James Bond: Black Box – Benjamin Percy

Illustrations – Rapha Lobosco

Colours – Chris O’Halloran

“Bond. James Bond.” I got roped into watching a whole bunch of these movies as a kid. I loved watching the gadgets in action, was oblivious to the innuendos soaring over my head and was terrified by some of the baddies. Yes, Jaws, I’m talking about you!

Rewatching a few of the early movies as an adult made me aware of some of the more problematic aspects of his character but aside from those particular niggles I still enjoy movies with big action sequences, gadgets and oodles of baddies. I haven’t watched a Bond movie in a few years but thought it would be fun to test drive a Bond graphic novel, and it was.

Black Box gets straight into the action

and introduces our potential leading lady (who incidentally isn’t immediately charmed by 007)

before the theme song earwig has had a chance to burrow its way into your brain.

007’s latest mission, Operation Black Box, requires him to travel to Tokyo to track down a “cache of digital secrets”. Evil hackers are ready to release your deepest, darkest digital secrets to the world! Let’s go get ‘em!

Yes, James does have a Licence to Kill. In fact, it’s expected. The big bad in this story is Saga Genji, who is responsible for the cyber theft, but my favourite character was his difficult to kill henchman, No Name, who makes up for his dodgy moniker with his creepy collection of death masks.

Armed with mission appropriate fancy gadgets and some even fancier new wheels

Bond is ready to face off with some baddies, but not before asking Boothroyd, the gadget guy (Q, I presume), to do some cyberstalking for him. Potential leading lady (she does have a name. It’s Selah Sax) isn’t getting away from 007 as quickly as she had hoped. Or perhaps it is Selah that is stalking James …

The usual Bond stuff happens. There’s gambling, alcohol, sex scenes, fight scenes where people get The Living Daylights beaten out of them, an explosion and a high speed pursuit, catchphrases, double entendres and a good ol’ villain monologue. Bond utilises his cool gadgets but also manages to improvise when the need arises. Who knew a selfie stick would make such a good weapon?!

I’m glad I read this graphic novel. After all, You Only Live Twice. 😜 It was a fun, quick read with plenty of action.

Content warnings include mention of suicide.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Dynamite Entertainment and Diamond Book Distributors for the opportunity to read this graphic novel.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

In the snowbound French Alps, James Bond finds himself in the crosshairs of an assassin who targets other assassins. This is the first puzzle piece in a larger adrenaline-fueled mystery that will send Bond across the globe to infiltrate the underworld, risk everything in high-stakes casino gambling, evade deadly pursuers, and root out a digital breach threatening global security.

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