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Queen and Country, Vol. 1: Broken Ground

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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 a world of questionable morals. For instance, is it better to assassinate a general in the Russian mafia rather than allow him to peddle more guns and drugs in underprivileged countries? T 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 a world of questionable morals. For instance, is it better to assassinate a general in the Russian mafia 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 question -- 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 see the nastiness inside, and Steve Rolston brings it to life with stunning clarity.


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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 a world of questionable morals. For instance, is it better to assassinate a general in the Russian mafia rather than allow him to peddle more guns and drugs in underprivileged countries? T 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 a world of questionable morals. For instance, is it better to assassinate a general in the Russian mafia 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 question -- 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 see the nastiness inside, and Steve Rolston brings it to life with stunning clarity.

30 review for Queen and Country, Vol. 1: Broken Ground

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Wow, this is one of the most tedious comics I’ve read in some time! It’s basically super-shite Bond. Female Bond-esque agent goes on a generic hit job somewhere out east – the Russians are the villains once again, unsurprisingly given how uncreative this book is – before heading back to Vauxhall Cross for a debrief. Cue endless interminable scenes of interdepartmental squabbling between bureaucrats from MI5 and MI6! This stuffed suit doesn’t like this stuffed suit. They’re not sharing info! They Wow, this is one of the most tedious comics I’ve read in some time! It’s basically super-shite Bond. Female Bond-esque agent goes on a generic hit job somewhere out east – the Russians are the villains once again, unsurprisingly given how uncreative this book is – before heading back to Vauxhall Cross for a debrief. Cue endless interminable scenes of interdepartmental squabbling between bureaucrats from MI5 and MI6! This stuffed suit doesn’t like this stuffed suit. They’re not sharing info! They’re going over my head to talk to my boss! Oh my god, who fucking cares?! This is why in Bond movies the focus is on Bond while he goes on his globetrotting, exciting adventures and not the dudes in the office back home filling out the paperwork! Steve Rolston’s black and white interior art is nothing like Tim Sale’s covers (not a bad thing if you aren’t a fan of Sale’s art like me!) but Rolston’s art is too clean, bright and cartoony for such a dark and gritty story. It’s the kind of art I’d expect in a Paul Hornschemeier comic about some sad sack worker’s ordinary life, not some pseudo-action spy thriller! I couldn’t have been more bored reading Queen and Country, Volume 1: Broken Ground. You know what new ground this comic broke? New levels of monotony!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicolo

    This is an early Greg Rucka story and already it is very good. All of the Rucka's signature stylings are already present: the strong female character, the determined violence and a fully developed cast to support British intelligence operative Tara Chace. If this book has one weakness it is the art. The faces are oft-putting almost too cartoony for the serious subject matter. This collection has a neat bonus, an interlude story with art by Stan Sakai. Anytime Sakai draws characters other than his This is an early Greg Rucka story and already it is very good. All of the Rucka's signature stylings are already present: the strong female character, the determined violence and a fully developed cast to support British intelligence operative Tara Chace. If this book has one weakness it is the art. The faces are oft-putting almost too cartoony for the serious subject matter. This collection has a neat bonus, an interlude story with art by Stan Sakai. Anytime Sakai draws characters other than his signature rabbit samurai Usagi Yojimbo; it is a treat.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Skye Kilaen

