Breen is an MI-5 agent who works for the Unit. After a compromised mission in the Middle East, he loses track of his partner. His superior believes she has been taken to the Village, a clandestine information-mining facility with global power and influence. Breen is ordered to kill his partner before she can give up information to the Village, but Breen refuses and goes AWOL. MI-5 goes after Breen, but the Village is still chasing after him. Breen goes to ground, but it may not be enough.
The Prisoner was well before my time, and it’s never entered my realm of older television series which I enjoy watching like Kolchak the Nightstalker or Tom Baker episodes of Doctor Who. This comic does a solid job of bringing you up to speed on this world. Spies and clandestine organizations aren’t that hold to get a grasp upon if you enjoy comics and genre fiction.
The distinct Britishness of the dialogue and delivery did have me thinking of Ninja-K at times, even if The Prisoner is far older.
The comic is paced well and keeps a consistent tone. Breen is an interesting protagonist in that you get the impression he is holding back a lot of himself from the audience. There are times when he suddenly comes off as manic or unhinged despite his composed façade.
The comic does act at times like you’ve never seen spy fiction before. It goes into a digression about the idea of losing one’s identities in a mess of aliases. It also presents its narrative oddly. I’m not entirely sure where all of the sequences fall in chronological order—even if that may arguably be the point.
Colin Lorimer’s artwork manages to modernize Breen and his world without losing some of the retro edges. This is partly thanks to the ageless quality of much of the UK’s landscape. The world looks appealing and the characters are well-detailed. Joana Lafuente’s color work is aptly tame for a story like this, and the overall atmosphere and aesthetic is quite cohesive.
The Prisoner #1 is a very dry yet energetic first installment for this comic adaptation. The lead is interesting, the plot and conflict are compelling, and the art is rock solid. This one earns a recommendation. Check it out.
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