One of the biggest draws of James Bond or Jason Bourne is how the characters stay cool when bullets and bombs fly. To be so calm, you have to be trained and experienced which is pretty badass when machine gun fire is coming your way. The latest issue of James Bond is here, but is it good?
James Bond #8 (Dynamite Entertainment)
So what’s it about? The Dyanmite solicit reads:
James Bond is trapped in Los Angeles with a MI6 agent under fire and a foreign intelligence service trying to put them both in bags… and possibly more than one foreign intelligence service. And things may not be any safer in Britain, with bodies dropping and ghosts moving in the political mist…
Why does this book matter?
Warren Ellis has proved he can make a complex James Bond that’s a bit of fun too. Artist Jason Masters draws with a very architectural line that makes the environments and surroundings around Bond realistic and the action incredibly well sequenced. Together they’ve brought intrigue and action that can rival the films.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Neat secret hotel.
Ellis opens this issue with Bond entering a safe house with a woman he rescued. You know what that means! So begins the first Dynamite comic Bond babe conquest! It took eight issues but we’re finally here. At the same time we get an interesting look at how MI6 operates in America, as well as some saucy dialogue to go with it. Ellis establishes an interesting relationship between Bond and the girl (her name is Birdwhistle) that’s a bit of a cat and mouse affair, but purely sexual at this point. It’ll be interesting to see how this relationship develops and if it takes Bond off track along the way.
This issue establishes that relationship well, kicks off an intense and brutal (customary for this series) fight sequence, and further delivers clues to the big mystery. Ellis brings up the fact that Bond isn’t allowed a weapon while in the UK again and it’s clear that’s going to end up costing him something later.
The art continues to be a great complement to the well written dialogue and pacing. The flirting between Bond and Birdwhistle is quite nice because of how Masters lays out the page, building the tension effectively. The fight sequence though…wow. It’s like an intense Jason Bourne-style hand to hand battle that looks incredibly real. I wonder how Masters does such a good job (does he act the fight out? Watch movies? What?) and the genuine feel of the fight is great.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The last few pages is mostly dialogue that slows things way down. Clearly Ellis did a lot of homework in regards to gun types and what not, but it all goes on too long. The final panel doesn’t do much as far as cliffhangers are concerned either. I didn’t get a sense of what could happen next.
Gonna get hot and heavy.
Is It Good?
This is good espionage comics and even better choreographed action.
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