James Bond, the world’s most famous spy and one of the most enduring fiction characters ever created, will star in a new series of comic books that will reveal untold tales and explore the origins of the man who is licensed to kill. The books, which are slated for release beginning next year, will re-tell some of Bond’s exploits from the original novels and the big screen, as well as bringing his fans new stories from his days before Casino Royale; Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, which came out in 1953.
Suave, resourceful and deadly, James Bond will be returning to his roots in more ways than one when the planned comic books first hit the shelves in 2015. Although Bond’s first appearance was in the novel Casino Royale, he featured in a comic strip version of Casino Royale in the British newspaper, the Daily Express, in 1958. In the years since then, 007 has been reincarnated for television, radio and, of course, the big screen. The first Bond movie, Dr. No, was released in 1962 and the most recent, Skyfall, came to theaters in 2012. The next cinematic adventure of the iconic super-spy, dubbed Bond 24 – although the actual title has not been revealed – is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom in October, 2015 and in the United States the following month. Touted as a follow-up to the hugely successful Skyfall, the next Bond flick will star Daniel Craig in the lead role. Craig has played Bond in the previous three movies and is the fifth film actor to portray the MI6 agent. The new “Bond girl” is 29-year-old French actress Léa Seydoux.
The temporary designation for the new Bond movie, Bond 24, is a reference to the fact that Eon Productions – the company responsible for Bond’s first movie appearance – has produced 23 Bond films, to date.
Comic book publisher Dynamite Entertainment recently acquired worldwide rights from Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, which owns the “literary James Bond brand.” The publisher plans to bring James Bond to comic books and digital comics, as well as graphic novels. No specific release date has been given, other than 2015. In addition to adaptations of the fiction spy’s exploits, new tales – which will explore the earlier origins of the character, prior to Casino Royale, will be released. These untold stories will also feature some infamous Bond villains. “The Bond villains are some of the most memorable figures in popular culture. Where did they come from? And in some cases, where did they go?” says Dynamite editor Mike Lake.
“We’re thrilled that 007 will be revisiting the world of comics,” says the managing director of Ian Fleming Publications, Corinne Turner, “Dynamite are the perfect partners to take on the challenge of continuing this legacy, and we are very much looking forward to working with them.”
Bond creator Ian Fleming, who died in 1964, was a former intelligence officer in the British Royal Navy and served during World War II. Fleming described the James Bond character as “a compound of all the secret agents and commando types I met during the war.” He saw the secret agent as an unremarkable, ordinary type; a “blunt instrument wielded by a government department.” Even the character’s name was chosen because Fleming thought it dull and unremarkable, yet with a certain masculine tone. A keen ornithologist, Fleming possessed a copy of the Field Guide Birds of the West Indies; it’s author was American ornithologist James Bond.
Bond fans are, no doubt, in for a treat when Dynamic publishes some old and new Bond tales in comic book form and reveals the origins and untold exploits of the world’s most famous spy.
Opinion by Graham J Noble