Ah, the good ol' days of the early 21st century: Every series had to start at issue #0; Variant covers were taking over comic racks everywhere (leading to today's variant overflow epidemic); Kids could get their grubby little hands on some sweet objectifying illustrations of gorgeous naked women at their local comic shop. It was a magical era.
Poised to thrive in this age of frivolity was the Vertigo series Codename: Knockout, written by Robert Rodi, who's written other such fan-favorite lady-types as Purgatori, Rogue, and Elektra. The series followed the tongue-in-cheek espionage exploits of the voluptuous Angela St. Grace and her gay assistant Go Go Fiasco. Fighting for G.O.O.D. (the Global Organization for the Obliteration of Dastardliness) against the forces of E.V.I.L. (the Extralegal Vendors of Iniquity and Licentiousness), Angela and Go Go's adventures resonated with fans of mature satire.
But it was 2001, and the comic industry would soon be adopting a more somber tone after the earth-shaking events here on American soil. Unfortunately for Codename: Knockout, there wasn't much room for comedy in this new epoch of comics. Nearly everything was overshadowed by the tragic events of September 11. Knockout did, however, manage to stick it out for two solid years of humor, but even after its run, no books collecting the series were ever released.
Now, seven years after the demise of the playfully irreverent series, Vertigo is collecting #0-6 in a trade paperback form. With art from Louis Small Jr., Amanda Conner, and Yanick Paquette, Rodi takes readers on a gut-busting chuckle-fest of a ride into the world of secret agents and beautiful girls that's worth a read.
Codename: Knockout Volume 1 is available from Vertigo Comics on 5/19/2010 for $19.99.