But the scene does not come from a new series of Boys Energizing Punisher: Max. Rather, it comes from James Bond: 007 #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. And it’s absolutely perfect.
This latest Bond film may come as a surprise to those who only know 007 from the film series. Made famous in the Eon Productions films, Bond has become an aspirational figure, a smooth operator adorned with luxury brands (remember the Expresso coffee maker in Live and let die?). With a few notable exceptions, he ended his exploits without a trace and in the arms of a beautiful woman.
This footage certainly shows Bond committing horrific acts of brutality. in ThunderBond uses Fiona Volpi (Luciana Paluzzi) as a human shield to protect himself from an assassination attempt while dancing, and drops her body on the table when he’s finished. in Diamonds are forever, Bond strangles a woman with a bikini top. Bond Timothy Dalton takes out corrupt DEA agent Ed Killefer (Twin PeaksEverett McGill) in the shark tank License to kill. Even the cliched Pierce Brosnan Bond bests media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) by shooting him down in a training exercise at the end of the film. Tomorrow never dies.
But as shocking as these moments are, the Bond films find ways to mitigate or justify the events. Carver, Killiver, and others are villains who get their just rewards. The fights look great, taking place in amazing Ken Adam combos and accompanied by a rollercoaster score. The natural charisma of a Timothy Dalton, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or even George Lazenby compels us to admire Bond, even after his terrible actions.
Despite some initial reservations about Scottish Connery playing 007, Bond creator Ian Fleming largely liked the adaptations he saw. However, Bonds lacked the extreme cruelty of the book character. Fleming claimed to have written his Bond books about “warm-blooded heterosexuals on railway trains, airplanes, or beds”, and although this befits the fictional characters in the films, Bond suffered from a distinct lack of emotion. He was a tool of Her Majesty’s Secret Service in the guise of a human being.
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Ennis and Lobosco’s Bond has no such softness about him. A veteran of flashy books like Vampirella And Hack/Change, Lobosco softens his dynamic sensibilities to allow the reader to see Bond’s hard edges. He drew Bond without any of the charm of the actors who had portrayed 007 in the past, instead making him a more ordinary character, befitting the dull artifact of Fleming’s work. The furrowed brow and clenched jaw that Lobosco gives Bond do not betray any inner feelings, but rather function as mechanical functions.