• James Bond #9



    James Bond #9
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: August 31st, 2016.
    Written by: Warren Ellis
    Illustrated by: Jason Masters
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    The third chapter of Warren Ellis’ Eidolon storyline starts in a meeting room. Moneypenny brings in Senior MI5 Field Officer Eve Sharma to meet with Bond, Chief Of Staff Bill Tanner and with M. Bond needs no introduction to Sharma, she knows who he is, and from there she explains what it is that she wants – the case where two MI6 agents were killed at Heathrow should be handled as a domestic security issue and should therefore fall under the jurisdiction of MI5 and not MI6. M disagrees but she counters by noting that the assault was conducted with a UGL fitted weapon – special forces. But Bond calls her on it, he knows she’s up to something. Trying to find out what they know, likely, and when he says as much she doesn’t like it.

    They send her on her way.

    Meanwhile, Birdwhistle is poking around the computer files looking for clues and she finds one – but it’s behind an encrypted defense. They call in some help and hack past it – MI5 security is what it looks like – and once they do Birdwhistle finds what she’s looking for. It seems someone in MI5 has been moving large amounts of money into something called Strategic Fleet Reserve. M suspects this has to do with the government’s ‘box tunnel’ program in which they hold onto old technology, things like steam engines for example, that could very well come in handy if England were to have to go off the grid.

    Bond is sent to investigate but is told he’ll carry no identification and that this is, if he is caught, a deniable investigation. It wouldn’t look good if he were to be caught spying on MI6, after all. He’s sent to Q Division and outfitted with a revolver and then sent on his way. Two hours later he’s making his way into the tunnel and once inside, who does he see but Hawkwood arguing with some heavily armed men, and those same heavily armed men are perceptive enough to know when they’ve got a ‘tourist’ in their midst.

    The threads that were scattered about in the first two chapters are coming together nicely in this third. Bringing Hawkwood back seemed inevitable from the first time we saw him appear in issue #7, but the jury is still out on exactly what his involvement here is. We know it won’t likely be good for Bond, at any rate! Meanwhile Birdwhistle has been properly established so that she’s able to use her skills to help Bond and the rest, her back story now properly explored. But again, we don’t know yet what exactly will be happening with her. As to Bond himself, he’s almost a background character in the first half as the other players all theorize about what it is that’s going on with MI6, but once he gets into the tunnel and it all hits the fan he returns the efficient and ruthless agent that we all know and love. There’s a lot going on here, Ellis weaves a good story and leaves us wanting more.

    Masters’ artwork seems, in this issue, to be a step back. He still draws the characters well but as with some of the earlier installments the backgrounds here are empty, at least for the scenes that take place in M’s office. Once we move out of there, the sequences in the woods look great and those that take place in the tunnel are cloaked, as they should be, in darkness. The good certainly outweighs the bad, however, and their collective run on the book, with solid coloring work from Guy Majors, remains worth checking out each and every month.