Lee looks at the "second" of four one shots exploring the world created for the movie version of a comic.
Credits & Solicit Info:
Written by JON HOEBER; Art by DAVID HAHN; Cover by CULLY HAMNER
Based on the upcoming film from Summit Entertainment! Victoria is a beautiful and vibrant 30-year-old woman in her prime – and MI6's top assassin. The commitment to become the best has left her personal life empty and cold...until, on a vacation following a particularly difficult mission, she meets the man of her dreams and falls head-over-heels in love! The only downside? He's the K.G.B.'s hottest agent, and he's her next target!
Check out the Red movie trailers!
Wildstorm 32pg. Color $3.99 US
Set in the early eighties, the spotlight on Victoria is significantly different from the Frank one shot. Frank was characterized as a paranoid loner, a one man army. Not only is Victoria played as a different kind of operative altogether, but she comes off as more human.
The meat of the back story for the MI6 sharp shooter happens in the Virgin Islands and London. After a job well done in the Faklands, Helen Mirren's younger comic version is sent for some well deserved rest and relaxation. While vacationing, she meets a young, sexy man that sweeps her off her feet. All is well until she returns home and her job instincts kick in. Running a background check on Ivan, she discovers he is KGB. Now, the she must face the possibility that she is being played or is it really a star crossed love story?
Victoria is quickly shown to be the ruthless killer that Frank is. In fact, Jon Hoeber, co-writer of the movie, goes to further lengths to show this than was done in the Frank special. There are probably two reasons for this – one, she is a woman, it will be harder for the reader to believe she is so surgically detached and two, she's a smartass. There is not the levity on display in the trailers for the film, but the character possesses a sardonic wit that would befit the Dame.
Like the book I covered yesterday, the story itself is not remarkable in any shape or form. It is a competent spy thriller and a decent enough love story; it's not unlike a couple of the Bond films. Especially in the light of Victoria's superior, who seems to always be over her shoulder – which does bring into question certain revelations having to be coerced later in the book. Given the ending of this story and the writer, it will be interesting to see if Ivan is a character in the film. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mr. Wright, the MI6 boss as it were, either. Especially given the little addendum that the characters in this comic are based on characters from the movie based on the comic.
Hahn has a cartoonist's approach to the art. These are not heavily referenced designs; they are more akin to something you would see in animation. It adds to the playfulness of this comic. Like the script itself, it isn't anything special. Unlike the script, it is a little more in its details. Jonny Rench's colors are deceptive in there simplicity. It would appear at first to be a bright four color book, but when the location changes to indoors or the night life of a big city, the lighting changes – an unnatural glow saturates the colors and lets you know that it is a different illumination than the sun of beaches.
Again, this is fairly far removed from Ellis's original comic and concept, but not in a bad way. It is obvious that comedy aside; this is an expansion on an idea and not a wholesale altercation.
Review by: Lee Newman
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