Image © Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons.
British spy stories are popular on the big and small screens, but tough to do well in comics, I think. At least I haven’t read many that I thought were successful overall. Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons are bucking the trend with this series, in partnership with film producer and director Matthew Vaughn. You could consider it storyboards for the film that will probably result, but I think it works great as a comic, too.
Master agent Jack London (not a great name choice, my one quibble with the writing) is trying to shepherd his young nephew Gary into his own field, the British Secret Service, lifting him out of a miserable life in the ghetto and placing him in agent training. Gary performs quite well in the physical aspects of the training, but can’t seem to get his mind into the kind of mental training the job requires. In short, he goes so far, then blows things off and screws up. Training exercises can only go so far. What will Gary do when dumped in a distant country with nothing but his boxer shorts and a very dangerous mission to perform?
Dave Gibbons’ art is excellent, as always. His characters have a solidity that makes them seem very real, his layouts and storytelling are textbook, and he pulls no punches in this violent story. If you’re a spy film fan, you’ll enjoy this.