007: Vargr an Exercise in Futility. By Tim Mattes
Warren Ellis has long been a favorite writer of mine. From the first time I read through Transmetropolitan to the confusing reads of Bad Worlds and the like I have been enthralled with his writing style and the way that he can take real world scenarios and inject insane science fact into it. When you read Warren Ellis’ works you find yourself looking up the principles that he presents to see if they are true or could even be possible only to discover that they are in fact completely plausible or real things.
I have followed Warren Ellis to the darkest depths of Publisher whoring (Red2) and have witnessed surprise nuggets of Genius in his works (Iron Man:Extremis). I have read his novels and I follow him on the social media outlets that he subscribes to. I love everything the man writes. I feel like he could wipe his ass on a broadsheet and send it to Marvel and I will buy the special edition hardcover release of it. So imagine my delight when I found out that Warren Ellis was doing a 007 run. I felt like it was the perfect fit with the current film run being a grittier more violent Bond and Warren Ellis injecting his own bizarre form of writing into the series would make for the greatest Bond story ever told.
How could I have been so fucking wrong?
The first issue has a multitude of flaws that I could rant on about until my fingers fall off in a neck-bearded super rage. That isn’t going to happen though. I have taken my Xanax and ingested the necessary amounts of tobacco to make it through slamming my favorite comic book writers work in the hopes that it isn’t his fault. I know that wishful thinking in comics is futile but I can dream right? (Before Watchmen I’m looking at your scarred version of what could have been.)
007:Vargr Issue One is one of the most pointless issues of a series that I have ever read. Completely anticlimactic and devoid of any kind of energy or tempo. Not only do you have to get to the eighth page to read a single word, The only interesting part of the issue are the last two pages. James Bond starts the issue off as a silent badass and ends it looking like one of Archer’s still born abortions. At no point once Bond starts talking do I feel like he is a super spy. He seems like someone that got confused and walked into the wrong building and just went with it. The set up of Bond not having his lady gun on british soil is so beyond transparent it actually made me cringe. I haven’t cringed reading comics since I ventured into Steve Niles’ earlier works. The final two pages finally offer the Warren Ellis science bullshit that I look for in his work and it barely scratches the itch. I know that we will never get a Fell Volume two or a Before Transmet, but unless this series takes a violent spin down the Ellis rabbit hole it will go down as the worst run I have read from Ellis (Congrats Thor you are off the hook). This doesn’t mean that I won’t be buying it and reading it, but considering that it is one of only ten issues I have bought this year it will make me question buying Warren Ellis’ single issues in the future. This was a huge factor in me going to trades only for the last six years. The bad single issue makes me sad, I don’t want to spend upwards of twenty dollars on monthly issues and then buy the trade only to have buyers remorse from the overall story.
Dynamite tricked me into another series from them and like always I was crushed. The worst part about this first issue has nothing to do with the story. No, It has to do with Dynamite’s marketing of the book. Ten dollars for an artless variant? 24 fucking covers? Why the Fuck do I need a short box to store an issue one? I am relieved that I hated this issue so I don’t have to hunt down all of the variant covers.
All begrudgery aside, Jason Masters has done a skillful job polishing up a turd. His artwork invokes a feeling of nostalgia and have at least salvaged enough respect in me to buy issue two.
Fuck this shit.
Tim Mattes knows nothing about comics and probably shouldn’t be writing reviews for them, but the internet gives him an outlet and he knows that at least three people will read this. And in the end, three is all you need.