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 Gayson
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 Dr No.


Above: Cell from "From Russia With Love"

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 With Love"

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 With Love"


From Russia With Love: Graphic Novel
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 versions.

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 the detailing.

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 format.

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 content.

MI6 Rating (10 Maximum)


30th September 2005
Amazon USA
23rd May 2005
Amazon UK

Images courtesy Titan Books and Amazon Associates.