    Rucka has a well-earned reputation for writing good strong female leads in graphic novels. Queen and Country's Tara Chace may be my favorite. Tara is a secret agent for the British Ministry of Intelligence. Her section takes the dirty jobs, and they're good at what they do. Through the ten volume series, we get to know Tara and her colleagues in both their office, waiting for missions, and in the field. We see the fallout of their jobs on their mental health and personal lives. We see death and Rucka has a well-earned reputation for writing good strong female leads in graphic novels. Queen and Country's Tara Chace may be my favorite. Tara is a secret agent for the British Ministry of Intelligence. Her section takes the dirty jobs, and they're good at what they do. Through the ten volume series, we get to know Tara and her colleagues in both their office, waiting for missions, and in the field. We see the fallout of their jobs on their mental health and personal lives. We see death and the saving of lives. The political intrigue their bosses are drawn into is just as much part of the missions as the field work. It's captivating. A couple of warnings, though these aren't meant to detract from my wholehearted recommendation of the series: (1) Leandro Fernandez drew Tara in volume 3 as a bombshell, a total mismatch for her character. I even LIKE Fernandez but it was clearly a big mess. No idea how it was allowed to happen. From what I've seen, I wasn't the only one to notice. So hold your nose and get through it, that mistake doesn't happen again. (2) I am not a big fan of what I call (view spoiler)["poignant pregnancies" in fiction (thrown in just to tearjerk), and there is one here for a female character (hide spoiler)] . I guess with a ten volume series, there's a high chance something I don't like will sneak in, and that's the one here. The "definitive edition" reissues may be definitive, but they're also printed on smaller size pages than the original comics and some of the fonts are really difficult to read. So if you can find the older edition collections, it's worth it to save eyestrain.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    This graphic novel had a good spy intelligence agency theme to it -- no superheroes here -- and a protagonist in Tara Chace that was strong, mysterious, and made me curious to know more about her. That being said, I found the black and white artwork to be two-dimensional, cartoonish, and dull. It really didn't fit the storytelling style and made the comic fall flat for me. Here is an example of the artwork, my apologies if you fall asleep looking at it. This graphic novel had a good spy intelligence agency theme to it -- no superheroes here -- and a protagonist in Tara Chace that was strong, mysterious, and made me curious to know more about her. That being said, I found the black and white artwork to be two-dimensional, cartoonish, and dull. It really didn't fit the storytelling style and made the comic fall flat for me. Here is an example of the artwork, my apologies if you fall asleep looking at it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Quentin Wallace

    Very good stuff here. This is "real world" black ops material that was rarely, if ever, seen in comics before his series was released. The main character is Tara Chace, a member of British S.I.S. (think CIA, but not exactly.) In this volume, Tara does a "favor" for the CIA by assassinating a rogue Russian General. However, the Generals men find out about her, and she ends up with a million dollar bounty on her head. And it gets more complicated from there... The art is a little cartoony, but much Very good stuff here. This is "real world" black ops material that was rarely, if ever, seen in comics before his series was released. The main character is Tara Chace, a member of British S.I.S. (think CIA, but not exactly.) In this volume, Tara does a "favor" for the CIA by assassinating a rogue Russian General. However, the Generals men find out about her, and she ends up with a million dollar bounty on her head. And it gets more complicated from there... The art is a little cartoony, but much like the old 'Nam comic series from Marvel, the cartoony art actually fits the dark stories. Maybe it helps keep things "entertaining" rather than "depressing", but there's some synergy going on. If you enjoy espionage and adventure type stories that aren't overly tedious, you should give this series a shot. (No pun intended.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Most spy comics use Fleming (espionage as lifestyle) as their keynote, but these guys are playing in the key of LeCarre (espionage as job). It's well written, and the Miller-esque covers are fantastic, but the inner art is dull and the book never gets out of second gear. It's pretty good, but there are much better choices out there Most spy comics use Fleming (espionage as lifestyle) as their keynote, but these guys are playing in the key of LeCarre (espionage as job). It's well written, and the Miller-esque covers are fantastic, but the inner art is dull and the book never gets out of second gear. It's pretty good, but there are much better choices out there

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This was well-written spy book, with good dialog, although very much setup arc for a series that I'm hoping fulfills its promise. I'm not a huge fan of the art, not because I mind black and white (I actually really enjoy B&W art), but because of the thick-line art style, and the fact that it didn't add much to the storytelling for me. It could just be that I prefer a "grittier" art style, especially with stories about the shades of gray involved in spy work. I will say, though, that the visual s This was well-written spy book, with good dialog, although very much setup arc for a series that I'm hoping fulfills its promise. I'm not a huge fan of the art, not because I mind black and white (I actually really enjoy B&W art), but because of the thick-line art style, and the fact that it didn't add much to the storytelling for me. It could just be that I prefer a "grittier" art style, especially with stories about the shades of gray involved in spy work. I will say, though, that the visual storytelling is good, and subtle changes in facials expressions through the panels conveys character feelings quite well.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Good spy story with interesting characters and relationships. This volume was very much a set up for more and I'm inspired to keep reading the series. (Plus, I easily went through it in one night's reading.) I liked the cartoony, black and white artwork--it makes the action and blood easier for me to consume. And it is so different from other stuff I've seen as far as presenting a sexy heroine and guys in suits. Good spy story with interesting characters and relationships. This volume was very much a set up for more and I'm inspired to keep reading the series. (Plus, I easily went through it in one night's reading.) I liked the cartoony, black and white artwork--it makes the action and blood easier for me to consume. And it is so different from other stuff I've seen as far as presenting a sexy heroine and guys in suits.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cait

