James Bond’s fight against the evil forces of ORU continues as he confronts Goldfinger across a poker table.  Can Bond infiltrate Goldfinger’s organization and discover his true intentions?  Find out in our Major Spoilers review of Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 #7!

JAMES BOND 007 #7

Writer: Greg Pak
Pencils:  Eric Gapstur
Colorist: Roshan Kurichiyanil
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Publisher:  Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date:  May 15th, 2019

Previously in Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 #7: Globetrotting super spy James Bond forms a connection with Oddjob, but loses him as his ongoing struggle with the sinister organization known as ORU continues in this modern update of the classic Bond tale, Goldfinger.  With the titular head exposed, Bond moves in for the kill, but has he bitten off more than he can chew?

HE’S THE MAN WITH THE MIDAS TOUCH!

Greg Pak is no slouch.  After coming off an impressive run with The Incredible Hulk, and the opening issues of this updated version of James Bond, one would expect to be knocked out by Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 #7.  Sadly, it isn’t to be.

It’s not just the familiar elements on display, as characters and ideas from Goldfinger reappear in this modern update.  Bond is an inveterate gambler, both with a gun and without, so the appearance of a casino is no surprise.  In fact, it’s so perfectly obvious one begins to wonder how much of an update Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 really is.   And tonally it is at odds with what the movies have done – under Daniel Craig, Bond is more of a damaged figure than any of his predecessors, a brutal instrument of the state, conflicted and conflicting.  We get none of that here, even though elements from the Craig era, such as the welcome addition of the woman of color version of Moneypenny, make an appearance.  There’s none of the grit, and little of the glam, of the movie Bond.

All that said, the plot fits like a comfortable pair of slippers.  Bond is swiftly introduced, flirting with a ravishing woman, before being enmeshed in a card game (not baccarat, thankfully) with that fellow with a funny name, Goldfinger!  The plot swiftly begins to unfold as Bond befriends the man with the Midas touch (and also the head of the terrorist organization, ORU).  All this feels way too easy.  Evil genius masterminds don’t stand out in plain sight, the plot and plan in darkened corners like spiders at the center of a web, waiting to pounce on their victims.  And then Bond is in Goldfinger’s lair and we’re off to the races.

HIS WEB OF SIN

For all that Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 #7 feels familiar, it is still an entertaining package.  If this Bond lacks the grit of his movie version, there’s the wit and lightness of touch of the Roger Moore Bond, never above flirting with Moneypenny while he’s flirting with a woman at a bar.  If Goldfinger lacks the menace that character should exude, there’s the knowledge ORU under his leadership is the world’s foremost terrorist organization for readers to look forward to seeing in all its ghastly glory in future issues.

There’s a pleasing lack of gadgets, and at times, as Bond tracks down one of Goldfinger’s confederates, he’s less the ruthless agent with a license to kill and more Inspector Plod, which is a pleasing touch.

The art by Eric Gapstur is where the prime focus of the story lays.  His Bond has a little of Connery and a touch of Moore.  Craig’s craggy features (and sandy hair) are entirely absent.  Still, Bond is the square-jawed hero we’ve all come to expect (that said, come on the Broccoli’s, cast a black actor already).  There’s a slight cartoonish feel to the artwork that mirrors the lightness of the storyline.  After all, Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 #7 isn’t here to reinvent the wheel, it’s here to entertain with sufficient color and movement to keep us intrigued enough to look forward to the next issue.

And having said that, do we really want the Ian Fleming version of the character?  The one in the books?  The misogynist, racist relic from an Empire that collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions as the rest of the world emerged blinking from the colonial era?  The one Fleming still had a hankering for as his black servants manned Goldeneye while he bashed out yet another bestseller?

BOTTOM LINE:  ALL THAT GLISTERS IS NOT GOLD

Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 #7 is an okay read, filled with decent artwork which pushes the story along nicely.  The overall tone jars, as elements from the recent movies come up against a storyline with a lighter touch.  I expected for most of its length for Goldfinger to yell out, ‘No, I expect you to die, Mr. Bond!’  We’ll just have to look forward to that in a future issue, won’t we.


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James Bond 007 #7

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All that glitters is not gold

An interesting re-imagining of a classic movie and character, Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 #7 is a perfectly fine tale that sets the table for future events.

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Romantic. Raconteur. Kangaroo rustler. Sadly, Rob is none of these. Rob has been a follower of genre since at least the mid-1970s. Book collector, Doctor Who fan, semi-retired podcaster, comic book shop counter jockey, writer (once!) in Doctor Who Magazine and with pretensions to writing fantasy and horror, Rob is the sort of fellow you can happily embrace while wondering why you're doing it. More of his maudlin thoughts can be found at his ill-tended blog https://robertmammone.wordpress.com/

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