Story: Jeff Parker
Art: Ibrahim Moustafa
Colors: Michael Garland
Letterer: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
“The Debt: Finale” In 1941, Lietuenant Bond finally learns the truth of his deceased mentor, Commander Weldon. But truth comes at a cost. The conclusion of Bond’s adventures in 1941, by JEFF PARKER (Aquaman, Fantastic Four) and IBRAHIM MOUSTAFA (James Bond: Solstice, Mother Panic).
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
It’s not easy keeping track of the comings and goings of the James Bond franchise with Dynamite but one thing is certain we get a wide range of projects from interesting creative. Jeff Parker finishes out his origin story that takes place in 1941 with this installment and I’m feeling pretty solid about it overall and hoping that we get another one in the near future as it’s an enjoyable romp that didn’t lean heavily into future-cliches. Ibrahim Moustafa put in several great issues as well with a strong look that defined the character that would grow into what we know and played with some of the style as much as he could considering the missions. But, like this issue, the locales were fantastic and the various people we met in all the countries felt authentic through his artwork.
This installment is a bit low-key but the kind of nice wrapup piece that brings things together well for me. We saw how James and Eddie hid on board the ship and have now made their way to Genoa and we find out that Ronald’s last little mission did the trick. When the locals are offloading the mines that were purchased, it doesn’t take long to realize that they’re duds that will end up out at sea. That makes things easier for the allies since they won’t get taken out by a large number of live mines, but one can also imagine some problems just coming across one and moving much slower through whatever location they’re in. Still, it’s a fun piece and it’s a bit of news that they’re able to share with Letizia when the pair finally find her home based on the letters that James had been working through.
It may be a bit odd for a finale, but we get a good bit with Letizia telling the tale of what her life with Ronald was like and what happened as Mussolini came to power and she eventually made her way out of Gibraltar. It’s a good bit of storytelling but a slow-down in the larger story, one that I can’t fault because it definitely helps with what we knew beforehand. Of course, a good Bond story has to end with some action and that has the local fascists finding them there, leading to a fun chase through the city in classic form and an enjoyable boat chase as well, though the stakes are raised and what’s lost is significant. What it all serves, however, is showing more of what it is that Bond experience in his early days that would prepare him for the life to come.
James Bond: Origin was a really fun series. I’m not sure it quite captured everything that it could be for this first year of a young Bond getting caught up in events but Jeff Parker handled it really well. We didn’t get an overuse of the familiar cliches from the films or books and instead got a bright-eyed, eager, and capable but not faultless young man in the throes of war. Ibrahim Mustafa has been a strong artist in the Dynamite ranks for a while and he was ideal for this series and hopefully gets to tackle more Bond in the future. I’m hopeful that Parker gets to work more young Bond as well as there’s still so much to explore from playing to this period, with more of the war itself, his eventual movement into various intelligence operations, and even 00 training. Parker’s definitely one of my top picks to keep writing Bond stories.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: August 14th, 2019