Written by Mark Millar
Drawn by Travis Charest
Published by Image Comics

PREVIOUSLY: The Ambassadors #2

First, be forewarned, there will be some minor spoilers ahead.

I thought this issue would give us the background of Chico Blanco, the man chosen as Codename Mexico, who was briefly introduced in the previous issue. Instead, we go to France, where a struggling single mother named Yasmine writes to Choon-He about how she wants to become a superhero in order to gain the respect of her young son Jean-Luc, who is developing into an unruly and possibly dangerous loner. Choon-He selects her and Yasmine becomes Codename France. She’s also allowed to share her powers with Jean-Luc, enlisting him as her sidekick, named PARIS.

Most of the issue is Yasmine taking Jean-Luc out for their first adventures, explaining how their powers work. They’ve got a secret underground high-tech headquarters which they can get to via a secret tunnel that’s been installed in their apartment, and they go out in a supercar, and now they both download various superpowers from Choon-He’s “power bank.” Everything from telekinesis to super strength, to walking on walls. Together they catch some jewel thieves, rescue people from a building that’s on fire, and then their biggest test in stopping a runaway train. It’s a surprisingly wholesome tale for the most part, it’s the ultimate mother-and-son bonding story, the two of them are having fun as they fight crime and save people.

But there are a couple of twists at the end, once again involving Choon-He’s ex-husband, Jin-Sung who has a representative approaching Yasmine, just like they did Binnu. Choon-He compared herself to Willy Wonka in the first issue, and the worldwide “lottery” in this story invokes the search for golden tickets, and so Jin-Sung must be filling the “Mr. Slugworth” role here?

Another twist shows us that Jean-Luc may not be as innocent as he seemed. This latter development calls into question Choon-He’s decision-making in regard to her selection process. And why was Yasmine allowed to share the powers with her son? Wasn’t the proposal for six individuals from nations? So why does France get two? I also noticed that unlike Binnu, Yasmine and Jean-Luc’s abilities aren’t natural, they have special wrist-bands they wear which allow them to access the various powers (only 3 powers at a time, and only powers that none of the other “ambassadors” are using). We’ll see if future issues address this.

Travis Charest is a name I recognize from the early days of Image Comics, when he was drawing WildC.A.T.S., one of my favorite titles. It’s been a long time since he did sequential art for a mainstream title, so it’s good to see his work again, albeit for just this one issue. I’m still not completely sold on the different-artist-for-each-issue gimmick of this series, but I’m enjoying the ride.



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