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King of Spies

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The world's greatest secret agent has six months to live. Does he die quietly in a hospital bed or make up for a lifetime of bad decisions? He's been propping up an unfair system for over forty years. Now he knows where all the bodies are buried and has nothing to lose as he turns his guns on everyone who ever made a buck as they created the mess we're in right now. Collect The world's greatest secret agent has six months to live. Does he die quietly in a hospital bed or make up for a lifetime of bad decisions? He's been propping up an unfair system for over forty years. Now he knows where all the bodies are buried and has nothing to lose as he turns his guns on everyone who ever made a buck as they created the mess we're in right now. Collects King of Spies #1-4


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The world's greatest secret agent has six months to live. Does he die quietly in a hospital bed or make up for a lifetime of bad decisions? He's been propping up an unfair system for over forty years. Now he knows where all the bodies are buried and has nothing to lose as he turns his guns on everyone who ever made a buck as they created the mess we're in right now. Collect The world's greatest secret agent has six months to live. Does he die quietly in a hospital bed or make up for a lifetime of bad decisions? He's been propping up an unfair system for over forty years. Now he knows where all the bodies are buried and has nothing to lose as he turns his guns on everyone who ever made a buck as they created the mess we're in right now. Collects King of Spies #1-4

30 review for King of Spies

  1. 4 out of 5

    A.J. Anders

    A James Bond-like character recieves a cancer diagnoses and decides to take out all the bad people he took orders from/protected over the years. Pretty simple and well-executed concept by Mark Millar that leads to your standard spy thriller. This one does stand-out to me though, as it has some neat twists & turns, incredibly fun action, and hilariously over-the-top bad guys that all come together to make a cohesive package that just works. The art by Matteo Scalera is very scratchy and some may A James Bond-like character recieves a cancer diagnoses and decides to take out all the bad people he took orders from/protected over the years. Pretty simple and well-executed concept by Mark Millar that leads to your standard spy thriller. This one does stand-out to me though, as it has some neat twists & turns, incredibly fun action, and hilariously over-the-top bad guys that all come together to make a cohesive package that just works. The art by Matteo Scalera is very scratchy and some may not jive with it, but I personally thought it was great. The action scenes were kinetic, and it just worked perfectly for the story Millar was telling. This won’t change your mind on Millar if you already dislike him and/or think he’s a total hack who just writes movie pitches as comic books (which he totally does do btw), but it is fun enough that it never needs to be anything more than a fun 4 issue mini that’ll probably make a fun movie one day. I don’t regret reading this at all. Pick this up if you like Mark Millar books or anything James Bond related, and skip if you are anyone else.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Peterhans

    Some thoughts.. 1. I haven't read a huge lot of Mark Millar's work, but the couple of titles I have read haven't impressed me a whole lot. Generally they've felt kind of empty, and purely created to create a new Netflix IP. So that's where we start from. 2. So then I read the first issue, and there's the usual Millar stuff - ultraviolence and gore, men being manly (albeit in a slightly unconvincing ironic way), not a whole lot of characterisation. But then Millar introduces the idea that the main Some thoughts.. 1. I haven't read a huge lot of Mark Millar's work, but the couple of titles I have read haven't impressed me a whole lot. Generally they've felt kind of empty, and purely created to create a new Netflix IP. So that's where we start from. 2. So then I read the first issue, and there's the usual Millar stuff - ultraviolence and gore, men being manly (albeit in a slightly unconvincing ironic way), not a whole lot of characterisation. But then Millar introduces the idea that the main character wants to make amends, and it is tied to him having been a bad father to his son, and I'm instantly suspicious.. is Millar seriously trying to have an emotional layer, and a political layer..? So, this is me: Also, four issues feel likes a very tight fit for such a story. 3. The son is a bad man, and it is suggested that this is because his father (our MC) was a terrible father (and husband), but his son is comically evil. It's the kind of non-nuance I'm expecting from Millar. 4. So the MC is an ex-spy who decides to take out all kinds of scummy people. That's a solid idea, but it's also strangely generic. It's also weird that the MC doesn't seem to care about collateral damage - he'll blow up the restaurant a bad man is in, and not just take out the bad man. This makes it that I don't really care about the whole redemption-by-murder thing, it feels like an empty gesture. 5. And then the whole thing implodes in the last issue. The last issue is terrible. One of the dumbest, most childish things I've read in a while. 6. There's redemption FOR EVERYONE! And there was much rejoicing. This ending is ridiculous, and thoroughly unconvincing. It's an embarrassingly childish idea of morality, even for a comic, even for Mark Millar. It's insulting to his readers' intelligence. 7. That the MC is called Roland King, and the book is called King of Spies just instantly makes me think of Alan Partridge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns8XQ... 8. Matteo Scalera's art is great, as it always is. The man knows how to draw an action scene.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kadi P

