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Basildon Is Back...Not Stirred, Not Shaken.
CrossGen releases Kiss Kiss Bang Bang #1 This Week...

Almost everything about Sir Charles Basildon screams James Bond and then amplifies it. Dryly witty under pressure (and almost always under pressure), a dead shot, and a killer with the ladies, the biggest difference between him and Ian Fleming's creation is that he seems to be a real jerk. Oh, he's good at what he does for Queen and Country, but somehow, he's a lot less cool than Bond. And yet, he's compelling.

At least, that's the Basildon writer Tony Bedard first gives us in the following seven-page preview. Set to debut from CrossGen this week in the much-hyped Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Basildon isn't really a specific person; it's an identity the British Secret Service assigns to its top agents.

The version you're about to see is cruelly swaggering, and yet clearly deserving of all his arrogance. On Wednesday, sparks will fly as a much older version has to train a female replacement; you'll see that that probably doesn't sit well with him.

But enough about the character for a moment.

What really counts is that Bedard has created a springboard for artists Mike Perkins and Andrew Hennessy to soar. Seriously, these seven pages could easily fit in with the opening sequences of any Bond movie - except better. Sumptuous art allows us to suspend our disbelief on the stunt work (okay, so it's easy to do on the page anyway - but it's laid out so well), and a telling final panel gives us a character bit that no CGI Bond can do.

Cue the naked women in silhouette and start the cheesy theme song. If CrossGen can keep the excitement up, they'll have a legitimate hit on their hands that's more than just a clever riff on an old theme.

First check out the preview art here, then pick up Kiss Kiss Bang Bang #1 this week.

Derek McCaw

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