SUPER SPY (Top Shelf)
Written and drawn by Matt Kindt
You’ll rarely see me call something a graphic novel on this blog. I find the term generally misused and pretentious. To me a graphic novel is not a collection of single issues (that’s a trade paperback), but a large work of sequential art intended for a longer format. That’s exactly what Super Spy is. I borrowed this bad boy from Rickey because I was recently assigned to review the recent follow up The Lost Dossiers for a freelance gig (I’ll link to it when it goes up), but I hadn’t read the original 2007 work. Wanting to be thorough, I read this books and thank goodness I did because Dossier would have made zero sense otherwise. In my soon-to-be published review, I called Dossier the special feature to the Super Spy DVD and a more apt description I deny anyone else to make. And if you’ve already made that description, I swear, I didn’t swipe it from you.
Anyway, Super Spy is an incredibly dense graphic novel set during World War II following various spies in their day to day lives as they balance betraying someone, sending information to other people and trying to live a fairly normal life. The stories are told out of chronological order with many recurring characters moving in and out of each others stories like Go, Trick r Treat or Pulp Fiction.
And like those movies, I definitely think that Super Spy deserves repeated viewings, because I think I only got about 20 to 30% of the connections. I can’t take full fault for that low number, though, as Kindt’s art left me scratching my head as to who exactly I was watching and what exactly was going on from time to time, but I kind of liked that because that’s how things would have been in the world of espionage.
I can’t say I fell in absolute love with this story like I did with, say, The Usual Suspects the first time I watched it, but I would absolutely put it in the Memento column where I was definitely intrigued enough to get my own copy of the book–graphic novel if you will–and give it a few more reads to see if I can really nail down the story.