VARGR Hits Shelves – James Bond Comic Issue #1 Out Now
‘Bond: Simple as in a lack of complexity. No tradecraft required. All I had to do was locate the actor in question and eliminate him.
M: Yes. Well. It’s not gone unnoticed. People in high places are suggesting I retire the 00 Section entirely.
M: And the conducting of foreign policy still requires access to a small box of blunt instruments. You don’t get to retire to a casino quite yet, Bond.’
Vargr, a Norse word meaning ‘wolf’, though with mythological connotations, is the first six-issue story arc in the James Bond 007 comic book series. Issue #1 sees James Bond return 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 for Bond in Berlin.
And Issue #1 is out today, marking James Bond’s return to comics with a story penned by Warren Ellis and art by Jason Masters. Ellis and Masters each have a long list of exceptional titles to their name, and this collaboration promises not only a truly unforgettable comic book, but a completely fresh and utterly thrilling James Bond storyline where readers follow Ian Fleming’s Bond, operating in a contemporary world.
And this adherence to faithfully portraying Fleming’s original character is one of the Ellis’ most important aims: ‘Ian Fleming’s James Bond is an icon, and it’s a delight to tell visual narratives with the original, brutal, damaged Bond of the books’. Thus, the story arc shows us something of the familiar, imbued with gritty undertones and with an edge that is unmistakably characteristic of Ellis’ work. Just as Fleming’s novels showed us the glamour of Bond’s missions alongside episodes of sheer brutality and elements of the grotesque, Vargr is a sincere and at times unflinching depiction of Bond at work. The life of the 00 agent is indeed filled with moments of luxury, but Ellis’ bold writing, coupled with Masters’ sharp, vivid artwork show us the harsh realism too with a storyline in equal parts worthy of Fleming’s imagination and believable to the modern reader.
Add to this first rate writing and art the lettering by Simon Bowland – expertly melding dialogue, setting and action – and the sublime work of colourist Guy Major, and you have a visual, visceral experience which is sure to leave an impression.
Vargr sets Bond off in a new direction, in a medium with so much potential for the style, meticulous detail and sensuous energy of Fleming’s creation. And for this first issue, buyers may choose between Dom Reardon’s beautiful, bleak main cover, and several variant covers by stalwarts of the world of comics, some of which are pictured above and below.