James Bond is hot right now given the new movie and now this comic. The first issue blew me away with its modernizing of the character but also showing a Bond that was a bit more fun loving. Can issue #2 carry that forward? Is it good?
James Bond #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)
This issue opens with Bond on his way to Berlin. He’s not packing any heat because it has become illegal for agents to carry in the UK. Bummer. He’s investigating the death of 006 and he wants answers.
Why does this book matter?
James Bond is the most recognizable character in modern times. Well, maybe him and Peter Pan. Writer Warren Ellis has successfully written all sorts of comic stories so it goes without saying this has a great chance at being fantastic.
Don’t trust her Bond!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Ellis kicks things into gear with an interesting new villain who’s involved with cybernetics. For some reason this seems very modern for a Bond plot, but it also gives the bad guys a cool collection of gadgets to play with.
In many ways this issue is about seeing who Bond is these days and it’s a lot of fun. That’s because with his compatriots he’s a chipper, fun guy with quips at the ready. With the bad guys he’s calculating and in full detective mode. Ellis clearly wants to show us a Bond who isn’t only capable of shooting bad guys and fighting hand to hand combat.
While the bad guys are laid on pretty thick even though we’re supposed to believe they’re good, the character work is solid. The bad guy is realistic and not evil for evil’s sake. He also has a strong motivation to do what he wants.
I continue to enjoy Jason Masters’ art which uses very straight lines to compose backgrounds and buildings. It gives everything an architectural look that’s no nonsense and almost storyboard like. The opening action sequence is very well laid out too, and given it all happens in the tight confines of a car he does a bang-up job keeping things clear and interesting.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is one of those issues you know will read better in the collected edition. That’s because it spends a lot of time setting up the bad guy without any culminating conclusions or anything for Bond to do. With all this out of the way the comic will assuredly pick up, but it’s a bit slow once Bond meets up with the cybernetics scientist.
Is It Good?
I’m not sure James Bond has ever felt so well rounded and compelling, and the bad guy is nearly as important to seal the deal. This issue proves the bad guy is going to be formidable and fun to watch.