Novelist and comic book writer Greg Rucka was undoubtedly inspired by the 1970's BBC television series Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy , or the original novel by Le Carre it was based upon, when he was putting together his updated "Queen & Country" take on life within the British world of espionage.
If you want your spy thrillers with death-rays, shaken martinis, or bad guys that throw razor brimmed hats, this won't be for you. Q&C instead does a great job showing the "behind the action" world of bureaucracy and logistics that all spy agencies are built upon. You'll find just as many smoke filled rooms and clandestine meetings as you will smoking guns or car chases.
There is still plenty of action that does take place, just of a more realistic variety. Female lead character Tara Chase starts out on the bottom rung within the agency, and is soon sent on assignment around the world (primarilly the Middleast) for a variety of missions. Equally as realistic is the human portrayal of Tara as a non-standard heroine, who gets used as a pawn from time to time back home amongst the superiors of varying British agencies jockeying for control (think FBI v CIA v DHS v DOD). The mental chess eventually draws in some players from the U.S. as well, with policy, politics, and national security converging into a messy and bloody mix of multiple personal agendas.
The drawings are black and white, with some of the stories done by different artists. I found them all to be top notch, and while the lack of continuity may bother some the product is good enough you have to take what you get. In a perfect world the same artist would have done all story arcs, but even then it would have been a tough choice to pick who that winning artist would have been. In the end I enjoyed being able to see the multiple styles.
Although I have not read them, author Rucka also does straight up novels for those more comfortable with a traditional paperback. For most people who pick up this graphic compilation however they'll likely be hooked. Wouldn't be surprised to see this eventually come out as movie, as was the case with Rucka's "Whiteout".