    This reads a lot like SPOOKS THE COMIC BOOK. So, clearly, I loved it. Also: episodic comics are perfect study-break reading.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Good stuff. Mature, fast paced storyline. I wonder why Rucka likes to make his strong women characters such heavy drinkers? Just asking.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex E

    Rucka's take on the "secret agents" of the United Kingdom, and the inner workings of the department. Tara Chace is the main agent that we follow for this book, and we see her opening the series with a messy, yet successful, hit on a Russian General. From there, it is a game of cat and mouse as the Russians come after Chace, who then has to bait them out into the open in order for the department to take them down. I really like the way Rucka shows us not only the action heavy parts of Chace's adv Rucka's take on the "secret agents" of the United Kingdom, and the inner workings of the department. Tara Chace is the main agent that we follow for this book, and we see her opening the series with a messy, yet successful, hit on a Russian General. From there, it is a game of cat and mouse as the Russians come after Chace, who then has to bait them out into the open in order for the department to take them down. I really like the way Rucka shows us not only the action heavy parts of Chace's adventures, but the back office politics of what it takes to get operations and plans set in motion. There's a lot that isn't seen behind the scenes, and the red tape can get grueling for the people who have boots on the ground. Rucka's comfort with procedural type comics is in full effect here, and the writing works perfectly with the setting and themes of the book. Ill be honest, the first thing that struck me about the book is the art. I didn't like it. It's grown on me slightly, but not by much. To be frank, I think the book suffers a bit from the cartoony style of Steve Rolston. I'm not saying the art is terrible, but the tone is so wildly different than the story, that I felt it detracted from the atmosphere at times. Just not a good fit in my opinion. Overall, this got really interesting towards the end of the volume. And while the art at first was a distraction, the story has enough momentum to overcome what is ultimately, a stylistic art choice. Recommended for fans of thriller comics.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aric

    I really do like Rucka's work. His stories seem both realistic and plausible. I suppose those two go hand in hand. After a nearly botched assignment done as a favor for the C.I.A., British agent Tara Chase and her branch of service is targeted by the Russian mafia resulting in a rocket attack on their headquarters and a million dollar bounty placed on Chase's head. Like their American counterparts in the C.I.A., the Ministry of Intelligence is not supposed engage in domestic activities but with th I really do like Rucka's work. His stories seem both realistic and plausible. I suppose those two go hand in hand. After a nearly botched assignment done as a favor for the C.I.A., British agent Tara Chase and her branch of service is targeted by the Russian mafia resulting in a rocket attack on their headquarters and a million dollar bounty placed on Chase's head. Like their American counterparts in the C.I.A., the Ministry of Intelligence is not supposed engage in domestic activities but with their own killed or targeted in England they don't choose to sit idly by despite their domestic branch (MI-5) having jurisdiction. Chase becomes bait while leaders in the Ministry do what they can to protect their own and retaliate for the rocket attack. Meanwhile, MI-5 seems to have to qualms about waiting to arrest the Russians after they make their move on Chase.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Evette

    You have some pretty fun and realistic spy games in this comic. You can easily sense the animosity between certain characters and the camaraderie between others. The dialogue is mature with little profanity. The thing that stands out is just how well this story can be transferred directly to a movie. Secret services from Britain and the US are involved when an assassination gets complicated after the target's people find who the shooter is. The secret services in Britain aren't playing nice with You have some pretty fun and realistic spy games in this comic. You can easily sense the animosity between certain characters and the camaraderie between others. The dialogue is mature with little profanity. The thing that stands out is just how well this story can be transferred directly to a movie. Secret services from Britain and the US are involved when an assassination gets complicated after the target's people find who the shooter is. The secret services in Britain aren't playing nice with each other, so this causes even more complications. Then the US put one over on the Brits. It's a dog eat dog world and it's all quiet and covered up right up until guns are fired or a missle is launched

