In the final issue of Origin, James and Eddie continue their investigation into the apparent betrayal and death of Lieutenant Commander Weldon, making some interesting discoveries along the way!
First off, it was great to see Bond’s confidence somewhat restored during the events of this issue. After losing Weldon and being warned against working with his former classmate Eddie, Bond needed a few wins. He’s really in his element in this issue, putting together clues and outsmarting the enemy with little more than his observational skills and his ability to run faster than they can.
Much of this issue has a somewhat looser feel than the last few months. That’s not to say it’s lazy, it’s just a really cool tact on Jeff Parker’s part to allow us to follow Bond while he and Eddie wander around and put the pieces together, occasionally getting into a scuffle with some baddies. It truly feels like we’re on something of a ride along with the budding spy.
The expository scene that takes up the middle of the book is done splendidly, with Ibrahim Moustafa giving us an alternate angle on moments we’ve seen previously, finally lending more context to the deadly confrontation that opened this arc and the late Weldon’s actions. This is the kind of stuff that I ate up in Fleming’s Bond novels, when characters would reveal their sordid pasts or fill the reader in on the rest of the half-truths that had been presented. It works really well here, building off of what we’ve already seen and making it even more poignant and affecting.
Again, it’s a brilliant move to bring Eddie along for this adventure, giving Bond someone to play off of who respects the hell out of him, even when he seems to be making a baffling decision. It also gives Bond more of a reason to be the smarmy fellow we know and love from his future adventures, laying out his plans and actions in a wonderfully matter-of-fact fashion. It also allows Bond to feel truly alive again, as he’s been hiding parts of himself from his string of partners throughout the series and, by extension, the audience.
The action scenes in this issue are quick and exciting, with an incredible sense of urgency. Aside from a sequence on a boat toward the end of the issue, Bond and Eddie spend much of their time on foot and running from curious parties. Even the shootouts don’t feel so much like the two sides are trading bullets so much as Eddie just needs to put the villains down so that he and Bond can just keep moving.
This was another exhilarating issue of James Bond: Origin that raised the stakes even higher, giving Bond yet another reason to fight the good fight. This arc has been the most personal for the young agent, which is fitting for the closing chapters of this series.
I will confess to feeling like it doesn’t quite feel like every thread was satisfactorily tied up. However, that’s the beauty of this series being the lead-in to Fleming’s novels: we do know where Bond goes next. In that way, it’s great that Parker brought the Weldon storyline to a worthy conclusion. The final moments of this issue provide us with yet another formative moment for James Bond, one that I won’t spoil here, but will no doubt inform his attitude toward working with partners in the years to come.