James Bond The Body 6: Discussion

by Drew Baumgartner & Mark Mitchell

James Bond The Body 6

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!


You are driving a bus with 12 passengers on it. At the first stop, half of the passengers get off and nine more get on. At the second stop, a third of the passengers get off and two more get on. At the third stop, one quarter of the passengers get off and seven more get on. What color are the bus driver’s eyes?


Drew: Misdirection is a simple consequence of our limited attention. We can only focus on so many details at once, so if we’re misled about which of those details are important, we can easily miss what’s actually important. This old brain teaser illustrates the point perfectly, introducing the fact that we are driving the bus as an inconsequential detail before distracting us with a bunch of numerical information that seems like it is probably the point of the puzzle. Only, the solution to the puzzle requires that we divided our focus in the opposite way, remembering the one detail that seemed irrelevant to what we assumed was a math problem. James Bond: The Body 6 does something similar, laying out a detailed explanation of the case Bond spent the previous five issues skirting the edges of while the actual action plays out in the background. It’s a clever trick, disguising action as exposition, allowing Aleš Kot and Luca Casalanguida to play out their final reveal and villain showdown simultaneously, skipping the falling action right to the moment Bond can reflect on his role in everything. Continue reading

James Bond: The Body 5 Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Drew Baumgartner 

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!


Michael: “Realism” can be a dirty word in the realm of comic books and its movie franchise offspring. Making comic book superheroes “more realistic” often makes them lose their larger-than-life qualities. James Bond, on the other hand, is a character who could probably use a little more realism. The Daniel Craig series of James Bond films have been hailed as “more realistic” than their predecessors, but he’s still an uncrackable murder machine. The beauty of James Bond: The Body 5 is that Aleš Kot provides us with a rare opportunity: to get inside Bond’s head. Continue reading

The Illusion of Control in James Bond: The Body 4

By Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

We all know what happens when James Bond meets a beautiful woman. It’s one of the most (in?)famous aspects of the franchise, and it’s an assumption creators Ales Kot and Eoin Marron clearly lean into when their injured Bond runs into a woman named Moira early in James Bond: The Body 4. Even Bond himself, if only momentarily, thinks he knows exactly how things are going to play out.

It never happens. Moira isn’t a conquest; she’s a complicated woman with her own desires and internal life that Bond can barely begin to fathom. That’s really the idea behind this entire issue: James Bond is a professional who thinks he understands how the world works, but control is far more elusive than he ever truly realized. Continue reading

Racism, Homophobia and Hypocrisy in James Bond: The Body 3

By Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

James Bond is an agent of the state. His actions seldom need to be motivated beyond “for Queen and Country.” We can infer some other values that the character holds from his choice of career. For example: he believes that violence can (and should) be used to bring about justice. He’s pro sex, but possibly in a way that devalues his relationships with his sexual partners. Issue three of James Bond: The Bond reveals another of Bond’s values — he hates white supremacy.

Or… is that it? The thing that seems to really get Bond going is the hypocrisy inherent in white supremacy. His appetite for sweet, violent, humiliating revenge seems to be fueled less by his desire to stamp out intolerance and more to do with people and organizations neither understanding nor practicing what they preach. Continue reading

Testing 007’s Limits in James Bond: The Body 1

by Drew Baumgartner

James Bond The Body 1

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Hey, is James Bond actually a good spy? I mean, sure, he always manages to escape from the villain’s compound, but he also (almost) always fails to evade capture in the first place. Indeed, I might argue that his very capacity to think quick and get out of tight jams is a bit of a crutch that he uses to make up for his utter inability to preplan and avoid those tight jams altogether. Maybe international espionage is just that hard to plan for — it never seems to go the way M says it will — but it’s hard not to feel that Bond’s reliance on improvisation might also leave his preparation skills underdeveloped. He knows he can figure it out in the moment, so why bother with anything else? It’s an attitude that makes the assignment in James Bond: The Body 1 kind of perfect — MI6 doesn’t have much intel beyond that an assassination attempt will happen, so who better to send in? Continue reading

Grayson 16

grayson 16

Today, Mark and Michael are discussing Grayson 16, originally released January 27th, 2016.

Mark: You know when you over indulge in something that you love? When you love Nerds candy so much you buy a movie theatre box-sized pack of them and eat them in bed, only to wake up the next morning with multi-colored sugar nuggets stuck to your chest and a raging sugar headache? Grayson 16 is the comic book equivalent of that. Dick Grayson is so Dick Grayson this issue, it has to be a knowing parody right? Not to say that the sugar wave isn’t a blast while you’re riding it. It’s hard to blame Seeley and King for giving the people what they want. After the end of its first spectacular arc, Grayson has come down to Earth a little bit, working overtime for a few issues to expound an increasingly complex mythology. Grayson 16 is pretty back-to-basics, but turns everything you loved about early Grayson up to insane levels. Continue reading

The Illegitimates 4

illegitimates 4Today, Greg and Drew are discussing The Illegitimates 4, originally released March 19th, 2014.

Greg: There’s a level of poker-faced sincerity in The Illegitimates that is, at the very least, somewhat admirable. At times the issue reminded me of VHS box art to 1980s action movies, the “blue skies” of USA shows like Burn Notice, and a sense of hazy nostalgia that I’ve played this video game before but couldn’t tell you the name of it. I offer muted applause to the issue for offering unironically these kinds of low-stakes, predictable pleasures gleaned from these cultural experiences, yet can’t help but notice it neither commits hard enough nor subverts strongly enough to make any lasting impact. 

Continue reading