The world’s most famous super-spy looks to be making a return to comic books, as Dynamite Entertainment has announced the acquisition of “worldwide rights” to publish James Bond comic books, graphic novels and digital comics starting in 2015.
No creative team or specific release plans have yet been revealed, but Dynamite’s press release announcing the license states that the company plans on publishing both “visual adaptations” of Bond creator Ian Fleming’s stories, plus all-new tales — headlined by the character’s pre-“Casino Royale” origins, something largely unexplored in previous films and novels. Along with 007, Dynamite promises “other familiar faces,” both villains and allies, will appear in the new material.
“Ian Fleming’s James Bond is one the best-known characters in the world, yet we know very little of his background and beginnings,” Dynamite editor Mike Lake said in the statement. “The Bond villains are some of the most memorable figures in popular culture… where did they come from? And in some cases, where did they go?”
Dynamite’s deal is with Ian Fleming Publications Ltd., an entity that controls the rights to Fleming’s series of Bond novels as well as the “literary James Bond brand,” including recent books by authors such as Samantha Weinberg and William Boyd.
“We’re thrilled that 007 will be revisiting the world of comics, as Fleming’s novels have a long and successful history in this medium, ever since they began to be published as newspaper comic strips in the late ’50s,” Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications, is quoted in the press release. “Dynamite are the perfect partners to take on the challenge of continuing this legacy, and we are very much looking forward to working with them.”
“We are excited to build upon Fleming’s source material with new canonical stories, and are honored at Dynamite to be a small part of his legacy, to be able to bring new stories to fans around the world,” added Dynamite CEO and publisher Nick Barrucci.
James Bond first appeared in Fleming’s 1953 novel “Casino Royale.” The first film starring the character, 1962’s “Dr. No” starring Sean Connery, kicked off the storied, still-lucrative film franchise; with the most recent entry, “Skyfall,” released in 2012.
Despite the character’s prominence in film and in print, the history of James Bond in comics, while long, is inconsistent. Bond appeared in newspaper comic strips in Great Britain dating back to 1958 — four years before the first Bond film — but after short stints at a variety of publishers, the secret agent has been largely absent from the English-language comic book market since an incomplete adaptation of “GoldenEye” from Topps Comics in 1996.