The Secret Service #2 CoverIn Kona Beach, fifty one couples are tying the knot on a beach, in a ceremony that is to broadcast on TV.  In an offshore boat, a mysterious mastermind activates a mind control device which caused the happy couple to murder one another.  The sole survivor is a bride who stabs her husband to death with a cake knife, before she is assassinated from a distance to wrap up loose ends.  Strangely, the mastermind, named James, can’t bear to watch the carnage on screen and looks away.

Last issue, we met real life James Bond, Jack London, who was forced to bail his deadbeat sister’s son out of jail… again.  Fed up, Jack asks his nephew Gary to go into spy training.  Jack sees potential in Gary, who is rotting away in the projects, living off of welfare.  They get into a bar brawl in which jack effortlessly takes out three hooligans.

Gary tells his mother that Jack can get him a job in “frauid” which is what everyone thinks he does for a living.  His mother’s boyfriend berates him, which only reinforces his decision to leave with Jack.

Meanwhile, Jack is assigned to investigate the Hawaiian wedding massacre because it may be tied to the celebrity kidnappings he has been investigating.  Jack discusses “Operation Star Killer” a plot in the 60s by the CIA to assassinate celebrities in enemy countries in order to weaken public morale before an invation.  His boss tells him the Chinese government have adopted the program and instructs him to fly to Beijing to investigate.

Gary’s mates walk by and tell him they beat up a Pakastani shop owner and trashed his store, after he’d snitched them out to the cops for stealing from him.  In the car, Gary tells Jack that his mother’s boyfriend abuses them both.  He says he wants to make money to get her and his little brother Ryan out of the projects.

Once at the training camp, Gary immediately displays a deep knowledge of firearms from playing “Medal of Honor.”  He witnessestheir various high tech devices and is thrilled to join up.  However his first week’s worth of training is panhandling change from busy Londoners to learn “persuasion skills.”  The next week, he’ll work as a street performer.  Not exachtly what he had in mind.

Jack goes to Beijing where he just about gathers all the intell he needs, until he is suddenly surrounded by Chinese forces.

This is an interesting set up and the characters are unique, but there’s something I’m just not connecting to with this book.  It’s obviously not Millar’s best work.  There’s a lot of potential, but maybe the fact that he’s writing an entire line of books is taking its toll.  It’s interesting.  Well written.  It’s just lacking.  The art, by Dave Gibbons, likewise is serviceable, but far from his best work.  It’s just a little disappointing.

Verdict: Borrow

THE SECRET SERVICE #2
Written byMark Millar
Art and Cover by Dave Gibbons