Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Masters
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
EIDOLON, Chapter 4 – MI6 is under attack from both hidden forces and Her Majesty’s Government itself. Why do MI5 and Whitehall want MI6 to be unable to defend itself? Where is the terrifying Beckett Hawkwood? What is EIDOLON?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Eidolon arc has definitely been a lot more interesting than I expected but it’s also one that already feels like it’s gone on too long. Six issue arcs tend to be the norm these days and that does work to a degree when you consider this as a “theatrical” adventure, but taking half a year to tell a tale with all the gap in between and being able to remember all the details makes it problematic. Ellis and Masters continue to turn in very solid stuff here – Masters in particular excels at these quiet sequences to drive home the impact well – and I enjoy some of the verbal sparring you get because you can easily visualize it in a live-action form as well. What’s helped with this arc is that things feel more grounded and interesting because of the internal/agency struggles that are going on as well.
Bond’s attempt at figuring out things in the Tunnel Box lead to quite the action sequence the last time around and that doesn’t get a ton of time here as the back end of it happens. The stealth, cageyness, and general approach all works as he ends up capturing one of the targets that was wounded seriously in the leg. Where it turns is pretty grisly for what little we get as they’re looking to find out who he’s working with and they go right to some torture, even as their captive makes it clear he’s been hardened against that. It’s a claim many will make and some will mean, but this guy gives up at least one more operative. It’s an important step for cementing things with what’s been going on and it serves as the last push needed by M to take it to the next level and figure out how to expose and then deal with what’s turning everything to hell in both MI5 and MI6.
This is where everything becomes a lot more interesting as M and the head of MI5, Mackmain, are summoned to the ISC at a safehouse to discuss what’s going on. M and Birdwhistle perform well here, with their “Moneypenny,” in revealing all the main layers of what’s been happening and why. But watching how quickly Mackmain unravels is a thing of beauty as his work and the cells that he’s been working with end up revealed. Of course, this is coming at the same time that these former SPECTRE elements are going to advance everything forward in a big way so there’s a lot of fallout to come. But watching this as it turns so decidedly deadly and violent so quickly is really a sight to behold and Masters handles it wonderfully, especially in how he captures Mackmain’s expressions as you can see that nervousness really ready to pop big time.
Though I’m still not fully on board with Ellis’ version of Bond or his style of storytelling here, there’s certainly been more to like with the Eidolon arc than the opening arc. This one shakes things up with some things that have been seeded since the beginning and it’s welcome to see that come into play. Bond has some good material here but I also like that it shifts to showcase what M and Birdwhistle are going through as well since that’s such a game changer. The big draw continues to be watching the way Masters layouts the work with some great panel design to keep the flow moving as well as just the intensity of several situations across this arc. It’s almost a work that you could do dialogue free and get everything you need out of it, which is impressive.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: October 5th, 2016