Shaken not stirred – Bond in Comics


1953, James Bond makes his first appearance in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale. Codename 007, the suave, British secret agent was the central figure in 12 novels and 2 short story collections.

Sir Sean Connery (Rest his soul) was not the first person to play Bond, although in my opinion he was the best. His version was the first one I saw, followed by Pierce Brosnan, and then I went and rented the other movies to watch on video tape. Yes, I’m old enough to have owned a VCR. 

The first person to play Bond was Barry Nelson in the TV film adaptation of Casino Royal. 

Apart from Ian Fleming’s novels, a number of other authors have penned 007 over the years, there have also been Young Bond novels, and even some centered around Moneypenny. 

Like many young kids, I too thought being a super spy with fast cars, cool gadgets, guns, and explosion was… well, super! As I got older I got to work on a book about the concept art of James Bond, which for some reason I don’t have a copy of. 

The closest I got to being Bond was hours of video gameplay across multiple games. 

In 1958, James Bond made his comic book debut in the pages of the UK newspaper, The Daily Express. With no visual model to work from, Fleming commissioned artist John McLusky to create the first image of Bond. Fleming described his as resembling dapper bandleader Hoagy Carmicheal, but McLusky made him bigger, tougher, with a harder edge and less refinement. Possibly paving the way for the depiction by the first cinematic depiction of James Bond in 1962’s Dr. No, Sir Sean Connery.

File:Hoagy Carmichael - 1947.jpg

Over the years, Bond has appeared in comics published by DC, Marvel, Eclipse, Dark Horse, Topps, and currently by Dynamite Comics. Dynamite Entertainment has actually got a lot of film & TV based comics under its banner. Many of the comics being adaptations being of the films themselves.

There were some random ones in the middle like James Bond Jr.

The Book Bond: JAMES BOND JR. Marvel Comics

Which was also an animated TV show in 1991 with 65 half hour episodes, featuring the nephew of the British Spy. I refuse to get into this. 

And of course, the “great” diamond comic ones called 007 James Bond The International Blackmailer.

…. No comment….

Let’s just get down to the comics you should check out, before I get into an alcohol-free rant, because we all know those aren’t fun! 

1. James Bond 007: Serpents tooth!

Writer: Doug Moench

Art: Paul Gulacy

Released by Dark Horse in 1992, it’s a 3 part story that was the first one published by Dark Horse. A nuclear arsenal disappears, mysterious disappearances in Peru, Dinosaurs!!!

Packed with action, intrigue and espionage, (probably how I’m going to end up describing all of these), Serpent’s Tooth, plays out much like a classic Bond story. It’s got the twists, and the campiness, that made the movies enjoyable.

2. James Bond: Vargr

Written by Warren Ellis

Art by Jason Masters

Dynamite’s first foray into James Bond with Warren Ellis was something that really got me excited. This volume collects issues 1-6. Bond is assigned to take up the workload of a deceased fellow agent. He thinks it’s about breaking up a drug trafficking operation, but it turns out to be something much more sinister. As the world is about to go up in flames, Bond must discover the secret of someone, or something, called VARGR! This is only the start of the fantastic James Bond run by Dynamite.

3. James Bond Origin

Written by Jeff Parker

Art by Bob Q

Set during WW2, a seventeen-year-old James Bond is a restless student in Scotland, eager to make his mark. A visit from a friend coincides with the most devastating German attack on Scotland, The Clydebank Blitz. Young James must fight his way through hell, as he discovers his calling towards British government service that is secret in its nature. 

The new Bond movie is further delayed. No Time To Die is currently scheduled for April 2021, pushed from its original plan of November 2019. In the mean time you can be like Sahil and binge the movies to honor the memory of the kilt wearing, gangster punching badass, Sir Sean Connery.