The James Bond Omnibus Vol 005 by Jim Lawrence and Yaroslav Horak
Genere(s): Graphic Novel, Comics, Spies, Suspense
Publisher: Titan Books
Description: The daring James Bond is back in a definitive bumper edition collecting more of Jim Lawrence’s celebrated run in comic strip form! Includes nine of Bond’s most thrilling and dangerous missions: Till Death Do Us Part, The Torch-Time Affair, Hot-Shot Nightbird, Ape of Diamonds, When The Wizard Awakes, Sea Dragon, Death Wing, and The Xanadu Connection!
Like a Walther PPK, this Omnibus, is mission essential gear for Bond fans. Most people clamor for more Bond material and this Omnibus provides just that. This is actually a collection of comic strips that appeared in Britain’s Daily Express newspaper. These comics covered Ian Fleming‘s stories as well as original stories from 1958 to 1986. Many believe that these comics were a big contributor to the popularity of James Bond.
Speaking of Walther PPKs, artist Horak seemed to favor the Luger or at least a Luger-type pistol for Mr. Bond to carry. Not a big deal, but those signature items that Bond toted around or surrounded himself with were a big part of his appeal. I was happy to see different James Bond stories, but at times they felt very different from Fleming’s Bond. These tales follow the same formula that many of the orginal Bond stories followed, but in a shorter more abriviated form. They all include some type of gadget, a half naked woman and surprisingly many of them involved flying home for some reason. I think the very obvious patterns in these stories would have been less so if read weekly rather than all at once. This formula worked then, but now it seems to fall a bit short.
I read the entire Omnibus then flipped back through it to find the elements that I pointed out, and without fail each story had them and they were easy to spot. Some of the gadgets didn’t stand the test of time as well as other past gadgets. In the first story, the vehicle that James Bond uses to escape in is an all terrain vehicle, and I mean all terrain in the James Bond sense, not what us normal people would call an ATV. This vehicle is amphibious, can handle rough terrain and can even go airborne. The problem was that it used a hot air balloon to achieve flight. I appreciate a surprise as much as the next guy but a hot air balloon in the 50s or 60s as a flight method for a vehicle that James Bond drives is just wrong — creative, but wrong.
The panels in this Omnibus were much smaller than they have been in other editions, and I do feel like some of the small details were much harder to see and the dialogue was not easy to read in less-than-ideal lighting. The art was solid and consistent — not stylistic, not mind blowing, but it worked. I enjoyed seeing Bond in action, and these stories are great to get your Bond fix, but for a reader who is looking for cutting edge dialogue and eye popping art, this Omnibus will be disappointing. Titan Books Has done the world a great service by printing these omnibuses, and I’m glad they didn’t keep it a secret.