In the films, so much time is spent showing Bond sneak around on missions and work his magic on women that it’s nice to see the comics can tackle the hard hitting action. Dynamite’s new series Hammerhead quickly proved James Bond can excel as an action-first series, but how is issue #2? Is it good?
James Bond: Hammerhead #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)
So what’s it about? For the full Dynamite summary just read this:
Assigned to hunt down and eliminate a terrorist threatening Britain’s nuclear deterrent, 007 shadows the nation’s leading defense contractor at the Dubai Arms Fair. As a lethal trap is sprung around him, Bond finds an unexpected ally in glamorous arms company executive Victoria Hunt.
Why does this book matter?
If the cover is any indication, Bond is going to be dodging hammerheads, both figuratively and literally. There’s a weapon with the same name tied to the business of a beautiful woman’s father, which can only complicate things for a guy like Bond.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Bond cleans up good.
Andy Diggle proved with the first issue that he gets the James Bond character and this issue continues that trend. It opens with Bond cleaning up, reminding us he isn’t a brute, and continues on as he uses his charm on a lady and orders a martini (spoiler alert: it’s not shaken). As Bond shows off his slick demeanor Diggle sells the building relationship well and adds a bit of character dynamic to complicate the drama. Diggle writes a Bond that’s tough, but gentlemanly and he’s reminiscent of the Sean Connery version.
There’s plenty of action and sex to be had in this issue as well. As is customary with the character, Diggle has Bond make some dangerous choices to keep himself alive and thwart the enemy. That keeps the action unpredictable and interesting.
The art by Luca Casalanguida is quite good with Bond striking a dignified and badass look when needed. I got flashes of Sean Connery himself at times, though Casalanguida isn’t attempting to make him look like Connery. No, he’s embodying the swagger of Bond so well you’ll be reminded of the best of all the movies. The action is easy to follow and even involves a Great White shark that’s believable. How classic is that by the way? The sex scene is tasteful and, again, done in a way that’s reminiscent of the films.
It can’t be perfect can it?
While the cliffhanger is welcome, the fact that it takes three pages to set up reads very much like filler. The characters are chatting, the dialogue is fine mind you, but it doesn’t serve any purpose really. It’s rendered well–robots and helicopters aren’t an easy thing to draw, but it makes the last few pages rush to the end.
Another element that caught me off guard is how a baddie gets the drop on Bond. Don’t get me wrong, Bond can make mistakes sure, but it happens down a long hallway in a moment where Bond doesn’t seem to be in any rush to find cover. It’s a bewildering scene that makes Bond look bad at what he does for a brief moment. Unacceptable!
Purists are going to be furious!
Is It Good?
This second issue reminds us one of the reasons Bond is so damn good at what he does is because he cleans up real well. Diggle continues to capture facets of the character that will satiate your desire for a James Bond movie.