Drawn to 007 - Dynamite’s new hardcovers and beyond


#21

Thanks for the tip, Orion. I may take a look at these then.

With Eidolon I was disappointed that Ellis didn’t invest a bit more into the story. We’re told of…

.

Summary

…a major installation of Steampunk/Dieselpunk equipment for the worst-case scenario of an EMP attack - and then it’s simply used for yet another unlikely shootout. Why didn’t he go the whole distance and let the EMP happen?

After all, where could you tell such a story if not in a comic version of Bond?


#22

It’s partly the violence, but more the over-reliance on it over an actual plot. And the repetitive nature of the violence; even allowing for a certain level of gore, some semblance of variety would have been appreciated.

I’m intrigued by your “updated Fleming” reference as it implies Ellis stated this as his intention in an interview somewhere. I’m assuming the idea is “what shocked audiences in the 50s wouldn’t shock them now, so we ramped it up.” If that’s what he was going for, I’d argue he failed. Nothing in the series is worse than what I’ve seen in movies as mainstream as Inglourious Basterds or even what was played partly for laughs in The Kingsman. And it occurs to me a lot of the most disturbing violence in Fleming’s books has Bond on the receiving end. Except for a bloody nose, Ellis’ Bond is strictly on the dealing end of the violence in this. We feel for Bond in Fleming’s torture scenes; it’s harder to feel for what amounts to a walking Gatling Gun in a bespoke suit.

Ellis went for a violent Bond, and your enjoyment of his comics were very dependant on how comfortable you are with that level of violence. I came to love comics through Hellblazer, The Sandmam and other Vertigo titles - by comparison to which Ellis Bond is a Disney movie.

I didn’t get far with Vertigo, but I used to love Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing (and made it a little ways into Hellblazer), which at the time was pretty disturbing. But there, the disturbing stuff was in service to the plot. I can handle violence when it’s the logical outcome of a situation, but when I feel like the entire story is constructed in service of violence, I get alternately bored and disgusted.

And again, even the violence might have worked for me if it wasn’t so one-note, and the artist were better at staging it in a way that was easier to follow and better paced.

Here’s the happy part, though: I didn’t pay anything for this experience. I used the “Hoopla” app to borrow it for a read. I highly recommend the app to anyone with membership in a participating library. They have Eidolon, Vargr and Hammerhead, as well as a lot of other titles from Dynamite, DC, and others. No Marvel, though. It’s been a great thing for someone like me who has little interest, less money and no shelf space left for more comics.


#23

He mentions it in a REALLY early interview, same one where he was told the only note he had was to assume that versions of Flemings books had happened but otherwise he had carte blanche.

Whilst i dont necessarily agree that Ellis is guilty of it in Bond, i do get what you mean. That disconnect when bloody violence or sexual content is just thrown in just because something is supposed to be for adults pulls you right out to story and feels oddly fillerish. Torchwood series 1 if you ever see it is VERY guilty of that.


#24

Ellis is an artist right at the pulse of the comic culture. Consequently he mirrors - or in some cases even started - its trends, violence included. After all, we live in a world where Preacher and Walking Dead have become mainstream.

Where I think he’s missed the mark - for me at least - is how he develops a story along the lines of 24-torture-gun-porn with nary a thought for much else beside the violence. How is that supposed to intrigue me? There are literally hundreds of other titles out there with a more engaging story and a cleverer concept. Some by Ellis himself. I’d rate his one-shot Desolation Jones much higher than Vargr/Eidolon. Against Queen & Country - or even Sleeper - his Bond doesn’t even show up for the run.


#25

I just did a search on Ellis and realized this is the first thing of his I’ve ever read. Looks like he got into comics just as I was getting out (no connection, though). For some reason I thought he was the guy on Punisher and Hitman, but it turns out that’s Garth Ennis.

Anyway I confess modern comics are told in a “language” I find hard to follow, so some of this is probably on me. I’m having a hard time remembering the last comic I really enjoyed, if you don’t count reprints of vintage material. Getting back to the larger topic, I enjoy the Daily Express run, especially with Horak’s art (though it gets kind of mindless once they run out of Fleming and start shoe-horning a topless girl into every situation. And they all have identical breasts!). Grell’s stuff started with potential, but didn’t go much of anywhere for me (and his art style always frustrated me; so close to great, but hampered by flawed anatomy and faces that won’t stay consistent). Paul Gulacy was probably my favorite artist on “floppy” Bond comics, but fighting dinosaurs in a sleeveless top isn’t really how I imagine 007.

