Indie Comics Review: King of Spies#1

by Carl Bryan
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Review: King of Spies #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Matteo Scalera, Mark Chiarello, Ozgur Yildirim
Letters: Clem Robins
Colors: Giovanni Niro
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan


Men like us could have changed the world.  But we turned a blind eye for the money and the trinkets”
– Sir Roland King

In King of Spies #1, the world’s greatest secret agent has been given six months to live. Does he die quietly in a hospital bed, or try to make up for a lifetime of bad decisions?

He’s been propping up an unfair system for over forty years. Now he knows where all the bodies are buried and has nothing to lose when he turns his guns on everyone who ever made a buck creating the mess we’re in right now.


Sir Roland King is dying and he is well aware of his plight.  Six months to live and he has had a change of heart about his forty-year service to the Queen.  This is not your usual “James Bond” story.  Sure you get some awesome flashbacks to King’s prime as he is a master at all things combat and stealth.  

Currently, though, his grey beard, his “dad bod” and the carnage he has left behind are tugging at his heartstrings a bit.  Don’t talk down to anyone in the service industry either… Roland will not have it!

Mark Millar provides a great “What If…” story in this four-issue mini-series.  What if the world’s greatest spy simply got fed up with all that he had done in service for the Queen?  Well…God save the Queen and all of us as well! 

Revenge, romance, and blowing things up!  What better spy thriller could you ask for! Millar has quite the resume already in his writing duties.  Given his robust body of work, you simply need to check out this latest installment.  It’s clever…simply clever!

Positives 2.0

I was immediately drawn to the art in this book as Matteo Scalera‘s work resembles that of Sean Murphy’s in the Murphyverse of White Knight.  The lines, the battle scenes, the sharp features, and rugged jaws. Cityscapes and room backgrounds are as important as a character’s eyebrows and wrinkles. Scalera tells a great story using his pens! 

Giovanna Niro’s color bursts are on point as well.  His play with lighting in all frames is excellent!


From the flashbacks to the panels that simply do the storytelling with no words, I cannot find anything wrong with Sir Roland King. This four-issue series will hopefully spawn other adventures in the same vein.  


King of Spies #1 is the first in a four-issue mini-series that’s worth investing in. The issue starts at a breakneck pace, provides you a very Sean Connery 007 vibe, and so much more. We have a British agent who has simply decided that the establishment isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. Sir Roland King is the master of “Take This Job and Shove It”.

Invest in this one for the storyline and the art!


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