Writer: Andy Diggle
Artists: Luca Casalanguida, Chris Blythe
Release Date: 19th July 2017
Ah, Bond. Given the will-he-won’t-he status of Daniel Craig’s return (when only the Daily Mirror is telling a story, one has to question its veracity) it’s perhaps appropriate that this here series has turned up so that we might get our fix of walking Cold War anachronism Jimmy B.
It’s seemed like a fairly insurmountable challenge, cold-pressing Bond into the Information Age – indeed, the most successful of Craig’s four films thus far has been the one that out-and-out built a story around Bond only being able to function as intended in the absence of technology, rather than having him embrace it in any meaningful way. What a lovely surprise, then, when IDW snapped up the rights to produce comics of the iconic spy, only for Warren Ellis to fling him screaming into the modern era not only forcibly, but rather more successfully than any of the recent spate of films ever did.
Following up on their largely successful follow-up Hammerhead, Diggle and Casalanguida have put out a solid, if relatively unremarkable opening act of a new arc. The highlight most certainly is in Diggle’s already established exemplary grasp of the character’s voices, as well as his excellently paced mystery building – but then, to those of us who read Hammerhead, this’ll come as no surprise.
It’s, in perhaps a cruel twist, in the action sequences where the issue isn’t quite as strong as it could be. There are some nice individual panels, to be sure, but in keeping with Hammerhead, the way that they’ve been strung together on the page is occasionally a mite confusing. I found myself on two occasions in the issue having to backtrack to try and figure out what on earth just happened on a page. It’s a bit of a shame, really, given that they’re now two mini-series deep into their storytelling. That said, the overall styling of the book is incredibly strong – Casalanguida’s lines recalling a gauchier Tim Sale, with gorgeously moody colour-work from Blythe.
Overall, this is a promising start to a new Bond story arc – it’s got all the classic hallmarks that it needs to have, and does just enough new and differently with the story and its tropes as to spark a tiny flame of interest in this particular Bond fan’s heart. If you’ve never been sold on Bond, this’ll do literally nothing to get you on board – but for the rest of us, this’ll get your pulse momentarily pumping. It remains to be seen exactly where it’s going – and a Bond story is only ever as good as its payoff, so for now…
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24