Dynamite's Bond comics and graphic novels

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  • Posts: 650
    I find it remarkable how Dynamite had a winning formula in telling original contemporary stories, with the odd nod to the series (e.g. db5 in Eidolon) to completely re-hashing original characters. I can’t help but be quite disapointed by this. Dynamite did a great job bringing James Bond into the 2010’s but it seems like they want to cram Goldfinger, Mr Big, Oddjob in there as well when they worked much better in a previous time. My favourite Dynamite stories have always been when they tell new stories such as Eidolon, Kill Chain, even Black Box. There has been a huge dip in quality in my opinion ever since Kill Chain was released.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited March 6 Posts: 14,718
    I bought all the single issues of Kill Chain some years ago but I haven't had the chance to read it yet. I was intrigued by the neo-Nazi villains, an old Bond and spy thriller staple more generally. Is it any good?
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 604
    It is one of my favourites. I think I have written some time ago that it is one comic that I believe the film's could take a lot of inspiration from. Now that I think of it, it might be the other way around: It is very steeped in cinematic Bond moments, so maybe if they were to translate it back, it would feel redundant..
    Anyway, I like it a lot.
    It is interesting that Kill Chain and Eidolon are taken as examples of new stories as those two feature SPECTRE and SMERSH respectively. But I agree that they are new and different enough incarnations as to feel fresh.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Kingdumb of Norway
    Posts: 41,539
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I bought all the single issues of Kill Chain some years ago but I haven't had the chance to read it yet. I was intrigued by the neo-Nazi villains, an old Bond and spy thriller staple more generally. Is it any good?

    I thought it was horrible.
  • Posts: 5,971
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I bought all the single issues of Kill Chain some years ago but I haven't had the chance to read it yet. I was intrigued by the neo-Nazi villains, an old Bond and spy thriller staple more generally. Is it any good?

    I recall enjoying Kill Chain well enough. One that I read recently that I wouldn’t recommend at all (apart from the splendid cover art by Fay Dalton) was Reflections of Death. Bond
    chauffeurs Leiter’s daughter and her date to the prom in it
    and that isn’t even necessarily the worst part. It’s a collection of shorts connected by a frame story in which Moneypenny is kidnapped. The biggest problem with this collection is how very un-Bondlike Bond is throughout at every level of characterization. The first story feels the most fitting for the world of 007, and incidentally it’s by far the most entertaining—but still little more than a bit of fluff, a humorous intro to put a smile on your face before you get to the main event, which fails to materialize in any form here. The collection seems to be getting positive reviews though, so if anyone has read it and enjoyed it, I’d be curious to hear a different perspective.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 604
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I bought all the single issues of Kill Chain some years ago but I haven't had the chance to read it yet. I was intrigued by the neo-Nazi villains, an old Bond and spy thriller staple more generally. Is it any good?

    I recall enjoying Kill Chain well enough. One that I read recently that I wouldn’t recommend at all (apart from the splendid cover art by Fay Dalton) was Reflections of Death. Bond
    chauffeurs Leiter’s daughter and her date to the prom in it
    and that isn’t even necessarily the worst part. It’s a collection of shorts connected by a frame story in which Moneypenny is kidnapped. The biggest problem with this collection is how very un-Bondlike Bond is throughout at every level of characterization. The first story feels the most fitting for the world of 007, and incidentally it’s by far the most entertaining—but still little more than a bit of fluff, a humorous intro to put a smile on your face before you get to the main event, which fails to materialize in any form here. The collection seems to be getting positive reviews though, so if anyone has read it and enjoyed it, I’d be curious to hear a different perspective.

    There are a couple if stories in there that I liked and more that I disliked. I guess that is the nature of an anthology where you invite most of the creators of previous series' to do one story in their style. F.e. I personally don't like the whole John Lee stuff, but I know there are people who do (although I don't think they post here :-D) and I guess they would enjoy that story.
    And there is something to be said for a single graphic novel having both the first story, which is funny and sexy and fast-paced, but also the prison story which is a fucked up almost-horror descent into madness, and also so the story with Leiter you mentioned which is basically just harmless, almost sitcom level silliness. I kind of enjoy that story, but it misses the mark on who I believe Bond to be be quite a bit and it cannot be taken seriously at all, I agree.
    So, I don't think it's horrible. There are things that fans of the various previous comics arcs might enjoy, but it's not something that is a must read by any stretch.
  • Posts: 5,971
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I bought all the single issues of Kill Chain some years ago but I haven't had the chance to read it yet. I was intrigued by the neo-Nazi villains, an old Bond and spy thriller staple more generally. Is it any good?

