James Bond and Brass Bancroft, separated at birth?

bond-reagan-comic

Dynamite Comics has been on a run publishing James Bond comic books of late. Dynamite announced its latest project, James Bond: Service to come out in May.

What caught the blog’s eye was the cover illustration (see above). In this version, Bond (particularly his hair style) seems to resemble former U.S. President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004). But not Reagan as president. Rather more like Reagan as he appeared in the late 1930s or early ’40s.

Ronald Reagan's title card in a Brass Brancroft movie.

Ronald Reagan’s title card in a Brass Brancroft movie.

Reagan was an actor before turning to politics. One of his roles was that of U.S. Secret Service agent Brass Bancroft in four movies in 1939 and 1940: Secret Service of the Air, Code of the Secret Service, Smashing the Monkey Ring and Murder in the Air.

Perhaps it’s coincidence. Perhaps the blog’s eye is a little off kilter. Judge for yourself.

 

After more than 6 decades, Felix Leiter gets a solo adventure

"I'm finally getting my own series, James."

“I’m finally getting my own series, James.”

After more than 60 years as a sidekick, Felix Leiter is getting his own series — well, a comic book mini-series — from Dynamite Entertainment, according to COMIC BOOK.COM.

Leiter appeared in the first James Bond novel, 1953’s Casino Royale. In the novel, he was a CIA agent who helps Bond out of a tight spot. Leiter’s first live-action appearance, under the name of MI6 agent Clarence Leiter as played by Michael Pate, occurred in the 1954 CBS adaptation of Casino Royale.

When 007 hit the big screen, Leiter appeared in the person of Jack Lord in Dr. No. Leiter wasn’t in the 1958 novel but was inserted into the story when it was adapted as first Bond movie produced by Eon Productions. Various actors, from Cec Linder to Rik Van Nutter to David Hedison to Jeffrey Wright, would follow in Lord’s footsteps.

Here’s an excerpt from the Comic Book.com story.

In the new series, “Felix Leiter — now operating as an independent investigator — finds himself in Japan, tracking down a beautiful Russian spy from his past. But when the mission takes a turn for the worse, he will discover that there are more deadly schemes taking shape in Tokyo… and beyond!”

At various times, screenwriters tried to give Felix more to do in early drafts. But given how these were James Bond movies, Leiter’s screen time would end up being cut back.

The comic book mini-series is written by James Robinson and drawn by Aaron Campbell.

Dynamite to reprint one 007 story, start another

Cover of Issue 7 of Dynamite's James Bond comic book

Cover of Issue 7 of Dynamite’s James Bond comic book

Dynamite Entertainment plans a hardcover reprint of the first six issues of its James Bond comic book while issue seven starts a new story line called Eidolon. The two story arcs are by writer Warren Ellis and artist Jason Masters.

Both the hardback reprint and issue seven are scheduled to go on sale in June, according to Dynamite’s website.

The first six issues featured a story called Vargr in which Bond following “a mission of vengeance in Helsinki” takes up “the workload of a fallen 00 Section agent,” according to a plot summary. “Bond has no idea of the forces gathered in secret against him.”

The hardcover reprint is priced at $19.95.

Here’s the plot description for the new Eidolon story:

After World War Two, army intelligence groups created ghost cells called “stay-behinds” across Europe in the event of a Warsaw Pact surge. “EIDOLON” is the story of a SPECTRE stay-behind structure – ghost cells of SPECTRE loyalists acting as sleepers until the time is right for a SPECTRE reformation and resurgence. The time is now.

The regular monthly comic is priced at $3.99.

Ian Fleming Publications, which controls rights to the literary 007, announced a licensing deal with Dynamite in 2014. Dynamite said last year  that Ellis and Masters would be the initial creative team on the title.

Covers for new 007 comic book revealed

One of the alternate covers for the new James Bond comic book

One of the alternate covers for the new James Bond comic book

The new James Bond comic book published by Dynamite Entertainment will have some alternate covers, COMIC BOOK RESOURCES REPORTED.

Here’s an excerpt of the story:

When he returns to comics this November, not only will 007’s new Dynamite Entertainment series be helmed by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters, it will feature an A-List roster of artists providing variant covers for the first issue.

