By Jarred A. Luján — It’s been just over a month since Dynamite announced the new creative team for the James Bond 007 comic series. While much has happened since then, I feel like we haven’t spent enough time looking at ourselves and asking: “What have we done to be blessed with such a creative team?”
The answer is: Nothing. You do not deserve it, yet you receive it. With that in mind, let’s go ahead and recap the gift we have been given.
NEW Co-Writer Vita Ayala!
Vita Ayala is handling co-writing for the series. Vita is a personal hero of mine for a lot of reasons, so I will literally read anything they put their hands on. Regardless, Vita has been firing on all cylinders for the better part of two years with some of the absolute best books to hit the shelves. Their recent catalog includes: Livewire, The Wilds, Age of X-Man: Prisoner X, Xena: Warrior Princess, Suicide Squad, Black (AF), and the recently announced Morbius title from Marvel. That’s one hell of a run they’ve had, but that’s not even all of it. Vita also contributed to the big Marvel Knights Ten Year Anniversary project, writing (what I thought) was hands down the best issue in the run.
There’s more! Vita also wrote Submerged, which is so, so good. If you haven’t read Submerged, please come back to this article after you have, it is so brilliant and touching. That’s the title first introduced me to Vita’s work, and you are depriving yourself having not read it.
With that resume and this level of talent, it is sort of impossible to not have some level of excitement over anything announced next to Vita’s name these days.
YET, THERE IS MORE.
New Co-Writer Danny Lore!
This…this doesn’t even feel fair. It’s like, if I told you I got you a cake, you ate all of it, and then I revealed pie as well. It’s so good, it’s almost cruel, yet…here we are, eating pie.
Danny Lore has been bringing the absolute thunder in their own right with Queen of Bad Dreams over at Vault Comics. Though it’s their first book, Bad Dreams has some real signs of brilliance from Lore. The premise is so unique and the execution is flawless, but the part that screams out to me from page to page is how easy it becomes to fall in love with the characters. Lore’s ability to craft characters that are so easy to gain attachment to, to care about, is extremely powerful. It’s a unique talent from a writer who we are really only beginning to know.
That’s what makes this team-up so exciting. Beyond likely having the most wholesome friendship in comics, Lore and Ayala are both raw talent very quickly rising through the ranks of the industry. The two of them together on a single book feels electric in its own right. You could make this book a Teletubbies adaptation and I’d still be physically assaulting my LCS owner with my wallet to receive it.
Returning Artist Eric Gapstur!
You don’t need this relaunch to know two things about Eric Gapstur:
1. He is really, really good at drawing comics. For reference, please see: The Flash: Season Zero, Animosity: Evolution, Batman Beyond 2.0, Shipwreck, and Legends of the Dark Knight. Eric brings a really special kind of kinetic energy to his panels, and has time and time again shown some really beautiful ad intricate panel layouts before.
2. He is particulary good at drawing James Bond comics. His current run with Greg Pak has been dynamite (See what I did there?) I’ll confess that I’m not much obsessed with James Bond as a film franchise, but it has been one of the most fun comics on my pull for a while now, and that’s largely because Gapstur’s art is incredible from page to page.
Returning Colorist Roshan Kurichiyanil!
By this point, I’ve felt like I’ve run an excitement marathon. I’m partly exhausted and we still have TWO absolute HITTERS to discuss on this. Rosh and Ariana have both been working on the current James Bond 007 title alongside Eric, and both have crushed it each step of the way.
Rosh is relatively new to the industry, with his two main titles being Six Million Dollar Man and James Bond 007. Both of those titles speak volumes towards his talent though. His color work is dynamic, in that he knows how to properly switch his work from aggressive to subtle to calm to wild. Rosh is another rising talent in the industry and I’m really excited he gets to continue his work on the title with an artist like Eric.
Returning Letterer Ariana Maher!
Ariana Maher is easily (easily) one of the best working letterers around today. She is a testament to the talent that letterers have today, and despite how absolutely thrilled I am to have Ayala-Lore co-writing this book, I am completely honest when I say some of that would have been diminished had Maher been removed.
This title has a group of some of the most talented creators working in comics today. Like I said, I’m probably not the world’s biggest 007 fan, but truthfully: with this creative team, you could have made this book about paint drying and I still would have marched down to my LCS, heaved my wallet at the shop owner, and walked out with this book.
The hype train has begun, I am your conductor.
Jarred A. Luján makes comics, studies existential philosophy, and listens to hip-hop too loudly. For bad jokes and dog pictures, you can follow him on Twitter.