    I recall enjoying Kill Chain well enough. One that I read recently that I wouldn’t recommend at all (apart from the splendid cover art by Fay Dalton) was Reflections of Death. Bond
    chauffeurs Leiter’s daughter and her date to the prom in it
    and that isn’t even necessarily the worst part. It’s a collection of shorts connected by a frame story in which Moneypenny is kidnapped. The biggest problem with this collection is how very un-Bondlike Bond is throughout at every level of characterization. The first story feels the most fitting for the world of 007, and incidentally it’s by far the most entertaining—but still little more than a bit of fluff, a humorous intro to put a smile on your face before you get to the main event, which fails to materialize in any form here. The collection seems to be getting positive reviews though, so if anyone has read it and enjoyed it, I’d be curious to hear a different perspective.

    There are a couple if stories in there that I liked and more that I disliked. I guess that is the nature of an anthology where you invite most of the creators of previous series' to do one story in their style. F.e. I personally don't like the whole John Lee stuff, but I know there are people who do (although I don't think they post here :-D) and I guess they would enjoy that story.
    And there is something to be said for a single graphic novel having both the first story, which is funny and sexy and fast-paced, but also the prison story which is a fucked up almost-horror descent into madness, and also so the story with Leiter you mentioned which is basically just harmless, almost sitcom level silliness. I kind of enjoy that story, but it misses the mark on who I believe Bond to be be quite a bit and it cannot be taken seriously at all, I agree.
    So, I don't think it's horrible. There are things that fans of the various previous comics arcs might enjoy, but it's not something that is a must read by any stretch.

    Perhaps I was a bit harsh on the quality of the work as a whole. It was definitely, as you say, a mixed bag both in terms of tone and entertainment value. The John Lee segment fell completely flat for me. A vaguely Oddjob-esque Felix Leiter-lite sidekick for Bond, complete with weaponized bowler hat? Was this a character from some other Bond comic? I know they revamped Goldfinger at some point so I'm assuming that's what this was drawing from. But without that frame of reference there wasn't much to get out of this story.

    The one involving Leiter was very out of character for Bond. I actually kept getting shades of Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent while reading this one. But I did like the coda when he gets to the actual mission side of things.

    The prison island story had an interesting premise, but again there were weird things going on with Bond's characterization, like portraying him as careless and inferior to another 00. I get that they're trying to push the character in new directions and portray him in different lights, but that really only works if you start with a strong understanding of who the character is and then put them in unusual circumstances. One part of this story was rather too Takashi Miike for Bond's brand, too. Again, by all means, do new and unexpected things with the character, but you have to keep it rooted in the brand.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 604
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I bought all the single issues of Kill Chain some years ago but I haven't had the chance to read it yet. I was intrigued by the neo-Nazi villains, an old Bond and spy thriller staple more generally. Is it any good?

    I recall enjoying Kill Chain well enough. One that I read recently that I wouldn’t recommend at all (apart from the splendid cover art by Fay Dalton) was Reflections of Death. Bond
    chauffeurs Leiter’s daughter and her date to the prom in it
    and that isn’t even necessarily the worst part. It’s a collection of shorts connected by a frame story in which Moneypenny is kidnapped. The biggest problem with this collection is how very un-Bondlike Bond is throughout at every level of characterization. The first story feels the most fitting for the world of 007, and incidentally it’s by far the most entertaining—but still little more than a bit of fluff, a humorous intro to put a smile on your face before you get to the main event, which fails to materialize in any form here. The collection seems to be getting positive reviews though, so if anyone has read it and enjoyed it, I’d be curious to hear a different perspective.

    There are a couple if stories in there that I liked and more that I disliked. I guess that is the nature of an anthology where you invite most of the creators of previous series' to do one story in their style. F.e. I personally don't like the whole John Lee stuff, but I know there are people who do (although I don't think they post here :-D) and I guess they would enjoy that story.
    And there is something to be said for a single graphic novel having both the first story, which is funny and sexy and fast-paced, but also the prison story which is a fucked up almost-horror descent into madness, and also so the story with Leiter you mentioned which is basically just harmless, almost sitcom level silliness. I kind of enjoy that story, but it misses the mark on who I believe Bond to be be quite a bit and it cannot be taken seriously at all, I agree.
    So, I don't think it's horrible. There are things that fans of the various previous comics arcs might enjoy, but it's not something that is a must read by any stretch.

