Saturday, 1 August 2009

Review: Queen and Country Definitive Edition Vol 1

I came across Queen and Country in the 500 Essential Novels and seeing it on the shelf in Traveling Man I was astounded to see how thick the volume was. Underneath was a recommendation from one of the staff members so I decided to pick it up during my grueling selection process I go through when it comes to buying comics.

Queen and Country is written by Greg Rucka, unbeknown to me, not a fellow countryman, which comes as the first highpoint for the comic. The story follows government operative Tara Chase and her colleagues and overvrlings on various missions of international security. Right away the series reminds me of TV series Spooks and was apparently inspired by old ITV series The Sandbaggers, it does have a low budget TV feel to it, and this is no bad thing.

To its credit the series is interesting and varied, its not over the top and a lot of the storyline is clever and sometimes quite deep, Tara's character is interesting and is layered enough to keep her interesting through the missions. The art is unconventional, this is good though, it makes the series stand out from something like 2000ad's recent Graysuit, and it doesn't hurt the tone at all, the shift in artist however does do a little bit of damage however.

The first arc drawn by Steve Rolston sees Tara as, while not unattractive, a bit of a plain Jane, she's not some buxom heroin but more of a regular girl in less than regular circumstances, which is a nice change to the usual action girl stereotype. By the second arc Brian Hurtt draws Tara as being slightly more attractive, but she don't lose any of her previous aesthetics, visually you can see she is still the same character. Unfortunately, by the third arc Leandro Fernández draws Tara as a buxom action girl, always wearing tight revealing clothing. 'Oh dear' my mind thinks, the other characters stay pretty much the same, but the visual change of Tara is so jarring that it practically ruins the third arc, which is up to standard in all other respects.

Other than that Queen and Country is certainly worth it, and I didn't even know that Rucka was American till I'd finished the story. Its interesting comparing it to Hellsing, which is also a story about British intelligence (Though more unconventional) because Queen and Country has exactly what Hellsing lacks in being convincingly British, and thats where it scores points in my book.

1 comment:

DB said...

nice review man. I like to do my research before I invest my time and money in a new book and this has helped make my mind up.