In Review: James Bond – HammerHead #1 (of 6)

Writer: Andy Diggle (UK)
Art: Luca Casalanguida (Italy)
Colourist: Chris Blythe (UK)
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment (US)
Editor: Joseph Rybandt (US)
Pages: 28 Color Pages
Price: $3.99
Release Date (Print & Digital): 12th October 2016
Age Rating: 15+

In One Line: New Bond Series, plotting 007 against a mysterious enemy.

The Story: Bond is assigned to hunt down and eliminate Kraken, a radical anti-capitalist who has targeted Britain’s newly-upgraded nuclear arsenal. But all is not as it seems.

Hidden forces are plotting to rebuild the faded glory of the once-mighty British Empire, and retake by force what was consigned to history. 007 is a cog in their deadly machine – but is he an agent of change, or an agent of the status quo? Loyalties will be broken, allegiances challenged. But in an ever-changing world, there’s one man you can rely on: Bond. James Bond.

Dynamite Bond Series – An Introduction: Dynamite recently acquired the rights to create new Bond series and they launched the first series amidst much fanfare and expectations. Warren Ellis and Jason Masters were the creative duo behind the first series, which followed the Sean Connery style into comics.

HammerHead is the work of Eagle Award-winning British comics editor Andy Diggle, often credited for bringing back the old school ways to 2000AD, which he edited in the early 2000. Later on, he moved to DC and then to Marvel. Now, he has teamed up with former 2000AD artist, the talented Italian Luca Casalanguida to start an explosive Bond franchise series for Dynamite entertainment.

Those who follow Italian and British comics can easily relate to Luca, whose stellar work has often elevated a good story to a greater reading experience.

The icing on the cake was to get
the services of colourist Chris Blythe. All three of them combined well to shift the style from that of Sean Connery (Ellis & Masters) to Daniel Craig, both visually and in terms of narration.

The story begins in Venezuela, where Bond pursues a lead and that takes him nowhere. As a punishment, M gives him a babysitting job which leads him to Dubai. There, he meets the daughter of Lord Hunt of Hunt Engineering, Britain’s leading Arms manufacturer.

Though the story begins with the Bond films usual pre-Title Sequence adventure theme, you have a surprise in the opening pages itself. The mission goes kaput and 007 comes to know that the mysterious villain, Known only by a code KRAKEN, is one step ahead of him. Those who’ve watched the previous Bond flick Sky Fall can identify this scene with the film, in which Bond is often seen in the wrong side of fighting a techno-savvy enemy with the old school ways.

To begin with, the action sequences, courtesy Luca and Blythe, are fantastic and a visual treat for the ComiRades. Though the style of Luca is considered rough, he is just apt for this series and Blythe’s colouring is both, aesthetic and trendy.

For me, the biggest drawback for this book is that it follows the regular set piece templates of an 007 story. M being mad at 007, Bond in his usual mode, a new Bond girl being introduced – the list goes on… There is, of course, nothing wrong in following the set-pattern for a universal hero and this first issue sets up the series very nicely. But it’s only after reading the book that you realise what a quick read it was.

So far, this has been the way of Dynamite’s approach to Bond, but this series has plenty of potential and, knowing the talent of the creative team, I only hope that as the story progresses, we are treated to a few more twists and turns, appropriate to a tale featuring the world’s most beloved spy.

Verdict: Read it. 3 Bullets (3/6)

King Viswa – TCU Syndicate

Categories: Features, Reviews

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