Advance Review: The Useful Idiot Saves The Day In `Spy Superb’ #2

by Tom Smithyman


Spy Superb follows a useful idiot – a spy who doesn’t even realize he’s a spy. But this idiot figures it out and actually thinks he’s good at it. Only a mind like Matt Kindt could come up with a fresh and entertaining take on a familiar story.


Jay Bartholomew III is not your typical secret agent. In fact, it’s so much of a secret that Bartholomew doesn’t even know he’s an agent.

That is the world of the so-called useful idiot. Instead of investing and training a recruit for years in the art of spy craft, the government has resorted to recruiting regular people into the service for decades. Bartholomew is the latest in a long line of dupes. He has to the stupidest of them all. And that, of course, if the fun of it all.

Bartholomew, a pudgy loser who works at a bookstore as he’s writing his magnum opus, is a narcissistic egomaniac with delusions of grandeur. He’s developed a style he calls “method writing” which will turn his book into a bestseller – if he ever gets past the first chapter. He’s a hit with women – just ask him. And now, because of a mix-up at the phone repair shop, the Russians and Chinese are after him.

The story, written and drawn by Matt Kindt, continues its strong run with this middle issue in the limited series. Jay heads to Australia to try to save the owner of the phone he took, completely unaware that she is the Chinese agent trying to kill him. It’s like a John le Carre book but told through an idiot. And that’s what makes the story so great. Kindt never takes things too seriously, and the reader can be delighted as Bartholomew unknowingly faces death more times than he can count.

Kindt’s warped sense of humor is also on display in the character names. The chief Russian agent after him is named Roche Chambeaux. In a backstory at the end of the issue, we learn that he is adept at killing using a combination of rock, paper and scissors – the game also known as Rochambeau.

With Bartholomew on the run – whether the use idiot knows it or not – and an unlikely ally in the Chinese agent he think he’s saving, there’s plenty to wrap up in the series finale. While the story is likely to take some crazy turns, its sure to be entertaining.

Spy Superb #2 will be available for purchase next Wednesday.

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