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James Bond #9 Review

4 min read

James Bond Issue 9 CoverA new sliver of information surfaces.

Creative Staff:
Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Masters
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Simon Bowland

What They Say:
EIDOLON, Part Three: Bond is sent to breach a secret base in the depths of England, alone, without back-up, and fully deniable: a place from Cold War history, with only one way in and one way out, while the forces of security services all over the world are seemingly ranged against MI6, and all Bond has is his gun and a few pieces of a bloody, dark puzzle…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Eidolon storyline has worked better for me than the opening arc did and that’s a bit more reinforced with this issue, though it’s more of the usual middle act material that fleshes things out a bit more. With Bond and Cadence back in England and having survived the attack on them, it’s opened up a lot more discussion about what’s been going on and how MI6 has been effectively disarmed within the country and made more complicated when they begin missions overseas. Sometimes things just aren’t visible until a certain point in how they’re being twisted for other agendas, though this one should have been figured out sooner even if the root cause wasn’t, but watching as they try to figure out how to deal with it here is certainly interesting.

The initial meeting with the MI5 representative at the start here shows just how careful that they’re all being right now as Bond and Tanner are ready to spring into action to stop her should she do anything to M. She’s not exactly taken aback by this but she’s plainly frustrated as she’s trying to do what she can to help, in addition to asserting jurisdiction over the recent events as an internal matter that belongs to them. Bond is almost playful with this and it’s a fun piece to it. Similarly, as we see Cadence working through her side of the investigation with tracking the financials. She has some amusing comments along the way but I just love how as she needs things she now has the full force of MI6 and its teams to be able to dig into it within minutes compared to what she had to deal with previously from remote locations.

Where it goes is pretty interesting as the money is being funneled into the Strategic Reserve Fleet, a somewhat mythical aspect of government planning that many thought was just a story. It’s a way of preparing for a post-WW3 event that got mothballed years ago, such as having a lot of steam powered trains for after the electrical rails are done and over with. Bond naturally gets sent to find out what’s going on in the Box Tunnel location where this was dealt with and he’s naturally going in with deniability. This is the area where Masters really shines as an illustrator as we get some great flow in how Bond moves into the tunnel and through the locations, all while working with dark and murky areas. It’s wordless for a lot of this and that puts even more of the pressure on Masters and what he does, which is simply fantastic in the end result.

In Summary:
James Bond works the third part of this storyline in a pretty good way here as we get some additional context to what’s going on and some forward progress into a little more in the realm of discovery. Ellis feels like he’s a bit more grounded with this storyline and I like that it’s continuing with threads that kicked off in the first arc in the background. I’m still not sure just where the story is going and that’s part of the appeal and frustration of a Bond story sometimes in that it takes twists and turns as it teases. This book has some great work from Masters once again as we see just how well he brings action like this to life, not an easy thing for a lot of artists. Definitely a solid installment that has me eager to see what’s to come and how the arc reads as a whole.

Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: August 31st, 2016
MSRP: $3.99

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