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LADY S

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Full Name: Suzan Fitzroy
Codename: Lady S
Nationality: American
Organization: CATRIG
Occupation Agent

Creator: Jean Van Hamme
Time Span: 2008 - 2021

ABOUT THE SERIES

Suzan Fitzroy, aka Lady S, is an agent for CATRIG.

That acronym stands for the secretive non-governmental organisation called the Centre for Anti-Terrorism Research and Intelligence Gathering. By secretive, we mean that virtually nobody has any real data on it other than it is operated by a group of retired intelligence officers of from the member nations of the European Union.

We learn almost immediately that Fitzroy is a very beautiful, highly intelligent, sophisticated young woman likely in her late 20s. She is the adopted daughter and key assistant to James Fitzroy, roving ambassador, special correspondent for the American Secretary of State in Europe. As we are told in one blurb, "Suzan is a clever, multilingual young woman, in full bloom and perfectly happy in the eyes of an attentive father". We are also allowed to know that she has a past that is far from the diplomatic stage she now publicly trods and one that helps explain why this urbane lady is willing to take considerable risks to keep that past from being exposed and hurting her adopted father.

While Fitzroy's official point of origin is said to be New Zealand (read the first adventure to learn why), in a flashback in the first recorded adventure, we learn of a far different beginning when we watch a young girl named Shania Rivkas, 13 years of age, eavesdropping on her frightened parents in a Soviet Union rapidly falling apart. Her father talks of the KGB being out to eliminate those who knew too much of the criminal activities they might be charged upon the collapse; his fear of being so removed coming true that night as armed guards break in and seek to arrest the family. Her mother dies getting her out and only a chance meeting with a young man in the rainy streets saved the youngster.

On the run with trained killers after them, the two start a life of crime to survive, one lasting nearly two years before circumstances separate them and Rivkas learns to how to become a particularly good second-story thief, especially at hotels. How she would meet and then later become close to the elder Fitzroy and his wife is especially fun to read. That will start yet another life for the young woman, one that she will be especially good at until her past catches up with her and she is pushed into working in the clandestine world as a 'side' job, going by the 'war name' of Lady S.

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:6
First Appearance:2008
Last Appearance:2021

The Lady S series of graphic adventures is a product of writer Jean Van Hamme and artist Philippe Aymond working for Franco-Belgian comic book publisher Dupuis.

There have been 15 stories released in French from 2004 to 2021. These stories are: (French title, English title, year released)

Na Zdorovié, Shaniouchka! - Na Zdorovié, Shaniushka! - 2004
A Ta Santé, Suzie! - Cheers, Susie! - 2005
59° Latitude Nord - 59° North Latitude - 2006
Jeu De Dupes - Fool's Game - 2007
Une Taupe À Washington - A Mole In Washington - 2008
Salade Portugaise - Portuguese Salad - 2009
Une Seconde D'éternité - A Second Of Eternity - 2011
Raison D'état - Reason Of State - 2012
Pour La Peau D'une Femme - For A Woman's Skin - 2013
Adn - Dna - 2014
La Faille - The Flaw - 2015
Rapport De Forces - Balance Of Power - 2016
Crimes De Guerre - War Crimes - 2017
Code Vampiir - Vampire Code - 2019
Dans La Gueule Du Tigre - In The Tiger's Mouth - 2021

The first seven of those adventures have been translated and released in English by Cinebook Ltd. and are listed below. Note that the numbering is a tad odd in that the first three releases did not have numbers associated with them and then, when the numbering did start on the covers, it was with the 4th though it was called the 5th because the 1st also had the 2nd. I'm sure you understand.


1 Here's To Suzie Here's To Suzie
Published by Cinebook Ltd.
Contributors: Jean Van Hamme (writer), Philippe Aymond (artist)
Copyright: 2008

Note: this edition has the first two French issues released as one.
Describes the origin of Lady S from her early days as Shania Rivkas to how she became Suzan Fitzroy and then to her introduction to espionage work as Lady S. Also deals with a top secret Turkish document she is ordered to steal though doing so will cause trouble for her adopted father.