    Depressing and distasteful, this comic followed an unlikeable retired spy who acted abominably during his prime and as an old man spent his days drinking and berating his past self for actions he couldn’t change. It was a relentless pity party and when the protagonist wasn’t spending his time endlessly whining about past choices he couldn’t change, he was pinning all the blame on others for his own choices that he consciously made. Then, in the most ludicrous and hypocritical move possible, the p Depressing and distasteful, this comic followed an unlikeable retired spy who acted abominably during his prime and as an old man spent his days drinking and berating his past self for actions he couldn’t change. It was a relentless pity party and when the protagonist wasn’t spending his time endlessly whining about past choices he couldn’t change, he was pinning all the blame on others for his own choices that he consciously made. Then, in the most ludicrous and hypocritical move possible, the pot called the kettle black and the retired spy attempted to be the knight in shining armour that no one asked for. His misguided crusade to kill all the bad people in the world was simplistic, stupid, and unbearably sanctimonious. And, as if that wasn’t enough, it was consistently crude for no reason other than to be inflammatory, the pacing was ridiculous and the ending made no sense at all. The only thing of partial merit to be found in this comic was its art, everything else was beyond poor.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Al

    At one time, I was as big of a Mark Millar fan as anyone. I suspect I still am. But in recent years, he imagines himself some kind of Stan Lee ‘fountain of content’ guy. Now, one side effect has been the expected diminishing returns that comes with being over prolific. But another outcome is that I don’t know that I recognize the Millar brand anymore. Which is odd because there’s no doubting the success of the Kingsman franchise, but I’m not picturing Millar writing this right away. Spies (even At one time, I was as big of a Mark Millar fan as anyone. I suspect I still am. But in recent years, he imagines himself some kind of Stan Lee ‘fountain of content’ guy. Now, one side effect has been the expected diminishing returns that comes with being over prolific. But another outcome is that I don’t know that I recognize the Millar brand anymore. Which is odd because there’s no doubting the success of the Kingsman franchise, but I’m not picturing Millar writing this right away. Spies (even over the top hard boiled spies) seems more the province of Ed Brubaker and others. Garth Ennis recently wrote a Peacemaker comic and I’m not sure anyone would notice if you switched the two out. Go down the list and there are a number of writers - Greg Rucka and Tom King, for two- who seem more likely paired to the title. That said, there are some common Millar tropes (the ultra violence of Kick A$$, the Superman story of Huck) and oh this is Old Man (James)Bond, isn’t it? But that’s not a bad thing. Matteo Scalera isn’t a bad pairing as artist. It won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but I like the mood that comes with the pairing. King of Spies is an enjoyable read and if you are a Millar fan, you will like it. The focus on one character and the story surrounding him works well. Millar’s story certainly feels like a Rated R Action movie. That said, the plot is such an overused trope that the book just kind of blends into the environment. Definitely works against the book being a stand out. (Read as single issue comic books)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Mark Millar's movie pitches in comic book form are always worth a look, even if they are misses more often than they are hits. Alas, this newest one is very much a miss. An aging James Bond type is dying from a terminal illness, and in his bitterness he decides to pull the people he used to work for into the grave with him. If you've ill will in your heart for George W. Bush, Pope Benedict XVI, and Prince Andrew, you'll maybe get a momentary chuckle, but the rest is a tiresome and increasingly lu Mark Millar's movie pitches in comic book form are always worth a look, even if they are misses more often than they are hits. Alas, this newest one is very much a miss. An aging James Bond type is dying from a terminal illness, and in his bitterness he decides to pull the people he used to work for into the grave with him. If you've ill will in your heart for George W. Bush, Pope Benedict XVI, and Prince Andrew, you'll maybe get a momentary chuckle, but the rest is a tiresome and increasingly ludicrous series of action set pieces duct-taped together with father and son issues straight out of Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" song. Pure dross.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Well done as it is, it's still a derivative copycat of half a dozen others that did it earlier and better. Well done as it is, it's still a derivative copycat of half a dozen others that did it earlier and better.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Individual issue reviews: #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 Total review score: 2.25 Individual issue reviews: #1 | #2 | #3 | #4 Total review score: 2.25

