Too Dead To Die: A Simon Cross Thriller

Image Comics. Dec. 2022. 176p. ISBN 9781534324510. pap. $19.99. THRILLER
In the 1980s, Simon Cross enjoyed a life of international intrigue as the world’s greatest secret agent; today, he’s a retiree who splits his time between romancing widows and ruminating on whether the various missions he undertook as a younger man were as much about saving the world as they were maintaining a status quo favorable to those in positions of power. Enter Liberty Nuance, an old flame bearing life-altering news: their fiery fling three decades earlier resulted in the birth of a daughter, Lily, a brilliant geologist currently targeted for assassination by the mysterious leader of a multinational corporation. And so, plot thus set, Cross embarks upon an investigation that quickly escalates into a globe-spanning battle against a variety of sinister villains. Guggenheim’s (Last Flight Out) script emphasizes fast-paced, twisty plotting while managing to leave room for several fascinating scenes interrogating whether a superspy such as Cross is of much use in a contemporary world. Chaykin’s (Hey Kids! Comics! Vol. 2: Prophets & Loss) illustrations combine a dynamic pulp aesthetic with dazzlingly innovative page design.
VERDICT A thoroughly entertaining, loving riff on familiar pulp characters that raises compelling questions about their viability in a rapidly changing world.
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