Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Women of Comic Books who are More Than Skin Deep: #3
Name: Tara Chace.
Creator: Greg Rucka.
Appearance: Queen and Country.
Occupation: British Intelligence Agent.
Quote: “There’s a trick, they teach it to you at the School. When someone pulls a gun on you, they say…charge at him like a bloody lunatic… It’s the last thing they expect and most of them can’t hit water from a submarine anyway…and repeat to yourself over and over that you’re doing this for Queen and Country.”
When the world thinks of cool British spies, they usually think of James Bond, but maybe instead they should think of Tara Chace. Ms. Chace is a member of an elite group of MI-6 agents called The Minders. Where James might go up against incredibly rich and suave Euro madmen, the Minder’s foes are based in real world situation filled bad guys who could be all too real.
You rarely see James Bond’s life outside of the Agency. Maybe picking up a girl or two, or a brief glimpse of his childhood estate in Skyfall, but nothing of substance. The idea behind this is that his job is his life. Tara too has dedicated herself to her secret service, but she doesn’t just disappear when she is off the clock. She may feel that she doesn’t have a life, but Rucka shows us what she does with her non-life. Because in the end the woman makes the spy, as much as the spy makes the woman.
Tara has to do some bad things to save lives and protect England, but unlike Ian Fleming’s character, who was recruited because of his sociopathic tendencies, Tara has to live with her decisions. She begins to drink too much. She has connectionless trysts, and begins to wallow in self-loathing. But how she manages to regain and hold on her humanity is as much a part of story as the war on terror she fights.
Tara was born a child of wealth and privilege, but she decided to dedicate herself to the service of her country. However sometimes politicians and yes men in the agency, put not only her but, many innocent civilians in jeopardy. More than once she and the other Minders have found themselves without support or protection. They can’t even legally carry firearms in England, so when the Minders were being targeted by assassins on their home soil, and the politicians denied them weapons it was tantamount to a death sentence.
Recently it has been announced that indy darling Ellen Page, will be playing Tara in what is anticipated to be a Borne Identity like movie franchise. It is natural that Q&C, would transcend the pages of comic books, Greg Rucka started out as a novelist, and three large portions of Tara’s life is told in the novels Gentleman’s Game, Private War and Last Run, with comic books filling the gaps between some of the novels.
I am tentatively excited about seeing my favorite spy-girl in a movie. But I am hopping she gets a better treatment than her comic book sister Carrie Stetko got in the movie adaption of Whiteout. A movie so bad creator Greg Rucka said of it the CD was only good as a coaster to put your drinks on. It’d be sad that after thwarting terrorist, and assassins Tara Chace got put down by Hollywood.
For serving her Queen and Country. For not being a mere robotic character, and being able to hand James Bond his tuxedo covered butt, Tara Chace is a woman in comics who is more than skin deep.