Queen & Country: Declassified Vol 2 #1
Book Released: 30 March 2005
Review posted: 06 April 2005
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Rick Burchett
Publisher: Oni Press
4.00 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by John League
The “Declassified” series fills in some of the
Rucka's stories are always timely, incorporating current world affairs and politics…
backstory of writer Greg Rucka's Queen & Country. The ongoing tale of top British intelligence agents, this is no James Bond rehash. Rucka's stories are always timely, incorporating current world affairs and politics without being exploitative or preachy, and his plots are populated with fully realized characters. For example, Queen & Country's regular protagonist, Tara Chace, is simultaneously a skilled intelligence operative, all-around bad-ass and dysfunctional friend and lover.
This chapter of “Declassified” profiles the recruitment and first assignment of Tom Wallace, missions that took place before Tara became a “minder,” one of the top three British agents. Here we also see Paul Crocker in one of his last assignments as Minder One, before he became Director of Operations.
…I am always surprised at the depth of expression Queen & Country's artists, in this issue Rick Burchett, manage without color.
The story is one of introduction to these previous incarnations of the characters, and the action does not pick up until near the end of the book. On the eve of Britain's transfer of Hong Kong to the Chinese, a diplomat is murdered. Of course, the minders are dispatched, but the issue disappointingly stops there. Still, the story should be intriguing to fans of the spy genre despite its slow-and-steady pace, imbued as it is with a real-world sensibility and strong characterization.
As with most books from Oni Press, “Declassified” is rendered entirely in black and white. Some readers find black and white books off-putting, but I am always surprised at the depth of expression Queen & Country's artists, in this issue Rick Burchett, manage without color.
This story will be of greater significance to those who are familiar with Rucka's world of intrigue, politics, minders, D-Ops and cunning. Nonetheless, it is another solid chapter in an ever-expanding oeuvre of skillfully wrought spy thrillers, one that leaves the reader thirsty for answers and ready for another issue.