• James Bond: Kill Chain #5

    James Bond: Kill Chain #5
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: November 15th, 2017.
    Written by: Andy Diggle
    Illustrated by: Luca Casalanguida
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    The events that have taken place in Norway, Germany, Italy and France now lead up to what’s happening in Brussels. Moneypenny ensures Q that the building has been swept, and so they head into the restaurant for breakfast. They don’t know for sure where 007 is, but she suspects an unregistered aircraft that just landed outside Bastogne may have something to do with him. With the Americans after him, they need him to lay low. And then, of course, they look up and recognize their waiter as Bond.

    They get into M’s car where he explains to Bond how intelligence sharing has been shut down and agents are turning up dead. NATO is feuding and covert operations are being exposed as Russian tanks are showing up in the Baltics. M figures Russia’s end game is to invade and gives Bond ‘carte blanche to operate as you see fit’ though they will officially deny anything that comes of this, he’ll be ‘persona non grata.’ Bond wants to know where Rika Van De Havik is – the last they know, she took a flight to Turkey.

    In Incirlik, Group Captain Mowbray opens up a large parcel that’s just arrived to find 007 stowed away inside. M figured this was the best way to get him there. They talk about the situation and then Mowbray brings Bond inside the hold where he shows him their one prisoner – Rika – who won’t tell them anything. When Bond sings, Mowbray and his crew draw their weapons…

    Diggle’s plot is twisting and turning in some pretty great ways. With NATO splitting at the seams Bond really doesn’t know who he can trust anymore, the fact that the Americans think he turned on them doesn’t help matters at all. There’s good character development here – M and Moneypenny are who they are, all business all the time, and Bond doesn’t break from the mold nor should he, but Rika’s character is interesting and clearly becoming more important to the story. This is also quite timely, pulling from current headlines involving Russian interference in international affairs and running with them in ways that are frighteningly not all that unrealistic. It makes for good reading, it’s quite tense and exciting.

    Luca Casalanguida’s artwork gets better with each issue. There’s more movement in the last half of this issue than in most of those that came before it, and the action scenes are nicely laid out and hit pretty hard. There’s good flow from one panel to the next and a decent amount of detail here as well. The coloring work from Chris Blythe complements the illustrations nicely. This is a slick looking book!