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Review: James Bond, Reflections of Death

I ended up reading this for two reasons. One: the excellent cover, which made me think of a noirish, 1960s Bond, maybe done in the style of the recent Casino Royale and Live And Let Die trade paperbacks. Two: it was sealed in plastic so I couldn't flip through and see what a shambolic mess it really is.

If you’re hoping for an epic trade paperback length story you will be sorely disappointed by this handful of one shots pretending to be something else. These feel like back up stories done for the regular comic run. Or a mini-series that was recognised as being too weak to get away with and has been disguised as something grander.

The overarching plot is both shallow and confused and serves only to frame a series of supposed revelatory stories looking at different aspects of Bond’s character. Those stories are a mistake, showing only how little the comic book writers understand Bond at all. This is not the book or movie Bond; but neither is the comic Bond distinctively interesting of himself. The comic has teetered for a while towards superhero 'formulaic-ness' and its worst traits are on show here. The tone of the stories varies widely. I can imagine someone liking one of them. But all of them, no way. They feel like hoary old comic book 'imaginary stories'.

On the other hand, if you ever wanted to see James Bond escort some kids to prom and have a picture taken with them this book is for you! No? Didn’t think so.

Art varies in quality but there are good bits, especially the cover and a brooding prison sequence (although that is spoilt for me by some very un-Bondian horror). But you'll struggle to enjoy the art unless you're not an English speaker and are somehow spared the words.

Really, don't read this when you could be reading this, or this.

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