James Bond #3 Review

by Jay Hill on February 14, 2020

Written by: Vita Ayala & Danny Lore
Art by: Erica D'urso with Marco Renna
Colors by: Roshan Kurichiyanil 
Lettered by: Ariana Maher
Published by: Dynamite Entertainment

Dangerous espionage, art forgery, and a lavish party, this sounds like a story straight out of “James Bond”. Wait, that’s exactly what it is. In Dynamite Entertainment’s James Bond #3, the titular spy is joined by art insurance claims investigator Brandy Keys in a mission to retrieve a valuable painting. And, when their backs are against the wall, they both will show how capable they are in a scrap.

The opening backstory on Brandy gave more insight into the character’s past experiences and her ties to M. I quite liked how they chose to display the information. Although, there is still a slight feeling of coincidence. I can’t shake how coincidental it feels that this new character just happened to be extremely important to the head of MI6, ended up in the same bar as their biggest agent, and all while investigating the same theft. But, with that feeling cast aside, Brandy is a good character and now that her history has been filled in the only thing to focus on about her is her actions. Speaking of her actions, throughout this comic she was shown doing some pretty cool things. The multiple scenes of her and Bond trying to take down the brute were terrific. The tenacity of the fight made it feel like an all-out slugfest. And, added a bit of “realism”, since neither took him out with one definitive shot; it took a culmination of blows. All of the separate elements of this issue worked more cohesively than any of the issues yet. The flashback, the action scenes, Reese coming up with a plan, and the wrap up all worked well together. All those aspects were executed well and made for a solid read. Things are now working as intended. But, the portrayal of Bond is feeling bland. And not because he isn’t womanizing or making cheesy one-liners, but because he lacks any kind of voice. I had a small feeling in earlier issues that the narrative was playing with a meta idea of Bond, and the last shots (literal) of him in this issue seem to be stating something that may relate to that idea, but there still isn’t any clearly represented facets of the character. With that one gripe standing, this was the most enjoyable issue, for me, so far. Simply because it seemed like more was done in all aspects. The set up for the next chapter is intriguing, and the hints we were given in the other issues also add to the excitement for answers especially since the book is trending up.

The new team keeps the neat nature to the art.The slick lines and neatly laid out panels have an aura of coolness. I stated that more was done in this comic on the writing side of things, and that translates to the art side too. The way the opening used visual storytelling was great. And it led up to the scene with Brandy shocked after appearing to have been abducted by MI6 and thrown in a shady van. That shot had great facial expressions, then the next page uses a bit of mirroring and that got me to start noticing the multitude of great expressions throughout the issue. The “brute fight” scene stole the show. Every illustration of that segment was excellent. When Keys takes her heels off and the sprinklers go off, it kicks into high gear. The effect of the sprinklers also made for interesting visuals. And, the coloring was also nice. The shading of the book is perhaps what the coloring does best; the way shadows are created on objects stands out. The palette was also good, especially when used to bring out Keys’ suit.

After starting a bit shaky like a Bond martini, this issue gels together beautifully. The new characters are carrying the show but that’s not a bad thing because they’re really fun to watch. Bond still lacks a voice, but, in this issue, he showed he still packs a punch in a great fight scene. Since the stolen painting has been found, putting a close to the initial mission, the comic’s future is a blank canvas.

Our Score:


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