James Bond must fight neo-Nazis. Seems well timed eh?
The first issue in this new miniseries had Bond go up against a fellow agent he was also romantically involved with. Man, he has the worst luck with women doesn’t he? This second issue attempts to thrust him even further into turmoil and it involves the CIA.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
As tensions rise between MI6 and CIA, James Bond investigates the death of a fellow agent. Someone is smuggling military-grade weapons to European neo-Nazis, an arms pipeline stretching from the gutters of Munich to the upper echelons of Swiss high society. The trail will lead 007 to an old friend, a deadly betrayal, and an enigmatic art connoisseur named Chantal Chevalier.
Why does this matter?
Andy Diggle and Luca Casalanguida opened this series with a bang and didn’t let up the gas once. When reading a James Bond comic you’re typically on the lookout for hallmarks of the series and so far it hasn’t missed a bit.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Clean in half only works with lasers!
This issue opens with Bond getting orders, meeting up with Q, and then finally beating some skinhead butt in Munich. Short of a slower start, but this series continues to be a lot of fun to read, with some nice attitude out of Q and a quip in there too. Diggle and Casalanguida push the plot forward so as to get into some fistfighting, gadget use, and the integration of a certain CIA agent who has appeared quite a few times over the years. It’s always nice to see how the CIA and Bond get along and this issue adds to that mythos nicely.
Casalanguida draws fight choreography very well so that it’s clear and exciting. Hell, he even draws Bond doing a karate kick! The placement of panels and their angles helps convey smaller details when it comes to facial expressions–Bond has a nice chiselled look here–which never fail when it comes to the humor. In a quick one off joke, Bond asks the barkeep at a slummy bar for a ridiculous drink order, only to retort with something nearly as opulent. Casalanguida draws Bond with a coy look that nails the scene.
Bond is deadly serious!
It can’t be perfect can it?
A lot of exposition is dropped in the opening scenes. It’s only three pages, but you’ll be yawning your way through the dance Bond goes through with his superior in order to get on with his mission. Speaking of which, aside from this talk the villains that were introduced, the spy that Bond is after, and the general mystery seems to have gone by the wayside for this issue. It’s unclear where they are–Bond will probably catch up with them again–but for all intents and purposes this issue feels like an entirely different story.
Is It Good?
Aside from a slow start and the villains not appearing in this issue, the creative team are hitting many of the hallmarks that make this character great. On top of that the fight scenes are easy to follow and entertaining.