03rd Jul2018

‘The Prisoner #3’ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

Written by Peter Milligan | Art by Colin Lorimer | Published by Titan Comics


This series has been blinding since it’s relaunch. Smart, sassy, political, satirical, and full of sleight of hand. Know what’s going on? No you don’t. You only think you know what’s going on, rather like Breen, the new Number 6. Oh sure, he thought his plan to infiltrate The Village by pretending to be a traitor was very smart, but he underestimated the psychological assault he was walking into. He’s in there to rescue old partner Carey after all but, hey, she doesn’t seem to want rescuing. Or does she? Another fly in the proverbial is the fact Section, his head of department in MI5, is now in The Village as well, supposedly kidnapped. He also just happens to be the only person who knows Breen is not a traitor. Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

Last issue was mostly taken up by Breen hatching a plan to escape, with both Section and Carey along for the ride. Can he trust both, or even either of them? Who knows. Anyway the escape attempt goes South and ends with Breen shooting himself in the head. Yep. This may be a very short third issue. Or maybe not, as Breen awakes from a very vivid VR setup. It was of course all a setup by The Village hierarchy who tried to get him lower his guard. His reward? waking up on the couch of Dr Freud in Vienna, before Carey bursts in and shoots him. Twice. Another elaborate illusion, but a very psychologically damaging one.

Such a damaging one that back in the VR chamber, Number Four and the Doctor administering the ‘treatment’ advise Number Two to pull back a bit. Nope. Number Two actually tells them to increase the nightmare levels, he really wants Breen to break. As bad as they get, Breen holds (just) and is carted off to the ‘zombie’ ward, where the other recipients of this lovely method of information retrieval are held. These are all people now mute, apparently brain damaged, but Breen discovers they can speak to him with their minds. He plots his escape, with their help, and manages to get the Doctor to surgically remove the tracker in his body. Is that really a bearded former Number Six as well…

Breen makes for the beach, where we have an iconic Rover (those giant see through spheres) rising out of the sea scene. Luckily for Breen, his smart move to force his tracker down a guards throat pays off, as Rover kills said guard. As Rover returns to wherever it was sent, Breen does the bravest, or stupidest, thing. He follows it. He reaches a strange complex, home to a sort of birthing chamber for Rovers, and lots and lots of files and records going back to the Sixties. He finds his record, and it seems he’s been played from the beginning, as they had information on him before his arrival.Something’s very wrong, and when a gunshot rings out Breen realises just how bad all this misdirection has been. Number Two lies dead on the floor, and in his place? Someone Breen knows very well.

Milligan again just hits an absolute slam dunk with this issue. The horror that lies underneath the Village facade is plain to see, and Breen is fighting on more fronts than he is even aware of. Milligan has crafted a tale with a lot to say, and he says it well. Paranoia is the new norm, misdirection justifiable, the ends always justify the means. Adding a perfect timeless retro sheen to the scripting is the wonderful art by Colin Lorimer, and beautifully shaded colouring of Joana Lafluente. The pacing is immaculate too.

Anything that provides both an entertaining read, and makes you think a little, is worth every penny. Throw in that awesome cover, and picking up this issue is an absolute no-brainer.

As good as anything currently being published, anywhere. Lovely stuff.

***** 5/5


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