Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Reads You Review: MATA HARI #0

ART: Roy Allan Martinez
BACKGROUND ART: Arnaud Valette
COLORS: Drazenka Kimpel
LETTERS: Todd Klein
COVER: Támás Gáspár
20pp, Color, $1.00

Next year, Radical Publishing will release the full color, hardcover graphic novel, Mata Hari. It is created and written by Rich Wilkes (the creator of the xXx film franchise) and drawn by Roy Allen Martinez (the artist of Radical’s FVZA comic book). Radical recently released Mata Hari #0, a $1-priced “Racial Premiere,” which presents 20 pages from the upcoming graphic novel.

The story opens in Litmov, Russia in 1953. The narrator is Antonia Maslov, a young Russian girl who recounts the exploits of her uncle, Lt. Vadim Maslov. Vadim was a photographer who worked with the French during World War I. Vadim is destined to be part of a love triangle with French General Robert Nivelle and the notorious Mata Hari.

Reputedly a German double agent, Mata Hari would be blamed for the deaths of 50,000 French soldiers and was executed after a sensational trial shocked Europe. The question is was she really a betrayer of countless lovers or merely a scapegoat.

After reading Mata Hari #0, I’m curious about the rest of the story, but I wish the title character would have made an actual, first person appearance in this preview. Truthfully, writer Rich Wilkes’ article at the end of this issue, “Mata Hari: A Proposition,” is a more interesting read than the comic book portion, although the comic book portion does intrigue.



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