By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Dark Horse Comics
On sale April 1st, 2020
When writer Chelsea Cain and illustrator Lia Miternique of Image Comics’ Man-Eaters fame reunites to bring more thrillers to life, all fans need to know it’s going to be good. Spy Island is heading to a second print run, and I’m seeing shades of classic James Bond in the preview. When this piece of land is located at one of the tips which define The Bermuda Triangle, anything can happen!
The mystery this region has to the human imagination speaks for itself. Just how it’ll factor into the narrative will require following the story to the end and wondering who are the real pirates. Are they after something, or just simply hiding out (taking advantage of this area’s reputation to stop enforcement from coming). The private resort we are introduced to is for the upper class conducting their own covert business.
In what super spy Nora Freud has to deal with are mad scientists and rivals after a different kind of booty. Perhaps they are responsible for all those strange occurrences from the past. Her orders are to identify the potential threats and report back when there is a problem. When she meets Harry–perhaps another spy–other plans are in motion, which brings a certain acquaintance to this fantasy island.
The first issue works very well to establish Nora as the protagonist. A lot is told in a few pages, and I feel she’s modelled after Emma Peel of Avengers. The only difference is the range of skills and in how she truly holds her own than be a second fiddle.
The artwork of Elise McCall has a late 60s vibe. In what’s cool with the visual design is an easy identification of all the supporting cast. Readers get to know who is whom! It’s not like the classic Mission Impossible series, but rather has the feel of perhaps The Prisoner. Everyone has a secret. The town is bright and colourful. The Caribbean is wonderfully depicted.
For collectors to decide which cover to purchase is tough. The first printing features an ominous cover which sets the tone. It’s paradise above water, but death awaits for anyone digging through the shores. Davy Jones will come into play somehow! The second print features a beautiful Watchman-like cover by the artist and this will be released April 8th.