New regulations make it impossible for James Bond to carry a gun while in the UK and that’s a bold move. He’s been neutered a bit, but he isn’t down and so far this series has shown us a Bond who’s resilient and clever. But, is it good?
James Bond #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Last issue, James Bond had a one on one with the big bad villain who explained everything. Customarily he put Bond in a death trap and that’s where this issue opens.
Why does this book matter?
Warren Ellis has written an honest, interesting and solid action thriller of a book that I just can’t put down. Meanwhile artist Jason Masters has delivered clean lines, easy to follow action, and a fun James Bond. He still has a darker side, but this is a much more fun James Bond to follow than the one we’re accustomed to in the recent movies.
Is this the end for Bond?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue has not one but two action sequences, the first being Bond’s daring escape from the death trap we left off with last issue. The second is another fantastic sequence of hand to hand combat that Masters is proving to be an expert at. It’s not often a fight sequence can run eight pages long and keep the tension high and the entertainment value even higher. Sure it’s a big portion of this book, but it’s also a big part of what makes the last few scenes meaningful to Bond himself. Ellis basically gives all that action a reason for being and it makes for a dramatic moment between Bond and his boss that’ll get folks cheering.
In between the opening and closing is mostly Bond debriefing with the supporting characters and trying to shrug off feeling dirty and tired. It’s only six or so pages between action and while not a lot happens, it’s clear Ellis is building up the supporting character we’ve only briefly met before. The fact is, we’re meeting a James Bond that doesn’t have unlimited resources or 100% support from his superiors. To see his boss ridicule him without a second thought is a lot different than what we’re used to and that’s fun.
It can’t be perfect can it?
As I said above the debriefing scenes are a little slow. One character, Mr. Tanner, is involved in these scenes and aside from a talking head I’m not sure what his purpose is, unless it’s some twist ending villain we aren’t aware of yet. Speaking of villains the main villain is a ghost in this issue and it’s unfortunate we don’t touch base with him here.
Is It Good?
A tense action thriller that knows how to take its time and deliver a page turning comic. Whoever’s writing the next Bond flick should check this book out and take notes!
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