Dynamite are putting a lot of effort into their various James Bond books, with various iterations catering to the different textures of James Bond that have graced the silver screen. Now, it’s the turn of one of Bonds most reliable and loyal acquaintances – the lovely Miss Moneypenny.
In Skyfall, we see a pre-Moneypenny take a shot that has dramatic repercussions. Dynamite have decided to take a different stance. Recognising that she must have had skills to get to that point, we get a tale that shows the considerable effort it took to become a highly valued asset. The one shot takes us through a potted history throughout the characters life, going back to the her early school life, all the way to her present mission.
Jody Houser writes in an engaging manner that despite some obvious beats covers the bases. Moneypenny’s early life, marred by racial ignorance, delivered in a surprising way is the contrast that the story needs as well as an element of motivation for Moneypenny, which is about all the development the character receives. The current mission is something that is a tad unexplained to be honest, serving as it does to showcase the main character and her agent skills and overall decision-making. There is even time for a quick 007 cameo.
Jacob Edgar provides the art, taking his key for Moneypenny from Skyfall and subsequent movies. Personally, I have no problem with the diversification of the character in any shape, way or form. If anything, I am pleased to see the character get a touch of retribution for her movie counterpart who seemed to be demoted due to some not so sharp shooting. The art has an easy flow to it with easy lines that gives the book a look of simpler times. This suits the less than heavy story well. Edgar tries hard with camera angles as well as giving the reader a view of how Moneypenny sees the world, in the airplane for example But there are times when the conversational transition panels seem to lack a certain amount of life. Finally, whilst I am definitely not a fashionista, even I recognise that the style of dress that Moneypenny is wearing during the final act of the book, tends to change, in a number of panels. Colors are provided by Dearbhla Kelly, who like Edgar tries a couple of different tacks before settling into a the type of not quite bright / not quite pastel look that by now, is quite familiar in this range of books. A quick mention for Simon Bowland whose work on various Bond books has been extremely consistent throughout.
This book in many ways is a contradiction; for fans of the James Bond books, this will be a welcome addition, fleshing out one of the key components to the Bond mythos. For new readers, there is really nothing in here that would make you want transition over to the main series. This is a shame as there is an element of quality on show throughout the book.
Writing – 3.5 Stars
Art -3.5 Stars
Colors 3.5 Stars
Written by; Jody Houser
Art by; Jacob Edgar
Colors by; Dearbhla Kelly
Letters by; Simon Bowland
Published by; Dynamite Entertainment