Nov 14, 2007

James Bond Returns To Comics

007 returns to the shelves of comic book stores this week, albeit in an unauthorized and frankly unflattering form! The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier finally came out today, after years or rumors, delays and missed release dates. No, it's not a sequel to Sean Connery's dismal cinematic swan song (if his retirement sticks, at least), but the latest in the series of brilliant Alan Moore graphic novels that inspired that wretched adaptation. The basic concept of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is that fiction's greatest (or most flawed) heroes have united throughout the ages to form "super-teams" (think Justice League of America) working for the British Secret Service. The first two volumes focused on the late Victorian incarnation of that team, including Allan Quatermain, Mina Murray (better known by her married name, Harker), Captain Nemo, Henry Jekyll and Hawley Griffin, H.G. Wells' Invisible Man. Black Dossier takes place in the late Fifties and features a few returning characters, as well as a slew of new ones from that decade. As it's an espionage tale, it should come as no surprise that Bond appears, identified as "Jimmy," grandson of the original series' Campion Bond. John Drake, Bulldog Drummond, "the Village" and Steed's boss "Mother" are at least name-checked, and a favorite Fleming villain makes an appearance, among other luminaries of spy literature. Moore has been known to take certain liberties with characters in the past, and his version of 007 is likely to rile many fans. He's certainly no "gentleman secret agent" as portrayed here. However, artist Kevin O'Neil's depiction of Fleming's Bond (complete with Hoagy Carmichael looks and that famous comma of black hair) is pretty dead-on!

2 comments:

zencat said...

Thanks for this. Without you, I would have never known this existed.

Tanner said...

No problem! I try my best to keep up with all the latest spy news that might slip through the cracks.