GRAPHIC NOVELS

The Prisoner: The Uncertainty Machine

Colin Lorimer (illus.). Titan Comics. Nov. 2018. 112p. ISBN 9781785859151. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781785867798. Rated: Teen+. MEDIA TIE-IN
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OrangeReviewStarThe four-issue miniseries collected here, with alternate cover artwork, is a contemporary espionage thriller set in the world of the classic titular TV series (1967–68), created and released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the series' U.S. debut. Veteran scribe Milligan (Hellblazer) updates some of the concepts for the 21st century, with Lorimer's finely rendered illustrations, albeit with shade and shadows replacing the show's ironically bright, colorful aesthetic. However, the plot uses standard-issue spycraft and Le Carré-esque duplicity to introduce both its protagonist—who is, of course, dubbed Number Six, in deference to the TV production—and the events that bring him to the mysterious Village, where nothing is what it seems, not even the possibility of escape. Ultimately, Milligan and company swap the original production's philosophical depth for the chills and spills of a Jason Bourne film…and one heck of a twist ending. Some violence, disturbing scenes, and mature themes make this suitable for young teens and up.
VERDICT The original Prisoner's magic proves irreproducible, but this acceptable addendum should appeal to readers of dramas such as Queen and Country and The Coldest City as much as it will to fans of the source material.

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