James Bond: M Review
Written by Declan Shalvey
Art by PJ Holden
Colors by Dearbhla Kelly
There are several clichés in literature about the loneliness of command or the heaviness of wearing the crown and this issue brings those concept to life as M is in his office at MI-6 dealing with the aftermath of a rescue mission that was supposed to be quietly completed by 005, but actually ends up with almost an entire city block in flames and the ransom money missing. As a half drunk and arrogant 005 attempts to spin the damage the section chief can see on multiple Television screens in front of him, M lashes out at the brash agent as Moneypenny enters the room. In the midst of his preparing to leave for the evening, he receives a small gift that he opens immediately.
M’s next stop is to the station and he emerges in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He recalls his past when he was previously in the same area and the local pub that is still there. He enters and is taken to see an old acquaintance for reasons the both of them know about. After telling M what he wants and the reasons the spy master is going to get it for him, M explains that his doing what the mysterious Sammy wants will wipe the slate clean as well as delivering a message. He enlists the help of Moneypenny to get a list of IRA members who were released from prison and explains that he’s off the grid for a while.
With Sammy feeling like he has M over a barrel, he demands the names of the members and recalls an incident from their past in Belfast to coerce the spy chief into providing the information that he wants. Unfortunately, he underestimates the fact that there is a reason why M is the head of MI-6.
This was a great story. I like the fact that Shalvey decided to tell this story about M and the sins of his past. There is a well told journey for both M and Sammy in this issue with each thinking they might have the better of the other and both knowing one of them is wrong. The dialogue between the characters is crisp and flows smoothly. I love the art, especially the use of shadows in many of the panels to denote menace and foreboding. Definitely a good read and a fun story about a character in the Bond universe that it supposed to remain on the sidelines.