Story: Greg Pak
Art: Stephen Mooney
Colors: Triona Farrell
Letterer: Ariana Maher
What They Say:
A new arc begins, by superstar GREG PAK (The Incredible Hulk, Firefly) and new interior artist STEPHEN MOONEY (Half Past Danger)! MI6 Agent 007 and Korean operative John Lee have been forced by their governments to join forces to secure a dangerous case that may contain nuclear materials. But their current mission requires them to practice patience, guile, and possibly…singing.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While stating that this is a new arc, I’m hard-pressed to really agree that it is since the last issue didn’t exactly end a storyline and this is just the next layer of it as more is revealed with the same characters and some new ones. Greg Pak is working a larger storyline that’s interesting here, though I wish they wouldn’t go and add things that feel too disconnected from reality, such as the city-state in the opening pages. What is different with this installment is that Stephen Mooney has joined on as the artist which gives it a different look, but not radically so. It signifies that things are shifting in the story with the new visual design and it’s appealing enough across the board, which is good.
The shift with the arrival of the Russian agent the last time around has her bringing the smuggler down to northern Australia where they’re intending to spend the next week separating the guy from the case. Not a bad plan and it’s one that has Bond, Lee, and Moneypenny following closely behind on. They set up shop in the same hotel where there’s a very loud bridal party going on which means lot of silliness to be had, especially with Lee doing plenty of singing and wooing the ladies. Watching the different way the two men insert themselves into that situation is comical especially when combined with the gruff approach that Bond is taking toward Lee. That sadly puts Moneypenny in mother mode from time to time but mostly she’s just focusing on the primary mission of getting that case and not letting it explode.
When things do go south as another agent makes an attempt on the Russi and the smuggler, everything goes south quickly. It’s not bad but it’s chaotic in how it’s presented, to the point where I had to read it a couple of times to realize that an additional agent was in the mix trying to acquire the case. That she knows Lee provides another wrinkle and having her as someone he trained with that was recruited by ORU, and knowing that they can’t be brought back because of how they’re conditioned, ups the ante on just what they’re facing off against. But that also creates this really intense opposition that may seem a little too much in a way to get a handle on or actively like. It may be “realistic” in a sense but it also feels like its part of the problem with how to handle Bond in the modern/near future times.
I’m still in that position where I’m not sure an ongoing Bond series is a good thing which makes me glad that there are still some other projects in the works. Things are a bit convoluted here and the billing of it as a new arc leaves me a little wary because it isn’t that. There are fun moments to be had here and I like what John Lee brings to the story since the way he and Bond are so abrasive with each other is amusing. But I’m also losing interest slowly with this storyline and the potential of this run, which is unfortunate as I think we’ve had a really good run of Bond miniseries and specials for the past two years. I’m just not connecting with this one that well.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: January 30th, 2019