James Bond is back after a brief haitus at Dynamite Entertainment. Warren Ellis and Jason Masters are also back, which means the quality can’t possibly drop, right? Well, let’s find out: is it good?
James Bond #7 (Dynamite Entertainment)
So what’s it about? The official Dynamite synopsis reads:
After World War Two, army intelligence groups created ghost cells called “stay-behinds” across Europe in the event of a Warsaw Pact surge. “EIDOLON” is the story of a SPECTRE stay-behind structure – ghost cells of SPECTRE loyalists acting as sleepers until the time is right for a SPECTRE reformation and resurgence. The time is now.
Why does this book matter?
Well composed action scenes, good pacing, and a James Bond that’s brutal in a fight are just some of the reasons why this series has been a delight to read. Ellis has brought Bond into the 21st century a bit, but also made an original villain feel fresh too. Masters has done exceptional work on every issue and there’s no sign of him letting up!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s not supposed to bend that way!
James is coming to America and that brings with it plenty for Warren Ellis to work with. From comparisons to MI6 and the CIA to how we have a propensity for guns there’s plenty for Bond to riff off of in this issue and the rest to come. The mission feels bigger in nature because of this–and because the Turkish are involved too–which makes this new arc feel more open than the more singular crazy villain story of the last issue. Ellis adds new characters from all sides too, from a guy working at home base, to a woman Bond is sent to save, a CIA agent, and finally a very violent bad guy who Bond will most assuredly face soon. All of this adds up to a wickedly entertaining web for Bond to play off of.
Bond himself continues to be a chipper and somewhat happier version of the Daniel Craig character, but there’s still a bit of edge to him. The edge is most obviously seen when any violence takes place, which this issue continues on. Bond doesn’t hold back, blowing people away without even flinching.
Masters continues to do excellent work, although the look seems a bit different in this arc. It might be that the lines are a bit thicker, or he’s mixing up the layouts more which made me check to see if the artist had changed. The customary fantastic layouts are still here though, including a wickedly good car chase–and Bond looks fantastic in all his mannerisms and facial expressions. Seriously though, the car chase is quite nice, and it’s fun because it’s easy to follow and actually quite clever how Bond tackles it. It feels new and different, which is saying a lot considering how many car chase scenes we’ve seen in movies!
It can’t be perfect can it?
If you read the official synopsis above you might want to ignore it when reading this issue because none of that is explained or even explored. At least to the naked eye. At this juncture we’re getting an introduction to new characters and some tense action to kick things off as Bond visits L.A. Beyond that there isn’t much else. Clearly the bigger picture remains to be developed, which might leave some folks reading this as an action-only comic rather than an espionage one.
So this guy hates fun!
Is It Good?
James Bond continues to be the de facto action scene-stealing comic. The action is riveting, Bond feels fresh, and the story as a whole is one you’ll want to explore.