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Kitty’s Pryde Gives Radical Premiere: Mata Hari A 4/5

Review by “Troynos”

This is a very interesting concept. Thinking back after reading the afterward, I knew who Mata Hari was, but I really couldn’t recall much being written or done about her. The story seems like it would be perfect for a movie or even a fictionalized comic series (The Further Adventures of Mata Hari or something). But really? I can’t recall anything being done.


The afterward speaks of some huge conspiracy around Mata Hari that shaped the course of the world ever since World War I. If true it’s remarkable how one single person could have shaped the events, especially one that is really little more than an ‘aside’ in the history books.

Wilkes definitely has a passion for the subject.

The story itself is well written. The narrator has a nice sing-song quality to the writing that just flows nice and is easy to read. I don’t normally get voices of characters when I read a comic, but this one definitely had a young female voice as I read the text and could easily associate it with the image of the narrator.

The odd part is that it takes place in 1953 and yet mentions Elvis and other events that took place after. That is kind of jarring. I understand the effect that Wilkes (writer of xXx and just announced Iron Fist) is going for, trying to draw comparisons between what happened for WWI and the events we’re more familiar with, but it’s kind of jarring that the 18 year old narrator in 1953 mentions Elvis.

Other than that the story moves along nicely and is well laid out. The journal entries of Vadim Moslov are a bit heavy handed with the political message, but it’s still easy to read and conveys the ideas.

This is an introductory issue and really doesn’t advance the plot much, beyond introducing some of the major players. I’d be really interested in learning where Wilkes took his liberties and made the story more fictionalized than it was. He mentions taking the General and playing around with him a bit more than reality. I wonder where else he took liberties.

I’ve always been a fan of Martinez’ work and his linework is even better than I remember it in this issue. Can see the family resemblance between Antonia’s father and the younger Vadim. We haven’t seen Mata Hari yet, so can’t wait to see how she appears under Martinez’ pencil. There’s a background artist credited and to be honest, that’s the weakest part of the art. The backgrounds aren’t that detailed except in a couple of spots. I don’t know if those parts, where the backgrounds are more detailed is where Vallete did his work and the rest was Martinez. I’d think it was that, with Vallete concentrating on the more detailed backdrops, but I don’t know for sure.

I’m not sure how the colors were achieved. It seems they were painted so I’m assumed that Kimpel painted over Martinez’ pencils instead of the typical digital coloring that we see in most books nowadays. It gives the book a nice look. It’s not a typical painted book look, but more muted and tighter. But its not as tight as a normal book, if that makes any sense. It falls somewhere in the middle and gives the work a nice and unique feel.

Radical Premiere Mata Hari receives: 4 out of 5

I’m interested in seeing what Wilkes has in store.

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