• James Bond: Kill Chain #6

    James Bond: Kill Chain #6
    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: December 27th, 2017.
    Written by: Andy Diggle
    Illustrated by: Luca Casalanguida
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    This sixth issue begins at a NATO airbase in Incirlik, Turkey. Rika Van De Havik and her crew are just about to make it out on a plane they’ve commandeered when Bond shows up in an SUV on the runway. He chases the plane and manages to get close enough to leap out and grab onto a wheel before it lifts off and the SUV crashes into a barricade and bursts into flames. Unfortunately for Bond, he can’t actually get into the plane, so he spends a considerable amount of time under the fuselage clinging tightly for dear life.

    At MI6 Operations headquarters in London, M gets a message from Bond that does not bode well. Russian tanks are advancing on the Baltics and a European blackout is imminent. M requests immediate contact with the Secretary General.

    In that plane, however, Rika is celebrating, they’re about to pull it off. Europe will be blacked out and they’ll be able to take over the NATO satellite systems. How? They’re uploading a virus to the NATO plane currently refueling them, and of course this is unbeknownst to everyone but them… and the guest they don’t know about. When Bond manages to get the plane’s electrical system to cause an alert on the leg he’s holding onto, a crony is sent to look at it – he opens the door and unwittingly gives Bond the entrance he needs. He makes his way through the plane towards the cockpit, taking out anyone that gets in his way.

    On that NATO fuel plane, they wise up to what’s happening but their systems are no longer their own to control, they can’t stop it. They disengage the fuel line but it catches fire and the plane loses a wing – but did they manage to stop the upload from completing?

    Bond, meanwhile, comes face to face with Rika Van De Havik…

    This six issue run ends on a serious bang, literally and figuratively, with what is hands down the most action-intensive issue you can imagine. It’s non-stop, really, Bond is in killing machine mode here, because he knows better than anyone, even the higher ups and MI6, how important it is that he complete his mission. Diggle writes this well. If this issue isn’t super dialogue heavy it doesn’t need to be because the characters are properly established at this point, what’s left to do here is to bring things to a close. Which is exactly what he does in a very ‘Bond appropriate’ style, maintaining the series’ modern slant (a big part of it since Warren Ellis wrote the first issue a couple of years ago) while still tying very strongly into the character’s roots. And like every good Bond story should, this one resolves the current storyline while still leaving the door open for a sequel (personally, I would not be opposed to that at all).

    Luca Casalanguida has done a very fine job with the artwork since the inception of Kill Chain. Aided by strong coloring work from Chris Blythe, the book has a slick and effective look to it that fits the story nicely. The action scenes in particular are quite dynamic and well laid out, there’s a great sense of movement (particularly in the opening SUV/plane chase) and the fight scenes hit hard.

    All in all, a very strong run from Diggle and Casalanguida. Here’s hoping Dynamite gets them back on another Bond run sooner rather than later.