REVIEW: 'King of Spies' #1 by Mark Millar, Matteo Scalera, and Giovanna Niro

 


KING OF SPIES #1 

Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Matteo Scalera, Giovanna Niro
Letters: Clem Robins
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: December 1, 2021
Cover Price: $4.99

The world's greatest secret agent has six months to live. Does he die quietly in a hospital bed, or does he make up for a lifetime of bad decisions? He's been propping up an unfair system for over forty years. Now he knows where all the bodies are buried and has nothing to lose when he turns his guns on everyone who ever made a buck creating the mess we're in right now.

REGISTER PITCH: An action/adventure story that's part spy thriller, part revenge rampage-James Bond meets John Wick.

Score:

★★★★☆ (4/5)

QUICK REVIEW: 'King of Spies' is the latest action-thriller from Mark Millar along with artists Matteo Scalera and Giovanna Niro, this new series takes an Old Man Logan approach with the spy genre. Not too far removed from Millar's other hit spy series, 'The Secret Service' aka The Kingsman, is another wild but enthralling adventure filled with spectacular visuals and hard-nosed drama. 

We're introduced to a young super-spy named Roland King in the bombastic over-the-top opening chase sequence that is James Bond on steroids. King runs, jumps, falls, shoots without missing a beat with a wink and a smile in an incredulous demonstration of his prowess and skills. The spectacle is excessive on purpose, to show what kind of action hero King was before we're brought to the present where King is much older, slower, full of aches and pains sporting greying-white hair and beard. The suave handsome super spy has aged into a shell of himself albeit giving off Zaddy vibes. It's the juxtaposition that Millar wants to emphasize between the young and old King. It's that stretch of time and his diagnosis of terminal illness that will help shape what he does next. 

The second half of the issue is the compelling part. King looks back at his career and confides to an old colleague that all the work they've done hasn't made the world better or safer. They've merely aided in shifting power from one entity to the next and back again. This is where Millar establishes the conflict within King, seeing regret and shame in a heroic character we don't often see enough. Now, with his time cut short, he's determined to right some wrongs resulting by any means necessary. 

'King of Spies' is an exciting new action-thriller from Millar that once again subverts the spy genre. Described as James Bond meets 'John Wick,' it lives up to that and more. Throw in some 'Unforgiven' and 'Old Man Logan' and you have a potent mix of violence, intrigue, and retribution. 

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