Mina Mur­ray Casanova Quinn Meru Sasha Bordeaux Peter Wis­dom The Baroness

Comic Heroes - - Front Page -

She’s a lit­tle bit vam­pirey, yes, and a proto-su­per­hero. But in Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League Of Ex­tra­or­di­nary Gen­tle­men, Mina Harker née Mur­ray – pro­tag­o­nist of Drac­ula, now again us­ing her maiden name – is first and fore­most an agent of the Crown, re­cruited by Cam­pion Bond of Bri­tish In­tel­li­gence to put to­gether a team to pro­tect the Em­pire against Devil Doc­tors and Mar­tian In­va­sion. Prim and but­toned-up she may be, but she’s also the right woman in the right place at the right time. There’s a touch of the Mary Sue to this mu­tant Bri­tish Se­cret Ser­vice agent, an Es­sex rebel with “hot knife” en­ergy pow­ers, in­tro­duced by War­ren El­lis in Ex­cal­ibur and soon prov­ing to be tougher, cooler, more ruth­less and com­pe­tent than any of the so-called leads; by the time of Cap­tain Bri­tain And MI-13, he was a more self-re­gard­ing Bri­tish Nick Fury, leading the de­fence against vam­pire in­vaders. A po­lar­is­ing char­ac­ter: for him not to be in­fu­ri­at­ing he has to be writ­ten very deftly in­deed. In Matt Kindt’s Dark Horse se­ries MIND MGMT, true crime writer Meru soon finds her­self caught up in a bizarre world of su­per­spies and psy­chic abil­i­ties. All along, Meru is ma­nip­u­lated by re­tired psy­chic su­per-agent Henry Lyme, who needs her help in tak­ing down his old agency, MIND MGMT, which be be­lieves to be out of con­trol. Ever-twist­ing, with a film promised, and build­ing an au­di­ence is­sue-by-is­sue, this is one to watch. Marvel ran its GI Joe: A Real Amer­i­can hero comic se­ries from 1982-94, tied-in with the Has­bro toy line and a cou­ple of TV se­ries; it told sur­pris­ingly com­pli­cated, char­ac­ter-led sto­ries – con­sid­er­ing it was all about an un­likely elite unit bat­tling the­atri­cal ter­ror­ists Cobra, a Marvel in­ven­tion clearly based on SHIELD’S HY­DRA. Many of the ma­jor char­ac­ters were ex­ten­sively ex­panded upon by the comics, but some were to­tally orig­i­nal cre­ations, in­clud­ing sexy bad­die the Baroness, who was on the page long be­fore she was ever an ac­tion fig­ure. One-time Bat­man sup­port­ing char­ac­ter, cre­ated by Queen & Coun­try’s Greg Rucka, and who’s twice worked for govern­ment spy agency Check­mate; she’s been turned into a cy­borg, shows in­creas­ing “ends jus­tify the means” at­ti­tudes, and en­joys on-off ro­mance with su­per­hero Mr Ter­rific. Con­sider her DC’s an­swer to SHIELD’s Maria Hill. Cre­ated by Matt Frac­tion and Gabriel Bá for their on­go­ing Im­age Comics se­ries Casanova, our su­per-thief hero gets blackmailed into work­ing as a dou­ble-agent in a vast, com­plex al­ter­na­tive uni­verse-jump­ing es­pi­onage game; his dad runs spy out­fit EM­PIRE, his twin-sis­ter is their top agent, and evil out­fit WASTE (a Thomas Pyn­chon ref­er­ence!) are… well, it’s too com­pli­cated to go into here. The whole thing stum­bled when key cre­ators went on to other projects, but a restart is promised soon, mak­ing this the per­fect time to jump on board.

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