We talked previously about the first appearance of James Bond in an American comic book. The lackluster Dr. No movie adaptation was published in Showcase Presents #43 (1963). Since then, additional Bond stories have been published throughout the years in various countries and in numerous languages. The works have included movie adaptations and original tales. There are a particular set of stories published in the 1990s byDark Horse Comics that we rather enjoyed. All are original stories and in general have the exciting feel of James Bond adventures.
James Bond 007: Serpent’s Tooth
(1992; 3 issue mini-series)
Writer: Doug Moench
Artist: Paul Gulacy
What’s it all about, James? Mysterious events unfold as the story opens — a woman is abducted in Peru by space ships and albino twins (they were ripped off for Matrix Reloaded, wethinks), a scientist is kidnapped in London, and a British nuclear submarine is attacked and its missiles are taken. James Bond is in Switzerland, where his womanizing ways have gotten him into hot water (actually cold snow) again when he is seduced by a murderous KGB agent whose husband Bond has killed (didn’t we see this in From Russia with Love?). Bond gets called back to the MI-6 offices where he is instructed to find one of the other double “0″ agents who went missing after looking into the previous events. A sinister guy named Indigo (who, with genetic defects and medical alterations, looks like an anthropomorphic lizard) is the not-so-descretely concealed antagonist of the story and it is up to James Bond to save the world yet again. As with many of Bond’s nemeses, Indigo has hatched a wild-haired plan that threatens the entire human race.
In keeping with the James Bond tradition, there are lots of babes, lots of action, and a thriller of an ending. It’s a very good James Bond story in comic book form and we love both Moench’s writing and Gulacy’s art. One odd thing … why do Gulacy’s character’s faces always look so sullen? Give us a perky Bond girl every once in a while, Paul. We also have to wonder if Anjelica Huston was Paul Gulacy’s ideal for all his femmes fatales and femmes courageuses.
James Bond 007: A Silent Armageddon
(1993; 4 issue mini-series; #3 and #4 were cancelled)
Writer: Simon Jowett
Artist: John M. Burns (thanks to the tardiness in getting his work done, the book was cancelled)
What’s it all about, James? Since it was cancelled, who really cares? Oh bother … here’s a summary anyway. A self-aware computer program is coveted by Cerberus, a SPECTRE-like organization of mega-criminal proportions. James Bond must somehow thwart their efforts, and he is aided by a young Chinese crippled teenager girl to do so. One can assume that she and Bond save the day.
James Bond 007: Shattered Helix
(1994; 2 issue mini-series)
Writer: Simon Jowett
Artist: David Jackson
What’s it all about, James? Cerberus is at it again. The SPECTRE-like secret crime syndicate intends to steal for blackmail a genetically engineered disease that’s being held at a secret location in Antarctica. A beautiful scientist, Serena Mountjoy, joins forces with Bond to foil the dastardly plans of Cerberus. The adventurous duo travels to the South Pole and infiltrate the secret lab where the biological weapon is stored. The villainous cadre has acquired the services of a monolithic brute that has armor grafted into his body. He is bulletproof and virtually indestructible. Can Bond and Mountjoy save the world before the monstrous disease is released? Buy the comics, bite your nails, and find out.
James Bond 007: The Quasimodo Gambit
(1995; 3 issue mini-series)
Writer: Don McGregor
Artist: Gary Caldwell
What’s it all about, James? James Bond and another agent named Nebula Valentine team up to take on an arms dealer named Rifle. The arms dealer has three weirdo clients including a televangelist. Why is this starting to sound like License to Kill (1989)? One of the three villains is a deluded God-fearing freak named Quasimodo. The adventure takes the heroes and villains to the United States where Bond uncovers a cult-like mercenary army. He must disarm the situation all while fighting off the zealous Quasimodo. With Nebula’s and Felix Leiter’s helpf, will he be able to do it, dear reader? Actually in this one, Bond dies. Game over. The earth-shattering event takes place in the elusive issue #4 which you will never find because it never existed. But don’t let that stop you from hours of searching on eBay and elsewhere. Zut alors!
And, as M would say: ba-dee, ba-dee, ba-dee, that’s all folks. If you want to read more on the various James Bond comic book publications, check out Kimberly Last’s James Bond site.