James Bond #2 Review

by Jay Hill on January 14, 2020

Written by: Vita Ayala & Danny Lore
Art by: Eric Gapstur
Colors by: Roshan Kurichiyanil 
Lettered by: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Published by: Dynamite Entertainment

After taking the majority of the last issue off, no doubt for a stay at some tropical destination with wine and women, James Bond 007 is back in… well, the comic named after him.

The apparent downsides of the last issue were the lack of more appearances by the title character and a story that, while holding interest, failed to bring anything new to the table. This issue features more Bond, but still lacks freshness. The start introduces us to a possibly interesting character who hints at another character who could play into things to come. But, past that, the story does little to keep itself interesting or worth reading. The James Bond shown lacks any coherent voice or personality. Then, M appears with a similar lack of personality. And, the handling of Brandy becomes another fault for this issue. While the first issue focused on her and expressed her strengths, in this issue she feels forced upon the story. Her secret past with M is an element that seems to be unnecessary and gives her a feeling of forced importance. On top of the lifeless characters, the story features little substance also. Without an abundance of humor that hits, no action to speak of, or a clear ongoing mystery the issue is left feeling hollow. The scene in M’s office goes on too long, the train ride does too, and when it seems like it might be picking up, we’re left on a cliffhanger. This issue seemed to use its time poorly and on the wrong scenes. The next issue has a lot of ground to cover to make up for this one and will hopefully find a voice for its characters and a tone for the story.

The art still keeps a nice style to it. However, the story doesn’t lend itself to many moments to let it shine. The palette was helped in the last issue with the outside scenes but this being an issue of interiors, and a particularly long one in a drab office, it leaves the palette feeling bland. The later scenes at the party do show an increase in the palette’s diversity. Shots like the larger panel of the card game, Bond removing the USBs from the safe, and the cliffhanger shot continues to show hints of the stylish nature of the art.

This was an unfortunate step in the wrong direction. The story not only hasn’t picked up but has dropped a little. The focus being off 007 in the last issue may have hidden the lack of excitement, but when he shows up for this issue there is still little to be seen. The characters aren’t displaying anything special leading to a lack of bond to this James. The art stays nice, but without room in the story to show anything exciting, its all for naught.

Our Score:


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