COMIC REVIEW: THE PRISONER #1

In the 21st Century, the global currency is no longer oil or gold but information. And he who possesses it possesses the world. There is one place on the planet where the most valuable information is mined, a place that prides itself on ‘mental fracking’, promising to extract any secret from any individual using any means possible. It is perhaps the intelligence community’s darkest secret, aligned to no one political system or state, an autonomous institute, free of state manipulation. The identity of its controller, the mysterious Number One, is unknown. It is a place so secret, some believe it to be a myth. It is The Village.

This is one of the releases I have been most anticipating for 2018: a new comic based on a TV series I have long enjoyed for its mind-bending psychological thrills, espionage trappings and generous helpings of surrealism. Even better, The Prisoner comic is being written by Peter Milligan, a writer whose work I enjoy for many of the same reasons I love the TV show.  This is the bloke who gave us the conspiracy-tinged thriller The Numbers and the surreal tale of the “inner space karmanaut”  Rogan Josh. Add in the talented Colin Lorimer on art duties and this is a comic I had such high expectations of they can be seen from space!

Incredibly, my expectations were blown away by the comic. This is a new version of the world of The Prisoner, in which the Village is a myth, whispered about by spies of all nations as the one place which even spy agencies fear. The story opens in media res with an MI-5 agent going rogue, and then tracks back and forward between his actions to escape from the dragnet forming around him and the recent past which provides context for his actions.

 

The Village hangs over the whole story, it’s the centrepiece of the story despite it not being sown until the very last pages – the paranoia surrounding it is palpable, with both Milligan and Lorimer using words and actions to show – not tell – the mystique the place has.

Despite the twisting nature of time in the story, it is a plot which is fairly straightforward: a spy has lost their partner and wants to rescue them. It is to Colin Lorimer’s credit that he keeps the plot simple yet dynamic,  straightforward though infused with paranoia and a touch of surrealism.

This is a fantastic first issue, and I am excited about – and nervous for – reading the exploits of the newest character to be involved in The Village.

 

Title: The Prisoner #1

Publisher:Titan Comics

Rating: 5 /5

Reviewer: Brett Harris

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