• James Bond: Kill Chain #3

    James Bond: Kill Chain #3
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: September 20th, 2017.
    Written by: Andy Diggle
    Illustrated by: Luca Casalanguida
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    Picking up where the second issue left off, this third issue opens in Geneva where Bond outbids Madame Chevalier on a valuable antique watch. He sits down beside her, she outbids him, he goes higher… until he feels the end of a pistol in his back. Chevalier wins the auction and heads over to deal with it while the man with the gun in Bond’s back walks him out of the room into the back warehouse where a few other armed men are waiting. They force him to hand over his wallet, his Walther and then unlock his phone – he obliges, but these men aren’t all that familiar with what Q can do – the phone blows up, giving Bond the advantage. He retrieves his Walther, takes out two of the three assailants and is surprised to see Chevalier show up to take out the third.

    It appears that Chevalier is French Intelligence and that Bond has just blown ‘a very expensive operation.’

    More armed men enter, they open fire on the two of them but they make their escape out the window, commandeer a van and take off with the cache. As they drive, they talk. It seems they were both after the ‘money man’ and Bond thought it was Chevalier while Chevalier thought it was Bond. It seems that this watch and other valuables stolen by the Nazis in the Second World War have recently started showing up at auctions like this. Someone is making a lot of money off of these stolen antiquities and given that they’re now being chased by men on motorcycles with guns, it seems that person doesn’t want to give this operation up without a fight.

    Bond tells Chevalier what she already knows – whoever is selling these antiques is using the money to arm extremists all across Europe. Rochet is the financier. When they open the back of the van and find out what’s inside, they realize they got very lucky. Chevalier takes off in the van with the valuables, while Bond? He heads right into the thick of it… to find out who is behind Operation Hooded Falcon.

    The plot seriously thickens in this issue. Lots of great action here in the middle stretch as Bond and new friend Chevalier take on those defending the stolen art. Andy Diggle paces this nicely but still also manages to develop character and plot in interesting and entertaining ways. We won’t spoil the ending here but gets more than a little intense and closes on a really solid cliffhanger that ensures we’ll be back next month to see how the story plays out. Diggle writes Bond well. He’s suave, sure, but he’s also all business and just as likely to put a bullet in a target’s head as he is to flirt with a pretty French agent. Some of the trademark humor and wit that’s always been important to the character is on display here too. Add to that the quality of Luca Casalanguida’s artwork, with really solid coloring from Chris Blythe, and this issue scores high marks all around. Lots of good detail here, a nice flow to the action scenes, great use of shadow and light to build some welcome atmosphere and some interesting panel layouts all ensure that this is a book that looks as good as it reads.