    Perhaps I was a bit harsh on the quality of the work as a whole. It was definitely, as you say, a mixed bag both in terms of tone and entertainment value. The John Lee segment fell completely flat for me. A vaguely Oddjob-esque Felix Leiter-lite sidekick for Bond, complete with weaponized bowler hat? Was this a character from some other Bond comic? I know they revamped Goldfinger at some point so I'm assuming that's what this was drawing from. But without that frame of reference there wasn't much to get out of this story.

    The one involving Leiter was very out of character for Bond. I actually kept getting shades of Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent while reading this one. But I did like the coda when he gets to the actual mission side of things.

    The prison island story had an interesting premise, but again there were weird things going on with Bond's characterization, like portraying him as careless and inferior to another 00. I get that they're trying to push the character in new directions and portray him in different lights, but that really only works if you start with a strong understanding of who the character is and then put them in unusual circumstances. One part of this story was rather too Takashi Miike for Bond's brand, too. Again, by all means, do new and unexpected things with the character, but you have to keep it rooted in the brand.

    Oh yeah, if you haven't read The Oddest Job, that chapter makes absolutely no sense. It is by far the one that is the most connected to the creator's previous run on James Bond. That one is much more a coda to the previous 12 issues Greg Pak did than an actual chapter in this particular project. I think John Lee is the only character who is original to a previous comic, who turns up in RoD. Everyone else is either from Fleming or turns up for the first time.
    I personally don't like that Odd Job run, at all. I don't want to step on anyone's toes, but it seems quite obvious that the creators were much more interested in doing a story with their new character than doing one with James Bond. So it's more that Bond is Lee's sidekick than the other way around. Which might even be interesting, if the character weren't just "Bond, but fast-talking and Asian".
  • edited March 7 Posts: 2,299
    One part of this story was rather too Takashi Miike for Bond's brand, too.

    "Visitor Q Joins Q Branch"?

    Better yet, "Visitor Q Meets Q'ute".

    Potential sequel: "Ichi the Double-O Killer"


  • Posts: 5,971
    Revelator wrote: »
    One part of this story was rather too Takashi Miike for Bond's brand, too.

    "Visitor Q Joins Q Branch"?

    Better yet, "Visitor Q Meets Q'ute".

    Potential sequel: "Ichi the Double-O Killer"

    Not sure how to spin a Bondian title out of it but I'm thinking along the lines of Audition—the only Takashi Miike I ever saw, and that was enough!
  • Posts: 104
    Do we know how many total issues Agent of Spectre will run?
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,709
    Revelator wrote: »
    One part of this story was rather too Takashi Miike for Bond's brand, too.

    "Visitor Q Joins Q Branch"?

    Better yet, "Visitor Q Meets Q'ute".

    Potential sequel: "Ichi the Double-O Killer"

    Not sure how to spin a Bondian title out of it but I'm thinking along the lines of Audition—the only Takashi Miike I ever saw, and that was enough!

    I've seen quite a few TM movies and I'm not particularly interested in seeing him do a Bond flick. Oh boy. :p
  • coco1997 wrote: »
    Do we know how many total issues Agent of Spectre will run?

    We can make an educated guess. Graphic novel collections for Dynamite's Bond comics have all run for 6 issues. All of them, 6 issues. That # of issues just makes for a satisfying and affordable collection. I'd put $$$ on Agent of Spectre running for either 6 or (maybe, at the outside) 12 issues.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 604
    Yep. The numbering and titling has been all over the place and it is mostly unclear what is stand-alone and what is part of a main line, to the point where I would consider every writer's work to be separate from other writer's work (although the anthologies complicate this again) and standing on their own. The one thing that has been 100% consistent is that arcs are 6 issues. A creator might get another 6 issues to continue the story (Ellis and Pak, I think), but they always come in packs of 6.
    I could see Ms Jones being taken care of at the end of AoS #6 and Blofeld still lurkong for a future arc.
  • Exactly. The premise of Agent of Spectre is strong enough that I could certainly imagine it running for two 6-issue arcs -- but probably not more than that.
  • DarthDimi wrote: »
    Revelator wrote: »
    One part of this story was rather too Takashi Miike for Bond's brand, too.

    "Visitor Q Joins Q Branch"?

    Better yet, "Visitor Q Meets Q'ute".

    Potential sequel: "Ichi the Double-O Killer"

    Not sure how to spin a Bondian title out of it but I'm thinking along the lines of Audition—the only Takashi Miike I ever saw, and that was enough!

    I've seen quite a few TM movies and I'm not particularly interested in seeing him do a Bond flick. Oh boy. :p

    He's a masterful director, no doubt about that. Audition was one of the most intense, most stomach-turning, most heart-stopping film experiences of my life. And yet the gore itself was limited to just a few instances. A great deal of the film's impact was accomplished through suspense and suggestion.

