Nutshell Review: Queen & Country Vol. 5: Operation Stormfront by Greg Rucka with art by Carla Speed McNeil
Genre: Spy Thriller, Comics
Format: Collected Trade Paperback
Series: #5 in the Queen & Country series
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: 2004
This volume 5 is a compilation of issues 16-20 of the comic series.
From the publisher:
When an agent dies in the field, it’s their fellow spies that are always hit the hardest. When the agent that doesn’t make it home is an ex-lover, “hard” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Tara Chace and the rest of the department reel over the demise of one of their own, a ghost from Director Paul Crocker’s past has him sending his Minders into danger yet again. But will this operation free Crocker from his ghosts or merely create new ones?
I really thought this story arc was well done. When one of the agents under Paul Crocker dies, the entire unit is affected. At the same time events in the country of Georgia have the intelligence communities in Europe on edge. In particular, Paul Crocker is affected because there is a connection to a case he handled in his early days as an agent.
The life of a spy is never an easy one but it’s worse when fellow agents die.
Tara Chace is put in a difficult situation by her boss and things do not go well.
As usual with this series, each new story arc is illustrated by a different artist. While not my least favorite so far, I was not enthusiastic about Carla Speed McNeil’s in this one. I’m fine with characters looking different than in previous volumes because of a different artist. My issue with this volume was that the three of the main male characters (and a few of the secondary characters) looked far too much alike. I often had to use cues from the dialog to figure out which of them was in the particular panel I was reading.
This was one of the better volumes in this series in terms of story but one of the weaker in terms of artwork.
As I’ve said before, if you’re a fan of Homeland and/or The Americans you should check out this series.