The Stringer

Nantier, Beall & Minoustchine. Apr. 2021. 152p. ISBN 9781681122724. $24.99. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Relegated to working as a freelance war correspondent for low pay, after the internet and new media render nearly impossible the type of hard-hitting journalism he favors, Marc Scribner begins using his rudimentary hacking skills to stoke rivalries between Afghan warlords in order to deliver exclusive reporting on the ensuing conflicts. The scheme wins Marc fame, fortune, and a pair of Pulitzers. Before long, he moves into arms dealing and begins escalating and provoking conflicts worldwide so that he can sell weaponry to both sides. When Russian intelligence stumbles across his scheme, their U.S. counterparts rebuff the findings, thinking the report is disinformation; Marc feels unstoppable. But when he falls in love and decides to settle down, he’ll discover that taking advantage of the 24-hour news cycle’s hunger for content may have created a monster not even he can outmaneuver.
VERDICT Marc proves to be a charismatic protagonist, reminiscent of Breaking Bad’s Walter White, but he remains slightly underdeveloped. Rall’s (Political Suicide: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party) real interest seems to be using international intrigue to deliver a pointed critique of how technological advancement has destroyed journalistic integrity.
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