Saturday, March 22, 2014

Return of the Mach

Greysuit by Pat Mills, and John Higgins, with colours by J.H. and S.J. Hurst and letters by Ellie De Ville and Simon Bowland. This originally ran in the Prog back in 2007 and 2009.

The Greysuit of the title is an enhanced secret agent who begins to rebel against his programming when he discovers something unpleasant about a Minister in charge of his department. In a neat story point Pat Mills links the programme back to an earlier one which produced Mach 1 all the way back in 1977.

This is a much more gory strip than the original with lots of ultra violence when the Delta agents go into action against ordinary human beings. It reminded me of Mark Millar's Authority comic for the way it portrays what happens when super powered humans punch someone (see, I can remember reading one of Millar's books). Inevitably the secret department sends other agents to try and terminate the rogue Greysuit so he gets to pick on someone his own size as well.

The other thing this reminded me of was the Jason Bourne films which is no bad thing. And of course all the problems with the authority in this story plays right into some very familiar territories for Pat Mills who does like to remind us not to trust any privileged elite.

The art by John Higgins is new to me. Like most people I am most familiar with his work as a colourist on Watchmen where he developed a whole new colour palate to use on Dave Gibbon's art.  Here he does a good job as the artist although some of his male characters do tend to look the same as each other which is confusing. Interestingly for a book by a renowned colour artist the palate here is a bit weird. It may be because I was reading a digital version but there seems to be an awful lot of green hair in this story.

The setup and story are pretty cool, and I loved the link back to Mach 1. The battles between the super powered agents did get a bit repetitive after a while, but on the whole this is a cracking bit of thrill power. I look forward to its return to the Prog at some point in the future.

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