MI6 reviews the recently reissued graphic novel
"James Bond 007: Dr No" from Titan Books
written by written by Ian Fleming, Henry Gammidge
and John McLusky.
"James Bond 007: Dr No" Review
28th June 2005
James Bond fever gripped the world in the 1960's. He was everywhere,
including national tabloids and broadsheets. Titan's sixth book
in their run - "Dr No" - is made up of three strips,
which featured in series one of the newspaper strip: "Diamonds
Are Forever", "From Russia With Love" and "Dr
No". Making James Bond a daily adventure meant that each
story had to be uniquely structured carefully communicating location,
plot and character development to the reader. Each strip normal
comprised of three cells or even two on occasion.
Her Majesty's Secret Servant - Introduction by Eunice
Eunice reflects on how she got the role of Sylvia Trench,
and her first scene with Sean Connery.
She continues to talk about the planned longevity of the
character and her eventual marriage to James Bond. However
this was not to be as it ended with the change of director.
“Well, his nerves got the better of him and in response
to my line “Trench, Sylvia Trench,” I got every
combination of Bond, Connery, Sean and James you can imagine…”
- Eunice Gayson about Sean Connery’s first lines in
Above: Cell from "From Russia
Bond in Books
Paul Simpson races through the extended Bond literary catalogue,
beginning with a looking at Gardner’s version of Bond. Gardner
stamped Bond with his own unique style over 16 novels* and modernised
him by with gadgets “the trick was getting hold of stuff
that was still classified” - read
the full MI6 interview here.
Simpson talks briefly on the history of Raymond Benson and his
contribution to the Bond universe and literary canon in the form
of his six novels, 3 novelisations and his short stories. He finishes
with a introduction to Young Bond in the form of SilverFin and
how Charlie Higson’s exploration of how the boy became the
man, fits into the literary register.
*14 novels and 2 novelisations
Above: Panel from"Dr No"
A World of Espionage
"The other Double-o Agents and the networks which supports
them" is a look at all the different stations that made up
James Bond’s world. Located globally they have been the
case of many investigations or visits during his adventures. Roll
of Honour looks at the all the literary 00’s including those
in comics and how they cross Bond's path.
The Many Faces of James Bond
Simpson looks at the varying interpretations of Bond from Fleming’s
original imagining, through to the comic book incantation, and
the even more successful silver screen version of James Bond.
An interesting passage which joins all three paths that have made
up Bond for the last 40 plus years. Simpson does not mention the
expanding computer games that begin in the 80’s and have
given 007 new life in a fresh medium.
Above: Panel from "From Russia
Diamonds Are Forever: Graphic Novel
Adapted in the first person, Henry Gammidge has transferred the
story successfully over, with a few tweaks. The action pieces
and horse racing panels are of a high standard, and create some
stunning moments that have been later recreated in the films.
The artwork on the whole is strong with the odd panel showing
signs of degradation.
Above: Cell from "From Russia
From Russia With Love: Graphic
There are lots of bust shots of characters throughout this
strip giving you a clear example of how Mclusky has excelled
at creating memorable faces. There is a great deal of energy
which comes through in the fight scenes, however the night
fight at the gypsy came has suffer greatly in the reprint,
and a lot of detailing has been lost.
Gammidge ends the story with a hint that leads into the
opening of Dr No. From Russia With Love is being reworked
by Electronic Arts into a videogame in 2005 and should make
an interesting interpretation to sit along side the established
Dr No: Graphic Novel
A very close match in many ways to both Fleming's original story
and the later film, Dr No the strip is an extremely strong outing.
The quality of the strip varies with several panels appearing
to have been reprinted extremely faintly though. Panels which
depict evening or poorly lit events in the story, suffer in this
reissue with the shading and blacks too strong, thus overpowering
James Bond Titan Reissue Checklist
A summary of the past five issues cover, title, authors and stories.
The Complete James Bond Syndicated Newspaper Checklist - Listing
Rounding off this first reissue is a checklist of every Bond newspaper
strip including dates of print and reference numbers in a table
Above: Front cover
James Bond will return
in 2005 in "The Spy Who Loved Me"...
Summary: Issue six of Titan's republication
of James Bond adventures uses adventures from series one:
"Diamonds Are Forever", "From Russia With
Love" and "Dr No" by Gammidge and McLusky.
Loaded with features and some great stories, if you have
not brought any of Titan’s reissues this is a great
place to start. Only Goldfinger equals this re-issue with
MI6 Rating (10 Maximum)
Images courtesy Titan Books and Amazon Associates.