Friday, July 27, 2018

The Prisoner: Original Art Edition

   I'm old enough to have watched The Prisoner when it first aired on American television in 1968 (I was 12 years old, to be precise). 

   I'm not sure I really understood it, but I loved it - the secret agent vibe, the strange science fiction-ish setting, the stylish look and sharp writing all combined to make it irresistible.

   But in those days before home video or DVRs or Internet, if you missed an episode, you could only wait for reruns or syndication - and there was none of that (at least for quite a few years) for The Prisoner. It aired once and then it vanished from the air.

   I had heard that the final episode was a wild one, but it was probably a decade or two later before I finally got to see the series again - and it was just as much fun the second time around (and yes, that last episode is a wild one)!

   Over the years I've seen some of the pages that Jack Kirby created, but how wonderful to see them gathered together in a single package like this. 

   Kirby was Marvel's go-to guy to manage adaptations that no one else would attempt - who else would tackle 2001: A Space Odyssey and craft a follow-up series?

   For whatever reason, his version of The Prisoner was never published - and rather than give up on the idea, Marvel actually gave the assignment to two other towering talents - writer Steve Englehart (it was his final assignment during his first stint at Marvel) and another living legend, artist Gil Kane.

   Both attempts are pretty straightforward adaptations of the first episode of the series (or part of the episode, at least). They're a lot of fun from a historic standpoint, and it's fun to watch two different titans tackling this unusual title.

   If you're a fan of The Prisoner, this is "must buy" territory - a rare glimpse at that classic story!

Grade: A



Anonymous said...

Did you buy the new series by Milligan? 3 issue series....

El Vox said...

The Prisoner was filmed in Wales at a place called Portmeirion Village. It's quite lovely. I got to visit there last year on a UK trip.

Richard L said...

I have this on order from Tales Of Wonder, but will not received it until end of Oct, along with other books from the order. I've not seen a lot of this, really looking forward to it. Thanks.

Kevin Findley said...

Once again, we see that there was nothing Jack Kirby could not draw and do it better than nearly everyone else.


Chuck said...

Anon, yes, I've been reading and enjoying the new series.

El Vox, very cool! I was in Wales a couple of years ago - wish I'd thought to visit the site!

Richard, I think you'll enjoy it!

Kevin, so true!