Mild Spoilers Ahead
We watch James Bond getting chased out of a bedroom by an ambassador for bedding his wife. After this intro, we join Keys and Reese, a pair of insurance claim investigators who specialize in high-end Renaissance paintings. In this particular case, a Rothko painting owned by a Mr. Davies has been stolen and replaced in a museum, and Keys and Reese are in charge of figuring out where the paintings went without getting the police involved. This leads them to the delivery company that moved the Rothko to the museum, and this leads them to a local pub and the trouble waiting inside.
James Bond #1 relaunches the master spy’s Dynamite Entertainment title with a new creative team.
That said, this opening issue shows very little of Mr. Bond. Instead, the tale focuses on Keys, Reese, and their investigation into the missing Rothko painting.
It’s a slow burn; we follow Keys and Reese through every step of their search. There is style and flair in the storytelling, particularly when Reese explains to Keys how he would go about stealing a specific painting from this specific owner and get away clean.
James Bond does show up again after that opening sequence, and he does so smashingly. It’s a short scene, but it certainly makes an impact–especially thanks to the artwork of Eric Gapstur.
Speaking of Gapstur, he does a damn fine job on the visuals of James Bond #1. His detailing is good, action and movement are depicted in a satisfying manner, and characters are aptly expressive. Color artists Rashan Kurichiyanil and Rebecca Nalty give the book well-balanced and lively colors, ensuring it all looks quite good.
James Bond #1 is an enjoyable if somewhat slow new start for the eponymous Ian Fleming character. We are introduced to a new pair of engaging characters, and we get some solid action involving Mr. Bond himself. However, the meticulous and slow burn of the stolen painting investigation hinders the overall comic a bit. That said, it’s still worth a recommendation. Feel free to pick it up.
James Bond #1 comes to us from writers Vita Ayala and Danny Lore, artist Eric Gapstur, color artists Roshan Kurichiyanil and Rebecca Nalty, letterer Ariana Maher, and cover artist Jim Cheung with Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Final Score: 7/10