This month’s issue opens right where last month’s abruptly left off, with Bond’s submarine being hit and taking on water! The crew has to think quickly to get out of this situation and even if they can, they won’t have much time to celebrate.
One of the things that consistently surprises me with this book is that it manages to maintain a distinctly Fleming-esque tone, even as it tells a story very different from the ones in the original 007 novels. Bond is a gentleman to a fault. He’s a team player, but he will not hesitate to assert himself if he’s convinced his plan is the right one. The balance of distaste and respect that his fellow officers show toward him is just right for the character as envisioned by Ian Fleming.
The standout character in this series, however, is shaping up to be Captain Wight, Bond’s commanding officer. It’s clear to see that this is going to be one of the mentors that truly molded Bond into the agent he would become. There’s a spectacular panel at the mid-point of the book that shows the submarine crew running around frantically behind the captain as he takes a seat and calmly tells them what to do next. He has to keep a cool head, otherwise everything will fall apart around him. This is a trait that can clearly be seen in James during his future exploits with MI-6. In fact, it inspires Bond to calm himself down, as well, retiring to his bunk to write in his journal and collect himself before the next round of battle. This issue has me craving further exploration of Captain Wight and what his tutelage will mean to our title character.
On the downside of things, Bond’s fellow crew members haven’t quite received the depth of character afforded to our hero and Captain Wight. Many of them are interchangeable and may as well be wearing red Starfleet uniforms. One of the things I really appreciated about the second issue of this series was how distinct the personalities were for Bond’s fellow spy trainees. Hopefully these fellows will be developed (or thinned out) as the series continues.
Four issues in, James Bond Origin defies expectations of any normal prequel series. It’s true to the title character while fleshing him out in ways that will surprise new readers and entertain longtime fans. The final page of this issue teases and action-packed installment for next month, so I can’t wait!