Under the Radar

Comic Strip 007

Bond Omnibus 005

At some point in the late 1950s (and years before the character came to the movie screen), Ian Fleming allowed Britain's Daily Express newspaper to publish a series of daily comic strips based on his popular novels. Those strips continued in the newspaper through to early 1977 and later off and on in syndication until 1984.

Titan Books has been publishing books that compile the strips for a few years now and they've just released The James Bond Omnibus 005. The nine stories collected in this version were written by Jim Lawrence and illustrated by Yaroslav Horak, the team that took over the strip in 1966. Each story unfolds in three (or four) daily panels and took about 3 months to tell.

Horak's Bond looks a lot like George Lazenby's one-off 007 from On Her Majesty's Secret Service and the black-and-white stories feature a grittier world than most Bond fans know, with girls who are far more naked than their movie counterparts (which is probably why we never saw the comic in American newspapers), an even more cynical view of spy craft and outrageous weapons from Q Division that are beyond anything the special effects crew could've pulled off for the film series.

Check out some sample strips from the "Deathwing" story below. Once you start the slideshow, click on the target icon on the upper right corner of each image to blow it up to full size on your computer screen.


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