007 is back again! Andy Diggle and Luca Casalanguida take James Bond on a new adventure in “James Bond: Hammerhead” #1 and it kind of turns into Metal Gear Solid? Check out our review below watch out for some spoilers!
Written by Andy Diggle
Illustrated by Luca Casalanguida
Bond is assigned to hunt down and eliminate Kraken, a radical anti-capitalist who has targeted Britain’s newly-upgraded nuclear arsenal. But all is not as it seems. Hidden forces are plotting to rebuild the faded glory of the once-mighty British Empire, and retake by force what was consigned to history. 007 is a cog in their deadly machine – but is he an agent of change, or an agent of the status quo? Loyalties will be broken, allegiances challenged. But in an ever-changing world, there’s one man you can rely on: Bond. James Bond.
You can say James Bond has been a pretty versatile character considering he’s been around for over sixty years. He’s been a murderer, a charmer, and mostly a murderer. Like Daniel Craig’s recent turn as the UK’s favorite spy, Andy Diggle and Luca Casalanguida’s “James Bond: Hammerhead” presents a minimum nonsense spy who will do anything to get the job done. In this case, the job is Metal Gear Solid.
Before we get into Bond’s mission at Shadow Moses, it’s important to note that “Hammerhead” is a comic that moves quickly. The flow and momentum in Casalanguida’s artwork is reminiscent of the parkour scene from Casino Royale, with the type of choreography that keeps everything moving. The infiltration mission Bond pulls off at the comic’s beginning runs parallel to a hacker realizing is on his tail, coalescing in a really explosive moment. This leads to a chase washed in red and black hues until its sudden end brings us back to sunny blue sky London. If nothing else, I could recommend “Hammerhead” just for having artwork that matches the pace of Bond’s best chase scenes.
Meanwhile, the plot of “Hammerhead” itself is pretty much what you’d expect. There’s a vague criminal out there in the world that MI6 wants Bond to bring down. There’s a bunch of organizations with codenames like Kraken, Bond banters with M and Moneypenny, and we go to an exotic locale where Bond meets a woman who will probably sleep with him and betray him. “Hammerhead” isn’t exactly breaking the mold on the James Bond story blueprint, but whether or not that’s something you want is up to you. If you’re looking for the next evolutionary step in espionage stories, then this may not be your cup of tea. If you want a pretty witty spy thriller from the guy who wrote “The Losers”, then “Hammerhead” is happy to help you out.
If you’re interested to see whether or not a James Bond comic is going to turn into Metal Gear Solid then I simply have some incredible news for you. The criminal that Bond’s after is targeting HUNT, a conglomerate that produces weapons. Their latest weapon is a giant tank with a railgun that can also serve as a nuclear platform and it’s Metal Gear. Or rather, it’s Metal Gear Rex. Even if the actual design of the tank looks more like the Shagohod than a Metal Gear, Andy Diggle is venturing into some real Hideo Kojima territory. Like when Bond’s conversation is overheard by a straight up invisible cyborg ninja. I haven’t read the next issue yet, but I hope it involves a Russian gunslinger possessed by Bond’s brother’s psychic arm. Or a man who controls bees. Both preferably.
Like I said earlier, “James Bond: Hammerhead” is a great thriller with incredible artwork that kind of fits into your typical James Bond mode. And yet, the problem of only reviewing a single issue comes to light because what if this turns into a Metal Gear Solid game? What if James Bond has to contend with Moneypenny being an AI or an immortal vampire dancing on his chest with knife boots. Based on my own weird presumptions, there’s so much room for “Hammerhead” to turn into a crazy mess of a comic that I’m heavily inclined to pick up the next issue. But if issue two is just Bond awkwardly finding a way to mutter out “shaken, not stirred” while he heartlessly fucks an NPC I’ll be incredibly disappointed.Continued below
Final Verdict: 7.2 – There’s a lot in “James Bond: Hammerhead” to like, especially if you’re a traditionalist Bond fan. You’ve got your great chase scenes, beautiful women, guns, whatever. For the more experimental comic book fan, there’s also the slight chance that Bond can get into some really heady sci-fi. Even if we’re not going for a straight up Metal Gear Solid remake, a Bond story with the slightest influence from a game series whose main protagonists include at least two clones would make for an incredible read.