So James Bond walks into a bar…
No, not that sort of comic, I’m referring to the comic book sort of comic! Last year a new James Bond comic series was launched and if you never heard of it, there’s a reason for that (more in a moment). Now personally I’d never heard of it because I don’t follow comics, in fact I’ve never picked one up in my life, I’ve got better things to do!
Yeah, like write garbage articles?
Anyway, I became aware of this particular “graphic novel” when a video popped up in my You Tube feed. It’s one of six the “tuber” does on the series, if you want more detailed information I suggest giving them a watch. However the gist of the comic is that Bond hardly appears in it at all! Instead focusing on an insurance investigator who is looking into the disappearance of some objet d’art from a local museum.
So kind of like the Tomas Crown Affair.
Here’s the synopsis:
“New series, new team, new missions! (No Bond!) VITA AYALA (Morbius, Age Of X-Man), DANNY LORE (Queen Of Bad Dreams) and ERIC GAPSTUR (James Bond 007) present a fresh take on the world’s greatest secret agent (by omitting him). When a priceless piece of art is found to be fake, investigations lead down a rabbit hole of international crime and corruption. But what the hell does James Bond know about the world of art forgery?” (if we were talking about the classic Bond of Ian Fleming, then a whole hell of a lot!)
Pictured: James Bond not knowing a thing about art theft or forgery.
Researching the authors Vita Ayala and Danny Lore reveal they are a pair of LGBTQ+ people of color who were assigned female at birth, for those of you who don’t understand “new speak,” two black women who aren’t straight. I couldn’t care less what color or sex you were born as, or with whom you enjoy getting intimate with, I bring that up because the entertainment industry and their taskmasters on Twitter are railing against “40 year old white dudes writing for different races and sexes.” So I have to question if this combination is qualified to write about Ian Fleming’s white, male, “cis-gendered,” super spy? And it turns out they aren’t, because instead of writing a James Bond comic, they created a story centered around a self insert instead.
Authors and their muse.
There’s something familiar about that picture up there.
Now if you want to create a story about your self insert who investigates missing museum artifacts I’ll be the last person to stand in your way, however please don’t try to package it in a classic bait and switch wherein you promise the buying public a Bond story and substitute this instead!
Of course the reason they do this is obvious, they want the name recognition and fanbase a character like James Bond brings without putting in the work, time or requisite talent to gain that following organically. However the joke’s on them when that audience rejects the content which bears little to no resemblance to the original!
Bond does show up on occasion moving in and out of the action like a third banana, only with less screen time and to be upstaged or lectured to by the supporting cast.
Yes, shut up and sit down Bond while the adults talk!
Now why haven’t we heard of this comic before? Well it seems everyone wants to pretend it doesn’t exist! Searching the internet you wont find hide nor hair of James Bond Vol. 3 except on the Dynamite Comics web page bargain bin!
Missing Comic: Last seen in bargain bins, answers to “James Bond” but features little of him.
So what if anything does the “Bond community” have to say about this travesty? Let us check that bastion of Bondom, MI6-HQ. An article a full year after the comic was released containing absolutely nothing but the official synopsis I quoted above. Hmm, it seems they got all tickled about the prospect, but once the cat was out of the bag, quickly turned heel and forgot about it.
James Bond Vol. 3? Never heard of it!
Now for the punchline, that article from MI6 above, ironically titled Big Things was posted in January 2021, seven months earlier in July 2020 that same website was railing against the CEO of Dynamite comics Nick Barruci, for supposedly supporting a black balled comic author by the name of Ethan Van Sciver and lamented that “James Bond Vol 3 may never see the light of day” (what a shame that would be!). MI6 up there claim Van Sciver is the head of a movement called “Comicsgate” (because “gate” must be tacked on to everything). As MI6-HQ puts it:
“‘Comicsgate’ is a campaign in opposition to perceived “forced diversity” and progressivism in comic books – including the creators hired, the characters depicted, and the stories told – which proponents argue has led to a decline in both quality and sales.”
Considering what we just saw, I almost wonder if Mr. Van Sciver might have a point!
Because of Barruci’s supposed association with Van Sciver, MI6 questioned if Ian Fleming Publications would terminate their license with Dynamite Comics (obviously because Fleming was so concerned with neo-Marxist causes). The better question is, whether or not they’ll terminate it over the contents of James Bond Vol 3?
I’m sure Ian would have approved!
Yes, definitely a bait and switch going on there. Nothing to do with James Bond, as we know him. Have the authors ever read a Bond novel? Doubtful.
But the non-Fleming Bond literature is not all bad. I’ve read two Bond novels by Anthony Horowitz – ‘Trigger Mortis’ and ‘Forever and a Day’ – and I reckon they are well-written.
I’ve heard good things about those novels as well Gareth, definitely putting them in my Audible que. Apparently according to the YouTuber I linked to in the essay, the previous run of Bond comics from Dynamite are pretty solid as well, it’s just this current rag that’s followed the Marxist formula.