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wes

    My only complaint is the lettering. It just doesn't feel right. Other than that, pretty good intro into the Queen and Country world. Rucka is pretty good at writing tough gals, and getting that James Bond vibe. This is my first round with Queen and Country, and I liked it enough to pick up another volume, so we'll see if the second one really grabs me. Otherwise, if you're a Rucka fan or a Bond fan, this is the comic series for you. My only complaint is the lettering. It just doesn't feel right. Other than that, pretty good intro into the Queen and Country world. Rucka is pretty good at writing tough gals, and getting that James Bond vibe. This is my first round with Queen and Country, and I liked it enough to pick up another volume, so we'll see if the second one really grabs me. Otherwise, if you're a Rucka fan or a Bond fan, this is the comic series for you.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Good start to the story, though I kept expecting it to be like a Bourne movie for some reason. Can't wait for Vol. 2. Good start to the story, though I kept expecting it to be like a Bourne movie for some reason. Can't wait for Vol. 2.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ryan La Fleur

    Really good story and interesting graphics.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Simon Portegies Zwart

    Outstanding graphics. Bit of a traditional story, but that is okay.interesting to see how several assists drew the same characters.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eugene

    I normally really like Rucka, but this was kind of bland. I don't know if I'll pick up Vol 2. I normally really like Rucka, but this was kind of bland. I don't know if I'll pick up Vol 2.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Derek Weisman

    A Perfection of realism and fiction mixed into one. If you want a realistic spy story mixed with enough fiction to be believable, then you found the right book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Noah Soudrette

    While I was seriously enjoying Greg Rucka's Whiteout, I was drawn to the character of Lilly Sharpe. Sharpe is a smart, beautiful, witty, and caring individual, and as you might know from my previous review, makes one heck of a romantic pairing with Carrie Stetko. I was towards the end of Whiteout when I remembered that Rucka also had a series out called Queen & Country. I also remembered, from the covers, that its lead was a blond British agent. I quickly ordered the first graphic novel in the While I was seriously enjoying Greg Rucka's Whiteout, I was drawn to the character of Lilly Sharpe. Sharpe is a smart, beautiful, witty, and caring individual, and as you might know from my previous review, makes one heck of a romantic pairing with Carrie Stetko. I was towards the end of Whiteout when I remembered that Rucka also had a series out called Queen & Country. I also remembered, from the covers, that its lead was a blond British agent. I quickly ordered the first graphic novel in the series. As I popped it open, I noticed that the character's name was different, as well as her character design. I was a little let down. However, I decided I'd give it shot. As soon as I started reading Warren Ellis introduction to the book, things began to look up. I have always considered The Prisoner one of, if not the greatest television series ever created. So, when I saw Ellis comparing Queen & Country to shows like Danger Man, The Prisoner, Callan, and The Sandbaggers, I knew I was in for a treat. As I said, the main character of this piece is "minder" Tara Chase. Chase has very few lines of dialog in this book, and Steve Rolston's spartan art, while detailed, does not offer many insights into her character. This is what draws the reader in. This is Tara Chase's book. Slowly, through her actions, and the results of those actions we are painted a picture of a woman very much like that of Lily Sharpe, but withdrawn, quiet, and sad. Chase hides her emotions and pain beneath the surface and seals it like blacktop with thick layer of alcohol. Even though these two characters are ver different, we are given a few interesting tidbits of information. As some fans of British spy series may know, Patrick McGoohan played the lead in both Danger Man and then The Prisoner. While McGoohan's character is never given a name, there are few hints that suggest his kidnapped spy character may be the same spy character that he portrayed in his previous series. Similarly, we are given two such hints about a connection between Whiteout's Lily Sharpe and Queen & Country's Tara Chase. At the beginning of the story we find Tara in Kosovo, and she comments that, "I haven't been this cold since I was in Antarctica." The other piece of evidence that Tara Chace might be Lily Sharpe is that, in the short bridge story drawn by Stan Sakai, we find that Tara Chace goes by many different aliases and looks. So, are these two women one in the same? Well, like The Prisoner it doesn't really matter as it doesn't effect the story as a whole. What really matters is how the events of the story effect the character. I wont go into details here because it is these small tidbits that relaly make this book great. I will just say that there is a panel where Tara looks at a young couple walking hand in hand and it really just says it all. If your looking for a tough, gritty, in depth espionage thriller that features fascinating characters, Machiavellian machinations, and sharp action, then you must really seek this book out. Also, if you enjoy or are interested in any of the series listed above then you will also most likely enjoy this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    I picked up this first collection of Greg Rucka's Queen & Country after hearing Jennifer K. Stuller (whose Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology I have previously reviewed) talk about it at WonderCon, back in 2011. The note I made about it at the time was "female badass alcoholic train wreck secret ops" -- that may end up being an oversimplification, but it's not wrong. Tara Chace (who I keep wanting to call Kara Thrace) is a Special Operations Officer, o I picked up this first collection of Greg Rucka's Queen & Country after hearing Jennifer K. Stuller (whose Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology I have previously reviewed) talk about it at WonderCon, back in 2011. The note I made about it at the time was "female badass alcoholic train wreck secret ops" -- that may end up being an oversimplification, but it's not wrong. Tara Chace (who I keep wanting to call Kara Thrace) is a Special Operations Officer, or "Minder," with Britain's Secret Intelligence Service. In the first collection (issues 1-4), we meet Chace in action and get a taste of her life and work. She's been sent to Kosovo, to do a favor for a friend, and it goes about as well as one might expect. Without spoiling anything for people who, like me, tend to get exposed to graphic novels long after they're new, I'll just say that the story is off to an engaging start: the characters seem fleshed out enough to make me want to know more about them, and there are enough hints of complications and entanglements to come to make it seem like there will be more to it than Dangerous Mission of the Week. It's already clear, for example, that Chace has some serious issues, that office politics is really high-stakes, and that inter-agency allegiances are just as shaky as you'd expect. I know that Rucka and co. won an Eisner Award (Best New Series, 2002), and I think Operation Broken Ground gives me a good indication of why. Queen & Country ran from 2001-2007. The collection I read was published in 2002, and I happened to find it in a used bookstore's $1 bin. Best bet now would be Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1 -- I've already invested in the full set, and do not expect to be disappointed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Falkor

