Edison Crane seems to have met his match not once but twice in ‘Prodigy: The Icarus Society #3′ by Mark Millar and Matteo Buffagni. A thrilling frustrating issue with more than a hint of Indiana Jones and a good portion of James Bond level machinations from villain of the month, Felix Koffa, who oozes arrogance and panache in equal measure. Archeological action and vain villainy. Great stuff!
Much like the last issue, Prodigy: The Icarus Society #3 takes us back in time. Only this time it’s 1722 and an expedition to find the fabled city of Shangri-La somewhere in the Himalayas. And, much like last issue’s expedition flashback, this one has relevance to the modern world and the machinations of the Icarus Society. But, unlike the members of the Icarus Society, I’m not smart enough to figure it out yet. So, thankfully, Mark Millar connects the dots across the centuries for me, and thereby develops an intriguing, centuries’s spanning plot that mixes a sprinkle of India Jones type mystical and mythical archeological adventure with a high brow, high stakes global thriller.
Meanwhile, our hero and Lucius Tong’s stooge, Doctor Crane, comes into some unforeseen luck, of a sort, as he continues to be a pawn in the Society’s game of murderous oneupmanship this gang of genii thrive on. All while showing off their priceless trophies in true megalomaniacal Machiavellian style. The bourgeois bastards.
But, as you will see, our Doctor Crane is no-ones patsy, and soon we get a break from all the posturing and some cleverly and clearly defined action courtesy of artist Matteo Buffagni. Proper James Bond level smartassery. But, with every step forward Crane takes, he seems to take two steps back with the readers feeling as frustrated as he must be with each attempt at a cunning escape. Very tense stuff. And, when Buffagni isn’t delivering slick interiors shots, he’s marvelling readers with his exteriors, particularly as the book develops and Crane is once more dragged into a situation he really would rather mot be involved with. All beautifully rendered in complimentary colours by David Curiel. Subtle, earthy colours that create a cool, calm tone appropriate to the cool calm tone of our antagonist de jour, Felix Koffa. Like the Man with the Golden Gun, expect with a good deal more than just a golden gun. A truly Bond-like villain with the same purring arrogance you just know will catch him out eventually. And the fun is waiting and watching this happen while also watching this globe-trotting adventure for the afar.
Edison Crane’s relative silence is almost deafening too as a man in hot water, but one feels, not out of his depth. A reckoning is coming, but not before one Hell of a ride!
Prodigy: The Icarus Society #3 is out now from Image Comics