• James Bond #2



    James Bond #2
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: December 2nd, 2015.
    Written by: Warren Elis
    Illustrated by: Jason Masters
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    Picking up exactly where the impressive first issue of this new James Bond series left off, this second chapter of the Vargr storyline begins at the airport in Berlin where Bond introduces himself as Hutcheon to a beautiful woman named Reach. She’s to drive him straight to the conference and seems keen on showing him the sights. Once they’re in the car, of course, she addresses him by his real name. They make small talk and then in typical Bond fashion, he flirts with her. She flirts back, mounts him in the back of the car… and then tries to strangle him.

    And she almost gets away with it too. Bond, however, is Bond and he manages to kick the driver hard enough to send the car careening into a truck and after the accident manages not only to escape the wreckage, but to get his luggage out of the trunk as well. All’s well that ends well and while it’s not necessarily proper for a OO agent to walk to the British Embassy, that’s exactly what he does. Here he meets Station Chief Carney who introduces him to Samira Dar and Godwin Soames, and after making small talk the discuss the car incident that just occurred. No one is completely sure who Reach was working for or why the hit was set up.

    Bond and Carney meet behind closed doors at which point the Station Chief hands Bond the latest arrival from Q at MI6… his gun. From there, Bond heads off to meet a man named Slaven Kurjak at his Friedrichshain address, a laboratory where Kurjak researches and experiments with pharmaceuticals and prosthetics. He tells him what he knows about the lab making the cocaine that was causing such a problem in London, and Bond is on his way… hoping to be done with it quickly and to sleep tonight in his own bed.

    That’s probably not going to happen. Of course this issue ends on a cliffhanger with not one but two big reveals in the last few pages of the chapter. Ellis’s take on the character continues what we saw in the first issue – a fairly ‘pure’ take on the character without much care for political correctness. As such, Bond is a womanizer, he drinks, he smokes, and he doesn’t take any shit from those who cross him. The plot itself builds, as you would hope, off of what was established in the first installment and proceeds to add further layers of intrigue and suspense while at the same time delivering a really strong action set piece with the car attack.

    Masters’ artwork is slick and very clean. There’s good detail throughout and he has a nice sense of movement in his panels. The final page is appropriately grotesque while the pages proceeding it, wherein Bond meets with Kurjak, are cold and clinical, which makes sense given that they take place in a lab. Some more background detail might give the look of the story a more distinctive look but overall this works quite well. Ellis and Masters would seem to be onto something here. Bond fans take note.