Codename: Knockout #1: The Devil You Say
by Robert Rodi, Louis Small Jr., Amanda Conner, Yanick Paquette, Al Rio (Vertigo, 2010)

You learn all you need to know about sidekick Go-Go Fiasco in the opening sequence, when he's tortured to reveal the location of some well-hidden microfilm. You don't get the full introduction to the title character, Angela St. Cloud, until the second chapter, when she -- clad, only briefly, in a towel -- is attacked by pastel ninjas while handling aggravating calls from both her mother and a persistent telemarketer.

Angela is very good at what she does. But what she does, exactly doesn't become clear for some time. You see, her mother, Celeste St. Cloud, is the leader of G.O.O.D. (the Global Organization for the Obliteration of Dastardliness), while her father, Damon Devlin, leads E.V.I.L. (Extralegal Vendors of Iniquity & Licentiousness). How Celeste and Damon came together to produce an heir is another story -- and it will get told, believe me -- but the point now is that both parents want their daughter to come work for them and, eventually, take over the organization. The question is, whom will she choose?

The Devil You Say is a fun introduction to Angela and her world and, coming from the Vertigo arm of DC Comics, you don't have to worry about limits on language and nudity. Angela herself is an entertaining and extremely gifted character, but her flamboyantly gay pal Go-Go is even more of a hoot. The parents, too, are fun to meet.

This volume makes its introductions, gives us a chance to meet the parents, then follows Angela on her first mission for one organization -- with all signs indicating she'll try out the other in volume two. I'll be sure to come back and see what this talented superspy has to offer then.

review by
Tom Knapp

24 July 2010

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