Sunday, September 23, 2007

Left on Mission #4 - A Review

Left on Mission #4 (of 5)
Published by BOOM Studios
Writer Chip Mosher, Artist Francesco Francavilla, Colorist Martin Thomas

Coming out this Wednesday - September 26, 2007

Premise: A retired spy is pulled back in to stop a rogue agent from selling important state secrets to the enemy. Eric finds out the twist is the rogue agent is his ex-lover and partner.

Issue #4 continues what to me has been an amazing feat in that each book is a part of the greater whole, yet each book maintains its own internal feeling and pace. This issue Eric catches back up to Emma in Tangier, Morocco. I really don't want to give the story away, except to say that is sets up the final chapter perfectly. This issue provides us with a small tour of Tangier and gives us the feeling of what all stake outs are like, a lot of waiting and then sometimes a rush of action.

The book provides us with enough location shots and a visit to the tanneries, to let you know that Chip and Francesco have at least done some homework on how to make lie we are in Tangier, Morocco. Given the ease via the internet in doing research, not doing this today is just laziness on a creators part. Francesco nails the architecture and the street scenes and you really know you are not in the US.

The really great part about this series to date is the story telling and use of pacing. Each issue in this mini-series has had its own rhythm, within each issue, each page has obviously been thought out. We have throughout this series, 2 page spreads with additional panels, one page splash, 4 panel grids, 6 panel grids, each and every page is structured to give us a feel for how the story is flowing. In issue #4 the first few pages are slowly paced as we and Eric await the meeting that they know Emma is having to sell the secrets. When the action starts the pages reflect more movement and are tightly paced so that you flow quickly from panel to panel and get a feel for how fast everything is happening.

Within this series we have had character development, spy games, political ideals espoused, action, romance and visits to exotic locales. Chip has packed more story and plot into four issues of this book then most writers managed in a year long story or more.

Francesco Francavilla is a terrific artist. He carriers off the subtle emotions of the characters. the change in locales, the different body types of the people and manages to deliver on the various layouts that the book has called for in each and every issue. At home in a gun fight and in the bedroom, Francavilla delivers.

If you like Criminal, Scalped, James Bond movies or heroes that try to do the right thing, then you should love this book.

The ending will be a final determining factor at how good this book is, but bottom line, right now this book has my vote for BEST MINI SERIES OF 2007.

If you don't want to jump on at issue #4, then do yourself a favor and buy the trade due out this December, LEFT ON MISSION TPB (OCT07 3358).

I have made no secret of my love for a lot of the BOOM Studio products, but really if you decide to check out any non-super hero book, this is the book to read. Personally I hope after the ending that there is enough story for a sequel or better yet, a prequel that focuses on Eric and Emma as partners in the spy game.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really good series and I'll be happy when all 5 issues are out so I can lend it to people.