Synopsis: In the 21st Century, the global currency is no longer oil or gold but information. And he who possesses it possesses the world. There is one place on the planet where the most valuable information is mined, a place that prides itself on ‘mental fracking’, promising to extract any secret from any individual using any means possible.
It is perhaps the intelligence community’s darkest secret, aligned to no one political system or state, an autonomous institute, free of state manipulation. The identity of its controller, the mysterious Number One, is unknown. It is a place so secret, some believe it to be a myth. It is The Village.
Review: Perhaps one of the hardest things to do as a writer for any medium is to adapt a much-loved genre property and update it for the modern audience. And this is what Peter Milligan has done with a modern take on the classic sixties series ‘The Prisoner’.
This first issue does a lot to set up the character of MI5 agent Breen. While on a mission with his lover Agent Carey. Breen loses touch with her and believes that she has been abducted by the Village.
In this first issue, we see Breen dealing with his personal feelings about whether he wishes to stay with MI5 and is starting to question his reasons for being a spy. This is very much an updated version of the classic TV series in which Patrick McGoohan’s Number Six was having the same doubts before he awoke in the Village.
Peter Milligan does a fantastic job of setting the characters up and feeding the reader with various bits of information with regards to the Village and its motives. It very much feels like a respectful take on one of Televisions most loved properties of the sixties and feels very contemporary, which may be both an advantage and disadvantage for established fans of ‘The Prisoner’ that pick this up. The reason the Prisoner resonated when it was made in the 1960’s was that it felt very much ahead of its time. And that kind of vibe is going very difficult to recapture.
To an extent. I think Milligan does succeed and it is in part because it is strongly insinuated in the issue that this could be a sequel to the original show. In fact, he makes reference to the only person to escape from the village. But was that person the same Number Six that fans of the TV series got to know. Or was it somebody else?
The art by Colin Lorimer is fantastic. We get to see Agent Breen on a mission and the level of detail paid to the weapons and the fast-paced movement of spy missions is drawn wonderfully well. But it is our first glance of the village at the end, which will very likely bring it all back to readers that are fans of the TV show. Lorimer nails the look of the village and the closing page really sets the scene for what is to come.
I for one. Can’t wait to see how Lorimer will draw the Rovers and how Milligan will describe them. I mean they looked a bit silly back in the day, but they sure as well were effective.
Overall. This is a really strong first issue and I am definately on the hook to see what this goes in future issues.