A Fast-Moving But Generic First Outing In James Bond: 007 #1

by Josh Davison

[*Spoilers Ahead!]

A weapons deal in Singapore is interrupted by a pair of agents. One is James Bond, Agent 007, and the other is a mystery agent trained in martial arts and armed with a weaponized bowler hat. 007 does not initially know that the other man is a competing agent, and this gives the competing agent the upper hand. Both have the same target, so it’ll come down to wit, skill, and luck to win the day.

James Bond: 007 #1 cover by Dave Johnson
James Bond: 007 #1 cover by Dave Johnson

Cards on the table, I’ve neither watched a full James Bond film or read any of Ian Fleming’s novels. In a way, this is my first time completing any kind of James Bond installment (though I’ve played a bit of Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64). I know that seems hard to believe, and I would like to see many of the films at some point (if that softens the blow any).

In any case, James Bond: 007 #1 is a decent read. It’s fast-moving and action-packed. It seems to be functioning under the assumption that the reader is invested in James Bond and his past exploits. Little is explained to the reader; it seems that you should just know all of this.

It does feel generic in a few ways. There is little beyond the names and the presence of Oddjob (I think that’s who that is supposed to be) that sets this apart from any other espionage thriller. Oddjob himself is written to be quite boisterous and charismatic; he was honestly my favorite part of the story.

James Bond: 007 #1 art by Marc Laming, Triona Farrell, and letterer Ariana Maher
James Bond: 007 #1 art by Marc Laming, Triona Farrell, and letterer Ariana Maher

Marc Laming’s artwork is also among the strongest parts of the comic. It’s immaculately detailed, and the action scenes are generally clear and well-constructed. There are some moments where the movement isn’t conveyed well, and that does lead to a little confusion in spots. Those are few, though. Triona Farrell’s color art is strong too and keeps a good contrasting balance throughout the book.

James Bond: 007 #1 is a fun and fast-moving read. It doesn’t do much with the character beyond thrusting him into a fairly generic spy scenario with an old villain reimagined. It will be a enjoyable read if spy thrillers are your thing, or if you have a special affinity for James Bond himself. Beyond that, I wouldn’t call it a must-read.

James Bond: 007 #1 comes to us from writer Greg Pak, artist Marc Laming, color artist Triona Farrell, letterer Ariana Maher, cover artist Dave Johnson, and variant cover artists John Cassaday with Jose Villarrubia, Rafael Albuquerque, and Marc Laming.

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