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Queen & Country, Vol. 1: Operation Broken Ground Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Oni Press (December 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 192999821X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929998210
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,274,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The more screwed-up the protagonist, the better a spy story tends to be, and Rucka (who's also written a series of prose mystery novels) has come up with a memorably dysfunctional antiheroine in Tara Chace, a burned-out, amoral "minder" (i.e., agent) for Britain's Ministry of Intelligence. This volume, which collects the first few issues of the Q&C comic book, opens as Chace carries out an unauthorized assassination in Kosovo to the consternation of higher-ups, her boss orders her to off a former Russian general running arms to Chechen rebels then makes a complicated getaway after being wounded. Chace soon learns she's become a pawn, now with a bounty on her head, in a seemingly endless game of international reprisals and counterreprisals. Newcomer artist Rolston combines bold outlines, expressive body language and clean, cartoonish lines for his characters, with detailed, realistic backgrounds; it's a trick often used in European comics, and he makes it work here. In fact, nearly everyone in this taut and violent drama seems to sag, physically and emotionally, under the psychological and moral weight of their grim profession. Together with Rucka's clipped, spare dialogue, the work offers the sense that espionage is just another job, exactly as grinding and tedious as any other except that interoffice politics can get people killed. The action sequences are fast-paced and exciting, but the truly engaging part of the book is how sharply Rucka and Rolston are able to define even minor characters.Award as best serial.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

From Publishers Weekly:

"The more screwed-up the protagonist, the better a spy story tends to be, and Rucka (who's also written a series of prose mystery novels) has come up with a memorably dysfunctional antiheroine in Tara Chace, a burned-out, amoral "minder" (i.e., agent) for Britain's Ministry of Intelligence. This volume, which collects the first few issues of the Q&C comic book, opens as Chace carries out an unauthorized assassination in Kosovo to the consternation of higher-ups, her boss orders her to off a former Russian general running arms to Chechen rebels then makes a complicated getaway after being wounded. Chace soon learns she's become a pawn, now with a bounty on her head, in a seemingly endless game of international reprisals and counterreprisals. Newcomer artist Rolston combines bold outlines, expressive body language and clean, cartoonish lines for his characters, with detailed, realistic backgrounds; it's a trick often used in European comics, and he makes it work here. In fact, nearly everyone in this taut and violent drama seems to sag, physically and emotionally, under the psychological and moral weight of their grim profession. Together with Rucka's clipped, spare dialogue, the work offers the sense that espionage is just another job, exactly as grinding and tedious as any other except that interoffice politics can get people killed. The action sequences are fast-paced and exciting, but the truly engaging part of the book is how sharply Rucka and Rolston are able to define even minor characters.Award as best serial." Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Fourth Rail:

"One of the fascinating things about Queen & Country is that Tara Chace is not James Bond. She doesn't get the guy, drink the martinis and go home to a fabulous hot tub and swanky lifestyle. Her job wears on her, and in fact her home life is the kind that would make most of us consider putting a bullet in our own brain."

