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Monday, February 21, 2011

Alpha Vol 3. The List. Mythic (Writer), Y. Jigounov (Art), Jerome Saincantin (Translation). Cinebook Ltd (2010)

Fast paced and very enjoyable spy thriller. A high-ranking secret police officer flees the collapse of East Germany with a list of US citizens who had covert dealings with the communist regime. When he offers the list to the CIA in exchange for relocation to the US and safety for his family, the list attracts the attention of a number of competing groups. An Israeli team as well as one of the people named on the list are desperate to get the information and the CIA team, headed by Alpha have a considerable struggle on their hands. The action is superbly paced, the reveals are clever and sharp, the resolution has bite.
To a large extent plot and action dominate over character in the story, not exclusively as the cast are given enough definition to make the action engaging. The plot is very well structured, the action makes sense and the pace is cleverly managed. The cast and their various contexts are introduced in a effective and compressed fashion that sets them up for the turns of the story very well. They never feel like they are plot bound, they are responding to events and trying to get ahead of them with credible vigour.
The art has to carry a great deal of the story and does so beautifully. The panels are nicely designed to vary the pace and to put a lot of information on the page in an unfussy and effective way. The human cast are strongly individual, their body language and expressions pick up the nuances of the story. A first rate story and a great comic.

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