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Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1 (Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition #1)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  2,071 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Queen & Country, the Eisner Award-winning and critically lauded espionage series from acclaimed novelist and comic book author Greg Rucka, is back in a new series of definitive editions collecting the entire classic series in just four affordable soft covers. In this first collection, readers are introduced to the thrilling and often-times devastating world of internat ...more
Paperback, 362 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Oni Press (first published January 2nd 2007)
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This book compiled into graphic novel form the first 12 comics from Greg Rucka's "Queen & Country" series.

As you might guess from the title, the book -- though written by an American living in the U.S. -- centers on a very British view of the world. We follow several high-level intelligence operatives based in London who are sent out around the globe to protect their country's interests when things get messy.

It's a James Bond/Borne Identity type of world, with lots of intrigue, shooting, c
Feb 23, 2008 Miriam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, 2008
I'm giving the 3 stars for the first two books in this omnibus. I hated the last book - more for the drawing then anything. I have no patience for the two inch waist and watermelon breasts. I also didn't enjoy how the men were drawn. I might enjoy Fernandez's drawing in a different context - I admired the technique - but in this one.
I enjoyed this a lot. It's pretty standard spy-agency fare, but the drawings really made the journey enjoyable.
I like graphic storytelling and I like a lot of espionage stories (be they fiction, film, nonfiction), so when the four-volume collection came out, I figured it was high time I sample this series. This first volume collects three stories about the British SIS (Special Intelligence Service, aka MI6). In "Operation: Broken Ground" (illustrated by Steve Rolston) an agent is sent to Kosovo to assassinate a Russian arms dealer. In "Operation: Morningstar" (illustrated by several artists) an agent is ...more
Really enjoyed this series. I will be picking up the rest of the Definitive Editions later. It was more serious spy stuff, post 9/11, from the British perspective, but not over the top like James Bond stuff (which is enjoyable in it's own right). The artwork was interesting, usually more cartoon like initially, but each book within the book had a different artist so it changed as it went. That was an interesting twist, which was nice and not at the same time, since I had to get to know the new v ...more
Matt Smith
The weirdest thing about Greg Rucka is I always forget how good he is. Usually when a good writer slips into "I always forget" territory he's quite good. But Rucka isn't. Rucka is insanely good. It's nuts that this came out 15 years ago (ish) and holds up like made crazy. Rucka is a fantastic thriller writer and a fantastic spy-story teller. I can't wait to read the rest of these this year.

If you haven't read Rucka I'd recommend starting here. Or with Alpha. Because Alpha was dope.
The Definitive Edition, Vol. 1, contains three stories, but it seemed that with each one, as the narratives became more compelling, the graphic portrayal of the characters became more and more caricaturized. In the first episode, our protagonist Tara was sketched as an attractive yet no supermodel. By the third episode she was so exaggeratedly proportioned as to put Barbie to shame. Her breasts were such balloons that her upper-body movement would have been considerably hampered by them--a disti ...more
Been a while since I read these. The middle arc, with everyone searching for a dead drop in the Middle East (don't have it in front of me; forgive the generalization), is the best one in this volume: the specificity of action goes a long way in grounding the narrative. The first arc is mostly here to intro the story; the third arc is good, but has the infamous big-tits-Tara art that totally comes out of left field considering Rucka is obviously writing Tara Chase as a corrective to the sort of c ...more
The first volume of Queen and Country collects three stories with the same characters but very different artwork. Rucka's spy stories are so gripping that it's sometimes hard to make yourself slow down and look at the art; you just want to find out what happens next. Compared to some of Rucka's other protagonists, Tara Chace isn't as much of an open book, but we can tell she's tough, smart, deeply committed to her job, and struggling to process the emotions that come with her work.

The big swings
Loved this collection, except for one thing. The artists change for each of the three stories included in this volume, and while I liked the art for the first two stories, the art is the third was just... ugh. The way the artist for the third story, Leandro Fernandez, drew Chace was just incredibly frustrating. She went from being a woman who looked like an actual person in the first two stories to looking like some horrifically exaggerated pin-up girl in the third. Her lips got huge, her breast ...more
A collection of three stories, each a multi-issue arc following secret agent Tara Chace and her office. The secret agent stuff is somewhere between Le Carre (office politics) and Ian Fleming (shootouts), which gives it a fun, cinematic flavor.

