A tropical island is usually a relaxing experience for any visitor. The lush flora setting, the wide-open beaches, and the partying nightlife is a wonderland vacation. But for Nora Freud, a spy on a small island in the Bermuda Triangle, the tropics is everything but relaxing. Created by Chelsea Cain and Lia Miternique, Spy Island is an espionage story that follows super-spy Nora Freud. She is handling an assignment on the popular destination island, the Bermuda Triangle. However, while the island has become a vacation hotspot, the reputation of the Bermuda Triangle still brings out the strange and unusual to the location.
Chelsea Cain opens the first issue with all the high notes for a great spy tale: an exotic location, a suave spy, an assassination, and a cocktail party. We are introduced to Nora Freud with a ton of personality straight out the gate. Nora’s been in the spy business for a while and has gotten to enjoy the lifestyle. But her assignment on the Bermuda Triangle has become more of an annoyance. The Bermuda Triangle is packed with other spies, evil villains, and clueless tourists.
It might seem there are enough ideas laid out for a decent spy adventure, the plot takes the time to build up Nora and the cast of color spies that all hang out on the island but Cain introduces some fantasy elements to twist the story in a different direction. On top of the espionage subplot, there is something supernatural hiding in the background of the story. It looks like something mythical will be arriving at the island, and will mix up the spy game for everyone.
Elise McCall and Rachelle Rosenberg absolutely nail the look and feel of a spy story with golden days of spy aesthetics. It has that recognizable bigger and brighter designs of the 60s, similar to Austin Powers but without the satire attached to it. The character designs are diverse and lively, you have a James Bond playboy, a mysterious masked man, and a wearied mime. There is a lot going on with the artwork that teases more of the story.
Spy Island #1 has a strong start as a spy story but subverts expectations to open up the plot. The first issue sets up much of the characters and tone but is slow to reveal what the actual story will be about. Nora Freud is an interesting character, full of charm and confidence that will easily draw in readers once she gets knee-deep in some mysteries.