Comic Review: Spy Seal Vol. 1: The Corten-Steel Phoenix TP (Image)

It’s animals and birds as spies, as Image Comics collects the first 4 issues of Spy Seal, “Britain’s slickest secret agent”! Spy Seal, (yes, he is a seal) working with […]

It’s animals and birds as spies, as Image Comics collects the first 4 issues of Spy Seal, “Britain’s slickest secret agent”!

Spy Seal, (yes, he is a seal) working with fellow agents, is intent on finding our more about the Corten Steel Phoenix. Along the way, he entangles himselves up in saboteurs, spies, mysterious females, and all the other elements of a good espionage thriller. Lots of exotic locales, art galleries, trains, planes and automobiles…

Picture James Bond or the young Michael Caine, or the Kingsmen, but as birds and animals. It’s wacky, but it works.

Written, drawn, and colored by Rich Tomasso, this comic title collection is a high end production. The writing is sharp and polished. The characters have unique voices, with loads of fun British slang. The drawings are clean and exquisite. Tomasso has clearly seen Spy Seal as a labor of love, and we are the better for it.

This is a long story, filled with intrigue, disguises and deception. Picture a Tintin volume in terms of visual tone and clean line illustration, but with one exception; Tomasso likes to allow for silent pages as interruptions to the heavily dialogued flow of the story. It permits him to explore the purely visual storytelling aspects of comics, and gives us a break from following the twisted plot. And what a plot it is!

If you are in the mood for a different type of spy tale, one with animals as characters, you really should check this one out. It’s an excellent value for the money too!

Image Comics, The Corten-Steel Phoenix trade, $12.99 for 76 pages. Rated Teen

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!