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Brought to Light

Brought to Light: Shadowplay: The Secret Team / Flashpoint: The LA Penca Bombing (Two Books in One)
The cover of the Brought to Light paperback
Date 1988
Series Eclipse Graphic Album Series #30
Publisher Eclipse Comics
Creative team
Writers Alan Moore
Joyce Brabner
Artists Bill Sienkiewicz
Tom Yeates
Paul Mavrides
Colorist Template:If empty
Editors Joyce Brabner (overall editor)
Catherine Yronwode (executive editor)
ISBN 0-913035-67-X

Brought to Light: Thirty Years of Drug Smuggling, Arms Deals, and Covert Action is an anthology of two political graphic novels, published originally by Eclipse Comics in 1988. Both are based on material from lawsuits filed by the Christic Institute against the US Government. The two stories are Shadowplay: The Secret Team by Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz, and Flashpoint: The LA Penca Bombing documented by Martha Honey and Tony Avirgan and adapted by Joyce Brabner and Tom Yeates. Brought to Light was edited overall by Joyce Brabner, Catherine Yronwode acted as executive editor, and Eclipse publisher Dean Mullaney was the publication designer.

Shadowplay: The Secret Team

Shadowplay: The Secret Team written by Alan Moore and drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz with an introduction by Daniel Sheehan (general counsel of TCI). It covers the history of the Central Intelligence Agency and its controversial involvement in the Vietnam War, the Iran-Contra affair, and its relationship with figures like Augusto Pinochet and Manuel Noriega. The narrator of Shadowplay is an aging anthropomorphic American Eagle, a bellicose retired CIA agent.

As Moore's first major work which was not superhero oriented, it was highly praised for its storytelling and Sienkiewicz's sometimes brutal art. Moore received praise especially for blending the sometimes overwhelming mass of details into a coherent and effective story. Over the years there have been rumors that Moore was unable to travel to America due to the CIA being annoyed at his story in Brought to Light. However this was supposedly proved to be a rumor and the "real" reason was due to Moore not renewing his passport.[1]

The story of "Shadowplay" is of an unseen character (presumably representing the oblivious American public in first-person view of the reader) in a bar, where he is approached by a man-sized, walking, talking eagle. The eagle, from the emblem of the CIA, proceeds to drink alcohol and, in a drunken stupor, divulge all the bloody details of The Agency's sordid past. Early on a reference is made to the number of gallons an Olympic swimming pool can hold, and the fact that an adult human body has one gallon of blood; from then on, the victims of CIA activities (directly or indirectly) are quantified in swimming pools filled with blood, each pool representing 20,000 dead. Sienkiewicz's dark, erratic, and blurry images keep the mood of Moore's narration (through the boozing eagle) unnerving, and hazily nightmarish.

Shadowplay CD

Shadowplay was made into an audio CD (ISBN 1-899598-56-1) by Codex Books in 1998. The narrative for the production is performed by Moore himself, in character, set to music by the composer Gary Lloyd who also collaborated on a similar narrative/music performance piece with Scottish author Iain Banks. The Idler magazine described the music as 'electro-martial'.

Flashpoint: The LA Penca Bombing

Flashpoint: The LA Penca Bombing is written by Joyce Brabner, as told to her by Christic Institute clients Martha Honey and Tony Avirgan. It deals with the La Penca bombing which happened during the civil war in Nicaragua in 1984.

Credits for “Flashpoint” list Jonathan Marshall on the introduction, Joyce Brabner writing, and Thomas Yeates illustrating, with letters by Bill Pearson and painting by Sam Parsons. Martha Honey and Tony Avirgan are credited with having told the story to Joyce Brabner.

Thirty Years of Covert War

In the center is a two-page feature by Paul Mavrides, "World Map of 30 Years of Covert Action" detailing election tampering, drug trafficking, assassination, and other crimes committed by the CIA.


  1. ^ Beaton, Frank. "Snake Charmer: An Interview with Alan Moore," part II, NinthArt (April 7, 2003).

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