    Tara Chace is a "minder" in Britain's Special Intelligence Service--their term for special agents sent on Her Majesty's most secret, most dangerous missions, where people are all but guaranteed to be killed. Sometimes killing people is the point of the mission, as it is when Tara goes to Kosovo to assassinate a big wig in the Russian mafia who's been causing too much trouble for Western power brokers working in the already turbulent Balkans. She succeeds, but the Mafioso's associates vow revenge Tara Chace is a "minder" in Britain's Special Intelligence Service--their term for special agents sent on Her Majesty's most secret, most dangerous missions, where people are all but guaranteed to be killed. Sometimes killing people is the point of the mission, as it is when Tara goes to Kosovo to assassinate a big wig in the Russian mafia who's been causing too much trouble for Western power brokers working in the already turbulent Balkans. She succeeds, but the Mafioso's associates vow revenge and call on their friends in Russian intelligence for help. While trying to catch the Russian assassins before they catch Tara, the minders get caught in the middle of a turf war between their agency and Britain's domestic intelligence service, MI5, which could get them all killed. An intelligent, suspenseful espionage thriller, with compelling characters and a realistic portrayal of intelligence work. Rucka’s secret agents do paperwork, play office politics, and complain about their bosses. On assignment they rely more on instinct, experience and occasionally the ability to run fast than on high tech gadgetry. The central character, Tara Chace, is especially well-drawn, both in writing and art. She’s a survivor, tough, smart, independent, and cynical, but her moral compass works just well enough to leave her with qualms about some of the things she does for queen and country. She’s also a beautiful woman—the artist, Steve Rolston, does a fine job of making her attractive while keeping her professionally and appropriately dressed: there are no scenes of her wearing a bikini and six inch heels in a gunfight. Overall, the art is excellent, combining realism and cartoony elements in a stylish, black and white noir look.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jace

    My initial encounter with QUEEN & COUNTRY came a couple years ago when I got a copy of the first issue on "Free Comic Book Day". I really liked the story and wanted to read more, but it wasn't until recently that I managed to get my hands on a copy of Volume 1, which collects issues 1-4. QUEEN & COUNTRY centers around the adventures of Tara Chace, a covert operative in the employ of the British government. This first volume features her assasination attempt on a Russian gun-runner and explores th My initial encounter with QUEEN & COUNTRY came a couple years ago when I got a copy of the first issue on "Free Comic Book Day". I really liked the story and wanted to read more, but it wasn't until recently that I managed to get my hands on a copy of Volume 1, which collects issues 1-4. QUEEN & COUNTRY centers around the adventures of Tara Chace, a covert operative in the employ of the British government. This first volume features her assasination attempt on a Russian gun-runner and explores the resulting consequences of her actions. For a story that deals with secret agents and international espionage, this book is refreshingly free of hokey spy conventions and cheesy Bond-esque antics [tuxedos, laser-watches, mustachioed villians, death-defying escapes from a nuclear reactor while an auto-destruct sequence counts down over the intercom, etc.] Instead, QUEEN & COUNTRY is surprisingly raw, honest, and playful, but never pretentious. For a comic book, it's a pretty "serious" look at how "real" secret agents might function. The art is a nice complement to the story, but it's nothing exceptional. It's pretty standard black & white line ink drawing, but I like it. Characters look quasi-realistic, with a cartoony roundness about them. Where the art really shines is the cinematic framing and layout. The illustrations also do a grand job of moving the story along in panels and pages without the use of dialogue. QUEEN & COUNTRY is a perfect book for someone who wants action and intrigue without the costumed superheroes. Plus, Volume 1 is a pretty quick read, so there's no reason not to check it out.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Todd N

