King of Spies #1
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Matteo Scalera
Colors by Giovanna Niro
Letters by Clem Robins
The Rundown: An aging spy makes a decision about the world he helped to create.
A violent shootout rips through the streets of Panama in the early nineties and one man tears through numerous soldiers attempting to kill him. The man known as King finds himself behind the prey he’s stalking but he is undeterred even as he has to blow a train in the aftermath of a fight for his life. With his quarry’s plane in sight, he takes bold action to board the plane and complete his mission.
In the aftermath, a much older Roland King finds himself dealing with the ravages of time and a life now spent in retirement. As he contemplates the sum total of his life, both the good and the bad, he thinks of the collateral damage he left behind in the form of his family. When a personal setback regarding his health forces Roland to re-examine his life and decisions, he decides to make a change. A change that will put the people in power and position on notice as Roland King decides to go out with a bang.
The Story: Millar crafts a brilliantly thoughtful and engaging first issue. Roland is a compelling character, and his journey is one that draws in the reader. It could be easy to make cliché choices with the aging spy narrative, but Millar makes the character grounded and aware of both his choices and their consequences. He isn’t a superhero or invulnerable. He’s a man dealing with both his mortality and his legacy. I cannot wait to see how this story evolves.
The Art: Scalera delivers across the board with the art in this issue. The action is vibrant, energetic, and thrilling. The quiet character moments are beautiful and filled with detail. There is a great balance in the art that comes through on each page.