The List: Alpha Vol. 3 GN
Publisher: Cinebook Ltd.
Release Date: October 2010
Price: $11.95
Creator: Mythic (Writer) and Youri Jigounov (Artist)
Format: 48 pgs.; Full-Color; Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-8491-8042-9
Age Rating: Teen+
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

The CIA sends their agent Alpha to Germany to take a former officer in the East Germany secret police and his family to safety in America in exchange for his list of Americans who once collaborated with the former Communist government.  But even decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall there are still parties that would stop at nothing to possess such a list.

Readers used to the kinetic pacing of most American action/adventure comics might find the pacing of the first half of The List to be a little slow and admittedly it does move a little leisurely by U.S. standards.  But once they get through the establishment of the all players in the drama they will discover that the plot by Mythic (Jean-Claude Smit-le-Benedicte) is mostly just a pretext to connect all of the car chases and gun battles.

During the course of the adventure we learn absolutely nothing about Alpha or any of the other wafer thin characters; they’re little more than cyphers in service to the story.  But then, you really don’t expect to see strong characterization in a paperback political thriller and The List is a pretty effective comic book version of one.  This is due in large part to the highly decorative and meticulously detailed artwork of Youri Jigounov which helps keep the proceedings grounded in reality.

It’s an altogether enjoyable outing in the espionage genre featuring a decidedly non-super secret agent, perfect for those who keep claiming they want to read 'realistic' comics with genuinely 'adult' sensibilities.

--Steve Bennett: Writer and retail services consultant.