Queen & Country Vol. 1: Operation: Broken Ground by Greg Rucka with art by Steve Rolston
Genre: Spy Thriller, Graphic Novel
Series: #1 in the Queen & Country Series
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: 2002
The Short Version:
This is the first in a spy thriller series featuring a tough but troubled female protagonist.
Why I Read It:
I really enjoyed Stumptown by Greg Rucka and have heard good things about this series.
From the publisher:
As part of the Special Section of Britain’s Ministry of Intelligence, Tara Chace is one of a handful of operatives they call when they need to clean up a mess, or to make a new one. It’s certainly a world of questionable morals. For instance, is it better to assassinate a general in the Russian mafia, to take his life, rather than allow him to peddle more guns and drugs in underprivileged countries? Tara’s bosses seem to think so. But the Russian mafia ask their own questions–once someone has taken the life of one of their officers, can they continue to let that person live? Greg Rucka peels back the lid on the traditional espionage story to reveal the nastiness inside, and Steve Rolston brings it to life with stunning clarity.
One of the things I liked about Stumptown by Rucka was the strong but damaged female protagonist. In Queen & Country he gives us another similar character in Tara Chace.
This is post cold war (but pre-9/11 in this volume) spy stuff and it’s good. Tara is one of a team but the story revolves around her in this volume. She starts out with a successful sniper attack followed by a mostly successful getaway. Things turn ugly when she becomes a target and the bounty on her head brings an attack to the London Headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).
Tara’s teammates and bosses are an interesting bunch and the cast includes connections with MI5 and the CIA. This is not glamorous Ian Fleming spy adventures. These people have tough jobs that challenge their ethics and it’s hard on them.
Steve Rolston’s art is pretty stark black and white drawings. It’s very spare but manages to convey a lot of emotion. It’s a good compliment to Rucka’s story.
I will definitely be continuing with the series. If you like espionage stories I highly recommend it.