Javier E. Trujillo reviews the second issue of Dynamite’s newest James Bond thriller, 007: For King and Country!
Now that 002 has located 007, where can Bond and Gann go with the whole world against them?
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Giorgio Spalletta
Colour artist: Francesco Segala
Colour assistant: Agnese Pozza
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Main cover: Joseph Michael Linsner
Packager & editor: Nate Cosby
002, in his attempt to bring in 007, has now found out Gwendolyn Gann is alive as well! The trio fight, but Bond and Gann come out on top, making note for 002 to tell M that they didn’t kill him. They knock him out and flee to Rome for assistance, in order for Gann to recruit an old friend.
In the meantime, OOs around the world are updated on the situation, with orders to bring them in, alive if possible.
In Rome, Gann meets with Linus Pendleton, a former Q in a time before Bond was 007. Bond meanwhile is casing the venue, an outdoor restaurant with impeccable coffee. It doesn’t take Bond long to realize they have been made. In fact, practically all the restaurant’s so-called patrons are out to get Bond and Gann! Bond calls to warn her, but gets 006 instead, who has hacked in on the line. With the resources of Myrmidon, they are basically able to find Bond anywhere in the world once he uses a phone and they have been tracking him since they got off the plane!
Bond decides to make a go of it, stealing a car from one of the agents sent to retrieve them and crashes it into the restaurant tables outside in his attempt to get Gann and Pendleton.
With the groundwork established in the last issue, Johnson begins to move the story forward, pitting Bond against his former allies. While not as bombastic as last issue’s opening chase, the hand to hand fight scene is well-choreographed, if brief. That’s to be expected though when you have two veteran OOs against one rookie.
Spalletta’s art really helps the reader take a dislike to 002, “Skip”. He comes off as smarmy and arrogant, often visualized with beady little eyes and rodent-like teeth. Certainly not the suave secret agent that Bond is known for being. The contrast does provide a nice dichotomy between the characters.
There are quite a few moments of insight between Bond and Gann that I quite appreciated seeing. The first being when Bond is flirted with by the ex-Myrmidon agent. Bond believes that Gann has somehow taken offense and she quickly rebukes him for the sentiment, a reminder that she taught him once upon a time how the game is played. Not only do we get to see the strength of her character, but that Bond isn’t the shallow ladies man people assume he is.
The second is on the airplane to Rome. Bond and Gann have now assumed disguises, (Gasp! A blonde Bond!) and are reflecting on what they think of when it comes to Rome and their past missions there. Bond’s answer is very Flemingesque. I continue to feel in good hands with Johnson.
As MI6’s net begins to close on Bond and Gann, the tension picks up. Shades of Goldeneye emerge as a 006 is after 007. Bond is definitely outmatched by an enemy that knows his every move. Even the help of a former Q doesn’t seem like it will amount to much. I wonder if Linus will become a sacrificial lamb on the altar of the war against Myrmidon?
Spalletta does solid work establishing the geography of the outdoor restaurant, brought to life by the golden colors of Segala. The space feels warm and inviting, a direct contrast to the drama that is about to unfold. I particularly appreciated the change in hue for the initial panels where Bond spotted the agents who were there keeping tabs on the area. It ratcheted up the sense of danger.
The ending leaves one at the edge of their seat, wondering how Bond will get out of this situation. Given the prevalence of modern technology, it truly feels like Bond has nowhere to go where he can evade the eye of MI6, who are now in bed with the resources of Myrmidon. This is shaping up to be a first rate thriller, continuing on the adventure from 007! With top-notch writing and art, I highly recommend you come along for the ride!
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