2 Latitude 59 Degrees North Latitude 59 Degrees North
Published by Cinebook Ltd.
Contributors: Jean Van Hamme (writer), Philippe Aymond (artist)
Copyright: 2010

Terrorists have a plan to attack the Nobel Prize Ceremony. Suzan's father, John Fitzroy, is in Sweden filling in for the American ambassador and she, as his aide and confidante, is with him. That is when Orion, the head of CATRIG, shows up with a new job for Lady S, one that looked simple but of course was not.

3 Game Of Fools Game Of Fools
Published by Cinebook Ltd.
Contributors: Jean Van Hamme (writer), Philippe Aymond (artist)
Copyright: 2011

"Suzan and her father are taking a well-deserved break in the south of France. But their holidays are cut short when several men burst into the house and kidnap James Fitzroy. What Suzie doesn’t know is that the attackers are actually CIA operatives: The Agency is offended by the existence of an unofficial European counterterrorist outfit. But in their attempt to use Lady S. to draw her employers out, it’s the American spooks who may be made the fools…"

4 A Mole In D.C. A Mole In D.C.
Published by Cinebook Ltd.
Contributors: Jean Van Hamme (writer), Philippe Aymond (artist)
Copyright: 2013

"What better place to forget the murky world of international spies than… Washington, amid the murky world of politics ? Suzan, still her adopted father’s assistant, is now working at the White House, where she becomes the unwilling central figure in a nefarious plot to discredit the president of the United States. After bodies start turning up, Suzan’s life is turned upside down once again, leaving her no choice but to run. Will she ever be able to stop ?"

5 Portuguese Salad Portuguese Salad
Published by Cinebook Ltd.
Contributors: Jean Van Hamme (writer), Philippe Aymond (artist)
Copyright: 2014

Also published as Portugues Medley.

"Shania, back in Europe after being expelled from the United States, has resumed her work with Orion and his shadowy organisation. Undercover as an interpreter at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, she is tasked with getting close to an extremist suspected of preparing a terrorist attack. The whole mission spirals out of control when she rushes to Portugal, after the CIA contacts her to tell her they’ve found a man who calls himself Abel Rivkas… her father!"

6 A Second Of Eternity A Second Of Eternity
Published by Cinebook Ltd.
Contributors: Jean Van Hamme (writer), Philippe Aymond (artist)
Copyright: 2018

"By publicly attacking his former Russian captor after his daughter had arranged for him to be declared dead, Shania’s father gets her in deep trouble. Soon, she and Anton are blackmailed into work for French Intelligence. Their mission: impersonate a woman, envoy of the Russian mafia to a Corsican syndicate boss, and find out what the two are planning together. A job that will bring about an unexpected reunion…"

7 Reason Of State Reason Of State
Published by Cinebook Ltd.
Contributors: Jean Van Hamme (writer), Philippe Aymond (artist)
Copyright: 2021

"Thrown into prison at the end of the disastrous mission imposed on her by the Colonel, Lady S awaits her trial to question the real culprits of the tragedy. The "fate" decides otherwise: to everyone's amazement, Lady S kills herself on the eve of appearing. Officially dead, she nevertheless wakes up in an unknown place... A terrible trap has closed in on her. Will she be able to break it?"

MY COMMENTS

I loved this series! I state that first so when I make this next comment, you go into it with no confusion. My comment deals with wondering which I prefer, the writing which is just terrific or the artistry which is awesome.

Regarding the writing, I appreciate how well the writer did to give a fascinating backstory to Lady S and then to push her into a side career that she did not want but which is prefect for her. And then keep giving her excellent reasons to stay with it.

And to the artwork, well, wow! So beautiful and vibrant with every cell worth taking a moment to enjoy. Splendid.

Even though my French is really spotty these long days from my school years, I still got the adventures that have not been translated because they were worth it.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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