    Borrowed this after a dinner party. I usually don't like dinner parties or borrowing books, but almost half of their bookshelf contained graphic novels, including Therefore, Repent, which is one of my favorites. So I figure there is no harm. About six months later I sat down and read it. The main character is Tara Chace, who is some kind of secret British spy called a "minder." There are two other minders, and they go on missions that usually involve killing people. Tara drinks a lot and appears to Borrowed this after a dinner party. I usually don't like dinner parties or borrowing books, but almost half of their bookshelf contained graphic novels, including Therefore, Repent, which is one of my favorites. So I figure there is no harm. About six months later I sat down and read it. The main character is Tara Chace, who is some kind of secret British spy called a "minder." There are two other minders, and they go on missions that usually involve killing people. Tara drinks a lot and appears to be barely holding herself together. When called into work at 2am, she makes herself barf up the alcohol that she had been guzzling all night. That's cool by me because I'm sort of sick of these strong female characters who are so strong because of all their strong female strength that strengthens them. Things start off very quickly and something goes wrong on Tara's mission in the first few pages that has reverberations throughout almost the entire book. The artists change from book to book in the series, so you Tara starts off with sort of a plain, tomboy-ish vibe and later she gets kind of anatomically impossible. I would think that breasts that large would cause all kinds of problems during boot camp. Isn't there a part where you have to crawl under barbed wire? Because the artists changes, I got even more confused than usual about the characters. I don't have a great memory for that kind of stuff, and I read graphic novels too fast anyway. Highly recommended. I'm going to hunt down and read the rest in the series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tiara

    As much as I love Greg Rucka, I'm not entirely sure that this series is for me. I never found myself sucked into the story, and while the art was good, it felt a little too cartoonish at times for some of the scenes. I think the most fascinating part of the story for me was the moments we saw Tara in her apartment where it seems to be hinted at that she's a heavy drinker. In fact, Tara is fascinating. So many of the panels seemed to show her as tired and resigned to her fate. She doesn't questio As much as I love Greg Rucka, I'm not entirely sure that this series is for me. I never found myself sucked into the story, and while the art was good, it felt a little too cartoonish at times for some of the scenes. I think the most fascinating part of the story for me was the moments we saw Tara in her apartment where it seems to be hinted at that she's a heavy drinker. In fact, Tara is fascinating. So many of the panels seemed to show her as tired and resigned to her fate. She doesn't question her superior's orders, only having one explosive moment near the end when she got in Kinsey's (I believe that was his name) face. However, I do think the story is told well. Rucka manages not to fall victim to spy tropes, and infuses some realism into the story. You won't find spies using the latest unheard of technology, and you won't find characters who all get along splendidly or blessed with the ability to push their differences aside and come together to defeat a common foe. You will find a story where politics are ruthless resulting in characters taking gambles that could severely hurt their careers. I'll move on to volume 2 soon and decide if this is a series I want to continue.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bryson Kopf

    This is a series I've meant to get to for a very long time, and it did not disappoint. Rucka has a gritty and authentic-feeling take on the spy genre, pairing strong character work with a riveting plot. The series follows the tough team of 'Minders' a group within Britain's S.I.S. organization who generally have to do a lot of dirty work on behalf of the crown. The book opens with an exciting assassination of an arms dealer, an act whose repercussions, will affect the entire team, particularly t This is a series I've meant to get to for a very long time, and it did not disappoint. Rucka has a gritty and authentic-feeling take on the spy genre, pairing strong character work with a riveting plot. The series follows the tough team of 'Minders' a group within Britain's S.I.S. organization who generally have to do a lot of dirty work on behalf of the crown. The book opens with an exciting assassination of an arms dealer, an act whose repercussions, will affect the entire team, particularly the person who took the shot, Tara Chace. To say anymore would ruin some of the surprises this book has, particularly that crazy cliffhanger at the end of issue #3. Fair warning for non-spy fans, this book is much more in the vein realistic and depressing thrillers, most of the heroes live in a grey zone, and there is no glamor in the jobs they have to do. Rucka cites the bleak British television spy series such as The Sandbaggers and Callan as the touchstones for the series. Highly recommended for fans of lo-fi action and espionage.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Althea J.

