Escape the villain, get the girl, complete the mission. It’s a pretty standard routine for secret agents in spy stories, especially if you’re a British stud with a license to kill. But the new Dark Horse Comics series, BANG!, doesn’t stick to the routine. Written by Matt Kindt with art by Wilfredo Torres, colorist Nayoung Kim, and letterer Nate Piekos, BANG! takes a step back and looks at the history and legacy of characters like James Bond, who exist in different iterations as time passes. Kindt has explored secret agent stories from a variety of angles in his work—from the strange, experimental psychological exploration of MIND MGMT to the spectacular superheroics of Ninjak—and his latest series takes a meta turn as it delves into the creation of spy characters and how they’ve evolved over time.
This exclusive preview of this week’s BANG! #1 starts with a familiar scenario, giving Torres the opportunity to lean into classic spy storytelling as he depicts secret agent Thomas Cord breaking free from the clutches of the villainous Goldmaze. Torres has an art style that radiates retro cool, and his work in BANG! shows a clear affinity for old-school James Bond films as he composes a dynamic action scene with a surprise ending. He captures Thomas Cord’s smarmy cockiness in the very first panel, but the confidence will get the better of him when he lets his guard down around his femme fatale paramour. Kim’s color palette is dominated by sky blue with pops of warm oranges and yellow during the action, giving the visuals a bright, sunny look that goes blood red when Thomas’ fortunes shift. Piekos’ lettering gives that murderous moment even more impact, emphasizing how the word “BANG!” takes this series off the usual secret agent path.