That said, while each story individually was fun, it didn't seem to add up to much. I could have read these stories in almost any order--it doesn't really matter whether she's fighting Russian mobsters before or after foiling a fundamentalist terror plot. W
P.T. Hylton
If I was in trouble and could choose five (non-super-powered) literary characters to be on my side, Tara Chace would be one of them. She doesn't quit. She gets the job done, whatever the cost. Then she goes home and has to deal with the personal, professional, and emotional aftermath. All this makes for a rich, thrilling, and compelling reading experience. The one disorienting thing about this collection is different artists draw each storyline, and the characters, especially Tara, look very dif ...more
Queen & Country: Definitive Collection, Volume 1 is a set of 3 whopping good yarns featuring Tara Chase, Minder Two, an undercover British agent. I loved reading about a badass, self-sufficient female character and particularly enjoyed illustrator Steve Rolston’s portrayal of Chase as a believable woman. However, the drawings in Operation 3: Crystal Ball are completely offensive. Leandro Fernandez depicts Chase as a femme-bot with an impossibly thin waist, big tits, large ass, and pouty lips ...more
This series had been on my radar for a while now because I like Greg Rucka's work and I am a big fan of spy stories. The premise isn't new, granted, and even though the stories might seem a bit repetitive nowadays, when the series first started, over a decade ago, it must have felt pretty fresh.

The problem I had with the first book wasn't the story, though, or even then characters... it was the art. The first two story archs, with pencils by four different artist, were interesting. "Broken Grou
I really liked this series. The main character is so kick ass, and there's quite a lot of diversity here, which is great. The stories are exciting and suspenseful and were a total pleasure to read.

My complaint is with the art. The art for "Operation: Broken Ground" is a little cartoony, and what you tend to see in YA/juvenile graphic novels, and just really different from the cover art, which is very gritty noir-esque. But once I got past that dissonance, I didn't mind it, and I really apprecia
Joe Mahoney
I really like the Q&C series and there's plenty of reviews here that'll tell you what great spy fare it is. I just want to put in my 2 cents about Leandro Fernandez's artwork in Operation: Crystal Ball.

OK, sure, Tara Chace is depicted in the typical "tits on a stick" style of most comic heroines, but I think it's almost justified in the context of this comic. Fernandez isn't going for anything close to a lifelike depiction, or even a serious one. The plot is larger than life and so are the f
I really struggled to write this review, and it took me a while to pinpoint why. Here's the crux of it: this book was disappointing. Not bad, mind you -- just disappointing. And, I think that what made it difficult for me to review is that I couldn't pinpoint*why* it was disappointing.

Queen and Country, Vol. 1: Broken Ground didn't really feel groundbreaking, but it was a good read. Perhaps more importantly, it was a good read with promise. The glimpses into the characters' lives made me want to
This comic is great. I enjoyed the story and the characters and, especially, the fact that a lot of it revolves around a kick-ass female. However, because there is a different artist for each different issue collected here, you get a variety of styles, and I do NOT like how they changed Tara's look. At the start, she was reasonably pretty but not distractingly so. Then in the third story, she's suddenly had implants and walks around in a one-button suit jacket with nothing underneath. I lost a l ...more
Jeff Lanter
I liked this book, but I'm not sure if I will read more of the series. Essentially, it is an espionage/spy title that focuses on a female agent. Less James Bond and more of a realistic take on spies, my favorite parts were where we see the cost of Tara's job on herself. If I did continue to read this series, it would be for those moments as much as anything. I think the biggest turnoff for me was that it is set in such a real life mode that my political beliefs turned me off somewhat. I'm not as ...more
Collecting the first twelve issues (and three storylines) of the Queen and Country series, this is a brick. But it's also an immensely enjoyable espionage tale. Bonus points for reading more realistically than a Bond movie. This feels rather more like what I would expect real intelligence agents would do on missions and at home, and I didn't spot any glaringly unrealistic points. I also appreciate how Rucka dealt with the toll a life in intelligence would take on an operative's personal life.

East Bay J
My buddy, Erik, occasionally gives me stacks of comics (graphic novels, trade paperbacks, whatever you and your little pals calls ‘em these days) and I have to thank him for restoring my faith in comics and for turning me on to a lot of great stories. Queen & Country is on par with some of the best stuff Erik’s loaned me. Books that have become favorites, like Walking Dead, The Chronicles Of Wormwood, Rex Mundi, and Ex Machina.

