James Bond #1 Vargr (Comic Book Review)

Fans of movies are being spoiled lately when it comes to Bond, James Bond. The last flick to come out, Skyfall was amazing and it looks like the newly released Spectre is just as solid. Literary fans aren’t being left out in the cold either, with the newly released Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz having just been released in September of this year and the last novel Solo, having been released just a year after Skyfall in 2013. Things are busy for Bond on the book and movie front and Dynamite Entertainment, writer Warren Ellis and artist Jason Masters are looking capitalize on the comic book front (the last James Bond comics were back in 1995 from Dark Horse Comics) with their latest comic book release of James Bond #1, series titled Vargr. It’s a reboot of sorts, much like the Daniel Craig movies, bringing Bond into the 21st Century but still holding on to the elements that make Bond special: guns, action and women.

Events start with bang, with Bond hunting down a murderer in the cold winter scape of Helsinki. Artist Jason Masters strategically obscures Bond until the proper moment, finally revealing to us the new brutal and calculating 007 (this Bond is quite close to the one Fleming envisioned). It’s a wonderful heart racing opener. The story slows down after that, but introduces us to all the key players that we have come to know and love, Moneypenny (who seems to be based on the new movie version,) M, Bill Tanner and Q. This first issues takes it’s time to lay out all the pieces and we only receive a small hint as to who the main villain is going to be. Personally, it was pleasing to finally witness Bond sit down and eat for a change. Fleming loved to describe all the different foods Bond would eat, so it’s nice to see the comic show us, that yes, Bond does actually eat food.

I also noticed a few nods to Dr. No in this issue, with Q putting down Bond’s pistol and saying he should change his holster (if you remember, Bond’s Beretta caught on his holster in From Russia with Love, putting his life at risk against the nefarious Colonel Rosa Klebb.) It’s the small touches that I love and I can see that this series is going to be a blast to read. The first issue hits us with a quick 32-page read, so don’t expect a long one, but you can be guaranteed that you’ll be hooked and ready for the next one once the last page is turned. Highly recommended.

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