Comic Review: James Bond: 007 #1 by Garth Ennis & Rapha Lobosco

The name Garth Ennis is synonymous with two things; dark comedy and smart satire. Both can be found in the first issue of Dynamite Entertainment‘s James Bond: 007. This is true to the spirit of the original novels by Ian Fleming, however, despite being every bit a Garth Ennis story.

The book’s opening sequence firmly establishes Ennis’ Bond as a brutal bastard, who does unpleasant things for King and Country. It also leans heavily into the casual racism that pushed Fleming’s estate to release edited editions of the original novels. Ennis is at his satiric best here, with a South American drug lord protesting 007 calling him and his family “you people.” This objection comes just seconds after Bond has killed most of his family.

James Bond 007 #1 Page 4
(Image Source: Dynamite Entertainment / Rapha Lobosco)

The rest of the issue sets up the story proper. This involves a scientific McGuffin that can transform water into frozen napalm. Naturally, it falls to James Bond to investigate the chemical’s theft from an MI6 lab and the former 00 agent who had full knowledge of the project.

Rapha Lobsco’s Art Perfectly Captures Ennis’ Scripts

This visceral action is vividly illustrated by Rapha Lobosco. He wisely does not try to caricature any of the film actors from the James Bond franchise. The designs for Bond, M, Q, and Miss Moneypenny are unique and memorable. This helps separate this series from the more famous film adaptations. Fans of Ennis’ The Punisher and The Boys will be pleased to find his Bond is as gloriously violent as those series. There is also ample dark comedy (with appropriate quips) involving the villains’ injuries.

In the end, James Bond: 007 is unlikely to win over those who aren’t already fans of Bond or Garth Ennis. It is unapologetic in being what it is. Thankfully for Dynamite, it is also everything the fans might hope for.
Grade: 4/5

James Bond: 007 #1 arrives in comic shops everywhere on January 10, 2024.

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