• James Bond: Moneypenny

    James Bond: Moneypenny
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: August 30th, 2017.
    Written by: Jody Houser
    Illustrated by: Jacob Edgar
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    This latest James Bond one shot from Dynamite Entertainment opens with a sequence in which we see Moneypenny in the past, and in the present.

    In the past she learns about the harsh realities of the world and learns firsthand what it’s like to experience racism. trains and she gains experience, and is eventually taken out of the field not because her work was poor, quite the contrary – it was because M trusted her.

    In the present she prepares for a mission accompanying M to Boston and deals with a sexist coworker named Lane who would rather she look pretty than do anything else. The plane lands, they meet up with their contact, Hayes, and have dinner. Afterwards, they retire for the night at an older home where Lane once again chides Moneypenny for taking her work as seriously as she does. The next day M and Hayes address a university class. Everything goes fine until the lecture ends and Moneypenny, ever vigilant, notices that the campus is pretty much entirely empty, even though Hayes notes that classes go on for a few more hours yet.

    Weapons are drawn and Moneypenny gets the others to cover just before a sniper attacks. It turns out that there’s more than one assailant to deal with here, and so she gets the others inside to hold their position while she goes on the offensive…

    Those expecting 007 himself to play a big part in this self-contained story will be disappointed (though he does have a small cameo) but this does a decent enough job of expanding on the mythos of one of the Bond universe’s most underappreciated characters. More than just a pretty face sitting behind a desk and more than just a babysitter for MI6, this issue lets us see how and why Moneypenny wound up in the position that she’s won and why she was afforded the job in the first place. It’s not quite a full blown origin story, but Jody Houser’s story gives us enough insight into her past and her upbringing to bring the character into her own. If the story ends a bit more suddenly than maybe it should have, there’s still a lot to like here –good action, interesting character development.

    As to the artwork, Jacob Edgar does a fine job here while Dearbhla Kelly’s coloring work suits the look of the story nicely – it’s bright, bold and colorful. There’s a decent amount of detail in the panels and a nice consistent flow to the look of the book. Add to that an appropriately foxy cover piece from Tula Lotay and this proves well worth checking out for anyone who has enjoyed Dynamite’s forays into the Bond universe over the last two years.