by Drew Baumgartner & Mark Mitchell
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