02nd Aug2018

‘The Prisoner #4′ Review (Titan Comics)

by Dean Fuller

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

The_Prisoner_4_A-cover

What’s the sign of a good book? Really making you look forward to that next issue. What’s the sign of a GREAT book? One that makes you check the schedules each week to see when it’s going to appear. For me, this is a great book. Milligan is writing it on several levels, you can choose to just enjoy it on the one level you so choose, or you can look for all the hidden winks and nods, the sly digs at authority and the political classes, the microscope held up to society. Most importantly for me, it continues to bottle the essence of what made The Prisoner great, while making strides forward with new characters and new interpretations.

Final issue time, and I’ll say up front I’m expecting a nice little tidy resolution. That’s not Milligan’s style, and it’s not The Prisoner‘s style either. Last issue saw a nice immersion in Prisoner mythology, with a run in with one of the Rover units on the beach, and Breen discovering the control centre of The Village itself, including records going back to the Sixties. Records including his own. Before Breen can plan any further a gunshot rings out, and he is shocked to discover former partner Carey, who he is there to rescue, has shot and killed Number Two. Carey is now the new Number Two. Well, I never saw that coming.

Talking about not seeing something coming, Carey seems to want to kill Breen, and just as she is about to pull the trigger the chair electrocutes her dead. With her dying breathe she helps Breen, giving him a security pass and the directions to escape. He makes a run for it, ending up in a very familiar car, and seemingly finds The Village is a large dome as he looks back at it. But is it? Is it real? Is it just in the mind? Breen wants to know, and resolves to find and kill Number One if he can find them. Breen makes it to London, gets a weapon, and makes for the address he was given in The Village. Looks like time to resolve things…

What follows is yet more fantastic merging of Milligan and The Prisoner mythology, as Breen arrives at the location. A Mr Smith agrees to take him to Number One, past archaic filing rooms and old fashioned tape recorders. Meet Number One we do, and he’s not what you think. In fact, he’s an it. Number One is the ultimate uncertainty machine it seems, no emotion, no malice, no agenda, just pure, incorruptible actions. Breen, surprisingly, thinks this pretty cool. All the old political systems have failed, he surmises, so why not give this one a try. Not held back by all the old baggage. Ping! We have a new Number Two. Seems Number One is quite partial to Breen and wants to recruit him. Has this all been some mad job interview?

Breen reasons the only person who could have set all this in motion was Section, his boss at MI5′s The Unit, and so also the man responsible for Carey’s dead. He makes his way there, just in time to spot Carey and Section together. Say what now? He tails Carey and confronts her, and discovers everything was a set up to get him in The Village, orchestrated by Section. Carey doesn’t know why, just following orders of course. Breen next goes after Section…..I won’t spoil the ending but let’s just say there is both a new Number Six and a new Number Two in The Village, and the game starts all over again.

Perfect. An ending that is actually a beginning. Peter Milligan wrote the hell out of this issue, and Colin Lorimer drew the hell out of it too. His retro style visuals are every bit as important as the scripts to create and maintain this world, this place, these characters. A great final issue to a great Prisoner mini-series, and a book that will most definitely be back.

So, Titan Comics, Peter Milligan, Colin Lorimer, Number Two, and Number Six, until then….. Be Seeing You.

***** 5/5

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