World Comic Book Review

A Deep Six’d Publication

25th November 2022

James Bond 007: Felix Leiter (Hardcover) (Review)

James Bond 007: Felix Leiter (Hardcover) Dynamite Entertainment, 2017 Writer: James Robinson Dynamite Entertainment has secured a license from Ian Fleming Publications Limited to release James Bond stories as comic books. We have previously reviewed James Bond 007: Hammerhead written by Andy Diggle and James Bond 007: Vargr by Warren Ellis. Here, we look at … Read more

James Bond 007: Hammerhead (Review)

James Bond 007: Hammerhead Dynamite Entertainment, August 2017 (collected edition) Writer: Andy Diggle This is our second look at US publisher Dynamite Entertainment’s license of Ian Fleming Publications’ world famous character, the British spy James Bond. Our previous review related to the story “Vargr”, written by Warren Ellis. (Our third critique, to come, will double … Read more

Lord Cardigan’s Sabre: “James Bond 007: Vargr” 1-5 (review)

“James Bond 007: Vargr” 1-5
Dynamite Entertainment, 2016
Writer: Warren Ellis
Review by DG Stewart, 26 February 2016

It seems obvious that, given the project of writing a James Bond story, British writer Warren Ellis was always going to return to the source material. Ian Fleming, the English spy who wrote the original James Bond novels from 1953, portrayed the title character as something other than an exemplary English gentleman and Mr Ellis has mixed some of this into the story. One of the characters in this comic notes that Bond does not actually smile with his eyes. Bond’s experiences, Mr Ellis wants you to know, have robbed Bond of any genuine warmth and humour.

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The Secret Lives of Dead Men: Brubaker’s Velvet, the James Bond mythos, and the Spectre of Ian Fleming

The Secret Lives of Dead Men Brubaker's Velvet

Ed Brubaker’s comic book Velvet (Image Comics, 2015) sees the writer again explore gritty realism in a strong female character, albeit this time channelling the violent charm and loose sex of Ian Fleming.

Fleming wrote a series of novels in the 1950s and 60s featuring James Bond, an English spy, world-saver, and womaniser- those priorities sometimes in jumbled order. These novels have spawned thirty-two movies, becoming one of the world’s most successful character franchises. One of the more enduring supporting members of the cast was Miss Moneypenny, the secretary to Bond’s boss, M.

In the novel Thunderball, Fleming wrote that Moneypenny “often dreamed hopelessly about Bond.” Moneypenny’s primary function is to frame Bond as an object of desire. She is less than the inevitable Bond girl, the object of desire of the audience and Bond’s inevitable conquest – Moneypenny is merely a prop. The character doesn’t have much of a purpose otherwise in the novels, and not much more than that in the movie series until the 2007 continuity reboot, the second Casino Royale.

Wired Magazine’s review of Velvet makes the fundamental error of assessing the comic as “Bond imagined as a secretary”. The concept is instead more subtle than that. Brubaker makes that clear by having a spy who vastly resembles Bond on the receiving end of a shotgun within the first three pages of the very first serialised issue.

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