    But yes, I don't need TM-level violence in Bond either, haha.
  • edited March 12 Posts: 2,299
    To be fair, Takashi Miike has directed films in every genre, not all of which have psychotic subject matter. Take for example Ninja Kids!!!, an all-ages family film whose only off-color element is a gag involving several piles of dog poo.

    On the other hand, very few directors have made films as disturbing as Audition, Ichi the Killer, or Visitor Q. Perhaps if EON produces a faithful version of You Only Live Twice they could let Miike direct the Garden of Death scenes. I don't think that'll happen any time soon.
  • Posts: 306
    I read the first issue of Agent Of Spectre and I'm just not sure...I want to get excited, but I'm wary given the past few entries. And I suppose it's safe to assume that this is a retcon of the retcon. Meaning, the premise of Vargr reintroducing Bond in the modern age, but set after the (modernized versions of) events of the Fleming novels has now been tossed aside for something else.
    That's why Leiter has prosthetics. The events of Live and Let Die happened.

    I mean, you could just go into reading these comics without the prior set up in mind and just experience each issue as they print as something different. They hinted at SPECTRE's return for a while, but I thought bringing Blofeld back meant he was going to seek revenge on Bond.
    Nope.
    Instead they are meeting for the first time.
    Who knows, maybe there will be a twist later toward the end where it's revealed the Agent Of Spectre Blofeld is the one from Thunderball, and the one from OHMSS and YOLT was a clone that Bond forgot about because the amnesia he suffered from at the end of YOLT?

    But in all seriousness, I'm just a little disappointed in the direction they've taken the series. Everything was pretty solid up until The Body, which wasn't the worst thing, but still...I will keep reading to see where it does end up going.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 8,316
    What would you guys say is the strongest story they've done so far? The most sort of Bondy? I've read a couple and not really loved them but I'm wondering if I'm missing the good ones. I read somewhere the other day that Hammerhead is good fun?
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    edited March 15 Posts: 604
    mtm wrote: »
    What would you guys say is the strongest story they've done so far? The most sort of Bondy? I've read a couple and not really loved them but I'm wondering if I'm missing the good ones. I read somewhere the other day that Hammerhead is good fun?

    I was critical of Hammerhead at first, but upon re-read I would say it's probably the Bondiest of the bunch. I greatly enjoy Kill Chain as well, but that is maybe a tiny bit more Mission Impossible than Bond, if that makes any sense. Same kind of goes for Eidolon. Strongest story overall might actually be Felix Leiter, but that is not that Bondy as well (and of course only has a small cameo by Bond himself).

    Hammerhead takes some inspiration from a Fleming novel, has some over-the-top but not silly moments, a good local ally in the Colombo, Kerim Bey, Marc-Ange Draco vein, some high society elements, an interesting female lead and some fun (if not extraordinarily creative) twists.
    Gettler wrote: »
    I read the first issue of Agent Of Spectre and I'm just not sure...I want to get excited, but I'm wary given the past few entries. And I suppose it's safe to assume that this is a retcon of the retcon. Meaning, the premise of Vargr reintroducing Bond in the modern age, but set after the (modernized versions of) events of the Fleming novels has now been tossed aside for something else.
    That's why Leiter has prosthetics. The events of Live and Let Die happened.

    I mean, you could just go into reading these comics without the prior set up in mind and just experience each issue as they print as something different. They hinted at SPECTRE's return for a while, but I thought bringing Blofeld back meant he was going to seek revenge on Bond.
    Nope.
    Instead they are meeting for the first time.
    Who knows, maybe there will be a twist later toward the end where it's revealed the Agent Of Spectre Blofeld is the one from Thunderball, and the one from OHMSS and YOLT was a clone that Bond forgot about because the amnesia he suffered from at the end of YOLT?

    But in all seriousness, I'm just a little disappointed in the direction they've taken the series. Everything was pretty solid up until The Body, which wasn't the worst thing, but still...I will keep reading to see where it does end up going.

