Shattered Visage: How the Comic Book Honors and Expands on The Prisoner Legacy
The Prisoner Shattered Visage: A Comic Book Sequel to the Cult TV Series
If you are a fan of the iconic 1960s British mystery television series The Prisoner, you might be interested in reading Shattered Visage, a comic book mini-series that serves as a sequel to the show. Published by DC Comics in 1988-1989, Shattered Visage continues the saga of Number Six, the British secret agent who was imprisoned in a mysterious place called the Village, where he was subjected to various forms of psychological manipulation and coercion. The comic book also introduces new characters and explores new aspects of the Village and its secrets.
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What is The Prisoner?
The Prisoner is a television series created by and starring Patrick McGoohan as Number Six, a former secret agent who resigns from his job and is abducted by unknown forces. He wakes up in a place called the Village, where everyone is assigned a number instead of a name, and where he is constantly monitored and interrogated by a series of Number Twos, who want to know why he resigned and what information he possesses. Number Six refuses to cooperate and tries to escape, but he is always thwarted by the Village's security system, which includes a giant white balloon-like device called Rover. The series consists of 17 episodes that mix spy thriller, science fiction, surrealism, allegory, and satire. The series is widely regarded as one of the most original and influential shows in television history, and has inspired many works of fiction and art.
What is Shattered Visage?
Shattered Visage is a four-issue comic book mini-series published by DC Comics in 1988-1989, based on The Prisoner. The name is a reference to Percy Shelley's famous sonnet Ozymandias, which forms part of the introduction. The series was illustrated by Mister X creator Dean Motter and co-written with Mark Askwith. It was later collected as a 208-page trade paperback, with the addition of a new prologue.
Shattered Visage is set 20 years after the final episode of the television series, and follows former secret agent Alice Drake as she is shipwrecked on the shores of the Village and encounters an aged Number Six. While the decades-old conflict unfolds between Six and Number Two (as played by Leo McKern in the TV series), secret agents in London have their own plans regarding the intelligence mine that is the Village, as well as the secret lying at its very core.
Part One: Arrival
Alice Drake is an adventurer who embarks on a round-the-world sailing expedition. Her daughter Meagan is left in the care of her estranged husband Thomas, a secret service officer who is researching the Village. Thomas reveals that in 1967, the Village was raided by UN troops, but Number Six was not among the inmates released and his whereabouts remain unknown. Number Two (Leo McKern) was jailed for violating the Official Secrets Act and wrote a tell-all book about the Village, which Thomas altered to redact classified information. With Two's 20-year sentence ending, Thomas fears that he will return to the Village and expose British covert operations.
Meanwhile, Alice's boat is caught in a storm and she is washed ashore on the island where the Village is located. She is greeted by Number Six, who has aged but still wears his trademark blazer. He tells her that he is the only inhabitant of the Village, and that he has been living there for 20 years, trying to cope with the trauma of his past. He shows her around the Village, which is in a state of decay and disrepair. He also reveals that he has been working on a project: a giant mosaic of his own face, made from the shattered pieces of the Village's surveillance cameras.
Part Two: Departure
Alice tries to communicate with her boat, but finds that the radio is jammed by the Village's security system. She also discovers that Rover, the balloon-like device that used to prevent escape attempts, is still active and patrols the island. She asks Number Six why he never left the Village, and he tells her that he has no reason to leave, since he has no identity or purpose outside. He also says that he believes that the Village is a metaphor for the modern world, where people are controlled by numbers, technology, and bureaucracy. He says that he is free in his own way, since he has rejected the system and created his own reality.
Meanwhile, Thomas learns that Alice's boat has gone missing and suspects that she might have reached the Village. He contacts his superior, Colonel Hawke-Englis, who tells him that they have been monitoring the Village for years and that they have a plan to deal with it. Hawke-Englis also reveals that he was once a Number Two in the Village, and that he knows the secret of Number Six's identity and resignation. He says that he will send a team to retrieve Alice and Number Six, and to destroy the Village once and for all.
