Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Masters
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
James Bond is trapped in Los Angeles with a MI6 agent under fire and a foreign intelligence service trying to put them both in bags… and possibly more than one foreign intelligence service. And things may not be any safer in Britain, with bodies dropping and ghosts moving in the political mist…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a stronger opening first installment of this arc than I expected, James Bond clicked more for me than I expected. While I liked aspects of the first arc, especially Jason Masters artwork as he’s really capturing the action aspect of this kind of property well, the story just felt like it wasn’t firing on all cylinders and left me feeling more like it was from a Roger Moore era film than my preferred ones. What I definitely liked about the opening installment of the arc is that it provided the nods to the secondary storyline of how MI6 is being handicapped with its agents in-country with a lack of weapons, which is pretty dangerous. That’s something that I’ve found pretty appealing and it makes an intriguing return appearance in this installment as well.
The main focus that we get with a lot of this chapter is on Bond and Cadence Birdwhistle as they’re doing their best to stay alive as he’s trying to deliver the “package” where she needs to be. The two are certainly amusing to watch as it plays out in its familiar way with her being serious and then frightened by how badly things go at times, though she manages to hold it together pretty well considering just how badly it can go with the attacks on them. And, naturally, she finds it a bit hard to resist some of his charms as the two spend time in a safe house hotel room where they spend the night together. It’s got some nice moments of humor when it comes to the bourbon and how she hates it – and makes sure he hasn’t had any yet before devouring his mouth with hers. It’s easy to understand the heightened nature of her mindset with the way her life has suddenly gone and making it easier for her to fall to his ways.
The book gives us some good action as they make their way back to London, first with an in-airport sequence with the CIA types going after them, something that Felix didn’t know about, and then with another group attacking them in a bigger and more public-ish way back in London. What becomes intriguing about it all is that we now have multiple groups going after her because of the discovery of what she’s found with the dark money and it’s not just “bad guys” in a sense. But it also plays into that other secondary arc about how some of those involved may be the ones that organized MI6 not being armed anymore in-country and how that’s being taken advantage of for their own reasons and goals, which we’re getting introduced to a new element of SPECTRE through it.
James Bond is moving at about the pace I expected with this arc and it’s unearthing some interesting things. I like that the story itself is being given a light touch rather than just exposing big pieces and giving us an info dump but also not making it horribly obscure. The action is the main part at the moment that allows for Masters to really provide for some great sequences that you also have to really pay attention to, especially in some of the transitions from location to location. I’m definitely interested in where it’s going and what we’ll get exposed to when it comes to SPECTRE, and I’m curious to see how well Cadence will hold up in the long run, but I’m still just a touch wary with the series after the first arc and some of its choices.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: August 3rd, 2016