Tuesday, July 12, 2016

James Bond: VARGR by Warren Ellis - Book Review

From the publisher: After a mission of vengeance in Helsinki, James Bond returns to London and assumes the workload of a fallen 00 Section agent. His new mission takes him to Berlin, presumably to break up an agile drug-trafficking operation. But Bond has no idea of the forces ranged in secret against him, the full range of an operation that's much scarier and more lethal than he could possibly imagine. Berlin is about to catch fire... and James Bond is trapped inside. Dynamite Entertainment proudly presents VARGR, the debut storyline in the all-new James Bond comic book series, as crafted by masterful writer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, The Authority) and artist Jason Masters (Batman Incorporated, Guardians of the Galaxy). 

Vargr, the new James Bond comic by Warren Ellis for Dynamite Entertainment, is awesome. It is basically a James Bond movie in comic form, minus the theme song. There is a femme fatale, a crazy villain, a strange henchman, and an action-filled opening.

After 008 is killed, James Bond is assigned one of his open cases. This leads him to Germany, where he is to meet a CIA asset to discuss a drug issue. It's potentially a quick case; he doesn't even get armed with any of Q's fun gadgets. However, things don't go as planned, and the mission quickly goes sideways. Soon, its up to Bond to connect a former Nazi with the mysterious drug that is devouring junkies from the inside out.

Ellis perfectly captures the pace and dialogue of the newer Bond movies. With appearances by Q, M, and Miss Moneypenny, the whole cast of familiar characters is here. Ellis has created just enough backstory for the various villains to make them believable. He has kept the witty dialogue (no "shaken, not stirred" though), particularly between Bond and Moneypenny. The action is balanced with slower pieces, and the plot pulls together nicely.

The only disappointment is the lack of character development for Bond himself. However, as this is a planned ongoing series, I'll give Ellis the benefit of the doubt and hope that future story arcs will further flesh out James Bond.

James Bond: VARGR by Warren Ellis is a fun, exciting read. I look forward to seeing where this series takes 007. I highly recommend it, particularly to James Bond fans.

I received a preview copy of this book from Dynamite Entertainment and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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