Part Three: Confrontation
Alice and Number Six are visited by Number Two (Leo McKern), who has escaped from prison and returned to the Village with a group of loyal followers. He claims that he is the rightful ruler of the Village, and that he wants to resume his interrogation of Number Six. He also says that he has a bomb hidden in the Village, which he will detonate if Number Six does not cooperate. Number Six refuses to acknowledge Number Two's authority, and says that he has nothing to say to him. He also tells Alice to stay away from him, since he does not trust anyone.
Meanwhile, Hawke-Englis arrives at the island with a team of agents, including Thomas. They infiltrate the Village and encounter resistance from Number Two's men. Hawke-Englis confronts Number Two and reveals that he was his successor as Number Two in the Village, and that he was responsible for staging the UN raid in 1967. He also says that he knows that Number Six is actually John Drake, a former agent who resigned because he discovered a conspiracy involving Hawke-Englis and other high-ranking officials. Hawke-Englis says that he wants to kill Drake and erase his existence, since he poses a threat to their plans.
Part Four: Resolution
Alice tries to reason with Drake and convince him to leave the Village with her. She tells him that she cares for him and that she understands his pain. She also says that she knows his real name, since she read his file at Thomas's office. Drake is surprised by this revelation, but still refuses to trust her. He tells her that his name does not matter, since it is only a label given by others. He also says that he does not belong anywhere, since he has seen too much of the world's corruption and madness.
Hawke-Englis orders his men to plant explosives around the Village and prepare to evacuate. He also orders Thomas to kill Drake and Alice, but Thomas hesitates. Hawke-Englis shoots Thomas in the chest, but Thomas manages to shoot back and wound Hawke-Englis in the leg. Thomas then crawls towards Drake and Alice and tells them to escape while they can.
Drake decides to leave the Village with Alice, but not before confronting Number Two one last time. He tells him that he has wasted his life chasing after him, and that he has nothing to offer him but pity. He also says that he does not care about his bomb or his book, since they are both meaningless in the end. He then walks away from Number Two, who is left alone in despair.
As they sail away, they see a huge explosion behind them. The Village is destroyed by Number Two's bomb, along with Hawke-Englis and his men. Drake and Alice are shocked by the sight, but also relieved to be free. They embrace and kiss, and wonder what the future will bring.
How does Shattered Visage relate to the TV series?
Shattered Visage is an authorized sequel to the TV series, and it follows the continuity and canon of the show. It features the return of some of the original characters, such as Number Six, Number Two (Leo McKern), and Rover. It also references some of the events and episodes of the show, such as "Fall Out", "The Chimes of Big Ben", "Free for All", and "Many Happy Returns". It also expands on some of the mysteries and questions left by the show, such as Number Six's identity, resignation, and fate.
However, Shattered Visage also deviates from the TV series in some ways. It introduces new characters and scenarios that were not part of the show, such as Alice Drake, Thomas Drake, Hawke-Englis, and the secret conspiracy behind the Village. It also updates some of the elements of the show to fit the 1980s context, such as the technology, politics, and culture. It also has a different tone and style from the show, which was more surreal, ambiguous, and allegorical. Shattered Visage is more realistic, straightforward, and explanatory.
What are the themes and messages of Shattered Visage?
Shattered Visage explores some of the same themes and messages as the TV series, such as individuality vs conformity, freedom vs authority, identity vs role, reality vs illusion, and sanity vs madness. It also examines some new themes and messages that are relevant to the 1980s context, such as aging vs youth, past vs present, loyalty vs betrayal, love vs hate, and hope vs despair.
One of the main themes of Shattered Visage is the impact of trauma and isolation on one's psyche and personality. The comic book shows how Number Six has been affected by his 20 years of imprisonment in the Village. He has become bitter, cynical, paranoid, and detached from reality. He has lost his sense of identity and purpose. He has also developed a form of Stockholm syndrome, where he has grown attached to his captor and prison. He has created his own world in the Village, where he is free in his own way.
