August 29, 2014

STEED AND MRS. PEEL #2

The new Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed comic series from Boom! Studios continued this week! Issue #2 (of 6) of the current saga by Ian Edginton and Marco Cosentino was released on Wednesday, August 29th ("Book Day" for the comic fans out there). Synopsis from Boom!: "John Steed continues the quest for the truth about his fellow agent, uncovering some secrets about the remote seaside resort he's investigating- and the locals are willing to go to extreme measures to keep Steed quiet. Meanwhile, Mrs. Peel weaves her way through the London Underworld before hitting the beach, as the return of Britain's coolest secret agents continues." Although I love the cover design by Alice X Zhang, I wonder if the face evokes Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow (from Marvel's The Avengers and Winter Soldier films) more than Diana Rigg's Emma Peel? And does the figure stray toward Julie Newmar more than Rigg? I'll have to ask the artist soon about her process. Incidentally, Pat McDonagh, who designed Diana Rigg's original leathers in the 1960s, passed away in May. Stay tuned for an upcoming tribute on Spy Vibe. Comic story continues below.


Script-wise, I've been enjoying Steed and Mrs. Peel: We're Needed so far. Writer Edginton is a true fan and he seems to be doing a good job adapting the original show to the medium. In an interview with Bleeding Cool last May, Edginton said, "The original series, especially the Emma Peel run, is quirky and quaint; there’s a much lighter, surreal, comic touch to the show than had what gone before. Steed had previously worked alongside Cathy Gale, Venus Smith, Dr. Martin King, and Dr. David Keel, and those episodes had a much harder edge. The show was more a gritty, espionage drama which fitted in with what was then the post-war mentality. Britain was still in austerity mode and Russia was emerging as the new threat to world peace. The shadow cast by the fall-out from the Second World War was being felt politically, socially, and economically. The Emma Peel era proved to be a unique barometer of the times. The mood of the show and the country lightened. The show went from black and white to color. It perfectly matched the feel of Britain and London in the swinging ‘60s, a colorful mix of optimism and hedonism. The design and style of Emma Peel’s clothes were a mirror of the times and they’re often what people remember the show for. Likewise, John Steed’s sharply tailored gentleman dandy outfits were indicative of Victorian/Edwardian tailoring at the time. It was all about style.

"It’s not something I’d envisaged ever having the opportunity to do, so to say I’m thrilled is an understatement. I’m 50, I grew up with shows like The Avengers, The Prisoner, Danger Man, Man in a Suitcase, The Champions, Strange Report, Department S, and so on. They’re in my DNA, along with all the Gerry Anderson shows and Doctor WhoThe Avengers holds a very special time, place, and tone for me. They’re part of a bedrock of British television that has formed and shaped me as a writer. In one way or another, it informs everything I do. I’ve now been given the opportunity to come full circle and write about the characters who inspired me to do what I do in the first place." Cover price is $3.99 and you can find issues #1 and #2 at your local comic shop or on-line at Boom! Studios. Issue #3 and #4 coming up seem to sport  especially uninteresting covers, so I'm hoping Boom! will offer some variant designs to entice collectors to keep buying individual issues. They might also consider sticking with Zhang. As a fan of Francavilla, I'd also love to see what he'd do with the characters.

Hey Spy Vibers, want to win cool stuff? Spy Vibe passed one million visitors last weekend! I'm celebrating by giving away vintage prizes. Contest details here.


Selected Spy Vibe posts: One Million PrizesDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Blu-RayAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenDiana Rigg at 76Gerry Anderson DocMr. Hulot's Box SetRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsMattel X-15Thunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies IBatman NewsMonty Python Fathom SpiesRodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-EnigmatixBig Fun ToysDanger Diabolik SoundtrackMod Fashion DollsCold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionThe Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

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