The Prisoner #1 Review

by Doug Warren on April 25, 2018

Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist:  Colin Lorimer
Colorist: Joana LaFluente
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Editor and Original Plot: David Leach
Publisher: Titan Comics

During The Prisoner’s initial 1967 run on Canadian, British, and American TV, I’m not sure anyone quite figured out what was going on in the Village. It was all a mystery. And now, in the newest comic book adaptation, perhaps the curtain will be opened a bit and we will start to learn something about this mysterious place.

But not in this issue. We aren’t there yet. So why did I say that we will learn something new? Well, for starters, the protagonist has a name, Breen. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember ever hearing a name besides just numbers in the original series.  And we also get a bit of a glance at his spy life before his kidnapping. We see the quick identity changes, the attempts to ward off followers, and the failure to do that.

Several times it appears that Breen is about to be captured and isn’t, and I am up in the air over what effect that had. It did bring some excitement to the comic, but at the same time, it just made me impatient to get to the Village. In my head, I was screaming, “JUST KIDNAP HIM ALREADY!” And also, it did lead to some confusion as to what was going, where these attacks came from, why he wasn’t captured then, and after all of that, why he let his guard down enough to be captured.

There are some 21st century updates. Not just with the style, but also references to things like Millennials and Air BnB. I do not know if the new setting is as successful. There’s a charm with the 60s style of the originals, but as I’m typing that, I realize what I am saying is silly. When the original came out, there was no charm in the style, it was just the modern world, so this new one kept with that tradition. Set in present day just like it was always intended. Ok, I’m fine with it now.

The artwork was good, but at times it felt like there was a mix of styles. If someone just cut out all the characters left to right in a row and asked you if they all came from the same comic book, I don't think you would answer yes. They just don't feel like they go together. But, the dull, muted colors used perfectly enhanced the mood. And, there were a couple of pages where I thought the drawings were spot on brought the comic to life perfectly, namely the page where Breen thinks he took psychedelics and the vision of the village.

Bottom line, it sure would’ve been a lot more exciting if the comic had started in the Village. Or, if it had started a few months earlier and we’d seen more of what led him to quit his job as a spy, but, I guess that might’ve ruined the mystery of the thing. All I can say is, in the 50 years since the TV series appeared, there have been several attempts at a comic book adaptation, and none of them have been successful. I don’t know if any of them even made it a full run. I don’t see any reason why this series would buck that trend.

Our Score:


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