REVIEW: James Bond 007: Vargr #1

writer: Warren Ellis
artist: Jason Masters

“The name is Bond, James Bond!”

Dynamite celebrates the recent release of Daniel Craig’s fourth Bond movie with the release of their licenced book.  Those expecting a movie type of affair may recognise certain subplots from Skyfall, but the majority of the book is very Ian Fleming.

Fleming’s Bond is a little different from the movie counterpart. Somewhat battered, a little broken and somehow managing to stay alive.  Now taking on the case load of the deceased 008, Bond is on the trail of a new drug about to hit the UK.  From there, its character dropping, as Bond suffers yet another dig at his choice of weapon then it is off to Berlin.

This seems a rather simple story from Warren Ellis and as first issues go, it’s a little disappointing.  Arguably, the best bit of the book is the first few pages with a chase scenes which also has no words.  This isn’t the time I have seen this trick, but here it feel right, giving the book a somewhat cinematic feel, similar to the foot chases from the recent movies.  Dialogue, everyone sound like they should, albeit their more literary version.

Art is supplied by Jason Masters whose work ahs appeared in a number of Bat related books.  Here without the need to show the cape and cowl crew, Masters goes for a less is more type of approach, but ends up with less is actually less, especially with the way that the characters are used in the panels, leaving quite a bit of empty space.  That said, the lines are clean and although there doesn’t seem to be a lot of recognition in the characters, which seems appropriate that a spy should have a cypher like appearance.

Having  read a number of Fleming’s book, I can see how Ellis has gone with his version of Bond.  I am not sure if the cinema viewing public will be easily swayed from the Bond that they know, which may be a concern for Dynamite. With the number of quality “spy” books that have been on the market recently, it may be true that, at least comic book wise, Bond has become his own pastiche.

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