CBR News has the exclusive first look at the covers for “James Bond” #1, the first chapter of “VARGR,” a story that will find the world-famous secret agent fighting for his life in the wake of another 00 agent’s demise. Illustrated by Dom Reardon, Jock, Gabriel Hardman, Stephen Mooney, Dan Panosian, Francesco Francavilla, and Glenn Fabry, the covers call back to the character’s pulp roots.

“Variant,” or alternate, covers are a way to entice buyers of comic books to purchase multiple copies of the same issue.

James Bond will provide the climax for “The Year of the Spy.” In September, the new 007 continuation novel, Trigger Mortis, is scheduled to be published as well as a collection of unauthorized Bond stories in Canada, where Ian Fleming’s original literary stories are in the public domain.

SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, will debut in the U.K. in October and in the U.S. on Nov. 6.

To see the Comic Book Resources story, CLICK HERE.

Creative team for new 007 comic book announced

Cover image released by Dynamite Entertainment

Cover image released by Dynamite Entertainment

Writer Warren Ellis and artist Jason Masters will team up on the initial story arc of a new James Bond comic book, COMIC BOOK RESOURCES REPORTED.

The duo will work on a six-issue arc called VARGR, CBR said, citing an announcement. “James Bond returns to London after a mission of vengeance in Helsinki, to take up the workload of a fallen 00 agent
 but something evil is moving through the back streets of the city, and sinister plans are being laid forBond in Berlin,” reads a synopsis that’s part of the announcement.

The new 007 comic is being published by Dynamite Entertainment and licensed from Ian Fleming Publications, run by the author’s heirs and which controls the rights to the literary 007. The first issue is scheduled to come out in November, CBR said. That’s the same month that SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, arrives in theaters.

The British-born Ellis has worked for various comic publishers, including Marvel and DC.

“We knew that we had to start with a British writer, which narrowed the field quite a bit,” Joseph Rybandt, a Dynamite senior editor, told CBR. “After initial discussions, Warren had some concerns and we actually met with him in London, along with the Ian Fleming Estate, to alleviate those concerns. From there, he started writing.”

The editor also told CBR the publisher hopes to have Ellis’ service beyond the first arc and “get a year out of Warren for sure.”

To read CBR’s full story, CLICK HERE. You can also CLICK HERE for a Bleeding Cool story with samples of Jason Masters’ art. Thanks to Stringray on Twitter for pointing all this out.

IFP announces new licensing deal for 007 comics

Cover for Marvel's 1981 comic adaptation of For Your Eyes Only

Cover for Marvel’s 1981 comic adaptation of For Your Eyes Only

Ian Fleming Publications said Oct. 7 it reached a licensing deal with Dynamite Entertainment for a new series of James Bond comics.

Here’s an excerpt from the IFP statement:

We are very proud to announce our new partnership with Dynamite Entertainment, a leading publisher of English language comic books and graphic novels, who have worldwide rights to produce comic books, digital comics and graphic novels starring James Bond. 007 will re-live the exploits that have thrilled and captivated fans for over half a century in fresh visual adaptations of Fleming’s classic Bond stories, the first of which will be launched in 2015. Moreover, Dynamite plans to create a series of brand new adventures unveiling the defining – and largely undocumented – early years of Bond’s career. These new stories will draw inspiration from the Fleming canon to explore Bond’s ‘origins’: his raw early years before he gambled with his life in the first novel, Casino Royale.

Bond has an uneven history of comic book adaptations.

DC Comics, now owned by Time Warner’s Warner Bros. unit, did an adaptation of Dr. No, the first 007 film, in 1963. Years later, Marvel Comics (now owned by Walt Disney Co.) adapted 1981’s For Your Eyes Only and 1983’s Octopussy. Before the DC and Marvel efforts, there were U.K. comic strip adaptations of Ian Fleming novels and short stories. Those comic strips have been reprinted previously.

Based on the IFP statement, the newest deal doesn’t involve Eon Productions, which has produced the 23-film James Bond movie series. For Bond fans, 2015 shapes up as the time for a new movie (the yet-untitled Bond 24), a new a new James Bond continuation novel and the new comic books/graphic novels.