This is not James Bond. This is not “The Bourne Identity” or Tom Clancy. This is better. Operation: Broken Ground establishes the world of Queen and Country, a grittier darker look at what it means to be a spy in the modern world. Tara Chace is Minder 2 in the SIS, a British intelligence agency roughly equivalent to the CIA. She is an operative, aka a spy. She is tough and good at her job. Her boss is Paul Crocker who has the unenviable task of walking a line between keeping his agents safe while getting an inherently dangerous job done, dealing with governmental superiors who don’t understand the business he is engaged in, and potential misinformation from supposed allies. In this instance misinformation from the CIA sets Chace up to perform an assassination which leaves her a target for the Russian mob. Greg Rucka explores not only Chace’s reactions to having been used as a hired gun, but also her fear at being a target. There are very few black and white issues here; the world of Queen and Country is made up of shades of gray. It is good people doing bad things, for maybe the right reasons. Complementing Rucka’s story line is Steve Rolston’s art. The pen and ink drawings are done with minimal background detail, focusing instead on the character’s expressions.
Queen and Country, vol. 1: Operation: Broken Ground
Available in: Queen and Country, Definitive Edition, vol. 1
By Greg Rucka
Art by Steve Rolston, Stan Sakai, Tim Sale
Oni Press 2008