• James Bond: Black Box #6

    James Bond: Black Box #6
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: August 2nd, 2017.
    Written by: Benjamin Percy
    Illustrated by: Rapha Lobosco
    Purchase From Amazon

    Picking up where the last issue left off, Bond is beneath the nuclear reactor in Fukashima. He stealthily makes his way through the different guards posted along his path, each hit getting him closer to his target – Saga Genshi. He needs to get his hands on that black box before Genshi uses the information it contains to turn allies into enemies and set the world into disarray. At the same time, he has to wonder to himself if succeeding this time around will do more harm than good.

    He makes his way through the laser trap and into the belly of this atomic beast where he then comes face to face with Genshi’s enforcer, that wrestler he shot four times the night before. It’s inevitable that they fight – they have to at this point, but the man in the mask tells Bond that they’ve got the girl. That changes things, that makes it personal.

    Off the coast of Japan, there are those who would like to get through to 007 but can’t because of a presumed signal jammer that Genshi is running. MI6 and Boothroyd know that there are agents of other countries in the area also after that black box. Bond has half an hour to do his thing before the British military moves in to ensure that they get to it first.

    And so Bond does what Bond does… all of which leads to the final showdown with Genji where, quite literally, the fate of the world as we know it hangs in the balance.

    Benjamin Percy’s six issue storyline comes to a satisfying conclusion with this issue. We’re not reinventing the wheel here as far as Bond’s character is concerned – Bond is Bond and there are defined character traits that we require for this to remain the case. That’s well covered here. Where the story gets more interesting and unique is with the character of Saga Genshi and his very specific and very modern day plot. Rather than use a rogue nuclear warhead or something like that to destroy the world he’s instead found a way to harvest the world’s secrets and compile them into what is essentially one giant hard drive. In a day and age where enemy states are now digitally interfering in elections, this concept doesn’t really seem so farfetched and Percy writes it all really well. As such, we get the typical Bond that we want but set against an atypical foe. It makes for good, suspenseful reading. Rapha Lobosco’s artwork, nicely colored by Chris O’Halloran, does a nice job of bringing the action to the forefront of the book. The first few pages where Bond makes his way through the underground bunker are really nicely laid out and quite dramatic. He uses shadows really well here too – it’s a nice looking issue and a fine way to bring the storyline to a close.