You could probably figure it our from back when I was reviewing the first series of James Bond comics from Dynamite that I'm a James Bond fan. Books, movies and comics… I think he's a great character and when done right, maybe one of the best. When done wrong… its usually very wrong. The character is on the edge of being what most men want to be and what most men fear they are.
With Vargr and Eidolon, the British super-spy was in the hands of Warren Ellis and Jason Masters and they created two story arcs that felt like classic Ian Fleming / Sean Connery Bond. It has that 60's sensibility that makes some of the early films iconic.
With the next series, James Bond: Hammerhead, the creative duties move on to writer Andy Diggle and artist Luca Casalanguida. Diggle is an accomplished crime writer and a very good fit for the series. But it's also different. Where I could easily see Connery or George Lazenby playing Ellis' Bond, Diggle's feels more modern. More of a Daniel Craig Bond.
I'm going to try and avoid spoilers… but the classic format is in place for the first issue. We get a quick action scene opening in a foreign land… this time Caracas, Venezuela, where we see Bond do his thing. In the films, the open scene ties to the main story are usually subtle, but here it's more overt as we learn of a man named Kraken and see that he appears to be very powerful or at least well connected.
Casalanguida's art is really good. His work is fluid and leads the story well. I like his take on Bond, he doesn't look like any of the actors who've played him, but you still know it's Bond as soon as you see him.
Where my only real complaint about Vargr was that the individual issues seemed to move slow, that's definitely not a problem with Hammerhead. By the end of the first issue it already feels like things are going to hit the fan fast. The change of creative teams has done nothing to lesson the quality of the book and I eagerly await the second issue.
Cover art by Ron Salas. For more on this issue (AUG161495 – AUG161500) as the finale order cutoff approaches, click here.