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ROSA, MASTER-SPY

rosa_cb_tcra rosa_cb_tasa
 
Full Name: Unknown
Series Name: Rosa, Master-Spy
Codename: Rosa
Nationality: Unknown
Organization: None
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: Paul Kupperberg
Time Span: 1977 - 1977

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Rosa is a freelance agent.
       Rosa, as noted in the fact sheet above, is not his real name, given or surname. That certainly exists but what it is we do not know and never shall for Rosa, as is the codename for this independent operative, much prefers his anonymity.
       By that 'nickname' and by his speech when not in disguise, Rosa could easily be of Spanish descent. However, based on the brief history we get of him in the second adventure, it could be either from his upbringing or just a persona he enjoys.
     Rosa is 32 years old in the second adventure and 35 in the first, having been born in 1835 to parents fleeing the "shame" of an unspecified scandal which destroyed the reputation of his father, an ambassador from "one of the most powerful nations on earth". When the infant was born, his parents lived as expatriates traveling the world which allowed the young boy to learn "the ways and languages of many of its nations".
     It was in a Balkan country they were visiting when the boy was becoming a teenager that rebels attacked the family simply because they were apparently well off. His parents were killed and he barely escaped. What followed would be a few years living on the streets while learning how to survive.
     We learn through a brief flashback how the newly adult man would impressed to fight for the British in the Crimea and how he deserted because he neither served the Crown nor hated the Russian. He joined a traveling circus and was told many extremely useful skills that would serve him well in his later profession.
       Rosa is a skilled swordsman and not at all hesitant to pull his weapon to engage a foe in mortal combat, confident that his superb skill will prove victorious. He is also an adept at disguise and carries in his bag of tricks the "grease-paints and dyes" often needed to hide his normally dark features as he takes the role of someone else.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:2
First Appearance:1977
Last Appearance:1977

1 The Castle Rhinehart Affair The Castle Rhinehart Affair
Published by DC Comics
Contributors: Paul Kupperberg (writer), Jerry Grandenetti (artist)
Copyright: 1977

Published in issued #17-18 of Men Of War with 12 color pages. Also reprinted in Showcase Presents: Men Of War in 2014.
The year is 1870. The location is Germany. Rosa takes a contract to kill Baron Rhinehart and finds that there are French spies trying to find out secrets. Will he still finish his mission anyway?
Click here to read the story.

2 The Ambassador's Son Affair The Ambassador's Son Affair
Published by DC Comics
Contributors: Paul Kupperberg (writer), Jerry Grandenetti (artist)
Copyright: 1977

Published in issued #24-25 of Men Of War with 12 color pages. Also reprinted in Showcase Presents: Men Of War in 2014.
The year is 1867. The location is Mexico. Rosa has been hired by Archduke Maximillian to see that his young nephew, Rudolph, makes it out of that country alive after the populace staged a revolt against French rule. The story also includes a brief history of Rosa.
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

     Once in a while I will come across a comic-book spy series that was obviously meant to be filler in an anthology publication and sigh with regret because I felt that series could have been so very much more if allowed.
     That is the case with Rosa. The first story was a darn good one complete with a heck of an ironic twist at the end. The second story had both a fair "current" plot going and a very good flashback one, enough to make me want to follow more adventures of Rosa.
     The artwork is good (not great but definitely in keeping with what was standard for that time frame). The plotting is excellent. The characters are okay, given that the story had so few pages allotted. I would have happily read more if they had been available. Sadly the magazine in which they appeared lasted but one issue more after the second Rosa tale.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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