    This is not my cup of tea. It's written by Greg Rucka so I wanted to give it a shot but it's just not my thing. The beginning was great, when you're out in the field with the main character, Tara Chace. That was exciting and the simple black and white design served it well. The rest of the story was a lot of the boss butting heads with the administration of the spy agency and I found all of that internal politicking pretty boring. It's also possible that my expectations were way too high because This is not my cup of tea. It's written by Greg Rucka so I wanted to give it a shot but it's just not my thing. The beginning was great, when you're out in the field with the main character, Tara Chace. That was exciting and the simple black and white design served it well. The rest of the story was a lot of the boss butting heads with the administration of the spy agency and I found all of that internal politicking pretty boring. It's also possible that my expectations were way too high because of the aforementioned involvement of Greg Rucka, but also because Rachel Maddow has said that this is one of her favorite comics. I'm not entirely sure why, but it might be that this book it just the beginning of a storyline that gets much better. Unfortunately, I'll never know because I don't think I'll be picking up the next volume.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Du4

    Queen & Country is Greg Rucka's ongoing comic series following a British MI6 agent named Tara Chace. It's spies and clandestine operations, intelligence and bureaucracy. In this story, Tara is on a mission to recover something from an informant who's disappeared in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. The chilling spy procedural is rife with loads of tradecraft (how do you spot a dead drop in a place you've never been?). It's fun for intel freaks. My big complaint about this series is that Rucka writes most of Queen & Country is Greg Rucka's ongoing comic series following a British MI6 agent named Tara Chace. It's spies and clandestine operations, intelligence and bureaucracy. In this story, Tara is on a mission to recover something from an informant who's disappeared in pre-9/11 Afghanistan. The chilling spy procedural is rife with loads of tradecraft (how do you spot a dead drop in a place you've never been?). It's fun for intel freaks. My big complaint about this series is that Rucka writes most of the homebase Brits at MI6 with interchangeable personalities. I don't know if this is intentional given Rucka's outspoken fandom of old Brit spy TV shows, but it eventually grows tiresome in spite of the action.

  29. 5 out of 5

    47Time

    You have some pretty fun and realistic spy games in this comic. You can easily sense the animosity between certain characters and the camaraderie between others. The dialogue is mature with little profanity. The thing that stands out is just how well this story can be transferred directly to a movie. Secret services from Britain and the US are involved when an assassination gets complicated after the target's people find who the shooter is. The secret services in Britain aren't playing nice with You have some pretty fun and realistic spy games in this comic. You can easily sense the animosity between certain characters and the camaraderie between others. The dialogue is mature with little profanity. The thing that stands out is just how well this story can be transferred directly to a movie. Secret services from Britain and the US are involved when an assassination gets complicated after the target's people find who the shooter is. The secret services in Britain aren't playing nice with each other, so this causes even more complications. Then the US put one over on the Brits. It's a dog eat dog world and it's all quiet and covered up right up until guns are fired or a missle is launched.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ashish

    It's excellent. I've always seen when a comic is black & white, with a afairly straightforward art style, the focus is on the story and the characters... and this does not disappoint. It's not over the top, splashy, ridiculous, or simplistic. Instead, it's everything that La Femme Nikita was not, while retaining that core premise rendered in shades of grey, moral ambiguities, flawed people, and a kickass gritty violence far more effective than anything with explosions and gunfire - it's the terr It's excellent. I've always seen when a comic is black & white, with a afairly straightforward art style, the focus is on the story and the characters... and this does not disappoint. It's not over the top, splashy, ridiculous, or simplistic. Instead, it's everything that La Femme Nikita was not, while retaining that core premise rendered in shades of grey, moral ambiguities, flawed people, and a kickass gritty violence far more effective than anything with explosions and gunfire - it's the terrible, killing violence of life. Of survival. Of getting by, and making the best of what you have. Spies have lives too, and they're just like ours. Once you get into it, it's unputdownable.

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