Item description for Queen & Country: Declassified Volume 2 (Queen and Country (Graphic Novels)) by Greg Rucka & Rick Burchett...
Tom Wallace was the confident and poised Head of Section in the first six volumes of the critically acclaimed Queen & Country series, but that wasn't always the case. Declassified looks back at his first days as an agent as he's sent to Hong Kong to investigate the murder of a British National. But with the handover of the island to mainland China just days away, can Wallace solve the mystery without causing an international incident?
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 6.75" Height: 10.5" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date May 3, 2006
Publisher Oni Press
ISBN 1932664289 ISBN13 9781932664287
Availability 0 units.
More About Greg Rucka & Rick Burchett
The author of four novels about professional bodyguard Atticus Kodiak --"Keeper" (nominated for a Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America), "Finder, Smoker, " and "Shooting at Midnight, "Greg Rucka has been writing since he was eight years old, and hopefully is improving with age. A longtime comics fan, his first graphic novel series was the suspense thriller "Whiteout, " published by Oni Press and nominated for three Eisner Awards in 1999. Since that time he has been a contributing writer for DC Comics and an active participant in the Batman series of titles.
Born and raised in California, he earned his undergraduate degree at Vassar College and his MFA at the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Rucka is 29 years old, has two tattoos, and rides a motorcycle.
Greg Rucka currently resides in Portland, in the state of Oregon.
Reviews - What do customers think about Queen & Country: Declassified Volume 2 (Queen and Country (Graphic Novels))?
Still Solid Jun 3, 2006
If you like your spy fiction full of fleshed-out characters, tight plotting, political intrigue, and a healthy dose of realism, then you should be reading Greg Rucka's Queen & Country series. Now, Queen & Country: Declassified, a spin-off that focuses on the early years of supporting players from the main series, returns with its sights on a young Tom Wallace. But is it up to Rucka's usual high standard?
It's 1997, and Hong Kong, days from transitioning to Chinese control, has become a hotbed of cloak-and-dagger operatives and wary private citizens. So when a British politico turns up (literally) dead in the water, SIS sends a surprisingly baby-faced Wallace to investigate.
The draw of Declassified is also its biggest weakness: The Queen & Country universe ebbs and flows with Tara Chace, and when she's missing, the series seems lacking. It's not that Crocker or Wallace are characters unworthy of the spotlight; it's that they're the kinds of characters who always get it.
That said, Declassified comes out ahead in the little moments, the realism and the character beats that Rucka has made the Q&C trademark. Why is it more fun to watch Wallace position himself among the shifting political players in Hong Kong than it is to watch him break someone's nose? Why is Paul Crocker more memorable ignoring his daughter in lieu of an important phone call than he is storming the halls of Vauxhall Cross? Rucka clearly understands that real tension comes from the characters' reactions to the events around them, not from the events themselves.
Wallace, the atypically gentle and fatherly figure of the first six Q&C trades, is first depicted as a soldier zombified by the wartime atrocities he's seen. It's a jarring but ultimately brilliant move by Rucka, as it allows Wallace a smooth transition to the comparatively easy work of a Minder; now we know why he's so friggin' content with what seems like the crappiest job on the planet. But really, we learn all we need to know about Wallace when he tells Crocker, "I would rather be the one doing the work than be the one watching the ones who do the work."
Semi-frequent Rucka collaborator Rick Burchett is a natural choice for the art chores. He renders simple, stark figures -- the female lead could easily be mistaken for the Lois Lane of the Fleischer Superman shorts -- against photorealistic backgrounds, as has become a Q&C standard. He gives Wallace a look somewhere between Bruce Wayne and Sean Connery circa-007, which makes it all the more amazing that Wallace comes out of the story un-sexed.
While it lacks the prescient political bite of most Q&C tales, there are still hidden agendas at play beneath hidden agendas here, and you won't understand them all until the final panel. The second volume of Declassified won't disappoint those seeking their espionage fix.
Don't start here Jun 1, 2006
In my opinion, Queen & Country is probably the best comic being published now and since it started a few years ago. This is Greg Rucka's baby, and it's head & shoulders above any of his other work in comics. However, this volume is probably the worst of any of the books yet collected. A lot of that has to do with the sub-standard artwork which, while not completely incompetent, is just plain boring to look at. The story is a nice glimpse of Tom Wallace's beginnings as a Minder, and the setting during the Hong Kong transfer back to Chinese sovereignty had potential, but left a little to be desired. In any case, this is worthwhile for the Q & C diehard, but otherwise go with one of the other stellar books.