Image Comics 2016
Written by Alex de Campi
Illustrated by Tony Parker
Coloured by Blond
There’s something about this series that strikes a chord in readers. It has that element of the cold war era and yet almost feels like it’s something we need to think of today. Tony and Blond work beautifully together to create some stunning visuals for Alex’s words. There’s this great cast of characters that continue to take shape before our eyes. There are also intangibles, things that just are which you can’t explain. This really does have it all.
We open up with Felix in the ocean and it’s the wordless visuals that really hit you. Serene and beautiful and the immediately we hit chaotic and out of control when we flip the page and we’re in Langley. These are the type of men that we love to hate! Thinking they are smarter than everyone else, with more information and power than they actually do who operate within their own rules and ethics.
Alex continually demonstrates her ability to do some extraordinary characterisation here. From the American agents to Felix and Rose we see these characters as real actual people and we understand them. That’s the power of excellent writing that we can love, hate and empathise with these characters as they move throughout the story.
As we continue to get to know Felix and Rose we begin to see just how different the two of them are and where they come from. One from the Russian military the other as undercover operative used for her beauty and ability as self preservation. One reckless and one calculated in their actions. That they were paired up for this mission is interesting and what we see them do here well it really defines who they are. I will say I see Felix as a man who realises his mistakes and understands that he’s going to die so he’s living his life to experience the most it has to offer while he still can. For whatever reason it makes me root for him and his survival all the more.
Tony and Blond really should be commended for what they bring to this series. The attention to detail here is astonishing. The faces, facial expressions and body language are beautifully done and only serve to further the characterisation beyond the words. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and the use of backgrounds are stunning and control the flow of this book with apparent ease. Also the ability to evoke emotions through their work here shouldn’t be underrated because there are moments that hit you like bricks, and I do mean that scene with the violet trees.
As the story gets closer and closer to it’s final moments we see how things are supposed to go. I say supposed to go because well just like life nothing ever seems to go according to script and that’s what makes it exciting. You get that feeling that what is supposed to happen won’t and can’t wait to see what actually does. This cast of amazing characters, including the creators, has successfully found a way to mesmerize its readers.