When one of James Bond’s mentors dies unexpectedly, the young agent finds himself trying to piece together the man’s last days. Something doesn’t add up and Bond has a debt to repay.
I’m a sucker for detective mode James Bond, which this issue featured quite a bit of. It’s always thrilling to see James picking out the things that don’t sit well with him or that stand out in ways they should not, so the sequence with him and “F,” in which he puts together that something is amiss with his mentor’s supposed funeral, was one of the highlights of the series so far!
Bond has come a long way from the angry kid of the first couple of issues. He’s still cocky, but as his former mate Eddie points out in this issue, he’s had a hell of a year and the skills to back up his confidence.
Speaking of Eddie, this issue did a great job of bringing back plot threads and characters from the first couple of issues. It really feels like all of the various threads of Origin, including some of the one-off adventures, are starting to really pull together in interesting and organic ways. None of it feels reverse engineered.
The action scenes, as always, are fantastic. I’ve realized I’m a huge fan of how Ibrahim Mustafa draws hand-to-hand combat and chases on foot. There’s a fluidity to the movements and a real sense of weight as characters move through a space, whether it’s an opulent hotel room or a seedy back alley. While some comics in the action genre can occasionally get a little murky in how they depict fights, it really feels like we’re seeing every punch thrown and every little movement from each participant.
In particular, the brief shootout at the beginning of this issue is excellent. It’s quick, but there’s a real sense of desperation, as if each character involved is trying to make sure they’re the first one to get a shot off, regardless of whether or not their aim is true.
This issue is also full of excellent character beats or small touches that add a little more to the established cast. The shootout at the beginning involves a character that readers may not expect to be as capable as they are shown to be, which adds a whole other layer to the mystery surrounding this arc. Even little moments like the confirmation that this Bond dislikes tea in the same way his counterpart from the novels does (though Origin‘s Bond is much less rude in this regard) adds a fun little quirk to this version of the character. Though he’s lived a harder life than most in the last year, he still enjoys the comfort of downtime in a way that, as fans know, his adult self will come to despise.
The various threads of this series are continuing to connect in new and fascinating ways. As Bond gets closer to the truth, it should be intriguing to see how much more of the adult spy we know so well will begin to surface. He’s already well on his way!
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