Bond, Jam…err…Swann, Michael Swann – Cold War #1 Mini Review
James Bond is going back to his roots only his name isn’t Bond it’s Swann. Creator John Byrne has effectively created a very Bond-like universe with Michael Swann. The story really hearkens back to the original Ian Fleming Bond novels, which have very little in common with the Bond most are used to seeing on the big screen today.
Swann, a former MI-6 secret agent, works as an independent contractor for his old employer. His mission in this four issue series is tasked with keeping a British nuclear scientist from defecting to the Russians. I am a big fan of the original Fleming Bond novels, I’ve read and reread them many times over the years and at first I found myself resenting the Swann character as just another Bond rip-off. However, the story was filled with everything I appreciated about Bond and by the end of the issue I was pulled in enough to want to know where things are going.
What really got me excited about the book was its beginning, it goes 11 straight pages without a word of dialog or narration (I don’t count the “East Berlin” identifier on the first page). 11 pages of pure action that really feels more like the opening sequence of a movie than a comic book. I loved it and hope that Byrne employs the technique in subsequent issues, you can check out the first three pages of this sequence below. The images pull you into the comic and without the distraction of words telling you what is happening you see it and feel it. It’s worth picking up the book just for this.