• James Bond: Black Box #4

    James Bond: Black Box #4
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: June 7th, 2017.
    Written by: Benjamin Percy
    Illustrated by: Rapha Lobosco
    Purchase From Amazon

    The forth chapter of Black Box starts off in Tokyo. Bond is racing down the streets of the city perused by armed assailants on motorcycles. He’s in contact with Boothroyd, he needs to know what the Aston Martin he’s currently driving can do to help him get out of this rather dangerous situation. Thankfully, despite the weak pound the car is equipped with machine gun turrets in the rear bumper. Once engaged, Bond finds these quite handy in eliminating the Yakuza that had been tailing him, but he doesn’t get them all and soon enough the tires on his car, while protected, eventually give way to machine gun fire and start to shred.

    With no other choice, Bond pilots the car down a crowded side street, through the street vendors and their carts set up there. He brings the car to a stop, gets out with his Walther in hand, and prepares to deal with the two Yakuza that have made it this far. Just as it looks like it’s about to get ugly, Selah Sex shows up in a car, takes out the bad guys and whisks him off to safety… sort of. See, one of the motorcyclists isn’t dead, just wounded, and not so wounded that he can’t get off a quick round that hits Bond in the shoulder. Regardless, he makes it into the car and passes out.

    Of course, as this is a Bond story, he wakes up a few hours later, his wounds all bandaged up. He’s lying in Sax’s bed and she’s nude in the shower. She invites him in and he notes that a little injury isn’t going to stop him from going undercover (ha!). As Bond has shower sex with the alluring redhead, we do learn that Boothroyd cracked the encryption on her phone and that Bond now knows Sax was once a member of the British Special Forces and then a special ops agent for Group 13 who walked away from everything when she saw her crew taken out by an IED at Fallujah. Since then she’s worked as an assassin who takes out other assassins – atonement. Or is it exorcism?

    But what about Saga Genshi and the black box that Bond has been tasked with destroying? They’ve honed in on the GPS signal Genshi’s heart monitor emits, but they’re not in a race against time to get to him and collect the dirty laundry on the rest of the world before someone beats them to it…

    This fourth issue is a fun read, lots of action to start things off nicely what with the race through Tokyo and the machine gun toting Yakuza bikers out to take down Bond. Maybe it’s not a huge shock to the senses to see Sax return in the nick of time – after all, she and Bond had that spark, the kind that almost ensures 007 will get her into bed. Still, it’s an exciting sequence and completely fitting for the Bond mythos that the series has been tying into very strongly throughout this mini-series since its first issue. Benjamin Percy writes the characters well, he’s clearly pulling from the ‘traditional’ Bond tales that we all know and love, but keeping things appropriately modern and anchored in the current day. It works. On top of that, Rapha Lobosco’s artwork, aided by Chris O’Halloran’s coloring efforts, suits the story nicely. Bond exists in a shadowy world, lots of dark corners and dim streets for him to explore, chased or not. This is reflected well in the panel layout and the pencil work, which seems to but atmosphere and movement over detail at times. Regardless, it looks good, it’s quite stylish and slick looking while the coloring, dark at times, is entirely fitting and complements the art style nicely.

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