The answer to the age-old question “How do you breathe life into the Spy genre?” may well be answered with Bubbles O’Seven from Bounce Comics and although it’s one that’s been hidden away in my reading pile for what seems like ages……it seemed like the right time to rectify that.
Now from the title and a glance at that cover you can tell that there’s going to be a James Bond vibe to it (doesn’t take a spy to crack that code) but rather than making it feel like adding in a monkey for laughs it ends up being a far more serious affair than I was initially expecting. Opening with an almost formal introduction in the jungle of Bubbles to the world we’re soon sucked into the life of a spy with the next mission taking him on his travels to prevent another crisis.
Sprinkled throughout this first issue is an introduction to other apes that have obviously come through a similar life as Bubbles and the matter-of-fact way that their situation is introduced is a refreshing approach as it’s a “this is how it’s going work” vibe to the world you’re getting brought into. Familiar elements of some of the best known James Bond movies & set pieces are added into the mix too and the stark flashbacks to government experiments gives that serious edge a firm foundation in this opener.
Thankfully that edge is softened with some well-placed humour and taking the likes of James Bond and adding in monkeys to a story in this way allows the book to side-step being a parody and nestle in the far more comfortable ‘homage’ category. This means that this first issue ends up being far smarter than it first appears and then it backs that up with an intricate level of depth in both its plot from Grainne McEntee and it’s art from Matt Rooke which is impressively detailed.
As openers go – you’d be hard pushed to find a better one in the small press world and with the option to add to the fitting homage with further James Bond references & potential to go it alone with its own ideas…..theres a good chance I’ll be getting hold of more of these…..and so should you.
You can catch up with all the latest Bounce Comics titles & news over on the website & on Twitter and you can also get hold of the latest issue as well as the previous ones through the Kickstarter that’s running now for #3.