Comic Reviews: The Secret Service and Batgirl!
The Secret Service #1 (of 7)
Mark Millar’s OTHER comic series that’s not called Supercrooks is out today, and teams him up with Matthew Vaughn (director of Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class) and the legendary Dave Gibbons of Watchmen. Telling a tale that a younger Millar pitched to Gibbons back in the 80s’, The Secret Service is a surprisingly funny look into the world of British spies and in my opinion a better intro issue than Supercrooks.
Starting with a hilarious intro involving the kidnapping of Mark Hamill (yes, THAT Mark Hamill) and its out of nowhere conclusion involving the actor, a British spy, and a faulty parachute, the action moves to a London apartment, which is the home of Gary, a young punk whose primary hobbies are stealing cars, fighting with his deadbeat mom, and getting in trouble with the cops. After a joyride with a stolen car goes bad, Gary is placed into police custody, and his mom calls in his Uncle Jack to talk some sense into him. However, what Gary’s mom doesn’t know is that Jack is a member of the British Secret Service, and has other plans for Gary…..
Secret Service is a fantastic first issue. Mark Millar’s script is awesome, and is almost like a good guy version of Wanted. You can definitely tell that this is something that Millar has wanted to do for awhile now, there’s not a wasted moment or out-place piece of the issue. And Dave Gibbons. Man, what can be said about him that hasn’t already been said? The man is a legend, and it’s great to see that his style hasn’t dropped in quality since his days drawing Watchmen. Secret Service is a must-buy, and is one of the best books released this week. Get it now before the movie adaptation (which I’m sure is coming soon).
Batgirl has been one of the most consistently entertaining books of the DC New 52. While I was one of the people who were (rightfully) skeptical of Barbara Gordon’s return to the cowl (and walking), I’ve been really impressed with writer Gail Simone’s take on the character. Her take on Bab’s recovery from the wheelchair and return to being Batgirl is really interesting, and this issue (as well as the previous one) connect with the classic Batman tale The Killing Joke, with Barbara confronting one of the Joker’s henchmen who was with him the night he crippled her. Reliving this event, plus dealing with the return of her mother, has thrown Bab’s life into free fall at the moment, but when she decides to confront the thug and his boss, Grotesque, it shows us how strong of a female character she is. Simone is showing us with each issue that Barbara Gordon is a survivor, and this issue nails it. Plus, as an added bonus, fans of Scott Snyder’s “The Black Mirror” storyline from Detective Comics last year will be in for a treat with the final page.