Story: Christos Gage
Art: Luca Casalanguida
Colors: Heather Moore
Letterer: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
James Bond is in the USA…but NOT as part of Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Shockingly, he’s there as an Agent of SPECTRE, sent to eliminate an upstart rival SPECTRE boss at the bidding of Ernest Blofeld himself! The leverage Blofeld has against Bond is a threat to the life of one of the few people in the world Bond can trust… but that friend may have the interests of Bond’s target as the higher priority!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this series was one that I liked a lot overall but it took a bit to get into the groove of it and really connect. Christos Gage put a solid concept to the page and has the Dynamite Bond moving through it well and I like the idea of exploring this modern Spectre and Blofeld to see where it can go long term. Thankfully, Luca Casalanguida is excellent as always here and delivers a striking-looking book with great designs, a good sense of action, and I love the way he can work the quiet tension that’s needed in a Bond storyline. There’s a distinctiveness about this Bond that works for me and Casalanguida really captures part of that even while working with a character that’s not supposed to be quite so identifiable in a way, unlike the actors that portray him in the films.
With the contact made, we see how Bond is ready to go the distance with this and that America is the next stop because of how the first person that he needs to investigate could have funneled a lot of money to American politicians. It makes it clear the obvious dangers here, especially for those that could be blackmailed not knowing what happened, but there are obviously big concerns since only Bond, M, and Moneypenny know about this. Tensions are high and Bond is already basically in the game because of his being photographed with Blofeld that makes his playacting at being an agent of Spectre, or really of Blofeld, real even if it isn’t real. I like the sequence in how it handles things, especially the jab about M’s job, but it works really well to highlight the tension.
The Mission in DC is a whole lot of fun as he’s going after Titiana Jones through Harlan Clark, both Spectre agents jockeying for power who are having a good romp of things together as well. She’s higher up the order but is smarter in the game here by keeping herself largely isolated. Clark, however, likes having household servants even while running his own security firm, which allows Bond a way in through them. Not that he isn’t busted and called out on it, making for a good fight and a quick death that makes things all the more real. Bond’s attempts at getting closer to Jones plays out well and we get some suave high-class moments mixed as well as he gets to make his move, if not for Felix showing up and potentially throwing everything out of whack. It’s a great moment that unfolds there as Bond does his best to nudge the conversation into Felix not revealing who Bond really is.
As with most James Bond stories, there’s some good stuff going on here in general. But Christos Gage is able to give it a different feeling that really clicks. In a way, it feels like the License to Kill movie where it’s not operating on the usual patterns or concepts and has Bond in a position that he’s normally not in – yet still fits the familiar larger ideas. The time with M and Moneypenny makes clear where things stand at this point and that adds an exciting level to it. His time in DC is a little awkward as we go back and forth a bit at times but it makes for a good read as you discover the pieces and put it together, while a second read comes across even better. With the solid storyline and great artwork, I can’t wait for more installments of this to see how far it really goes.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 7th, 2021