Mata Hari

Times like this, I remember what it is about the comics medium that so enthralled me, even before I ever discovered the worlds of spandex on offer.

Rich Wilkes, creator of the xXx franchise has a penned a graphic novel about the infamous Mata Hari due to be released next year. However in a sound move, last month Radical Comics released a $1 preview issue, which a friend was kind enough to lend me, and I am hooked.

Now we all know what A Mata Hari is, but how much do we know about THE Mata Hari? Myself, I have realised very little after reading this excellent introduction to her tale, told mainly from the viewpoints of people around her than from a  first person viewpoint. Yet this tale is an emotional journey with incredibly invocative art provided by Roy Allan Martinez and painted (yes, painted) by Drazenka Kimpel. After nearly every page, I rested a moment, taking in the colours and the imagery and found myself transported to another time. The writer makes some very valid points about the First World War, ones I can only agree with, my knowledge and appreciation of that period is sorely lacking. This is a tale that makes me want to know more, to go and research, as much as strips about Buffalo Bill encouraged me to learn about the Wild West some thirty-some years ago as a child.

I’m not a fan per-se of war comicsw, but this is not a war comic. It is a (fictionalised) tale of very real people whom war has engulfed and exists as a constant backdrop. Then to learn at the end of the of the issue that the official records have been sealed for 100 years and still have yet to see the light of day, well that only increases my hunger.

I haven’t read a lot of Radical Comics’ publications, but if this is the standard they adhere to, then they can count me as a new fan. If you can find this Mata Hari taster, get it. If not, try one of their other titles, because this is quality work, and any company prodcing such quality deserves the support.

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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