The Gee Bees Presents: The Grand Tour is created by Steven D. Quirke, Kel Winser and Mike Stock. The series is centred on Gideon Black, the factotum of the organisation called the Foundation, and his assistant Katrina as they travel the world and time. They face a man called Maximilian and his grotesques (minions).
In this book, two issues are one story but the whole thing is all connected. Issue 1-2 have Gideon Black (as a punishment) at an international conference for spies and government agents in Scotland. Only the international conference goes south very fast—turned out to a ploy by series enemy Maximilian to raise another grotesque (a monster of sorts) and to kill a bunch of a skilled government agents. Issue 3-4 have Gideon Black and his assistant Katrina in 1968 Paris, during student riots and protests. Issue 5-6 had them in 1980s New York. In addition there is a lovely section after the issues in this book detailing the origins of the Foundation via journal entries.
One of my favorite things is independent organizations with a mission facing bad guys that the traditional groups (MI6, CIA, Mossad, etc.) can’t handle. The Foundation, however, is a very vague organization. From what I gather, it’s a time-traveling monster hunter deal. Present-day Gideon Black is the factotum, the main agent that got to travel through time to stop any of Maximillian’s plans. However, an interesting thing about the character of Gideon Black that it is both a namesake and almost a title. There had been several Gideon Blacks over the centuries, all the way back to the 17th century. Same with Gideon’s assistant Katrina, actually. Unfortunately, it’s unclear if all the Gideon Blacks are related.
I love time-travel stories, even if they can get messy. I appreciate that since it is a time-travel story it doesn’t get messy with time paradoxes. But it doesn’t seem that Gideon Black is too concerned with messing too much with history, which is how he got in trouble in the first place back in Issue 1.
One of my favorite parts of the story is when they were in 1980s in the US and Gideon traveled around to meet a bunch of famous writers. It would be something that I would totally do too!
There were only a couple of things that I took issue with in The Grand Tour. The first is that Maximilian’s purpose, raison d’etre, doesn’t seem too clear. I’m not too sure why I should see him as a villain, even if he had a bunch of people murdered. His ultimate goal doesn’t seem too clear. In the “History of the Foundation” at the end of the book, why did Maximillian leave Lord Tanner’s service, for what reason? Why did he become a monstrous person that the Foundation fundamentally opposed?
The second issue was the role of Katrina. She’s totally bada$$. She totally saved Gideon’s behind multiple times. And yet…she’s an assistant. Two previous Katrinas were the wives of Gideon, one a daughter, and another a lover. I don’t know it’s just something that irks me anymore. The beleaguered, loyal, indispensable assistant probably in love with her boss seems overused. I want to see more out of Katrina’s character and development, that’s all.
Overall, I enjoyed The Gee Bees Presents: The Grand Tour. The story is fascinating. The time-travel angle is great and uncomplicated. I like the whole connections throughout time of the Gideon Blacks and the Katrinas. Also, I want more on Maximilian and what his goal is, as it remains kind of vague. I will totally read more of it.
The Gee Bees will be at London Super Comic Con this weekend. Learn more about the Gee Bees comics at http://thegeebeescomic.co.uk/. Are you a fan of the comic?
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