Review: Queen & Country Vol.4

The fourth, and final, of Oni’s definitive editions of Queen & Country collects the three Declassified mini-series.  Each of these tell the backstory to one of the supporting players from the main book, all of which are excellent.

The first and best tale, from Greg Rucka and Brian Hurtt, focuses on Tara’s boss Paul Crocker during the cold war.  It’s a pretty standard historical spy drama, character x decides to defect and has to be smuggled across the Berlin Wall, but it makes for a perfect Queen & Country story.  Hurtt’s art in particular makes this a must read, and it’s all the more impressive when you read the backmatter and learn this is the first time he’s ever inked himself.

The other two stories are remarkably similar to one another, both focusing on Tara’s co-Minders in former bastion’s of British power.  Tom Wallace’s first mission takes him to Hong Kong to investigate a murder during the handoff to the Chinese governemnt.  Then rookie Minder Nicholas Poole heads to Northern Ireland to confront a remnant of the IRA in the only non-Greg Rucka penned story in the series (ably completed by Anthony Johnston).

But the best part of this book is the interviews in the back, in which Rucka mentions that he’ll be returning to the series at last in the near future.  Next year will see a novel featuring Tara’s final adventure, which will then lead in to volume 2 of the series.  This will still feature Tara, although presumably she will have a desk job then.  Time to rejoice!

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