In Review: King of Spies #1

The world’s greatest secret agent has six months to live. Does he die quietly in a hospital bed, or does he make up for a lifetime of bad decisions?

Synopsis: King of Spies is an exciting new series by Mark Millar. The world’s greatest secret agent has six months to live. Does he die quietly in a hospital bed, or does he make up for a lifetime of bad decisions? He’s been propping up an unfair system for over forty years. Now he knows where all the bodies are buried and has nothing to lose when he turns his guns on everyone who ever made a buck creating the mess we’re in right now.


The Story

This new series opens up by showing us one of Agent King’s final missions, which saw him reap havoc in the city of Panama. It’s an explosive start that illustrates how much of a reckless regard that the titular character has for life.

We’re then brought into the present where we see Roland King coughing up blood in his sink. His girlfriend is in the bedroom asking him about all the medals on his sideboard. They share a few intimate moments before Roland leaves for a meeting at some Gentlemens Club. He’s talking to one of his oldest friends and expressing his disappointment with how the world has turned out as a direct result of some of the missions he did as well as the regimes he helped. It’s not long before Roland collapses and we later see him getting his diagnosis. He has six months left to live. Six months to try and make amends.



Matteo Scalera hits the boards running with some viciously epic panels. The mission in Panama City that the book opens with shows what a badass Roland King was, but also shows what an asshole he was as well. It’s all-out action with headshots, explosions, and a fantastic panel where we see Roland King blasted clear of an explosion that would probably kill any normal person.

In the second half of the book. We see Roland getting quite introspective about how he has messed up his life and broken pretty much every decent relationship he has ever had. These moments where he is talking to us about his life are accompanied by some great visuals. I particularly liked the series of panels where he was talking about the one child that isn’t aware that he exists.

The final image of the book is a really nice view of Big Ben nestled between a few other buildings with a taxi leaving the club that Roland has just exited.



This first issue of King of Spies does a fantastic job of setting up the world that Roland King exists in. The introspective dialogue that he has is fantastic in how it relates to how many feel about what the world is like now. This is a fantastic start.

King of Spies will be available in all good comics stores on Wednesday 1 December. It’s a fabulous early Christmas pressie, only minus the useless gift wrapping.

King of Spies #1
  • Cover
  • Story
  • Artwork
  • Lettering
  • Colours

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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