constant assassinations to be dull. They contributed nothing more than to show Agent 47 as being the perfect killing machine.
Agent 47’s story is told in pale greens and bright reds. The reds denoting action and violence. The violence is very graphic depictions of shots to the head. Diana’s story is filled with dark blues and the weather tends to be overcast, recalling the gloom her life has fallen into over the death of her parents. The variant covers are rendered beautifully using the color scheme of red, black, and grey. My favorite cover is of Agent 47 going down an escalator. You can see an airplane in the background. He is back-lit, emphasizing his all black suit, but you can glimpse hints of a dark red tie.
Agent 47, vol. 1: Birth of the Hitman will delight video game fans and those who like action-oriented graphic novels. I cannot recommend this title, because the story is rehashing plot points that can be found in the video game. It is not providing any new insight or motivations to these characters. Due to the graphic depictions of people getting killed this title is most appropriate for those 16 and up.
Agent 47, vol. 1: Birth of the Hitman
By Christopher Sebela
Art by Jonathan Lau
Dynamite Entertainment, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: T+