Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artists: Antonio Fuso, Pierluigi Minotti & Giorgio Pontrelli
Colorist: Adriano Augusto
Letterer: Social Myth Studios
Cover Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Release Date: August 30, 2023
A new video game threatens the intelligence community. Its arms dealer inventor wants to sweep his salacious past under the carpet. Can James Bond uncover his secrets before the man compromises MI6? Let’s shoot into James Bond: Himeros HC and find out!
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Britain sent billionaire financier Richard Wilhelm to prison. Arms dealer Anton Banes sent an assassin to cut short his stay. M requests that a parliamentary undersecretary ask their allies to put any deals with Banes on hold and sends James Bond to Miami, Florida.
Bond’s not in Miami to follow Alex Dimitrios or ruin Auric Goldfinger’s card game. He rushes to protect Sarah Richmond, Wilhelm’s right hand. Bond arrives as a hit is going down and helps the woman escape. After winning her trust, she presents a dilemma. M ordered Bond to bring her to London to testify against Banes. Richmond wants to secure evidence on Wilhelm’s fortified island to indict the arms dealer and shut down the late billionaire’s human trafficking operation.
In James Bond: Himeros HC, Anton Banes has a painting of the Greek god of sexual desire. The arms dealer tells a client that the Greeks allowed pedophilia because they understood that people needed diverse outlets for their cravings. But after years of investigating deadly criminals, Bond knows the truth: the one thing that links them is their ability to rationalize crimes.
While I enjoyed James Bond: Himeros HC‘s pulse-pounding action and furious pace, I wish Rodney Barnes had ended the story less predictably. I didn’t understand his interactions with Q and felt the video game subplot needed further development. Still, I enjoyed Bond’s globe-hopping adventures and understood Sarah Richmond’s predicament. The woman wasn’t blameless, but she was another of Wilhelm’s victims.
The James Bond: Himeros HC impresses immediately with a flurry of scenes inside Belmarsh Prison. M meets with the parliamentary undersecretary secretary, and the men walk through MI6 files. Bond and Richmond exude charisma and battle with style and grace. Antonio Fuso awes you with a Porche’s beauty and a high-speed road-battle with a Lamborghini. Sadly, later artists struggled to emulate his work. While action scenes hum with energy, thick lines replace thin ones, making it harder to inhabit locations and interiors.
Like Fuso, Adriano Augusto starts strong. He loads his palette with colors, and the hues and textures breathe life and depth into Fuso’s inks. Pierluigi Minotti and Giorgio Pontrelli give Augusto less to go on, and his work loses atmosphere and nuance. Still, highlights and shadows throughout James Bond: Himeros HC reminds us why we wear sunscreen in Florida and the Caribbean.
Social Myth Studios places black uppercase letters in white and colored dialogue balloons. Off-screen conversations inhabit narrative boxes, and immense, colored sound effects help you hear buzzing cell phones, machine gun reports, laser beams, and exploding vehicles. Rodney Barnes never overdoes the easy-to-read dialogue, the time and space locations appeal, and the Bertz Rental Cars sign made me smile.
Britain’s superspy defies M to close a human trafficking ring while challenging a damaged woman to become the best she can be in James Bond: Himeros HC.