James Bond goes on a Christmas mission, of sorts.

We’re getting into the Christmas season so why can’t James Bond celebrate too? James Bond: Solstice is a story that revolves around the holiday season, but for Bond it means killing bad guys and protecting the United Kingdom.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

007 accepts an unofficial mission. He travels to Paris, in pursuit of a Russian. But is Bond the hunter, or the hunted? A stunning thirty-page tale by superstar writer/artist IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA (Savage Things, Mockingbird, Jaeger).

Why does this matter?

Dynamite has been producing some fantastic James Bond comics and this issue looks to excite. Artist Moustafa is bound to invigorate this with tense and realistic action and a meaningful plot.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

It’s not supposed to do that!

Moustafa knows how to block an action scene. Actually, he knows how to block all the spy stuff, from Bond tracking the baddy to Bond cleaning up the mess. The action scene in particular is tense and well rendered. The issue also opens with an action scene and Moustafa adds in a little twist to the usual perfect Bond missions.

The mission at hand is a personal one for M, which adds an extra layer to Bond’s mission. I wouldn’t say the plot of this book needs to be connected to the holidays, but maybe that’s a gift from Bond to M? Either way though, the mission at hand requires Bond to do the usual spy stuff which is fun. The opening action scene allows him to use some gadgets too, so there’s that for the Bond fanatics.

So much time is spent on this you might think it’s a major plot element.

It can’t be perfect can it?

I’d say half of this issue is rock solid, but some of its pacing is clunky, especially the ending. That may fall to the dialogue which at times reads very unnaturally. The ending scene for example, has a scene with Bond and M that’s basically padded out and pointless. They speak, but what they say isn’t very meaningful. The dialogue between Bond and the villain in a tense scene (we’re talking a gun pointed at Bond’s head here) is way over the top and sounds like it belongs in a 70’s Bond film rather than a modern one. The plot is rather simplistic too with most of the time spent on the tracking and build up to a confrontation rather than complicated espionage.

Is It Good?

Come for the spy stuff, which is excellently paced and blocked. Unfortunately the dialogue can be clunky and the story itself really doesn’t need to be holiday themed at all.

James Bond: Solstice #1
Is it good?
Good spy action and tracking, but the dialogue is clunky and the plot paper thin.
Excellently blocked action that's well paced
Great exciting first scene
Interesting twist on gadgets
The dialogue is very clunky and over the top
Padded out sections seem unnecessary
Not very clear why this needed to be a holiday themed issue