Queen & Country Vol. 2: Operation: Morningstar by Greg Rucka with art by Brian Hurtt
Genre: Spy Thriller, Graphic Novel
Series: #2 in the Queen & Country Series
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: 2002
The Short Version:
The SIS Special Section team is divided between Afghanistan and London in a frantic search for potentially damaging information.
Why I Read It:
The first volume of this political spy thriller series impressed me enough to pickup volume 2 at the library the day after I finished volume 1.
This volume 2 is a compilation of issues 5-7 of the comic series
From the publisher:
Afghanistan is one of the hottest political spots in the world. When the Taleban discovers foreign journalists are also serving as covert-agents for the SIS, the Minders are put on a mission to find a secret contact list before the enemy does; however, when Director of Operations Paul Crocker decides to send only his male agents into the field, it doesn’t sit well with Tara Chace. Adding insult to injury, she’s currently required to attend therapy sessions to deal with the effects of previous operations. Not content to sit on her hands, Tara spends her time trying to piece together the puzzle, aiding Minders Wallace and Kittering in their race against the clock. This second collection of the acclaimed series Queen & Country breaks new ground for comics, tackling tough subject matter in a realistic and intriguing way.
This spy thriller series is still in a pre 9/11 time frame (which explains the older accepted spelling of Taliban) but that doesn’t really make it feel dated at all. It’s still an exciting political thriller.
Set in both London and Afghanistan the story shifts back and forth between the two. In Afghanistan two of the SIS minders (agents) on a mission to recover a stashed contact list that could put everyone on it as well as years of SIS work at risk.
In London the third member of the team, Tara Chace is not on the mission partly because as a woman she’d have a difficult time in a Taliban ruled area and partly because she’s still undergoing psychological therapy as a result of previous missions. She doesn’t let this keep her from actively working to help the mission.
I am impressed with the way Rucka writes characters who are both strong and damaged and Tara Chase is an excellent example. She’s still messed up but she’s still on the job. Her interactions with the psychologist provide some fast and sharp dialog.
This is a relatively short volume of only three issues from the comic series but it’s a smart and exciting thriller.
The artwork is stark black and white with panels with a lot of detail in places and just enough to convey the story in others. It works well with the sparseness of the dialog to convey the broader story.
I cannot wait to read more of this series. If you haven’t given it a try yet, you should.