The cool thing about James Bond is he’s timeless. Some might argue he hasn’t changed much over the years, but that only reinforces the notion that he’ll never go out of fashion; there will always be evil maniacs who can only be stopped by a man, his gun and a martini freshly shaken.
I check out the latest issue in the new series written by Warren Ellis. Is it good?
James Bond #4 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Bond is investigating a bad guy in Berlin and had a crack team helping him. Key word: had. A henchman who is incapable of feeling pain just took them out and Bond is on his way back to the massacre. Meanwhile the evil boss is pulling the strings and needs to be stopped!
Why does this book matter?
Not enough can be said about Jason Masters’ fantastic art which uses thin line work and an architectural eye with every panel. Like a good storyboard the panels feel cinematic and the action scenes are rendered with fantastic choreography. The fight scenes are well paced and easy to follow as well. On top of all that Ellis is weaving a stirring tale featuring a new type of villain.
Don’t trust him!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Ellis opens this book by sticking Bond in a very dicey situation. The threat is very real and his chances of surviving require him to keep his cool and roll with the bad guy’s plan. It’s a great way to show Bond’s keen mind and how quickly he can understand a situation. From there we’re given one hell of a fight sequence and a scene we were all expecting: the bad guy giving us his evil plan in great detail! It’s not hokey at all and it’s actually quite disturbing the connection he makes to the death camps in World War II. This is possibly the strongest issue yet in the series as it delivers everything you’d want from an action comic.
I can’t say enough how solid Ellis’ writing is for our villain. You will take him very seriously and on top of that he increases the threat level for Bond ten fold. The book ends on a cliffhanger that will make you want to read the next issue right away.
Yeah this is totally normal…NOT!
Masters continues to do excellent work on the title. His style is vividly real even when backgrounds completely drop out from time to time. The backgrounds go away typically with action going on so that we can focus on the movements and this choice increases the focus on every movement. Given there are 7 pages focused on a single fight sequence it’s a testament to Masters’ ability that it never gets boring. If anything this scene should be used to teach other artists how to do it. Sure most comics don’t allow this many pages for one fight sequence, but even still the layouts change and mix up so much the pace is perfect.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is solid writing and art through and through. The cliffhanger leaves you wanting more, the bad guy gets a well written scene that believably delivers his big evil plan and there’s a fight sequence that shouldn’t be missed!
Is It Good?
This series has been fantastic as a whole but not without some pacing issues or a lack of action here and there. Not so here. This is the real deal and how action comics should be!