  8. 4 out of 5

    James

    3.25 stars. Descent. So Roland King is one of the best spies in the business bot not that great at being a father. He left his son and his mother behind. His son did however follow in his footsteps and got into the same field. But eventually, Roland gets hit with some big news. He has cancer. The tumor is already big and the doctors give him 6 months to live. Roland figures 3 months with good health. So he decides to use those 3 months to take out the real monsters. Priests, Hollywood execs, CEO 3.25 stars. Descent. So Roland King is one of the best spies in the business bot not that great at being a father. He left his son and his mother behind. His son did however follow in his footsteps and got into the same field. But eventually, Roland gets hit with some big news. He has cancer. The tumor is already big and the doctors give him 6 months to live. Roland figures 3 months with good health. So he decides to use those 3 months to take out the real monsters. Priests, Hollywood execs, CEOs etc etc. All those that have committed the foulest acts but never go to prison for it. Now the powers that be are trying to figure how to stop him. In a crazy turn of events, his own son, Atticus has been tasked with taking him out. The book is short, only 4 issues, so it hits the ground running moving at a break neck speed. This hinders the book from doing any real character development or world building. Don’t really get a chance to get invested in what’s going on. So the that being said, the book still had some cool looking art and some dope action sequences. Ended up being pretty cool.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Bruso

    Revenge is best served cold. I love Millar's work. Revenge is best served cold. I love Millar's work.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    When the dust settles on a risibly OTT action scene, we see the British superstyled secret agent concerned, who turns out to be someone who could have walked out of the Kingsman series, via Ennis' The Boys. With a fine flair for his idea of justice, he's about to put the world to rights when he collapses, and is told he has six months left alive, max. The honed sense of justice then turns him into a full-on vigilante, intent on stopping the world going to hell in a handcart, offing all the peopl When the dust settles on a risibly OTT action scene, we see the British superstyled secret agent concerned, who turns out to be someone who could have walked out of the Kingsman series, via Ennis' The Boys. With a fine flair for his idea of justice, he's about to put the world to rights when he collapses, and is told he has six months left alive, max. The honed sense of justice then turns him into a full-on vigilante, intent on stopping the world going to hell in a handcart, offing all the people he had been employed to protect and get to power, and so on. The only person who can restore the status quo? His errant son... I don't know what handicaps this more. It might be the need to mention dodgy American presidents, British royal princes who need shutting up, someone who caused a car crash that killed a princess (??!!) and more, and yet all without the ability to name real names. It might be the fact this is ye olde Mark Millar, and a complete hodge-podge of yawnsome ultraviolence with something that might be pitched as The Dark Kingsman Rises. The very average artwork, the stupid characters, the reductive politics that lead nobody anywhere – all this smacks of Millar treading water yet again.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Solid art and decent action. As others have said, the story isn't really anything to write home about, but it's a solid and short bit of entertainment. Solid art and decent action. As others have said, the story isn't really anything to write home about, but it's a solid and short bit of entertainment.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chalupa Batman

    One of Millar’s best stories in quite some time…thoroughly enjoyed it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alican Kunta

    Classic over the top Mark Millar spy action thriller. Everything is extreme, everything is far fetched, everything is overblown. I feel like Mark Millar has become the Michael Bay of comic books. The lead spy character is obviously visioned with Pierce Brosnan in mind, but considering his sexual adventures Charlie Sheen would make a more accurate portrayal.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rob Smith, Jr.

    Rotten story and art direction. I'll give the benefit of the doubt that the artist involved is a victim of the writer. There's a decent plot through the issues of the series that gets, literally, bludgeoned by amateur writing. Instead of developing a coherent story, the writer takes up enormous space with exploding heads and an average sentient elderly guy immersed in cancer being hit by various vehicles, explosions and gunfire still bounding into action. This reminds me of a recently read, 'Bat Rotten story and art direction. I'll give the benefit of the doubt that the artist involved is a victim of the writer. There's a decent plot through the issues of the series that gets, literally, bludgeoned by amateur writing. Instead of developing a coherent story, the writer takes up enormous space with exploding heads and an average sentient elderly guy immersed in cancer being hit by various vehicles, explosions and gunfire still bounding into action. This reminds me of a recently read, 'Batman: Detective'. That story also involved an effort to wipe out large amounts of people for narcissistic reasons. In that case there was a large group creating carnage. In this case, it's the one cancer riddled old man. Both are set in the present. However, as written, only the bad guys have access to technology. The rest of the world, including international law enforcement, has none of the equipment of the modern age and can stop none of it. Severely toning down the story would've helped in being able to grasp the badly handled tale. See my other reviews of individual issues, as I found I needed to address each one separately. If this is what the main publishers are flushing out, the comics world can only hope independents take advantage of the digital tools available today to thwart the rotten mess being spewed. Bottom line: I don't recommend this book. 1 out of ten points.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Warren