    Was that the premise of VARGR? I have long given up on the idea of trying to connect all of the comics into one sensible timeline, let alone connect that to the Fleming books.
    By now we've had Mr. Big, Goldfinger (+ kind of Odd Job), SMERSH, SPECTRE and now Blofeld and none of them have had a background that suggests the exact story of the novels happened.
    Mr. Big was somehow attacked by sharks because of Bond, who seems to have thought him dead, but there are multiple allusions to Bond sacrificing fellow agents on an island to go after Big, which is not what happens in the novel.
    Goldfinger, I think, is a completely new acquaintance in The Oddest Job, but I don't remember that one that much, because I didn't really care about that entire book. Odd Job seems to have existed in the past, but all we know is that he crippled another 00-agent decades back.
    SMERSH is in Kill Chain, but in a fully new version and given that SMERSH existed in some way in real-life the connections are tenuous, I'd say.
    SPECTRE exists in Eidolon but in a very, very different way than in TB and also different to the SPECTRE in Agent of SPECTRE. In Eidolon, if I recall correctly, it is a bit like Operation Gladio. A stay-behind operation after World War II that now has morphed into something different, but still uses the cell structure we know from the novels. Agent of SPECTRE seems to return it to it's Thunderball-roots, only that it apparently wasn't founded by Blofeld who only has taken control in recent years.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited March 15 Posts: 8,316
    mtm wrote: »
    What would you guys say is the strongest story they've done so far? The most sort of Bondy? I've read a couple and not really loved them but I'm wondering if I'm missing the good ones. I read somewhere the other day that Hammerhead is good fun?

    I was critical of Hammerhead at first, but upon re-read I would say it's probably the Bondiest of the bunch. I greatly enjoy Kill Chain as well, but that is maybe a tiny bit more Mission Impossible than Bond, if that makes any sense. Same kind of goes for Eidolon. Strongest story overall might actually be Felix Leiter, but that is not that Bondy as well (and of course only has a small cameo by Bond himself).

    Hammerhead takes some inspiration from a Fleming novel, has some over-the-top but not silly moments, a good local ally in the Colombo, Kerim Bey, Marc-Ange Draco vein, some high society elements, an interesting female lead and some fun (if not extraordinarily creative) twists.

    Thanks, I'll give it a go.
    Seems to be the closest they've got to an actual Bond title too!
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    edited March 15 Posts: 11,507
    Solstice was an impressive short story, that was a delightful read. I have that one and the three parts of VARGR.

    10.jpg

    EDIT: Solstice was very Bondian.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 604
    QBranch wrote: »
    Solstice was an impressive short story, that was a delightful read. I have that one and the three parts of VARGR.

    10.jpg

    EDIT: Solstice was very Bondian.

    Totally forgot about that! Yes! Solstice is great and my favourite out of the single-issue stories.

    I am a fan of Ibrahim Moustafa. His turn on Origin (issues 10-12 I think) is also pretty good. Sadly he might be one of the creatives who had a political problem with Dynamite a while back...
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 8,316
    Thank you, I'll try Solstice too. The art looks better than in most I've seen.
  • ImpertinentGoonImpertinentGoon Everybody needs a hobby.
    Posts: 604
    While looking at Moustafa's website right now to figure out when and how his next book (a sci-fi re-imagening of The Count of Monte Cristo) comes out, I found that he has done a series of Bond movie posters, some of which are really cool: https://www.ibrahimmoustafa.com/posters#/james-bond-movie-posters
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 11,507
    Wow! Great concepts there.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 8,316
    Ah I've seen a couple of those around before, nice to see the full bunch. Some are bit tortured (the TLD one is a bit of a stretch!) but I like the way that some of them make their movies seem like Fleming novels. The LALD one could be a novel cover, don't you think? :)
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Kingdumb of Norway
    Posts: 41,539
    While looking at Moustafa's website right now to figure out when and how his next book (a sci-fi re-imagening of The Count of Monte Cristo) comes out, I found that he has done a series of Bond movie posters, some of which are really cool: https://www.ibrahimmoustafa.com/posters#/james-bond-movie-posters

    Those are brilliant.
  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 2,054
    coco1997 wrote: »
    Do we know how many total issues Agent of Spectre will run?

    It says in the description that it’s the penultimate issue. So it looks like 5 issues for Agent of Spectre.

    https://www.amazon.com/James-Bond-Agent-Spectre-4-ebook/dp/B08Z4D271F/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=James+Bond&qid=1616004860&refinements=p_n_publication_date:1250228011&rnid=1250225011&s=books&sr=1-4
  • Posts: 4,774
    From Diamond Comics :

    STL188881.jpg
    It's all-out action in Athens, Greece as Bond and Blofeld's tenuous alliance is tested under fire! Can they survive the mountainside attack by upstart SPECTRE member Titania Jones...and can they survive each other? The double-crosses and triple-crosses hurtle toward a shocking and explosive conclusion in this penultimate issue!

    https://previewsworld.com/Catalog/APR211100
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