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James Bond: Origin #8 Review

‘The helpful people are often the ones you need to worry about most.’

Captured by the enemy, Bond finds himself being interrogated in the last surroundings he’d have expected!

After a couple of explosive issues and a rain-soaked fight at the beginning of this issue, things slow down just a bit in the issue’s second half, giving Bond more of a chance to show off his spying skills. The absence of bombers and gunplay doesn’t mean the young spy has a moment to relax, though.

The conversation between Bond and his beautiful captor is just as exciting as any action scene. We see Bond take in her questions and understanding the double-meaning behind each one, choosing his words carefully. This is another great step in the road to Bond becoming the spy we know he’ll become.

This sequence also affords us another chance to revisit James’s spy training. I’ll admit to having some impatience early on in this series, since I felt like Bond’s training was kind of glossed over within the space of an issue. The last issue or so has shown that I should have sat back and trusted where the story was going. This kind of parallel storytelling is absolutely brilliant. Rather than delaying the pace of the series, Jeff Parker is giving us flashes of Bond’s training in-between crucial moments of his current missions. It’s honestly the ideal way to tell an origin story and I feel silly for second-guessing it before!

The one thing about this issue that feels off to me is how the cliffhanger from last issue is resolved. In particular, it seems like Bond’s whole punch-up with the Russian crew is unnecessary in light of Oksana’s methods. Maybe I’m misreading the situation (or Okhana has another heel turn up her sleeve), but it does seem odd that all of that is handily dealt with off-panel. Even so, it’s an exceptionally well-done scene. Bond’s tussle with the soldiers and hurried message to his superiors feels appropriately tense and hurried.

The artwork from Ibrahim Moustafa continues to impress, but there’s one moment in particular I want to point out, because it made me so happy. I’m such a sucker for illustrated radio waves, like ones would see in the Max Fletcher Superman cartoons. Seeing that imagery used (in the page above) to carry Bond’s message was such a perfect visual choice for this war-era story. The blur of the Russian heavy’s hand as it comes down on Bond, followed by the blackout, is just such solid comic book storytelling. There’s just so much to love about this one page, but the good news is that the whole issue is full of moments like that.

Origin is just such a well-done series. The pacing has picked up considerably in the last few issues, but James Bond himself is still receiving the kind of solid character development one would expect from a series with this title.

James Bond: Origin #8
Is it good?
This issue juggles the "origin" aspects and Bond's present mission better than any issue yet. "Russian Ruse" is shaping up to be the strongest arc of this series, yet!
Bond's training flashbacks are interwoven perfectly with his current mission
The artwork features several nods to war-era comics and cartoons, which fits this story perfectly
The fight on the boat seems superfluous when the Russians seemingly had different plans to get Bond's info from him (but it's still awesome)

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