James Bond gets in too deep when Goldfinger makes his move!
I’m a huge James Bond fan and I always have been. Because of my long-lasting love for this franchise, I can usually recognize the tropes and trappings of the series and then make a decent guess at what to expect from one of 007’s adventures. That’s why this series is so thrilling: I have absolutely no clue what’s next. Greg Pak’s storyline has zigged literally every time I expected it to zag, resulting in the most exciting James Bond story in years.
The latest wrinkles to Goldfinger’s plan have been absolutely fascinating. They’re even more science fiction-y than the already gadget-heavy film and novel from which this arc has gleefully borrowed several characters and story elements, but in a way that absolute works for this series.
Bond and his tech, particularly in the Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan eras, have always existed in that sort of “five seconds into the future” timeframe, where the gadgets and gizmos always play off pulpy ideas, but are still mostly believable (minus the stupid invisible car of Die Another Day). So, yes, while this arc has officially brought in a form of mind control, it’s done in a way that feels very plausible and which fits in the sort of pleasurable excess that Bond is known for.
Eric Gapstur’s illustration in this issue, particularly during the torture scene at the issue’s midpoint, lend the proper mood to the proceedings. The room where Bond is given his new “incentive” appears to be purposefully spare, as though it only exists for this one purpose. It furthers the feeling of Bond being isolated, while the staging also gives readers what is essentially this series’ take on the classic “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die” moment from Goldfinger. Again, this series is playing on expectations in fun and interesting ways.
But make no mistake, the narrative isn’t simply made of curveballs for the sake of having them. The character work in this series, especially that of the last several issues, has been exceptional. Some of these characters have existed for decades in various media and haven’t been explored as thoroughly as they are here.
I’ve also mentioned this before, but I love the more active role Moneypenny has taken in this series. Beyond even being James’ contact back home and his tactical advisor, this issue shows Eve Moneypenny ready to take arms and bring the fight to Goldfinger. We get to see so much more of her determination and her working relationship with M in this issue, developing both characters and giving us further insight into their respect for Bond and his methods.
Meanwhile, though Oddjob takes a bit more of a backseat in this issue, becoming a bit more of the henchman we are familiar with, Bond’s new predicament ensures that we’ll be seeing more of Mr. Lee in the coming months.
James’ determination has landed him in a seemingly-impossibly situation! This certainly feels like something we haven’t seen the super-spy deal with before, so fans are certain to feel a chill when they see the final page of this issue.
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