The creator of the James Bond character, Ian Fleming didn’t live very long into the saga of James Bond, dying of heart disease in 1964, before a bulk of the films based on his character have been produced. However, staring in 1968, writer James Lawrence and illustrator Yaroslav Horak teamed up for weekly serial stories in the life of James Bond, including a lot of stories that haven’t been heard, including Colonel Sun, The Harpies, River of Death, and The Golden Ghost.
Titan Books has gathered the Ian Fleming originals with Vol 001 and 002, so this one includes only the daily comic strips, with each story ranging from 40-60 pages typically. The stories are what you would expect, James Bond against enemy operatives all across the globe, working with different agencies and former enemies than he likes to, but getting the job done, and always finding a way to get the girl, if she doesn’t die.
That’s one thing I noticed about these strips than a lot of the other James Bond stories, they are a bit more salacious, especially in the violence category, than anything I’ve read from Fleming. I have a feeling that has a lot to do with the medium, comics tended to be more salacious, and it was at a time (the late 60’s) where the comic controversy had kind of ebbed. However, these were mostly published in weekly newspapers, so it’s an interesting time capsule of how we look at entertainment.
And the stories are entertaining. There are at least a few of these stories (Colonel Sun and River of Death, especially) that would make very cool movies, and could easily be updated to modern technology for a Daniel Craig version. It seems that EON has their mind made up about which stories to make though, so that makes these a cool bonus for the die hard James Bond fan. Plus the fact that Titan Books has given the series its usual treatment, glossy covers and crisp reproductions, the entire set is a collector’s item.