Queen & Country, Vol. 2: Operation Morningstar (Paperback) Review

Queen & Country, Vol. 2: Operation MorningstarIf you ask for my favourite genre in comics (or any part of the entertainment industry, really), the first answer you'll get from me is unlikely to be "political spy thriller." It may not be the second one, either. But if you ask me if I appreciate a well-written, well-researched, and impressively well-drawn comic book, related to current world events, accessible to readers who've missed the initial 4 issues, you can count on a "Hell yea!"
Queen & Country: Operation Morningstar constitutes a perfect example of such a book. I have often felt the same frustration of being uninformed about political topics that Stuart Moore mentions in the introduction to this trade paperback, but it is clear that Greg Rucka, widely recognized as a master of his trade, has no reason to fear being caught with his pants down if it comes to a political discussion. Operation Morningstar deals with the Taleban (or Taliban, as it was referred to in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001). It was also written before most Americans removed their heads from the comfortable warm sand surrounding it and preventing them to look too far over their country's borders, after having one of their major cities attacked.
The art chores on Operation Morningstar are handled by Brian Hurtt, who has been cited as many a reader's favourite Queen and Country artist, with inks provided by Bryan O'Malley and Christine Norrie, both of them widely recognized for their own work for Oni Press (such as "Hopeless Savages: Ground Zero" and the recently published "Cheat", respectively)
Now, apart from a well thought out story and pretty pictures, what can you expect from this collection? Don't expect a Director's cut. There's a brief introduction and afterword with link providing more background info, plus illustrated creator bios. Considering the overall quality of the book, you shouldn't find it hard to deal with the lack of extras, though.

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Product Description:
For Tara Chace and the Minders, Afghanistan has been a political hotspot for years. When the taleban regime discovers that some foreign journalists are also serving as covert-agents for the SIS, they round up all the reporters in Kabul to attempt to root out the spies. Moments before being taken into custody, David MacMillan stashes a list of United Front contacts in South Afghanistan in a secret hiding spot, keeping it out of the hands of the enemy. If the Minders don't find it before the taleban, it means many more lives could be lost. When Director of Operations Paul Crocker decides to send only his male agents into the field, it doesn't sit well with Tara, who would rather be in the action than sitting the mission out at home. Adding insult to injury, she is currently required to attend therapy sessions to deal with the effects of previous operations. Not content to sit on her hands, Tara spends her time trying to piece together the puzzle, aiding Minders Wallace and Kittering in their race against the clock. This second collection of the acclaimed series QUEEN & COUNTRY breaks new ground for comics, tackling tough subject matter in a realistic and intriguing way. Never has an espionage comic dealt so harshly with the realities of the world intelligence community and international politics.

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