Dynamite Entertainment 2017
Written & Illustrated by Ibrahim Moustafa
Coloured by Jordan Boyd
Lettered by Simon Bowland
007 accepts an unofficial mission. He travels to Paris, in pursuit of a Russian. But is Bond the hunter, or the hunted?
Well I’m always up for a Bond story and even better if it’s a Holiday special. Huge shout out to Ibrahim for both writing and illustrating this I’m always impressed and admire someone who can do it all like we see here. That makes the opening that much more impressive as well since it’s a story told without words and it’s all in how we’re supposed to see this visually. It’s strong and well executed and even has that touch of humour about it that’s subtle and interesting.
So when 007 is back at base after that mission the dialogue is what I adore. Between James and Boothroyd I was darn well near laughing my behind off. Then seeing Moneypenny and his interaction it felt honest and real James to me. That flirtatious and yet honest desire well it’s makes me feel this is the bond as he is meant to be, regardless if it’s past or present. So when James meets with M about what happened, holiday plans and asking in a roundabout manner for an off-the-books op. That interaction is one that I both enjoy and can’t believe that it took him so long to catch onto.
This may be a one-shot but I have to say I liked this a lot. The way it’s written, the way it comes across to the reader and the structure of the book, the ebb & flow between spy and action sequences are masterfully done. There is this unspoken quality to the story that only someone very well trusted is going to not only do but on their own time and dime. While there is that whole unspoken thing going on and that it manages to make the characters more human in regards to how they see each other it doesn’t really skew the dynamic at all. Matter of fact the amount of respect I see in both men is off the charts and not just for each other but in my eyes as well.
So I mentioned the artwork earlier and the use of page layouts through their angles, perspective and the utilisation of backgrounds here really bring this to life with a strong eye for storytelling. I like how James has that classic appeal to him with the jawline and the black hair it all feels somehow right. The casting of the motion pictures makes that lose something but different Bonds different eras. Still the sleek stylised version that Ibrahim brings to this is polished and exceptional.
It really is fun to see James on his own using his contacts to get what he needs. Since he couldn’t use the gizmos and gadgets that would normally come from Boothroyd he has to make do with the usual stuff, name a gun. He does have a watch that he didn’t return but the opening segment showed us what that does and it isn’t much. Getting fitted for clothes, coat and the car the we see it is kind of nice nod to the Kingsman. I found that particularly fun in kind of cheeky.
The suave manoeuvrers that we see in play and the way things finally close it all really just is played out perfectly. For what Ibrahim does here is pure and simple classic James Bond and the story, the pacing, the characterisation and plot all make this one of those that hits on all cylinders. Dynamite’s use, care and respect for the Bond legacy is a thing of joy.