Queen & Country
Definitive Collection Vol. 1-3
A Gentleman’s Game
November 29th is author Greg Rucka’s birthday, so naturally, we here at Geeks of Doom, with grateful assistance from InStockTrades, are celebrating with Greg Rucka Week! Five Days. Five Reviews of some of his best work! To cover all he has done would be insane, and much of his work — like 52 and No Man’s Land – is not his alone. But we’ll do the best we can, and we hope you enjoy.
And there is no better way to start out a week of reviews dedicated to Greg Rucka then to focus on the perennial favorite, Queen & Country.
It originally started out as a comic book, published by Oni Press and first released March of 2001. Since then, however, it has gone on for 32 issues, spawned two novels, and a film adaptation which has been stuck in development for some time.
The series focuses on Tara Chace, an operative of the Special Operations Section of SIS, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. However, unlike other spy books, Queen & Country starts in reality, rather than fiction. The characters are realistic, as are the environments they are placed in and the hardships they encounter.
Additionally, and of great delight to many of the female readers, is that the lead is not dressed to the nines and buxom as a … you know what I mean.
Alongside Tara Chace are the other two “Minders,” former Head of Special Section Tom Wallace and Edward Kittering. Together, these three Minders carry out espionage activity across the planet under orders in Her Majesty’s Service.
Other characters include Director of Operations Paul Crocker, Deputy Chief of Service Donald Weldon, Chief of Service Frances Barclay (commonly referred to as “C”), Mission Control Officer and Main Communications Officer Alexis, and former Head of Special Section Tom Wallace.
The writing is nothing short of brilliant. From opening issue all the way through, you are not only spellbound by the intricate mix of personal drama and explosive action, but taught about how things really go on in the spy world.
Divided into nine separate storylines, Rucka keeps your attention with ease. Adding to that is the continuing revolution of artists that are attached to the book. From realistic to almost political cartoonish, the art is pretty much always right on the money. For my money though, the very first artist, Steve Rolston, still remains my favorite.
But Rucka didn’t just stop with writing the comics. The native Californian stepped back to his literary roots, and also wrote two Queen & Country novels: A Gentleman’s Game and Private Wars. Both novels focused on Tara Chace, but with the change in medium were given the chance to expand a little bit more behind the eyes of our protagonist.
The writing is possibly even a little better, now allowed out of an almost Twitter-like 144-character limit. Rucka’s irreverent humor is perfect for Tara Chace, who is the poster girl for irreverent. These are definitely two books you want to read, pretty much regardless of whether you’re a comic fan.
But that’s the whole point of Q&C; it’s not a comic lover’s comic, it’s a good story lover’s story. And for anyone who loves a good story, Oni Press is on your side. The collected Definitive Edition volumes of Queen and Country are the most delightful books to hold in your hand. With thick paper stock, covers that you’ll keep running your hands over, and a size that fits perfectly for the book your reading, you won’t want to read them any other way.
Queen & Country: Definitive Edition, Volume 01
Queen & Country: Definitive Edition, Volume 02
Queen & Country: Definitive Edition, Volume 03
A Gentleman’s Game: A Queen & Country Novel
Private Wars: A Queen & Country Novel