• James Bond #5



    James Bond #5
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: March 16th, 2016.
    Written by: Warren Ellis
    Illustrated by: Jason Masters
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    The fifth issue of Warren Ellis’ Vargr storyline picks up where the last issue left off as we find Bond trapped inside the office building, fire raging around him – that’s not good. He manages to prop a gas canister inside the doors of the elevator and blow it up with a shot from his pistol. The ensuing explosion blows a big enough hole in the wall that he manages to get out just in time.

    After that, he sits down on the steps of the Kurjakmedizin building to enjoy a well-deserved cigarette break and to give his phone a chance to cool down. With his work done, the British Embassy gets him on the next flight back to London and once he’s arrived on home turf, he’s ushered straight to headquarters. Bond managed to crack open the drug smuggling operation but there’s no rest for the wicked.

    Command tells him about the escalating drug problem on the streets of London and how they need him to connect with an MI-5 team out to stop the latest shipment. While he’s lost his gun and not about to be re-armed anytime soon, he is handed a small and legal to carry knife. Tired and in need of rest, Bond nevertheless heads out to the shipping yard to meet MI-5 but is promptly assaulted by Dharma Reach…

    The plot, as you’d expect, thickens. We get a bit more info about Reach and her motivations that tie her to the Kurjakmedizin building’s more nefarious behind the scenes operations and at the same time, see Bond return to England in what will probably result in some of the loose ends from earlier issues being tied up. Ellis’ story is engaging, bringing the right mix of action, suspense, character development and quirky humor to the book with a very natural and even handed flow to it. He manages to stay true to the roots of the Bond character while still managing to tell a great story set in the modern age with all those newfangled gadgets like smart phones coming into play.

    Masters’ art has improved over the last few months and that improvement is once again noticeable in this issue. The backgrounds are still a little sparse in a few panels but there seems to be more attention to detail here than was evident in the first three chapters of the story. The fight scenes are more fluid and illustrated with enough punch that when Bond and Dharma Reach land blows, they really do look like they hurt. Facial expressions are more effective here too. The coloring work from Guy Majors suits the dark tone of the story and the cover from Dom Reardon does a nice job of making you take notice and want to see what lies underneath.

    All in all, another very fine chapter in this run.