WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A former spy named Eric Westfall is called back into action and ordered to track down a rogue operative who plans to sell vital information to the Russians.
Unfortunately for Westfall, the operative is a woman named Emma, one of his former lovers who may hold the key to an even bigger secret.
WHY IT WORKS: “Left on Mission” captures the feel of classic spy films and novels with ease. While we’ve seen the elements of this story several times over the years, the execution is so well done that it feels fresh again. The setting is contemporary, but it also seems timeless. The ultimate reveal of Emma’s plan also puts an intriguing political spin on the events. Mosher created a compelling lead character in Eric, who is clearly torn by his loyalty to his country and by his love for Emma.
But the biggest star of this book is Francavilla, who delivers incredibly stunning pages that give the series an almost noir style throughout. Francavilla’s art is also very cinematic and his action scenes are particularly impressive.
WHY IT DOESN’T: The story seems relatively short and may need to be expanded upon for any big screen adaptation. Emma’s motivation for her actions really needs to be explored further, as it sometimes feels like we’re not getting the full picture on her character. One of the major revelations also centers on a plot point that seems to have been more apt for the previous Presidential administration.
But the larger issue is that Hollywood may take the failure of “The Killers” and the relatively lackluster box office of “Knight and Day” as evidence that the audience doesn’t want spy movies right now. The industry also seems to be stuck between “Bourne” and “Bond,” and thus may not recognize a good spy flick when it sees one.
HOW TO DO IT: “Left on Mission” is perfectly suited to be a movie in the hands of the right director and screenwriter, who should look to the classic spy movies as inspiration rather than trying to copy the “Bourne” films over and over again.
For the leading actor, I’ve very tempted to say Jeffrey Donovan, who also plays a former intelligence operative on “Burn Notice.” While Donovan would probably not want to be typecast as a spy, he does it so well that he’d be nearly a perfect fit as Eric Westfall.
FINAL WORD: The collected edition of “Left on Mission” is practically a blueprint for a fantastic spy film. Given the chance, “Left on Mission” could carve out its own territory on the big screen.
What do you think about our latest “Adapt This” selection? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter!