James Bond: The Body is a 6-chapter story, but each chapter could easily be a story unto itself. Each one follows a theme of being titled after a body part, which also reflects the narrative of each chapter. Combined, they represent a loosely knit series of events as Bond follows a trail of terrorism across Europe.
The story begin with Bond foiling an assassination attempt, which he soon discovers isn’t what it appears to be. A bio-weapon is in the hands of terrorists, but it isn’t long before he is sidelined in an attempted hit by the people he’s pursuing. Innocent lives are at stake, and he is forced to desperate means to get back in the game and prevent widespread murder.
Each chapter is illustrated by a different artist. For the most part, their respective styles blend well. Each is somewhat sketchy in their style of rendering. The exception to this is Hayden Sherman, whose style is more of a contour drawing, and stands out from the other chapters. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. But all the chapters are colored by Valentina Pinto, who conveys a visual consistency throughout the overall story.
I consider the book an interesting experiment, as it deviates significantly from traditional story structure. It requires the reader to take a few leaps of faith to mentally knit the story together. If you appreciate being spoon-fed every morsel of a plot point, you probably won’t enjoy the story much.
It also deviates from my personal interpretation of James Bond. He is presented here as being more vulnerable, more weary, and perhaps less confident than I’m accustomed to seeing him. However, I haven’t read any of the original novels, so I don’t know how close this version may come to Ina Fleming’s original character.