Josh Wilding Reviews: THE JAMES BOND OMNIBUS 004
The daring James Bond is back in a definitive bumper edition collecting the second period of Jim Lawrence and Yaroslav Horak's celebrated run in comic strip form! Includes nine of Bond’s most thrilling and dangerous mission, hit the jump to read my verdict on the collection from Titan Books.
As a huge fan of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels someone who has enjoyed the majority of the films, I was very curious to check out Titan Books' The James Bond Omnibus 004 when offered the opportunity recently. While the (not particularly faithful) adaptations of the books are beloved by most, I found it difficult to appreciate the goofier and sometimes sillier moments after reading Fleming's work. So, would these reprinted comic strips be like them or instead have a tone closer to that of the novels and recent Daniel Craig Bond flicks? Thankfully, it's the latter, although don't let that fool you into thinking that they aren't still tremendous fun! These stories blend in PERFECTLY with the world that Fleming created before 007 hit the big screen in 1962's Dr. No.
Featuring nine stories in total (Trouble Spot, Isle of Condor's, The League of Vampires, Die With My Boots On, The Girl Machine, Beware of Butterflies, The Nevsky Nude, The Phoenix Project and The Black Ruby Cape), there's obviously a lot of adventures to enjoy here. Despite the fact that they were originally printed in serialized format in a daily newspaper, there's never an instance when they feel in the least bit disjointed. Each 2/3 panel strip flows flawlessly into the next. With so many stories on offer, some are obviously better than others, but each of them maintains a high enough level of quality and enjoyability so that they never become dull or tedious to get through.
The James Bond Omnibus 004 has all of the action, car chases, beautiful women and colourful villains to make these tales feel uniquely Bond. Jim Lawrence's scripts are always gripping and it's often hard not to wish that the producers of the films one day turn to THESE stories when they run out of Fleming's literary adaptations (bare in mind that Skyfall isn't based off any of the original novels). In terms of artwork, Yaroslav Horak's pencils are crisp and clear, often coming across as a mixture of Steve Ditko and John Romita. Please don't let the fact that the tales are printed in black and white put you off (it works for The Walking Dead doesn't it?), as this actually enhances the visuals and helps them to really jump off the page at you.
A must-have for any James Bond fan, The James Bond Omnibus 004 makes for a fantastic read and will sit very nicely between your collection of 007 novels and films.
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