31 is a spy, who has no name. When his cover is blown, and his sister is taken hostage, he must rely on his past training to save her. He returns to the states with a vengeance to protect not just her, but his integrity as a black ops operative. After being disbanded, he turns to private consulting for money, however when the Cuban incident goes public as does his identity, he is forced back in to the spy game to save his life.
Looking for inspiration for his agent 31, Anderson eschews the overly gadget relying James Bond in favor of the more direct ‘hands on’ approach taken by Jason Bourne on his enemies. Although the issues are not lengthy ones, almost every page features some intense action. The story is told in a non-linear fashion, which is confusing at first, but soon finds its groove with this reader. The illustrations are colored in subdued shades of black, blue and khaki with pops vibrant reds and yellows. The color scheme well accompanies the storytelling- secret agents/shadowy colors interspersed with some violence/loud colors.
31 has a female partner, 32. They are carrying on a dalliance in between battling bad guys and rescues. 32 is drawn a bit too lasciviously for my tastes, but her portrayal is nothing out of the ordinary in the comic book world. And luckily 32 definitely has brains and brawn along with her boobs so she’s not just there for her other assets. Many spy stories feature a protagonist who is predominantly on his/her own, but 31 and 32 are working in tandem. It is a nice change up to the usual formula.
I am only two issues in, issue #1 and issue #2 entitled “She’s Not a Girl Who Misses Much,” so I am not sure where the story is going yet, but it is intriguing. And word from Mr. Anderson is the first story arc was recently optioned to be adapted into a feature film. 31 offers something a little different and something surprisingly different from what you would expect from a story inspired by a summer job at a water park.
Pick up the available issues today and look for more soon to come. Anderson’s recent Kickstarter campaign was a success and we should have more 31 to look forward to with new artist, Orlando Baez.
I also had a chance to ask Andrew Anderson a few questions about his work, stay tuned for that interview!