Then there’s the very intriguing sequence I once found, illustrated by the legendary Russ Heath for a comic I’m thinking never made it to print (correct me if I’m wrong). It reads like an alternate universe PTS for “Moonraker,” and it’s pretty awesome. The original art can be viewed here.


#26

Very interesting material there, never heard of it before.


#27

Yeah. VARGR, Eidolon and Felix Letter went for a harder edge, whereas Hammerhead and Black Box (especially Black Box) went the Lewis Gilbert Bond film route. I responded positively to Ellis’ Bond because of the contrast of brutal violence and vanity. He was kind of like an aggressive version of Moore’s Bond. You’re dead right when you say the intent was shocking people in a similar way the 1950s audience was. Their creative decision worked big time judging by how some fans have responded. Sure, they pushed things a little further than before, but Bond has always been cold and clinical. Some like this kind of thing or they don’t, and that’s fine. But it’s not a repression of everything Dynamite is doing.


#28

Very interesting. Thanks for that. Echoes of Goldeneye in 1990! :scream:

EDIT: It’s Minute of Midnight and it’s from 1994! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bond_007:_Minute_of_Midnight


#29

Looks like there will be another one-shot coming out in November:


#30

Interesting. There were rumours Telltale Games were developing a 007 title called ‘James Bond: Solstice’. I wouldn’t think there’d be two new products with the same name.

I found this preview of the Casino Royale graphic novel as well:


#31

Good find there. sharpshooter! Looks remarkably ‘modern’ - or perhaps timeless is the better word. Interesting detail in the artwork, I don’t think any artist before went so far as to show the taped grip of Bond’s handgun. Is it going to be b/w? I would support that.


#32

It’s not, this is it pre-colouring and lettering. I imagine the colour palette will be similar to that on the cover, lots of browns and dark greens.


#33

Nevertheless it looks great and I’m very much looking forward to reading it. Though I wonder if there is anything that would justify another adaptation of Casino Royale. I mean most of us have read the novel, we’ve all seen the movie. Artwork aside, I can’t really see the point. Perhaps it’s a bad comparison but I remember reading Burton’s Batman and Barman Returns comic book adaptations back in early 90s. And even as a child (or young adult) I was very unimpressed and, well, bored. So I hope Van Jensen had some really good ideas. Or at least that the artwork will do the job.


#34

Yeah. I think it will look glorious. I’m excited about this project because it will offer Fleming’s story without any alterations. It’s our best chance at getting period piece adaptions. I’m never going to say no to that.

Generally speaking, I like CR as a novel because it’s what really confirms Bond as Bond. It would no doubt be called boring these days, but Fleming’s CR didn’t need lots of action because it was about establishing Bond’s character. He grew emotionally throughout the novel to the point he didn’t see himself as a hero. Hell, he was even going to retire! But once Vesper is revealed as a double agent and kills herself, he reverts back to who he was. An untrusting, blunt instrument. He committed himself to the service.


#35

The Moneypenny one-shot comic came out today. I really enjoyed it, and from what my local comic book shop said, a lot of people who weren’t reading the James Bond comics were interested in it and put it in their pull list. Hopefully if there’s enough interest, we might get a full series. The comic gives us a little of Moneypenny’s background, and also showing us why she’s rightfully M’s bodyguard and right hand woman.


#36

Im excited to read it, just got an email from Forbidden Planet letting me know they’ve dispatched it!


#37

An interview with Ibrahim Moustafa, the writer and artist of the upcoming James Bond: Solstice one-shot comic.

https://www.newsarama.com/36209-tis-the-season-for-james-bond-holiday-special-solstice.html

As someone mentioned earlier, 007: Solstice was the supposed name of a proposed 007 game by Telltale. Looks like either it’s not happening or it wasn’t real in the first place.

Moustafa is a self proclaimed Bond fan, and compares this comic to one of the short stories like Risico, so it should be pretty good.


#38

The concept of a James Bond holiday special hooks me in. We haven’t really had one of those since OHMSS.


#39

I’m looking forward to reading it. I still haven’t got my copy of James Bond: Moneypenny, but Service was much better than I expected. The “one-shot” formula may be quite suitable for telling a decent Bond story.

Have you seen Ibrahim Moustafa’s Bond movie posters he published on his blog? Some of them are absolutely fantastic (would be perfect for re-edition of Blu-rays):
James Bond posters by Ibrahim Moustafa


#40

Some fantastic artwork there. I wish he’d do some Fleming covers, the current generic ones are not particularly impressive.