Bond and his fellow agents have been coerced into assisting Goldfinger’s latest plot! Can Moneypenny get through to 007 before it’s too late?
This issue gave me everything I want out of a heist story: Bond being smooth as hell, quick and dirty fight scenes, and plenty of uneasy warnings from M and Moneypenny, who are desperately trying to figure out if Bond is still in his right mind.
There are multiple little twists in this issue, but each one is so well thought out that it never comes across as a twists for the sake of it. After feeling like he’s been constantly behind the ball at some points in this series, Bond has finally tipped his hand during these last few issues. It’s been a blast to read as Bond shows how far ahead he’s planned his game, even when its extremely painful for him to pull off.
Artwork in this issue is handled by Eric Gapstur and Robert Carey, and while I enjoy both of their work, the changeover mid-issue feels a little off in a couple of spots. That’s a small gripe, however, when the action is done so well throughout the book, particularly in a shootout at the issue’s midpoint. It almost looks like the opening titles sequence of a Bond film, with spare backgrounds and plenty of stylized death poses.
Yet again, Pak’s characterization of Moneypenny is a highlight. She trusts Bond to try his hardest to do the right thing, even when she doesn’t approve of his methods. In this issue, she is shown trusting Bond even past the point where M considers 007 to be a lost cause. This issue also goes a long way towards showing the genuine care and affection Bond has toward Moneypenny, something that has been evident but never quite explicit in the Dynamite era of these characters.
The issue also gives Lee some of his agency back, giving us a bit more of the Oddjob that we’ve come to know and love in this series. While Goldfinger’s plans continue to be a little more vague than they at first seemed, Lee’s motivations are clearer than ever. It will be interesting to see how he and Bond’s relationship continues to develop as this story arc continues.
This arc has been full of classic double and triple-cross espionage, the kind of complex spy craft that the Bond series does best, but it never once feels like something we’ve seen before. Even the familiar bits have interesting new wrinkles, like Goldfinger’s methods of brainwashing. The pieces are starting to fall together for Bond and company to take the fight to Goldfinger, but I have a feeling there are still more unseen layers to the villainous conspiracy.
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