Story: Vita Ayala, Danny Lore
Art: Eric Gapstur
Colors: Roshan Kurichiyanil, Rebecca Nalty
Letterer: Ariana Maher
What They Say:
The first arc concludes, from VITA AYALA (Morbius), DANNY LORE (Queen of Bad Dreams) and ERIC GAPSTUR (The Flash). Bond is in over his head. What started as a “punishment” assignment has expanded into a world of international crime that Bond can’t wrap his mind around. Will 007 accept that the mission is too big for one spy, and seek assistance…or will pride be his downfall?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With the various Bond books over the last few years largely working six-or-twelve-issue arcs, having this new series wrap up its opening arc in three feels very weird. Vita Ayala and Danny Lore bring it to a close here and it mostly feels like we finished up a little mid-run filler storyline than a launch storyline. There’ve been fun parts of it but the main draw really has rested in Eric Gapstur’s hands in giving readers a dynamic and active Bond. And he spends a good chunk of this installment in the fight, both with guns and his hands, resulting in a lot of bodies dropping. The tease of something larger is mixed into all of this, reminding you of the Daniel Craig films and the new organization there, but that’s all it is, a tease.
With Brandy Keys having grabbed the Rothko, the main result of her run in this book is dealing with surviving. The main thugs have focused on stopping her from stealing it while Reese is a floor below trying to cause distractions for Bond. Bond, for his part, steps in to deal with the threat to Keys but that only ticks her off as she’s convinced she was handling him. We see through the flashbacks some of her life that shows she does have the skills, and why she ended up in the position that she’s in, but you can’t always take down the bigger opponent. Which makes it amusing when Bond leaves her too it while trying to track down their main target. She’s not exactly keen on it since she realizes that Bond means its time to truly finish him off as it’s part of this line of work, but that’s what’s involved. It’s a rough moment that segues into more of it.
The bulk of the issue focuses on the fight while the flashback at the start helps to give us a bit more for Keys as we’ll presumably see more of her again soon. For Bond, it’s about stopping things from getting worse here and that means a lot of men in suits to fight with, which lets him get all his aggression out. Again, Gapstur makes this enjoyable to watch and the allusions to his dance card play well with the kind of humor he employs. The epilogue isn’t bad either as we get to see Keys getting back to civilian life while realizing that it’s not quite going to be so easy, but there’s nothing here that really makes you sure that you’ll come back for more unless you’re just a solid Bond fan who will take any storyline and use of the character.
The next issue brings on Erica D’urso for the artwork so I’m curious to see what they bring to the table and how it’ll alter the view of the series. Ayala and Lore are starting up their next storyline with it as well but this opening three-part storyline didn’t do much for me. It’s just kind of there, you know? Nothing more than that. It has some good artwork and some good quips and moments along the way but it’s a far from memorable storyline that drives you to wanting more of it.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: February 12th, 2020