HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Graphic Depictions Today's Date:

Queen & Country: Operation Broken Ground

Let's face it: James Bond is the worst "secret" agent ever. Everyone knows his name, the kind of gun he uses, and even the way he likes his drinks.

Apparently, James was busy giving one of his female classmates "French lessons" during Undercover 101 at the MI:6 training school. He also has this pesky tendency to get captured by every multi-billionaire, evil maniacal genius he comes across, and then escapes only through the inability of said maniacal geniuses to stay in the death trap room.

But, why am I ragging on everyone's favorite promiscuous secret agent? To introduce you to someone who does it right: Tara Chase of Greg Rucka's Queen & Country: Operation Broken Ground, a collection of the first story arc of this popular Oni Press monthly.

Rucka writes one of the finest spy stories in comics, which doesn't surprise since Rucka has shown himself to be an expert at writing comics based in the real world in his other comic classic Whiteout, and its sequel Whiteout: Melt. The same sense of realism is present when he writes about the British Intelligence Services in Q&C, giving the reader a glimpse at the dirty work that goes on behind the scenes (i.e. it's not all martinis and black tie affairs; in fact, it almost never is).

Tara Chase is an operative for MI:6 and is a member of a special task force called the Minders. They are operatives so dangerous that their own government won't allow them to be armed while within the United Kingdom. These are the people who will be air-dropped into a foreign country to assassinate someone who really needs some killing, and then be expected to make it back all by their lonesome. Yes, they are that good.

Tara's boss, and Director of Operations, Paul Crocker has sent her on an unsanctioned mission to take out Russian mobster Igor Grigorivich Markovsky in Kosovo, as a favor to the C.I.A. One clean hole through the Russian's temple accomplishes this, and Chase races to get back to British controlled soil. All in a day's work, for her, but unfortunately Markovsky's employers and constituents are able to discern who made the hit (as told in a back up story featured in the volume, drawn by Usagi Yojimbo's Stan Sakai) and they retaliate against the Brits.

Now it's a cat and mouse game to find those responsible for the retaliatory hit, and to protect Chase whose name has been leaked to the bad guys.

I can't say I've ever seen Steve Rolston's art before, but his style is functional and pretty crisp, and while I like more simplistic artwork on books I read, it seems a little too cartoon-like at times to mesh well with the harsher tones of the comic (it's just kind of odd to see a cartoon look-a-like of Fidel Castro get his brains blown out while you're expecting someone to drop an anvil on his head). His style is similar to Judd Winick's character design from books' like Barry Ween and Pedro and Me, but with a better attention to detail on buildings and backgrounds.

Another thing I've been noticing lately is that trade collections and graphic novels are becoming more and more like DVDs with all the extras they sport nowadays. I mentioned the Stan Sakai back-up story and there's also Rolston's sketch gallery (which features Rolston's versions of himself and Greg Rucka), a dossier page that gives the reader info on all the major players of the book, and to top it all off is a fine introduction written by Warren Ellis.

Queen & Country: Operation Broken Ground is a great book, and in the Oni Press tradition, sinfully affordable at $11.95. Granted it's black and white, but colors are overrated; just ask your dog. I'm sure he won't complain (because I've already paid him off with his weight in bacon strips, muhahahahahaha).

Queen and Country: Operation Broken Ground

Robert Sparling

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites