Advance Review: Espionage Done The Fun Way In `Spy Superb’ #1
by Tom Smithyman
This great start to the series takes the notion of “spies like us” to a whole new hilarious level. When a super spy is killed, a Western espionage agency turns to a loser to save the free world. It’s not 007, but it is a ton of fun.
The spy superb is supposed to be the perfect physical specimen. His IQ is off the carts. He is the master of disguise.
He’s also dead.
It’s a unique way to start a spy series, but that is what readers come to expect from storytelling auteur Matt Kindt. While Kindt may not tell the story you’re expecting, it’s a great one, nonetheless.
We learn early on that the original spy superb, a brainchild of US and French intelligence agencies during World War II, died in a freak accident. To keep the bad guys on their toes, the agencies continued the legend by drafting regular people into their service for generations – without the new spies ever realizing they were part of the action.
Somehow the current version was killed before he could pick up data with the names of all part and potential spies superb. Strapped for time and short on resources, the agency drafts a new spy, Jay Bartholomew III. He’s a loser. Big time. Bartholomew is overweight, has glasses and walks around with a book of famous quotes and a journal to capture realistic dialogue.
He spends most of his waking hours obsessed with his 1000-page epic sci-fi novel, of which he’s only completed the first chapter. “But it’s the most important chapter,” he assures his one and only friend.
James Bond he is not.
Kindt, who also is responsible for the artwork, crafts a great setup to the series. It’s a clever mix of high-stakes espionage and real-life mundanity, with character who are equally over the top and yet oddly familiar. His artwork is vintage Kindt as well, which works well for this story.
Special recognition goes to Sharlene Kindt, whose colors perfectly complement her husband’s linework. Early in the book, she colors only a single object or person or feature per frame, which instantly draws the eyes exactly where they are supposed to go.
The one downside to the issue is the price. While oversized, it’s still coming in at nearly $8. It’s a steep price to pay, but at least it’s a fun story.
Spy Superb #1 will be available for purchase on January 11, 2023.