Another theme of Shattered Visage is the contrast between different generations and perspectives. The comic book shows how Alice Drake represents a younger and more optimistic view of life than Number Six. She is adventurous, curious, compassionate, and hopeful. She has not been corrupted or disillusioned by the world. She also represents a different approach to dealing with problems than Number Six. She is more willing to communicate, cooperate, and compromise. She also believes in love and trust.
How does Shattered Visage use visual and literary techniques?
Shattered Visage uses various visual and literary techniques to convey its story and themes. Some of these techniques are:
The mosaic: The mosaic that Number Six has been working on for 20 years is a symbol of his shattered self-image and identity. It is made from the broken pieces of the Village's surveillance cameras, which represent his constant observation and manipulation by others. It also represents his attempt to create something meaningful out of his chaotic and meaningless existence.
The sonnet: The sonnet that introduces each issue of the comic book is a reference to Percy Shelley's Ozymandias, which is about a ruined statue of a tyrannical king in a desolate land. The sonnet reflects the theme of decay and futility that pervades Shattered Visage. It also foreshadows the fate of the Village and its inhabitants.
The colors: The colors used in the comic book contrast the different moods and atmospheres of the story. The Village is depicted in bright and vivid colors, which contrast with its dark and sinister nature. The outside world is depicted in dull and muted colors, which reflect its bleakness and corruption.
The dialogue used in the comic book reflects the personalities and relationships of the characters. Number Six speaks in short and sharp sentences, which show his defiance and sarcasm. Number Two speaks in long and elaborate sentences, which show his arrogance and verbosity. Alice speaks in friendly and casual sentences, which show her openness and warmth. Hawke-Englis speaks in cold and formal sentences, which show his authority and ruthlessness.
Why should you read Shattered Visage?
Shattered Visage is a comic book that offers a unique and intriguing perspective on The Prisoner, one of the most influential and original TV shows of all time. It is a comic book that respects and honors the legacy of the show, while also adding new layers and dimensions to it. It is a comic book that explores some of the most relevant and timeless themes and messages of our society, such as freedom, identity, reality, and sanity. It is a comic book that uses various visual and literary techniques to create a compelling and captivating story and style. It is a comic book that will challenge your mind and touch your heart.
What is the meaning of the title Shattered Visage?
The title Shattered Visage is a reference to Percy Shelley's sonnet Ozymandias, which is about a ruined statue of a tyrannical king in a desolate land. The sonnet contains the line "And on the pedestal these words appear: / My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! / Nothing beside remains. Round the decay / Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare / The lone and level sands stretch far away." The title reflects the theme of decay and futility that pervades Shattered Visage. It also foreshadows the fate of the Village and its inhabitants.
Who is John Drake?
John Drake is the real name of Number Six, as revealed by Hawke-Englis in Shattered Visage. John Drake was also the name of a secret agent played by Patrick McGoohan in an earlier TV series called Danger Man (or Secret Agent in the US). Many fans have speculated that Number Six was actually John Drake after he resigned from his job, but this was never confirmed by McGoohan or the creators of The Prisoner. Shattered Visage is one of the few works that explicitly identifies Number Six as John Drake.
What is the secret conspiracy behind the Village?
The secret conspiracy behind the Village is revealed by Hawke-Englis in Shattered Visage. He says that he was part of a group of high-ranking officials who wanted to use the Village as a source of intelligence and a tool of manipulation. They planned to create a global network of Villages, where they would imprison and interrogate anyone who posed a threat to their interests or agenda. They also planned to use drugs and mind control techniques to brainwash people into becoming loyal agents or obedient citizens.
What is the significance of the mosaic?
The mosaic that Number Six has been working on for 20 years is a symbol of his shattered self-image and identity. It is made from the broken pieces of the Village's surveillance cameras, which represent his constant observation and manipulation by others. It also represents his attempt to create something meaningful out of his chaotic and meaningless existence.
What is the message of Shattered Visage?
It is not enough to reject the system, but also to create your own. It is not enough to survive, but also to live. It is not enough to be alone, but also to love. Freedom is a choice that requires courage, creativity, and compassion. 71b2f0854b