Javier E. Trujillo reviews the sixth and final issue of Dynamite’s newest James Bond thriller, 007!
At last-007 versus Myrmidon! In the battle between Bond and the super-soldier Rook, who will live to die another day?
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Marco Finnegan
Colours: Dearbhla Kelly
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Main Cover: Tommy Lee Edwards
Packager & Editor: Nathan Cosby
After a flashback of Bond and Gann in bed, discussing finding something in life that makes it worth it, the story cuts back to the present day, revealing 007 mid-chase, being pursued by Myrmidon as he tries to protect Nassar from being assassinated. Bond takes out the would-be despatchers until only Rook remains. The two do battle, with the Double-O coming out on top. However, Bond fails to protect his charge and mysteriously vanishes, setting the stage for his next adventure.
That was quite the conclusion!
Bond’s roadway chase was exhilarating and frenetic, the comic version of the pre-title sequence of Quantum of Solace. When we finally got to the showdown between Bond and Rook, I was more than ready to see it play out and Johnson did not disappoint. Set on a busy roadway, surrounded by traffic buzzing around them, Bond goads Rook into hand-to-hand combat, somewhat evening the playing field since 007 was out of ammunition and showcasing Bond’s ability to manipulate others to his advantage.
I still have not acquired a taste for Finnegan’s art. While there are some strong compositions and interesting staging to the action, my usual complaints (simplistic, unfinished-looking, characters don’t look consistent) still stand. Kelly’s colours help add shade and provide some semblance of a background, but I am still left with the impression that there is not enough visual substance left on the page.
The action is top-notch, however. The animosity between Bond and Rook is palpable. Rook feels like The Terminator, a machine under a man’s skin, unrelenting with an unquenchable desire to kill. It almost becomes comical how much punishment he takes in the fight, combined with a horror film villain’s penchant to come back one last time to frighten the hero.
Without revealing too much more, Bond is certainly left in a precarious position. He certainly doesn’t emerge victorious, nor is the status quo set back to zero by the end. There is clearly more story to be told and given how much I have enjoyed Johnson’s writing, I am excited to see him play in this world further.
Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the visuals, 007 has been a pleasure to read. From a writing perspective, I would put it up there with some of the well-regarded miniseries Dynamite has put out. There has been a great feeling of tension and drama, some exciting action, and wonderful character beats, letting you feel the loneliness and frustration a Double-O can sometimes go through. Myrmidon shows promise as a threat, feeling contemporary and on par with SPECTRE. This concluding chapter also has an excellent use of “My name’s Bond. James…Bond.” that serves as a wonderful payoff for all the time Rook refers to 007 as “Jimmy”.
Despite the lack of Bond on the Silver Screen, readers can take solace in knowing that James Bond (and Phillip Kennedy Johnson) will return in 007: For King and Country! From the previews it seems to pick up right where this story leaves off, so plenty more action and intrigue lies ahead!
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