Dynamite’s James Bond series has been exciting as hell and possibly the best espionage comics since their inception. They tell short story arcs that are easy to jump into and enjoy as writer Andy Diggle takes on many of them with a certain panache that movie fans can respect.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
When a counterespionage operation in Rotterdam goes catastrophically wrong, James Bond finds himself in the crosshairs of a plot to smash NATO. Someone is assassinating allied agents, and 007 is the next target in the kill chain. Having kept the peace for decades, the old alliance is collapsing, pitting MI6 against its former ally – the CIA! Dynamite Entertainment proudly presents the return of writer Andy Diggle (James Bond: Hammerhead, The Losers, Green Arrow: Year One) and artist Luca Casalanguida (James Bond: Hammerhead) as they plot the return of James Bond’s oldest and deadliest foe: SMERSH!
Why does this book matter?
Part of the fun of reading these series is how they integrate the usual tropes of Bond, like Bond girls, villains, gadgets and his general attitude. This new series seems to be tackling a few of them with Bond girls being at the top of the list.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
He seems nice.
This issue opens with an interesting villain-type (I assume he’s a villain; he looks pretty mean) who introduces a tactic that will assuredly send Bond into the ER. Well, unless Bond can help it. Diggle cuts to the chase in this issue, or should we say fight, as we get a quick intro to a certain female who wants to take Bond’s head off. This of course leads to some delectable thinly-veiled sex talk and a sex scene. Right off the bat Diggle makes you believe Bond cares about this woman, a fellow agent, which makes the following pages much more meaningful.
The art by Luca Casalanguida is strong, with some interesting layouts to draw your eye to closeup shots and broader strokes. There’s a chase that lasts all of two pages, but it’s intense and easy to follow. The action in general looks good and you get a variety of violence, from blown out brains to cars wrecking through walls.
There’s also a good hook to end the issue and make you want more. I won’t spoil it, but there’s a surprise of sorts with another surprise tucked inside that which should have Bond surviving through some desperate stakes later in the series.
I see what you did there Diggle!
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is a quick read to say the least. Everything is there to set up the villain, Bond’s state of mind, and the stakes, but it reads so fast you’ll be over with it in five minutes tops. This is an action series though, so what really can you expect outside of brisk action?
Is it good?
An entertaining read that’s action packed and sets up the villains very well. Bond and spies in general might be in big trouble and this series will hook you to find out how.