Friday, November 6, 2015

Review - James Bond #1 (@DynamiteComics)

"And I'm 007."

James Bond doesn't need an introduction, but he seems to have a habit of doing just that on multiple occasions. There's a certain cache that comes with his name and personality, drawing upon an established reputation and expectations. Dynamite Entertainment is getting back into the Bond game with James Bond #1. The issue is written by Warren Ellis, illustrated by Jason Masters, colored by Guy Major and lettered by Simon Bowland.

Beginning "VARGR", the first story in the ongoing James Bond comic series. James Bond returns to London after a mission of vengeance in Helsinki, to take up the workload of a fallen 00 Section agent. But something evil is moving through the back streets of the city and sinister plans are being laid for Bond in Berlin...

The opening of James Bond #1 is pretty fast-paced as Ellis chose to kick things off with Bond right in the thick of it. The chase at the beginning re-establishes 007 as the character we're all familiar with and Ellis doesn't hesitate to infuse him with a cold-blooded instinct. Ellis uses this characterization of Bond to further the plot forward, establishing the stakes and impending adversary Bond will have to deal with. A person like Bond can't do his job without making some enemies and Ellis is sure to remind the reader that those enemies are out there waiting for Bond. Ellis' Bond is distinct from that in other properties, yet he still maintains all the requisite Bond characteristics: charming, flirtatious and reckless.

Masters offers a line style that's extraordinarily crisp and clean. Bond maintains much of his trademark appearance and Masters illustrates him completely at ease in his MI-6 issued suit. Masters creates a great introductory shot of Bond when he introduces himself to an adversary that's reminiscent of an opening sequence for one of the films. His style lends a retro flair to the world of Bond as well--despite the issue being set in the present it feels as if it could easily happen in the 60s. Major further's this style through the use of colors that feel vibrant and bright, popping off the page.

James Bond #1 has everything you'd want from a James Bond comic and is meant to exist in its own universe. Bond is thrown into the thick of it again and must contend with the requisite obstacles, all of which come together very cleanly. Ellis does a great job of making Bond feel relatively new despite the extensive history behind the character, presenting an opponent who clearly wants to make Bond's life a living hell. Masters does a fantastic job with the linework, using interesting overlays of bullets exchanging hands and guns being drawn to underscore the world Bond inhabits. James Bond #1 is a strong first issue that's establishing a new Bond universe in the comics.

James Bond #1 is in stores now.


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