Friday, 13 October 2017

James Bond: Black Box Review (Benjamin Percy, Rapha Lobosco)

Black Box is the first stinker in Dynamite’s otherwise strong new line of James Bond comics. From the Alpine opener to the showdown with the villain, the whole book reads like Benjamin Percy sat down and made a list of things readers expect to see in a James Bond story and then wrote his script, ticking them off as he went! 

It’s all here: Alpine opener with skiing and shooting, the Femme Fatale, a crusty old guy at the start supplying Bond with cool gadgets like watches that do stuff and a badass car with weapons, exotic locations, a casino scene where Bond drinks booze and plays cards with the obvious villain, sharks in tanks, a tough henchman for Bond to fight, car chases, gun fights, sex scenes, double crosses, and the inevitable finale. The plot is incidental - Bond has to recover a MacGuffin from bad guys. Even Rapha Lobosco’s art is derivative of Eduardo Risso’s, particularly with the faces in shadow and bright eyes lit up. 

Percy and Lobosco execute it all well enough and it’s a readable book but, because Black Box is as by-the-numbers Bond as you can get, the effect is totally unimpressive, instantly forgettable and boringly predictable. Instead of this useless crap, I recommend the far more entertaining recent Bond comics Eidolon and Hammerhead.

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