Review: James Bond – Black Box
Available: March 1st, 2017
Writer: Benjamin Percy (Detective Comics, Green Arrow)
Art: Rapha Lobosco
Main Cover: John Cassaday (X-Men, Star Wars, Captain America)
Synopsis: The next epic adventure for 007 kicks off in the snowbound French Alps, where Bond finds himself in the crosshairs of an assassin who targets other assassins. This is the first puzzle piece in a larger adrenaline fuelled mystery that will send Bond across the globe to investigate a digital breach that threatens global security.
Let’s put this out there: I am a huge fan of the James Bond franchise. There has been very little that they’ve done that I haven’t liked. When they announced James Bond: Vargr in 2015 – I was just plain giddy. It was released as pure James Bond – snarky, action packed with very sparse art. Vargr is a good story with a decent ending – it was a good start. The follow-up story was Eidelon and it became apparent that they were breaking the series up into episodes rather than just ongoing numbering. Eidelon was well done and very satisfying.
I was a little concerned when they announced that the next “season” was not going to be written by Warren Ellis who helmed the first two – however James Bond: Hammerhead has been quite good (its not as good as Ellis’ work in my opinion). In the new book – Black Box – they once again handed the season over to a new writer and while seeing only the first book so far (Whiteout: Part 1) – my hopes are as high as they were with Ellis back in 2015.
It continues the initial Bond trope that has him on a mission to start the book while also keeping with the minimal dialog during the action scenes (in this case chasing down a sniper). As with most JB stories – there is plenty of dialog in the middle of this book to establish Bond’s snark as well as to move the story along. The art is a little more complex than previous books – but I enjoyed it just as much.
If you enjoy the James Bond franchise – this should be a no-brainer. Otherwise it’s a fairly niche book. As well – there are always new books coming out – whether it be the “James Bond: Service” one-shot by Kieron Gillan coming out in May or the Felix Leiter spin-off that started in January. As an aside – if you can find it – there’s also a few cool variants if that’s your gig.