Mark Hamill?!? This is hilarious. Secret Service opens mid-action on the kidnapping and maybe-rescue-maybe-not of Mark Hamill.
Who then subsequently plummets to his death after he and his rescuer put all their faith in a parachute...that fails!
Sorry. I shouldn't have spoiled that. I'm sorry! I thought that was really funny. I'm sorry that I spoiled it for you.
But apparently, it's not just Mark Hamill who was kidnapped, but six of the cast and crew from the Star Wars films, four from Doctor Who, eight from Battlestar Galactic and five from Star Trek. I can't help but be intrigued by a kidnapping organization of this size and magnitude so dedicated to such an extensive collection of nerd related type people. And not in the usual "oooooh! What's the bad guy gonna do next" kind of way. But more like, "just what sort of guy or girls is this - and what are they like when they're just hanging out" kind of way.
Anyway, that's all just the introduction. So who is this story really about? Well, first we meet our main spy-dude, Jack London, and then we meet his nephew. (The nephew's name isn't as memorable as the name "Jack London".) I know that Jack is supposed to me as being very James-Bond-y, but honestly, after reading this I just kept thinking about Harvey Spector from the television show Suits. That's sort of the vibe I got. That's actually fine though. I probably feel the way about Harvey Spector that most people feel about James Bond. I think he's the best.
So, anyhow, this is a first issue and it's setting up a story, and I thought it set that story up pretty well. On the one hand, it's totally different with the whole Star Wars/Star Trek/Battlestar/Doctor Who kidnapping set-up thing, and then on the other hand it's a type of story that has been done before. More than any Harvey-fetish, that's probably why Suits came to mind. It's not to the same degree on that show as it is here, but we've got that situation where the older, seasoned hot-shot has decided to school and guide a younger, punk-ish version of himself. (Okay, that's actually EXACTLY what Suits is like. But it certainly wasn't original there either, so I'm not really picking on Secret Service for that.
I've read a lot of first issues lately, and I think this one has grabbed me the most. Why? I think the art and story - and the format in which they are presented - are a really perfect marriage. In some comics, I find myself either only reading or only looking at the drawings. It's rare that I do both at the same time. But in this case, for some reason, I felt like I was taking it all in at once. Perhaps it's because the pictures often illustrate what the words aren't saying, and vice versa. There doesn't seem to be any redundancy between picture and word, and everything drawn in a frame has a reason for being there. Nothing seems superfluous or merely decorative. I didn't actually notice that when I was reading it the first time, it was when I went back that I saw how clean the whole process worked.
The facial expressions are pretty phenomenal, too. I think its amazing that he can draw, like, the sister yelling at the uncle...and although her words are angry you can see that there's hurt in her face too. There's a real knowledge of the complexity of a human emotion here and it is illustrated subtly and finely.
I'm definitely intrigued to read more. I'd like to find out what this kidnapper is going to do once he collects the entire cast and crew of all the great sci-fi movies. I want to find out just how the nephew is going to be involved. I haven't been looking forward to a next issue in a long time, and these days, I feel like I have whole crop to keep an eye out for. That's pretty awesome, right?
-Nina Stone, 2012