Paper Chace

Covers to volumes 1 through 4 of Queen and Country Definitive Editions, each with black-&-white close-ups of main character with trade dress in orange, blue, red, and green respectively

Rachel Maddow was on Late Night with Seth Myers recently, and to my surprise among the topics they discussed was Greg Rucka’s Queen and Country.

I knew that Myers was a comics fan — his Twitter icon is a Kevin Maguire sketch of Myers as Blue Beetle in the Justice League International days. Yet it was still bizarre to hear Maddow segue from a mention that she’d written the foreword to a collected edition of DC Comics’ Batwoman written by Rucka to hearing her and Myers both profess love for a smart, gripping but — in the grand scheme of the superheroes that still dominate the marketplace — relatively obscure series from small publishing house Oni Press, followed by Maddow stating, “I have given copies of the Queen & Country comic book to members of Congress, suggesting that they ought to read it.”

Not having read all of Queen & Country, it’s hard for me to recommend unreservedly, although it’s likewise hard to go wrong taking a chance on anything with Rucka’s name attached. His and illustrator J.H. Williams III’s Batwoman is very good; Gotham Central, also written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano,
et al., is excellent. Ditto Whiteout, created with artist Steve Lieber, which obliquely birthed Queen & Country’s focal character of UK special operative Tara Chace. I’ve read the first of Rucka’s Atticus Kodiak prose novels, Keeper, but not found the time for more.

The entirety of Queen & Country, including the Declassified spinoff, is now available in four omnibus editions.

Related: Unread by Me His Story Rounds of the Night Table

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