REVIEW: 'James Bond: Agent of Spectre' #3 by Christos Gage, Luca Casalanguida, and Heather Moore

 In one of James Bond's most dangerous missions, the iconic agent find's himself in the middle of a Spectre power play. With a dead CIA agent as collateral damage, a suspicious Blofeld asking questions, and a dangerous woman his equal, Bond has to make a deal with not one but two devils. 

James Bond: Agent of Spectre #3

writer: Christos Gage
artists: Luca Casalanguida, Heather Moore
letters: Simon Bowland
covers: Aaron Lopresti (A), Aaron Lopresti (RI/Virgin), Aaron Lopresti (RI/BW), Aaron Lopresti (RI/BW Virgin)
FC | 32 pages | Action/Adventure | $3.99 | Teen+
Release Date: 05/05/2021

 As Bond struggles with the fallout of the previous issue's shock ending, all bets are off. Double and triple crosses and being in bed with the enemy - sometimes literally - are the order of the day. Has Bond truly become no different than the members of SPECTRE he is now working for, or does he have a master plan that can work against impossible odds?

Score:
★★★★☆ (4/5)

Thus far, 'James Bond: Agent of Spectre' has been an enthralling spy thriller full of high stakes and shocking twists. Christos Gage and Luca Casalanguida have created a top-tier Bond adventure that's clever, exciting, and sexy. Working for Blofeld has led Bond straight to the woman who hopes to replace him at Spectre. She's cunning, beautiful, and lethal. In other words, she's Bond's type and it could be the end of him. 

Picking up where the last issue left off, Bond and Titania have a brutal fight. It's up to Bond's charm and smarts to talk his way out of this situation. He's got to convince her that she can trust him because as a discarded MI agent his allegiances are flexible.  However, Blofeld has his expectations of Bond resulting from their agreement even though the one thing he was holding over Bond's head is off the board. So obviously he's compromised not once but twice now and one sip up could cost him his life.

Gage has a great understanding of not only the spy genre but Bond himself. Of course, everyone knows Bond is suave, smart, and resourceful but Gage makes sure to show Bond in all his dimensions. Yes, he's got a swagger and confidence you'd expect but he's also not afraid to show a softer more empathetic side. It's not a macho showcase for 22 pages. He's playing several characters in fact in the same story. He's a different person to Blofeld, to Titania, and to friends. He's a chameleon and has to be in order to play one villain against another while not blowing his cover. This is legitimate spy stuff and Gage nails it. Even the villains are great because they're formidable, tough, and smart. You want Bond to go toe-to-toe with brilliant foes because it's far more interesting and precarious. Gage also keeps Bond sexy with a hot transactional love scene. We get it all as Bond fans. 

Casalanguida's scratchy pencil style gives the series a classic look and makes Bond a chiseled chin tough guy that you'd traditionally find in pulp stories. Heather Moore's colors are subdued mostly with moments of richness when needed. The storytelling in all its forms is lean with nary any superfluous material. Everything flows and drives the plot forward. The pacing is perfect. From the fight scene to the love scene to the conversation at the end, script and art are in sync.

Could 'James Bond: Agent of Spectre' be the best Bond comic ever? Maybe. So far it's wildly entertaining, exciting, and sharply written. The art is confident and bold. Bond is at his best - tough, sexy, and quick-witted. If you're a fan of James Bond, this series is a must!

 

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