    Premise deals with terminal illness, but transitions into a pretty standard redemption through blood story. Then again, there's a bit of futility, a bit of the hydra-esque "cut off the head two more sprout from its place" in the institutions being fought and the sense that the rot too far to be easily excised, but at least our hero admits his part in this directly even if his solution is a bit brute force (conveniently pretty spectacular to watch). It does set things up for action, and there's d Premise deals with terminal illness, but transitions into a pretty standard redemption through blood story. Then again, there's a bit of futility, a bit of the hydra-esque "cut off the head two more sprout from its place" in the institutions being fought and the sense that the rot too far to be easily excised, but at least our hero admits his part in this directly even if his solution is a bit brute force (conveniently pretty spectacular to watch). It does set things up for action, and there's definitely old skeletons out of the closet for their pound of flesh. Ending is perhaps even a bit hopeful - perhaps not redemption but he does manage to change the future in a personal way, and perhaps that is enough. It's not super deep, but it is a solid, satisfying self-contained action-filled tale of larger than life superspies/assassins.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    This has a really easy to sound bite description: James Bond is dying of cancer and wants to set right all of the mistakes he made by following orders. Really, that is what this highly entertaining novella is about. Roland King receives a cancer diagnosis and wants to fix all of his mistakes. Saying anything more would be going way into spoiler territory. full disclosure read as digital floppies.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul Allard

    Very good short espionage comic series Roland King is a retired superspy who, in his old age, decides to right some wrongs. A bloodbath ensues until the inevitable conclusion. Without giving away more of the plot, this volume of 4 comics is fun with a plot that moves along quickly and with interesting characters. The artwork is nicely executed and I'd recommend this to any comics lover. I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. Very good short espionage comic series Roland King is a retired superspy who, in his old age, decides to right some wrongs. A bloodbath ensues until the inevitable conclusion. Without giving away more of the plot, this volume of 4 comics is fun with a plot that moves along quickly and with interesting characters. The artwork is nicely executed and I'd recommend this to any comics lover. I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    J. Griff

    Wow. This was quite the adrenaline rush, basically James Bond with a terminal illness & 6 months left to live decides he wants to leave the world a better place. After years of protecting all the scumbags because that was what “Queen & country” wanted Roland King decides to start taking care of business. This is a fast paced story, definitely not complicated in its telling & with Millar’s trade mark movie script format. This is worth your time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Al Tarancón

    Un concepto muy interesante, con un ritmo muy rápido y un dibujo estupendo. ¿El problema? Demasiado precipitado. Es una historia que podría haber tenido más chicha, pero al final parece más el guion de una peli que una historia para ser contada en tebeo. Casi siempre me pasa lo mismo con Millar. Conceptos muy interesantes que se quedan algo huecos.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Craig Schorling

    A fun, over the top, brutally violent read. It isn't the most original story but it is well put together and told in a satisfying way. It is short and consise. The art worked well and the action was over the top in a fun way. Not a bad way to spend an hour. A fun, over the top, brutally violent read. It isn't the most original story but it is well put together and told in a satisfying way. It is short and consise. The art worked well and the action was over the top in a fun way. Not a bad way to spend an hour.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Una buena idea con una ejecución atropellada y, a su vez, plana. Solo el último número (de los cuatro que componen la histora) remonta el vuelo. Violencia gratuita, buenas dosis de acción, pero muy poca profundidad. Necesitaba de más páginas. El arte, eso sí, estupendo.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carlos

    Entertaining, but like almost anything Mark Millar has been writing these days, full of deus ex and dull cliches to make the story flow. Just some premises and a few nice scenes. Enough to justify a forgettable movie or short series for Netflix.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel Xavier

    As vezes Millar passa bem perto de acertar em cheio, acho que quando ele não inventa roteiro que ele quer que já saia vendido pra Netflix ele consegue melhores resultados. Isso é bad-ass como tem que ser, mas no final parece meio sem propósito. Divertido.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ric

    Barely squeaked out a 3 star for me. I like Mark Millar, but this is just not fresh at all. Way too much hidden information solves the crazy danger. Can't recommend, but there are PLENTY of his other works well worth your time. Barely squeaked out a 3 star for me. I like Mark Millar, but this is just not fresh at all. Way too much hidden information solves the crazy danger. Can't recommend, but there are PLENTY of his other works well worth your time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paps

    Interesting read, a proper gorygalore.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Clark Day

    Just finished the last issue in this series and really enjoyed it, but then again I enjoy Mark Millar’s work.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lulu Dulaurier

    Quick paced and action packed. The story was a little lacking but that was to be expected… I love action but more so when it’s on television so I’m pretty sure this’ll be great when it comes out.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Millar at his best

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

    Kind of mindless, but not bad. A bond-like secret agent is diagnosed with cancer and decides to clean up all of the monsters and dirt bags in the world's upper echelon. Kind of mindless, but not bad. A bond-like secret agent is diagnosed with cancer and decides to clean up all of the monsters and dirt bags in the world's upper echelon.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Mosley

    A comic with great art and a premise that takes an oversaturated genre and turns it around on itself in some ways and falls into tropes in others. Altogether a fun if familiar ride.

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