Review: James Bond – Kill Chain #1 (of 6)

Dynamite Entertainment continues to show that when is comes to James Bond, nobody does it better.  Whilst this does make me feel sad for the rest, the fact is that when it comes to Bond, Dynamite have their itchy trigger finger definitely on the pulse.

This new series is a 6 issue run, which gives the story enough time to twist and turn.  Which is just as well, given that in this first issue, Bond thinks his latest consort is a rogue agent, which she is.  However, Rika has more up her sleeve than just that.  Her actions may well have a debilitating impact on Bond whilst also serving to set greater plans n motion.

Writer Andy Diggle gives us essentially a straight up espionage story, that is both shaken and stirred.  There are threats off all types for Bond to contend with, giving us another chance to see him in action.  However, very rarely, at least in the  movies, do we see a Bond so affected, feeling the weight of his “Queen and country” first lifestyle.  Diggle shows us that this Bond has more in common to the Bond of literature, which is a great pitch.  After all, if the Bond movies have the all the action then the comics can have both action and the  nuances of emotion.

Luca Casalanguida provides the art for the book, with an angular style that accentuates the frenetic pace of the action whilst also implying the strength of the characters framework.  For example, Rika is suitably curvy where as Bond is a block of strength.  With an angular style this is quite the achievement.  if I had any quibble, I would say that at times the action, specifically the boat chase (no need for a spoiler warning there – it is after all James Bond.  A vehicle chase is as ubiquitous as him sleeping with the girl),  which somehow loses some momentum.  Chris Blythe supplies the colors on the book and does an excellent job of conveying the darkness in the “not who we think they are the world of spy vs spy.

For their sheer amount of creativity, Dynamite should be getting more respect on the comic rack.  They have cross publisher books that cater for various fans; they have older licences that they breathe new life into.  They even have Bettie Page!  Whilst all that is true, it is the quality of the work that can sometimes fail to grab attention.  With their James Bond books, that is never a concern.

Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 4 Stars

Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Luca Casalanguida
Colors by Chris Blythe
Published by Dynamite Entertainment

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