Jeff Parker Pens New Series With Artwork by Bob Q Revealing James Bond’s World War II History

June 19, 2018, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment and Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. are pleased to announce this fall’s biggest series in James Bond Origin! Author Jeff Parker (Suicide Squad, Future Quest, Thunderbolts, Batman ‘66) and artist Bob Q (The Green Hornet) will kick off the ongoing definitive account of James Bond’s exploits during World War II!

Hitting stands in September, James Bond Origin takes readers back to March 1941. Seventeen-year-old James Bond is a restless student in Scotland, an orphan, eager to strike out and make his mark on the world. But a visit by an old family friend coincides with The Clydebank Blitz, the most devastating German attack on Scotland during the War! James will fight through hell to survive, coming out the other side determined to make a difference.

“It’s a weighty challenge to reverse-engineer this icon into a young man on a life’s journey of danger, but Nate Cosby paired me up with Bob Q, who not only brings the gravitas of war in 1941 Europe but nails the promising hero in his youth,” stated writer Jeff Parker. “James doesn’t have the vast experience of a double-O agent yet, but he’s tenacious and a lightning-quick study. Bob and I work to show the full force of Bond’s spirit.”

In 2014, Dynamite Entertainment made headlines across the comics industry and beyond with the news that the New Jersey publisher had secured the license from Ian Fleming Publications Ltd to produce the first James Bond comics in 20 years. The first series, Vargr, written by Transmetropolitan writer Warren Ellis and artist Jason Masters, launched the following year to widespread critical acclaim and was a breakout success in the comics specialty market.

“James Bond has consistently been one of our strongest brands, both in talent and in history,” said Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO and Publisher. “It’s all been a culmination to get to tell this story in comics.”

The debut issue of James Bond Origin features a wide selection of cover variants, providing fans and retailers with the freedom of choice! The cover artwork features the talents of John Cassaday (The Lone Ranger), David Mack (Kabuki), Kev Walker (Thunderbolts), Gene Ha (Top 10), Ibrahim Moustafa (High Crimes) and Bob Q. & Jordan Boyd (The Green Hornet ’66 Meets The Spirit), respectively.

Dynamite is offering comic store retailers the opportunity to put their store name on a James Bond Origin #1 to promote the launch of this long-awaited series. This “shared retailer exclusive” will receive the cover art by Bob Q., plus the store logo on the cover! Additionally, a limited variant in "Black & White," "Virgin Art," and "Blood Red Line Art" formats are also available as retailer incentives for comic shops that support the launch issue by achieving stocking thresholds.

James Bond Origin #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors' July 2018 Previews catalog, the premier source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release in September 2018. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of James Bond Origin #1 with their local comic book retailers. James Bond Origin #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.

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...Having Bond a teenager in '41 makes him younger than in Fleming - where he was stated to have received his Double-0 on a mission against a Japanese government person in pre-Pearl Harbor New York City - and to have bought his Bentley in 1932 or so.

I'm surprised they didn't update him to a more recent war. A teenager in 1941 would be in his or her 90s now. That's a little long in the tooth to be fighting SMERSH or whatever.

I think they still have to do Bond as a period piece. In the movies they have a different playground, but his WWII and Smersh history is too important to drop in the print media. 

I've never read the novels, RIchard. Can you elaborate a little?

I bought and read all of the original Fleming Bond books, starting shortly after the author died. As I think I mentioned before, I became aware of the superhero/supervillain vibe of the series when the TV news talked about Fleming's death.
I don't remember a lot of references to WWII, but one of the villains was an excommando (called Werewolves) for the Nazis. I think Hugo Drax was one of the few villains who wasn't either from SMERSH or, later, SPECTRE. He and his former colleagues had reinvented themselves in Britain. He was rich, of course, and had conned the government into having him create a supermissile called Moonraker. The bad news is he was going to use it to nuke London. Bond manages to redirect it offshore. This, shockingly, results in hundreds of innocent people dying as opposed to millions. I was really unhappy with the movie version of Moonraker.
When the movies started they had all of the bad acts inspired by the USSR's SMERSH instead be from the super-Mafia organization SPECTRE. They weren't above using the communist Chinese as villains in Goldfinger. We weren't trying to make nice with them yet.
My favorite villain death was the book version of Dr No. The cover for the antimissile operation was that the island mined bird guano. After Bond and his girlfriend Honeychile Ryder had been mercilessly tortured, Bond purposely drowns Dr No in guano, and does it with relish.

Thanks, Richard!

Andrew, I would highly recommend reading the novels. They are relatively short reads - most of the books are around 200 pages max. I think comic book fans would appreciate the continuity Fleming maintained throughout the series as well as the over the top villains, though the stories are more grounded in reality than the films. If you don't feel like reading the entire run - From Russia With Love and Dr No make a nice double header or the Blofeld trilogy Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice - the ending of the latter is rather surprising.

Captain Comics said:

I've never read the novels, RIchard. Can you elaborate a little?

If someone wants to read all of the Fleming Bond books, this is the chronological order.

Casino Royale (1953)
Live and Let Die (1954)
Moonraker (1955)
Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
From Russia, with Love (1957)
Dr. No (1958)
Goldfinger (1959)
For Your Eyes Only (1960)
Thunderball (1961)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)
You Only Live Twice (1964)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)
Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)

In "Octopussy" Bond says the murdered Austrian guide was a father figure to him. The guide was murdered just after the war, so that was presumably before it.

In Live and Let Die Felix talks about how Harlem has changed since before the war.

I haven't been able to confirm it but I heard, I think from my parents, that the word Moonraker came from a situation in Britain(?). When the moonlight was reflecting on a pond the local characters, thought to be crazy, would rake the surface of the pond. The real reason was to conseal bootlegged alcohol in the pool. I heard this before I knew about the Bond book.

I know James Bond from the movies. I've never read any of the books, nor wanted to. And everything I've ever read about what the books were like cemented that belief.

So I am surprised that this series is working from the books. I would expect there are far more people like me -- who have never read the books, nor wanted to -- and that a series like this would be more in line with the movies. I am really surprised that they would set this series in during World War II and not modernize it. 

Richard Willis said:

the word Moonraker came from a situation in Britain... When the moonlight was reflecting on a pond the local characters, thought to be crazy, would rake the surface of the pond. The real reason was to conceal bootlegged alcohol in the pool.

Wikipedia has an article , "Moonrakers", about it. Apparently, "Moonrakers" is used as term for people from Wiltshire due to the story.

A moonraker is also a type of sail. The Shorter Oxford dates this usage to the early 19th century, whereas the Moonrakers story is attested in the late 18th.

Fleming's novel was preceded by a play, The Moonraker. It was written by Arthur Watkyn and reportedly first appeared in 1952. A film version starring George Baker came out in 1958. The film is set during the English Civil War. The title character is a Scarlet Pimpernel-ish royalist secret agent.

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