Erik doesn’t like The Goon, though. He doesn’t much care for Moto
So yeah, this? This was really, really excellent. Greg Rucka can write a hell of a spy story, giving us all the usual espionage tropes we've come to expect but still throwing some new takes into the mix. This is as much about what goes on behind the scenes as it is what goes on in the field... the politics, the inter-bureau rivalries, the personal lives of the people involved, and the sort of tolls (emotional and physical) this line of work takes on folks. Tara Chace is a fascinating character n ...more
Magic Mike
This is a spy comic that is very well written. It has suspenseful action during the assignments and has a lot of drama in between with the characters who we get to know very well. The one problem with this series, which is most noticeable in this first volume, is the change of artists for each storyline. The new artists coming onto each new story do not care about what the characters looked like in the previous storyline. So what happens is the plain looking heroine gets turned into a supermodel ...more
Not going to lie - I picked this up because the cover was drawn by Tim Sale and I love his work.

I quite enjoyed Operation: Broken Ground and Operation: Morningstar. I find it fascinating when espionage stories look at the lives of spies and how they deal with what they do on a daily basis. The art supported the "daily life" as well.

I was not a fan of the hypersexualized Tara in Operation: Crystal Ball.
Greg McClay
I'm probably the worst person to judge this book. Most of my comics involve people wearing spandex and most of my novels are filled with tough guy detective types. I'm not really a spy-thriller reader at all.

However there is something very 'real' about Queen & Country that I enjoyed and it reads very smoothly so there wasn't the burden of slogging through some "must read bestseller". I've often complained that regular comics too often bring out the dottering old Nazis as faux political vill
Aug 07, 2009 Jesse rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of british spy fiction and Greg Rucka
Recommended to Jesse by: Noah Soudrette
Shelves: graphic-novels
I really liked this collection. Greg Rucka has yet to dissappoint me. This has pretty much everything I loved from the tv series MI-5/Spooks (UK title) in a crisp and stark black and white comic, and its international rather than domestic.

The art varries between the 3 major stories in this collection, which is to be expect in a collection of regular print comics. Despite this, all the art is fantastic. The only draw back is the wide range of visual interpretations of the cast of characters, luck
Absolute trash, unbelievably bad and anodyne, yet I read both... No, it's honestly terrible, the most pathetically boring, unimaginative storyline ever encountered, populated by the most anodyne collection of stereotypes ever assembled. It has all the right ingredients for a massive piss-take except irony. Dear god why?

The most annoying feature was the author's enthusiastic acceptance of the Sky News version of the world, the protagonists encounter (and of course, triumph over) vicious Russian m
Oliver Hodson
I liked all three arcs, although i didn't really get the romance angle in number 3. As always with rucka, the characters are pretty awesome and the plots are interesting, so well worth it. Not sure how deep it's all going to go, and i quite like that the scope is narrow- a bit different from many movies and comics where the world could end every issue...
Queen and Country follows the life of the England-based SIS agency and their premier operative - Tara Chace. This massive collection opens with Broken Ground, as Tara must escape Kosovo following her successful assassination of a top-ranked Russian General; she also must deal with the hired guns sent to collect her head back in England. Morningstar drops Chace and her fellow minders into Afghanistan to recover vital intel left behind from a murdered reporter. Finally, the Crystal Ball segemnt mi ...more
Standard spy fare. Stock characters (The professional femme fatale dedicated to her job, the renegade, captain, etc.), similar plot structures for all the stories (spy performs operation, danger ahead, has to stop the bad guys while under some restraint, like having no weapon, having no backup, saves the day at the last minute), and crazy scenarios that require a good suspension of disbelief make the book. Still the graphic novel had two strong points. One was that the pace was just right, so yo ...more
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Greg Rucka, is an American comic book writer and novelist, known for his work on such comics as Action Comics, Batwoman: Detective Comics, and the miniseries Superman: World of New Krypton for DC Comics, and for novels such as his Queen & Country series.
More about Greg Rucka...

Other Books in the Series

Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition (4 books)
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  • Queen and Country: The Definitive Edition, Vol. 3
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