• James Bond: Kill Chain #1

    James Bond: Kill Chain #1
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: July 19th, 2017.
    Written by: Andy Diggle
    Illustrated by: Luca Casalanguida
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    The first issue of this latest James Bond series from Dynamite starts in the snowy hills of the Taymyr Peninsula in Russia where two men prepare, their ‘Hooded Falcon’ now ready to fly. They talk of strength being found not in the hand, but in the heart, and how they have the smarts and the conviction needed to do battle with their enemy.

    Elsewhere, James Bond spars with a beautiful silver haired woman named Rika. He moves in to kiss her, she bites him and flips him over and then issues him her demand – “I want to be on top.” A short while later as she shows, he opens a hidden safe in her apartment and erases the contents of a flash drive. Rika comes out of the shower and finds a note and a rose on her pillow that reads “Duty calls.” She makes a phone call and tells whoever is on the other end that “He bought it.”

    In Rotterdam, Holland, Bond is told in a debriefing that they’ve confirmed Rika Van De Havik is a rogue agent and that it’s lucky they caught her in time as she was earmarked for 00 status. Bond is told to get to the meeting, witness the handover and then to eliminate Rika. Bond follows orders and heads out to the bridge where he sees Rika meet with a man with grey hair and glasses. The man is identified as C.I.A. but before Bond can do anything, a sniper takes him out. Bond is ordered to take out Rika, and he tries, but after he shoots her she falls into the river below. Bond notices the sniper in a boat and gives chase, causing quite a mess on the way, but before he can get any information from him the man leaps to his death.

    And then we learn what really happened to Rika, and what’s next on her ‘to do’ list…

    A Russian conspiracy, a sexy silver haired rogue agent, a car chase, a mysterious sniper and a dead C.I.A. agent – what more could you ask for in the first chapter of a James Bond comic? Writer Andy Diggle pens a good yarn, weaving excitement and suspense into the proceedings in equal measure and clearly setting up big things to come. You kind of know how this issue is going to end before you get there, but to be fair, it makes sense that it end this way, otherwise, well, there probably wouldn’t be a second issue. As such, we’re left with a bit of a cliffhanger that leaves us wanting to see where the story is going to go from here – which is exactly what a good first issue should do.

    So we’re in fine form with the writing, but the art? Luca Casalanguida, who also handled art duties on the James Bond: Hammerhead series, delivers the goods. Lots of great shadowy panels here to keep the mystery alive, and a nice sense of style and movement to ensure that the action scenes properly convey the right amount of excitement. His art is stylish without overdoing it and he a nice job ensuring that the backgrounds are properly fleshed out in this book as well. Chris Blythe's coloring accentuates all of this nicely, using a lot of blacks to provide some interesting visual contrast when brighter hues are employed for dramatic effect.

    Dynamite’s done some really good work with the Bond license since picking it up a couple of years back, and this first issue of Kill Chain looks to continue that tradition. Here’s hoping the second issue is just as solid as this first one!