Review: Codename: Action #1
During the height of the Cold War, unknown forces scheme to heat up a global conflict. As key officials on both sides of the Iron Curtain are replaced with doppelgangers, the infiltration threatens to disrupt the precarious state of world affairs. The security of the Free World depends on a young secret agent, one assigned to shape the world’s masked heroes into a force with singular purpose and unyielding resolve!
A new six-part series from Dynamite comics based off of the 1960s hit action figure, Captain Action, kicks off today. Codename: Action #1 is written by Chris Roberson with art by Jonathan Lau. Ivan Nunes handles colors with Simon Bowland providing lettering. This is Chris Roberson’s follow-up to the smash hit Masks. Is the writer able to capture that old school pulp hero lighting twice…and in a row at that? (Spoiler Alert: Yes, yes he can).
The story opens with an action sequence that would give Mission Impossible a run for its money. Our hero has just completed a test, setting a new record in fact, that reclassifies him as an active field agent. He will now be known as Operative 1001. The briefing on his first mission starts immediately after his promotion. The story is set during the Cold War, and the usual sabre rattling and brinksmanship is going on. This time it’s different though. This time it turns out some of the world’s leaders have been replaced by doppelgangers who will make sure WW3 begins. 1001 and the legendary Operative 5 (think American Sean Connery) are tasked with finding out who is replacing the world’s leaders and why they’re doing it. To complicate matters even further, this is a world of heroes. It’s not like anyone would attempt to switch out a hero with an identical replica, huh? What happens when you can’t tell the doppelgangers from the real deal? Who is even behind the switcheroo?
Roberson writes a spectacular first issue. He gets things going in style and sets everything into motion without pages and pages of exposition and explanation. The story is set in the Cold War, something is going on, and secret agents have been tasked to find out why. Strap in and enjoy the ride. This is James Bond with a splash of pulp. Lau’s art is stellar. The opening sequence is stunning. Lau is able to handle the action just as well as the scenes where everyone is standing around being briefed. From rayguns to bombs exploding, Lau makes everything look like it has a Michael Bay action budget. Nunes’ colors help bring out Lau’s details. Everything is bright and very 1960s. Everything looks very slick and stylish.
Bottom Line: Codename: Action is an amazing start to what promises to be a great series. Roberson brings his Mask magic to the comic about a 60s toy. This may be the best James Bond movie not about James Bond you’ll ever see. 5/5