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James Bond #12

    Ian Jane

  • James Bond #12

    Released by: Dynamite Entertainment
    Released on: December 28th, 2016.
    Written by: Warren Ellis
    Illustrated by: Jason Masters
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    London. Birdwhistle talks on the phone to Bond about her plans now that EIDOLON seems to have been taken care of. She's to be testifying in front of a group of MP's - but gets the chills when she spots Hawkwood, his face instantly recognizable from the scars, starring at her. He escapes but she tells Bond she's seen him. He tells her to keep cool and take cover in Portcullis house. He's a hundred yards away and two other agents are nearby - they've been doing security detail, you see.

    One of those agents confronts Hawkwood face to face, thinking he's got the upper hand - nope. That ends badly. The second agent, a hulking behemoth of a man, tells Hawkwood to stand down, but again, that's not going to happen. When Hawkoond wins that second round he gets close enough to Birdwhistle that she cleverly stabs him in the throat with a pen. This allows her to get into Portcullis and to alert the heavily armed guards at the entrance to the problem at hand.

    Hawkwood makes it to a cab and meets up with his crew - they still have that massive explosive device and are quite prepared to use it - while Bond calls in for help before giving chase. As Bond chases the truck, he notes that it's going in a different direction - towards MI6 headquarters.

    Bond does what he can to stop him, onlookers take selfies, and… well, we won't spoil the ending but it's a solid finale to Ellis' second story arc in the Dynamite/Bond universe. Loose ends are tied up without locking certain characters out of future storylines, and the 'big finish' is both interesting and appropriate for Bond's character and Hawkwood's character alike. There's a pleasing sense of closure to this issue that suits the storyline and everything that it has built towards and at the same time, it remains appropriately 'Bond' in how it is all delivered. Our super spy puts his life on the line like he always does, he's tough and determined to get the job done - again, not a surprise. The twists come from the other characters, in how Ellis' writing places a predictable character like Bond in unpredictable circumstances such as those encountered in this storyline, letting us see how he reacts to them. It's a clover modus operandi, and it makes for good comics.

    Jason Masters' artwork, colored as always by Guy Majors, has done nothing but improve in the last few issues. Backgrounds are becoming more interesting to look out and more 'fleshed out' in that there isn't as much blank space as there was in the earlier entries. The detail has always been there, but it's more obvious now, his penciling is really bent on making us appreciate the architecture of certain locations and in seeing the expressions on the faces of certain characters. There's good movement and flow here, the action feels 'right' and the violence hits hard. Majors' coloring suits this all really well, and once you throw in an effectively minimalist cover piece by Dom Reardon, well, you start to see why those that have been reading this since the first issue have been raving about it since the first issue.

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