There are few pop culture heroes more iconic than James Bond, and any attempt to render him is a challenge. Not only is Dynamite faced with the necessity of keeping to the spirit of the past they must also create a fresh version of 007 while telling a compelling and modern story. The result needs to be both familiar and original. Issue number one of James Bond:Black Box contains every indication that they have figured out how to deliver on all counts.
The opening scene of a ski gondola over the French Alps shows all the promise and respect required. Each frame is a cinematic nod to the films and novels that prove this isn’t your Daddy’s Bond-James-Bond. Lobosco brilliantly evokes all the great ski chases from the movies. We are also given a reminder that the designation “007” means that James is a sanctioned assassin and, of course, we meet the requisite “Bond Girl” (a redhead with a Highlands accent).
All the parts are in place. “M” introduces Bond’s assignment to eliminate those responsible for a massive data breach and erase what he finds with appropriate aplomb. “Q” provides the toys including a Walther and what looks like an Aston Martin DB10. Percy’s dialogue is terse and reminiscent of Fleming’s clipped style. Lobosco’s artwork is similarly sharp. This is an action movie come alive on the page. The story promises to be fast moving and thrilling, just as it should be.
By the way, I think this James Bond looks more like George Lazenby than any of the others and that’s fine with me. The facial scar is a nice call back to the books. Black Box does justice to a half century of canon and does it well.