Beginning “VARGR”, the first story in the ongoing James Bond comic series by best-selling writer Warren Ellis! James Bond returns to London after a mission of vengeance in Helsinki, to take up the workload of a fallen 00 Section agent. But something evil is moving through the back streets of the city, and sinister plans are being laid for Bond in Berlin…
James bond came to film in 1962, and the first comic appearance was 1963, a decade after his creation by Ian Fleming in 1953. 62 years later, and perfectly timed for his latest movie SPECTRE, 007 is back to comics this time with Ellis writer, Jason Masters providing art, and Dynamite publishing it.
The first issue is… good. This isn’t Craig, Moore, Connery, or any of the actors, Bond, Ellis has crafted his own take on the character, a kind of gentleman assassin. Which is interesting as he’s referenced within the comic as a blunt instrument, a line uttered towards Daniel Craig’s more rough and brutish take on the character. The look of bond is a mix of Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, and Connery. Dark hair, skinnier and somewhat tall, this depiction is closer to singer Hoagy Carmichael who Fleming says the character resembles.
What’s interesting is the story itself would work fine as the opening credits of a Bond film, but quickly get dull with discussion of Diplomatic immunity, carrying weapons in the UK, and whether the department will be eliminated. This is the Trade Federation and trade blockades of the Star Wars prequels, details that may be important to set the tone, but rather boring.
The end of the comic did pique my interest introducing the villain with a quirk who will likely be Bond’s nemesis for the first story-arc. He doesn’t quite seem grounded, instead reminding me of Die Another Day, not a good thing.
Masters’ art does a nice mix of upperclass gentleman and thuggish brute depicting the action and quieter moments nicely. The combo isn’t easy to do to keep visual interest, but he transitions from one to the other quite well.
Overall, the first issue doesn’t blow me away, but Bond’s adventures are best measured on the whole not the individual part. What will be interesting is if we’ll get a more over the top Bond adventure which may fit “comics,” more, or if we’ll see a more grounded adventure like the latest movies. We’ll have to wait and see. If nothing else, the comic helped satisfy a bit of my craving to see the character’s adventures.
Story: Warren Ellis Art: Jason Masters
Story: 7 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review