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
A true talent.
Marc Ellerby
In fact, it's much more gritty and topical than even most adult thrillers I've read.
Michael K. Smith
Rucka's dialogue and pacing are so spot on and realistic!
"jennbacon"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ellerby on March 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
Greg Rucka's acclaimed spy series starts here. From the word go, Rucka doesn't let up, doesn't slow the pace down, nor does he bore the reader or make the series seem too OTT. The spy genre has had a misconception that it's all glam and gadgets, no thanks to the recent SFX obsessed Bond films, but Rucka crushes all that, he brings the genre right back to it's origins and makes it a dark and violent and very realistic, good vs. bad scenario. The main charm about the book though is the amount of characterisation in the book, from Paul Crocker the moody, arrogant, commander in chief type character to Tara Chace's professionalism with a hint of "f**k you" attitude. Rolston's crisp, clean, sharp artwork adds a deeper depth, concentrating on facial expressions and pushing his sequential talents to the max. Using panels of different size and space he never bores the reader or repeats himself. A true talent.
Queen and Country is an original, down to earth spy story. But it's more than that, it grips the reader from the first page to the very last one. It gives American comics a different edge and the reason it stands out so much is because there's literally nothing else like it on the market. Check it out, it'll be worth the money and the time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave Lin on October 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Queen and Country by Greg Rucka is on my short list of Comics you should be reading right now but probably aren't. No super-powers or super-villains bent on world domination (except the ones CNN reports on), just a look at the fictional British secret espionage group the Minders. Protagonist Tara Chace is written like a real person whose job it is to go through extra-ordinary situations.
The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because some may be slightly put off by the artwork. However, the art team is rotated with each story arc which gives each one its own feel.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Johnson on May 29, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a little skeptical at first about this book. Rucka is not a Brit, but he tries writing for English characters. Surprisingly, Rucka deftly handles the dialogue without sounding like he's just sticking in a "bloody" or a "sod off" here and there. He successfully immerses the reader in the world of British black ops.

This book reminds me of the American TV show "Alias," but without the romance and convoluted relationships. This is a straight-forward spy book, with believable action and well-crafted character development.

Many people have complained about Steve Rolston's simplistic artwork style. It doesn't bother me. I wouldn't say he's my favorite artist, but it doesn't get in the way of Rucka's brilliant story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Southern on March 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Greg Rucka's excellent spy series follows the members of the Special Section of Britain's Ministry of Intelligence. This black and white series explores the moral ambiguities that flow in and around the dirty deeds done in the name of duty, patriotism, and having a job. The "Minders", or field agents, are not James Bond pretty, but are rather professionals in the field of espionage, often held fast by the peculiar rules of their trade. Eminently readable, it was one of those series that had me buying all of the trades as soon as I finished the previous. Also, look for the "prequel", Whiteout, also by Rucka!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Gitlits on October 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Greg Rucka is one of the authors, who can write believable Batman stories. Imagine how real he can get qithout the restrains of spandex-clad characters!
This is a realistic spy thriller, full of real life and politicla situations. This is le Carre of comic books, really.
Tara Chase is a British agent, sent to assasinate a rogue Russian general, who turned into an arms dealer.
This book doesn't give you high-reaching conspiracies and years-old secrets, the conflict plays out much like it would in real life. But it doesn't make it less exciting.
The art is very good. It seems cartoony at first, but it somehow manages to conway emotions very clearly, in fact, more clearly than realistic art, found in most action-adventure comics.
Queen & Country started as a mini-series, but was turned into an ongoing comics. After reading this, you'll see why it's so.
And you'll be glad, that there are other missions you can observe.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an "adult" graphic novel, not in the sexual-content sense but because the plot does not involve superheroes, fantasy, or magic. In fact, it's much more gritty and topical than even most adult thrillers I've read. The Secret Intelligence Service, based in London, is (apparently) an MI-6 kind of operation, chartered to carry out assassinations and other operations abroad but whose agents are not even allowed to be armed at home. Tara Chace -- "Minder Two" -- is their best shooter and the story opens with her involved in an unauthorized Special Operation in Kosovo to take out a rogue Russian officer now running with the Russian mafia. Her success, followed by an iffy escape from the scene, leads the Russians to put a bounty on her head -- and to fire a shoulder-launched rocket at the SIS headquarters, just to show they can. Paul Crocker, Director of Ops, wants not just to catch the perpetrators of the attack, he wants them dead. The Kosovo operation was a favor owed to the CIA, who now decline to help in his vendetta. And so on, in a nicely complicated plot that revolves on personalities and the rules of the game in a changed world as much as on action sequences. The art is straight black-and-white line drawing that emphasizes facial expression and body language -- which fits well with the rather talky style of the narration. My only complaint is that the story doesn't so much end as simply stop -- obviously only the first episode in a continuing series (which I haven't seen any sign of).
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