The Spy Who Raised Me – Ted Anderson & Gianna Meola

Published by Rachel on


“Josie! Time to wake up! Good morning, sweetie. Did you finish your English essay?”

If you thought your parents were weird, wait until you read this!

The Spy Who Raised Me is Ted Anderson’s most recent work. Known for the My Little Pony series, this comic is a sharp contrast to a fun rainbow-filled world. Due for publication in April 2021, Gianna Meola brings the story to life with red-themed illustrations.

It’s a short story about secrets, lies, and spies. Although a quick and easy read, it can be boring and unrealistic in more than one place.


Summary

This graphic novel follows 13-year-old Josie Black as she finds out what her mother really does. She knows martial arts, dozens on languages, and infiltration techniques, but doesn’t know that she knows them. When her mother accidentally reveals the truth; that both she and Josie are super spy’s for the Company, Josie is forced to choose a side. Does she go against everything she knows and defy the only family she knows? Or does she let her mother take her own life out of her control?



Commentary

The Spy Who Raised Me is an unimaginative, dull and unrealistic story.

Praise

  • It’s short and sweet. Easy to read and with simple similar-coloured illustrations, readers can power through this comic in an hour or two. There are no chapters and no subplots throughout, which makes it even quicker to read.
  • If you want to look deeper into the meaning of this nonsensical play, then you could declare it an allegory for teenage rebellion. Sticking it to the man, staying out with friends, and disobeying her mother, Josie ticks all of the boxes for teenage angst metaphors.
  • It deals with many important issues such as growing up, parent-child relationship, and identity. For younger readers, it’s a good exposure to these topics which everyone must learn about in life.

Critique

  • Quite frankly, this story’s boring. It’s dull, unrealistic, and incredibly ridiculous. A teenager super spy is one thing, given enough time to build backstory and motive, but this comic has none of that. It has no solid plot, includes not a single ounce of realism, and is honestly quite painful to read at parts.
  • The name Josie Black deserves a criticism category all by itself. Josie Black, nickname J.B. Where have I heard that before? James Bond? Jason Bourne? Jack Bauer, perhaps? It’s stupid and stereotypical and cringy to read.
  • Josie’s parents are abusive. End of. Not only does her mother regularly put her in life-threatening situations, she also emotionally manipulates her throughout. Her father is passive to the abuse and does nothing to stop it.


Recommendations

Overall, I’d give Ted Anderson & Gianna Meola’s The Spy Who Raised Me a one out of five. It’s a ridiculous and uneventful story not fit for older readers.

I’d recommend it for very very very young children, preferably those too young to point out the glaring plot holes or ask obvious questions.


1/5 Star



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