• James Bond: Kill Chain #2

    James Bond: Kill Chain #2
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: August 15th, 2017.
    Written by: Andy Diggle
    Illustrated by: Luca Casalanguida
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    The second issue of James Bond: Kill Chain opens up in London where M tells Bond that the C.I.A. believe he killed their man in Rotterdam. Bond didn’t do it, he intercepted the sniper but left the body in the street where the Dutch authorities made it disappear. The Americans and the British alike are denying any involvement with Rika Van De Havik but more importantly the U.S. is going back on the intelligence sharing agreement that they had. ‘Freezing us out’ as M puts it. Clearly there’s more to this than either man realizes.

    Regardless, M gives Bond his next assignment – a deep cover agent in German, codenamed Hobnail, was infiltrating a right wing terror cell only to be found dead with ‘S.S.’ carved into his chest. Given that the sniper Bond took out in Rotterdam gave a ‘Sieg Heil’ before falling off the roof, maybe there’s a connection. Bond heads down to Q Division, he’s armed to the teeth and briefed by Boothroyd on the capabilities of his new toys. They also talk sniper rifles. The main idea here is to ‘follow the money’ to try and figure out how military grade weapons have been making it into civilian hands. They talk about Hobnail’s work, how he narrowed things down to a Nazi skinhead club in Munich. Where Hobail had six months to earn the trust of these scumbags, Bond isn’t afforded that luxury. M needs results before the upcoming NATO security summit.

    Cut to Munich – Bond finds the club and makes his way inside, it doesn’t look like much more than a dive bar. The bartender tells him, in German, that he doesn’t belong here – Bond takes that opportunity to provoke him and the patrons into a fight that he quickly dominates. With the riff raff unconscious, 007 then picks the lock and makes his way into the back room…and that’s where things get complicated.

    Far more political than your average Bond story, Diggle’s script does a fine job of working current events into the plot without taking away from the story’s entertainment value. Relations between the U.K. and the U.S. are strained here, there are walls going up literally and figuratively all over the world and there’s an unsettling rise in extreme right wing politics. Diggle uses this all too real setting to stage a fine story of international intrigue. This issue also introduces two characters – one familiar and one seemingly brand new – that will likely play a larger part in the story as it evolves. Interesting stuff – Bond is written well, he’s sharp and witty and as dangerous as he needs to be. The pacing is good and there are enough clues and new plot points in this issue to make us want to come back for another round next month. Additionally, the artwork from Luca Casalanguida is slick and polished with nice layouts, interesting panel design and it conveys action well. All in all, a very good read.