Friday, August 28, 2009

Queen and Country: Operation Broken Ground

Having recently enjoyed a couple of months off work while nursing a broken ankle, I spent a lot of time browsing eBay for comics and DVDs. Among other comic titles I picked up were a couple of trades of The Darkness, copies of Daredevil that filled some holes in my collection, two volumes of Brubaker and Phillips' Criminal and volume 1 of Greg Rucka's Queen & Country.

I'd not read any Queen & Country before although I've heard some positive comments about the series recently so thought it would be worth a look - besides, it's written by Rucka so I couldn't go wrong could I?

Initially I thought the illustrations - black and white throughout - appeared a bit 'simplistic' (rich coming from someone whos stick men don't even look like stick men I know ...) - but as I read on I came to appreciate just how much the art style complemented the writing. Publishers Oni Press have sample pages over at their

The book features Tara Chance, a member of the Special Section of Britain's Ministry of Intelligence. Chance is sent to assassinate a General of the Russian mafia - an organisation that we learn sells guns and drugs in war-torn Kosovo. Following completion of the mission, and back in London, the Russians take their revenge, striking at the heart of the British Intelligence community.

In addition to the 100 or so story pages, the volume contains a related short-story illustrated by Stan Sakai, chapter break art by Tim Sale, several pages of development artwork and an introduction from Warren Ellis.

I enjoy tales of 'black ops' organisations and have been a fan of Greg Rucka for quite a while. This was a very enjoyable read - certainly enjoyable enough for me to order a couple of the subsequent collected editions.

Queen & Country, Vol. 1: Operation: Broken Ground
Written by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Steve Rolston
Published by Oni Press, 2002