Javier E. Trujillo reviews the fourth issue of Dynamite’s newest James Bond thriller, 007!
007 goes on a mission, partnered with Myrmidon! Could the Double-O have turned traitor?
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Marco Finnegan
Colours: Dearbhla Kelly
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Main Cover: Tommy Lee Edwards
Packager & Editor: Nathan Cosby
Bond, in disguise, seduces a woman so he can steal her credentials. With his objective achieved, the Myrmidon operative Daniel Rook picks up 007 and takes him to the next phase of the operation. Bond uses a nearby civilian who is drunk to create a distraction and infiltrates a nondescript building. Once inside, he makes for the server room and downloads information regarding Mahmoud Nassar…as well as files on Rook, Sebastian Fromm, and the homicide investigation of Gwen Gann.
Several acts of espionage comprise this issue of 007. Johnson has a suitable mix of seduction, intrigue, betrayal, action, and stealth. I found it interesting that the woman from MI-5 that Bond seduces is reading George Eliot, a female author who used a male nom de plume, alluding to the double life he is leading on behalf of Myrmidon. I was surprised how his blonde hair and beard held up to their lovemaking, given how easily he doffs it when Rook picks him up after Bond has copied his target’s credentials and access card.
I love the antagonism that Johnson portrays between Bond and Rook. The loathing between the two is apparent, but it also gives you insight into how they operate and contrast in their ideologies. It’s going to feel very satisfactory once they finally go head to head in battle. Rook’s actions are shocking, but not surprising, making him easier for Bond and the reader to despise.
Bond’s sneaking past security with a drunk diversion was clever, showing how one has to improvise in the field. However, it was hard not to think of the Mission: Impossible franchise once he made his way into the server room. Climbing through vents in all-black clothing complete with balaclava did not feel like the typical 007, but this highlights how he is rogue, operating against his countrymen. I appreciated Bond disabling those who tried to stop him, without using lethal force against the “home team”. A quick doffing of clothing to get away in a contrasting white tee shirt was also an appreciated bit of spycraft, not that it didn’t stop him from getting recognized by his earlier helper, tragically.
I’ve been quite critical of Finnegan’s art in past reviews and whilst the issues I have are still present to some degree, I actually found myself enjoying the visuals slightly more with this outing. The issue had a strong visual opening. Not only did the rain look unconventional, but I enjoyed the red window box that spotlighted the character we were meant to focus on. The colouring by Kelly also provided a boost, giving the requisite textures I’ve come to expect from this series, and using a few different hues we haven’t seen in this story, particularly the aforementioned rainy opening.
With stronger layouts and the usual sharp plotting, I enjoyed this fourth installment. Whilst it may not have the humour of his cinematic counterpart, the espionage and spy craft aspects are very much the driving forces, making for a taut thriller. I find myself excited to get to the next issue!
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