REVIEW: 'James Bond: Agent of SPECTRE' #2 by Christos Gage, Luca Casalanguida, and Heather Moore

James Bond is in the USA...but NOT as part of Her Majesty's Secret Service. Shockingly, he's there as an Agent of SPECTRE, sent to eliminate an upstart rival SPECTRE boss at the bidding of Ernest Blofeld himself! The leverage Blofeld has against Bond is a threat to the life of his one of the few people in the world Bond can trust... but that friend may have the interests of Bond's target as the higher priority!

JAMES BOND: AGENT OF SPECTRE #2

Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Luca Casalanguida, Heather Moore
Letters: Simon Bowland
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 7, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99

Score:

★★★★☆ (4/5)

After only two issues, 'James Bond: Agent of SPECTRE' has already become one of my favorite James Bond stories in comics. It feels like a true Bond adventure yet it's unlike any story you've read before. As the title describes, Bond is working for the infamous lethal rival organization. He's been compromised into doing the bidding of Ernst Blofeld of all people. It's absolutely surreal to witness Bond getting operational guidance from such a notorious villain. And this bizarro world is all thanks to writer Christos Gage, artists Luca Casalanguida and Heather Moore. 

Bond's on a mission to retrieve some intel that will help in the overall goal of eliminating a threat within SPECTRE to not just MI6 interests but Blofeld personally. It's a sequence that's well paced and well choreographed by Casalanguida. His art style is a bit of a throwback. Sometimes scratchy with bold line work. The portrayal of the henchmen and even Bond with his square jaw call back to the best of silver age comics. The fights are brutal and compounded by Simon Bowland's noise effects that fill the panel. Moore enlivens everything in mostly earth tones as the predominant color scheme but when things go really haywire everything brightens up considerably. It's as though when the storytelling opens up and new revelations are brought to light the colors brighten along with it. 

Gage subverts expectations at every turn. From making Bond essentially an "agent of SPECTRE" to making the famously charming lady killer impotent with an important female character in this issue. The appeal of Bond for me has always been a combination of his cool wit and charm in the face of dangerous opposition. But what happens when he's stripped of his support system and has to go it alone? This is addressed in a great scene with M and Moneypenny. They acknowledge Bond is a man without a country in an operation that's unsanctioned and thus easily disavowed if anything goes wrong. The stakes are pretty high and it all rests on Bond's shoulders. It's the ultimate test for our hero's journey. 

'James Bond: Agent of SPECTRE' #2 builds off the great first issue into a jaw-dropping follow-up that changes everything. Gage is taking Bond fans for one hell of a ride and upending everything we know about Bond. If you've been waiting to jump into James Bond comics this is the time. 


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