Written By: Dean Motter and Mark Askwith
Page Count: 187
Availability: Try Amazon
During 1988-89 DC Comics published a four-issue mini-series of The Prisoner, titled Prisoner A-D. In 1990 these issues were compiled by Titan Books Ltd into a graphic novel titled Shattered Visage. Written by Dean Motter and Mark Askwith, and illustrated by Dean, the four separate issues were subtitled: A(r)rival, By Hook or by Crook, Confrontation and Departure. The work suffers from one of the fan writers' biggest flaws: the revisionist history. Even before the first chapter a prologue tells us that the events of Fall Out were "a theatrical tour-de-force involving actors as well as hallucinogenic drugs." I've often wondered why people do this. After all, if you don't like the source then why write a sequel to it? Also worrying is that anally retentive need to echo the dialogue of the series, and it doesn't feel particularly original. It can also be a little pretentious (much like the series the more cynical of you will say), opening with a quote from Shelley. And I don't mean Hewell Bennett.
The story isn't exactly dense (over fifty of its 187 pages having no dialogue) yet is kind of okay in a rehashed sense. Basic plotline involves an unnamed woman investigating the Village, and - surprise! - being called No.6. Meanwhile the old No.6, now hopelessly out of touch with the real world after spending twenty years in the disused Village, is tracked down by an old No.2 (Leo McKern) out for revenge.
The whole thing is nicely put together and is a diverting, albeit brief, read, but again, you have to ask yourself... what was the point?
Finally, a quote from this review was taken slightly out of context and put on the back cover of a March 2019 pressing of this graphic novel, along with quotes from other sites. Using the sentence "The whole thing is nicely put together and is a diverting, albeit brief, read, but again, you have to ask yourself... what was the point?" they transform this into the phrase "The whole thing is nicely put together and diverting".
However, even more distorted are the three quotes that share that back page. The quote from FerretBrain (now a defunct site, which can only be reached via Internet Archive) is fairly true to the general tone of their review. However, the quoted sentence "Shattered Visage is a fitting sequel to The Prisoner" sounds a lot kinder than when it has the word "overall" placed before it. The Night Cruiser Blogspot has a 7/10 review of the comic, though their quote again gets the meaning slightly skewed when extracted from context: "[But as sequels go it's likely to be] as good as it gets."
Yet the worst comes with BlogIntoMystery, who described the comics as "okay" and a "mixed bag" - the line about "It 'had me at hello' and gets my highest recommendation" was actually referring to the TV series, not this graphic novel.
In a way... bless 'em. It's a little dishonest but you've got to admire their chutzpah, haven't you? Good luck to them. Or, as Titan Comics would probably phrase it, "You've got to admire their chutzpah."