Synopsis: Super spy James Bond arrives in Dubai on a very important mission. He must meet and protect a powerful business man at the annual Hunt Gala. While surveying the gala, Bond meets a confident and gorgeous woman named Victoria (no surprise there). James discovers that she is the daughter of Lord Bernard Hunt; the very man Bond has been sent to meet. Unfortunately, chaos breaks out, people die, and Bond must uncover the new conspiracy threatening the stability of the world.
Review: It is often a difficult thing to make a comic adaptation to a beloved movie franchise. Fans have such specific ideas as to how certain characters should be portrayed. Sometimes, this creates a chasm that and completely removes people from the story. (Personally, I have had to make peace that the original Star-Lord from the previous Guardians of the Galaxy iteration before the movies is dead and gone.) James Bond Hammerhead is a godsend for fans because it is pitch perfect. Andy Diggle crafts an authentic James Bond story by ensuring that the titular character remains recognizable . From the way Bond orders his cocktail, to the way he speaks to the intelligent and capable Victoria, this is the Bond in the collective consciousness of movie goers of today and yesterday. If the formula works, why fix what isn’t broken? Fans want the debonair of a James who can easily charm those around; conversely, they also want a bond who can instantly jump into action at the first sign of danger. This is what the comic series delivers.
The art for Hammerhead feels so succinctly James Bond. Luca Casalanguida makes these seem so vivid. His James almost smolders on the page, and it is glorious. Most of this issue takes place at a gala at an aquarium with a plethora of people talking among themselves. Casalanguida does a great job of giving the background a sense of elaborateness while also being a bit reductive. The panels that have the tanks teeming with sharks and stingrays in the background are gorgeous and give credibility to the locale. And when the fight scenes begin, the area transforms from serene to savage with an alarming beauty. The sharks are a testament to the detail of the artist. Also, shout out to colorist Chris Blythe on a phenomenal job with this issue. The pages where Bond and Victoria are caught by surprise in the underwater walkway are superb.
James Bond 007: Hammerhead #2 is a slick spy thriller that could have had a host of problems. (The Bond franchise has had their fair share of problems over the decades.) Those problems are nowhere to be found in this issue. In fact, for those looking for a more traditional Bond story and feeling, this is the series for you.