Warren Ellis Writing The James Bond 007 Comic, Jason Masters Drawing It – And Here's Why

Warren Ellis is the writer of Dynamite's upcoming James Bond 007 ongoing comic book series, released alongside (but having noting to do with) the new James Bond movie.

And Batwoman's Jason Masters is the artist.

The first six-issue story arc in the James Bond 007 comic book series will be entitled "VARGR." James Bond returns 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 forBond in Berlin.

The new comic book series in is partnership with Ian Fleming Publications Ltd and art of a worldwide license. The press release quotes Warren as saying "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" says Warren Ellis. It is edited by Mike Lake, who curated the Bond comic to its final publication at Dynamite over several years.

But what does Warren really think of Bond? Thankfully, we can find out through Google, before it becomes full of the breaking news. From 2002...

There are very few existing properties that I'd be interested in writing. I like making up my own stories. As far as I'm concerned, that is in fact the job description of "writer". There aren't many pre-existing characters that I could be tempted with. I've resisted the temptation to do 2000AD properties I remain fond of; I couldn't do JUDGE DREDD better than John Wagner, and, in fact, neither can anyone else, so I've denied myself the pleasure of solving story structures by having a huge bastard in green boots walk in and kill everybody. A JUDGE DREDD/TRANSMETROPOLITAN crossover book was suggested to me by DREDD publishers Fleetway once. I told them that it would be precisely one page long. Spider Jerusalem lights a cigarette. Judge Dredd shoots him. The end.

But if someone asked me to write a James Bond film, you wouldn't see my arse for dust.

Sad, innit?

I've read most of the Ian Fleming novels, seen most of the films once they've come to TV. I'm not a fanatic by any means. But James Bond exerts a terrible fascination nonetheless. I even did an interview piece on how I'd write Bond for a Texan newspaper a couple of years ago. So did Bruce Sterling, who offered a disturbing opinion about Bond as a shaven-headed Ibiza DJ. You're going to hell for that one, Bruce, and you will discover that Satan is English.

The books are notably less spectacular and far more low-key than the films. Dr No was a crazed guano millionaire and had no nuclear missiles, spaceship-eaters or any of the good stuff we associate with Bond Villains. Tiger Tanaka's great test of Bond was making him compose a naff haiku. It's often quite bland stuff, great long travelogues and pages describing banquets and furniture. In the guts of it, though, is Bond as a scarred man with clear psychological damage, often on the edge of being removed from service by M on mental health grounds. It's made stridently obvious that being on the 00 detail of the Secret Service is a job that fucks you up.

Bond is not a superman. He prevails because he is quite simply nastier and more determined to wreak utter bloody havoc than the next guy. In some ways — and I don't think Fleming was unaware of this — he is what Allen Ginsberg called "bleak male energy," causing and taking immense damage in single-minded pursuit of what he wants. At the conclusion of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, the front end of his personality essentially rubbed out by torture, drugs, multiple trauma and a sequence of horrible mental hammerblows, there is an almost disturbing glimpse of an amnesiac Bond as gentle, open, devoted, and almost sweet. And his lover dreads the day that he recovers.

He is England's blunt instrument of international assault — the spiteful, vicious bastard of a faded empire that still wants the world to do as it's bloody well told.

Most importantly; he beats people up and makes stuff explode.

The films try to recoil from Bond the bastard, most obviously in the later, parodic Roger Moore horrors. But in Connery, in Dalton and even in Pierce Brosnan, Bond's essential ruthlessness comes through. Wolf-eyed Timothy Dalton had the best shot at being truly frightening, but he was hamstrung by some horrible scripts, and I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did. Clive Owen is pretty much the only choice to take over after Brosnan, and I'd assume that a serious overhaul of the franchise would have to accompany that.

I can be contacted via agent Angela Cheng Caplan at The Cheng Caplan Company, if there are any producers on serious medication out there. Because both me and Bruce were right; James Bond needs to reflect his times.

But I wouldn't make him a DJ.

And stuff would blow up really good.


I think maybe I need another drink now.

Some folk think that the makers of Casino Royale read this article. And from 2011…

In CASINO ROYALE, James Bond is the Bond girl. Look at the way they even show him emerging from the ocean like Ursula Andress. Sexual torture, too, if less creepy-glam than being stripped and painted gold. Vesper Lynd is Bond: never not in control, never without a plan, seducing to further her goals. She has to die so Bond can become her.

As for Jason Masters, this is the kind of thing he could bring to Bond… just replace Batman or Batwoman in your mind.


When buildings and cars explode, before and after.batwoman_29_pg_4_by_peubloshatner-d7asr6p

Ian Fleming was rather exacting about location…. so is Jason.


Really exacting.


Espionage activities in the dark.


Cars, men, babes, architecture and a fetishistic design sense that moulds them all into one… I want to start singng the Goldeneye theme right now.
drawering_by_peubloshatner-d8sgg8b Men in suits on motorbikes with guns… check.

For those fights on building sites, like Quantum Of Solace…


And then jumping from them in a suit.



Just not every Bond Villain has "Bang" guns like Batman's do. Probably better watch for that.


Shaken not stirred…


And just in time for the Olympic opening ceremony. Warren did you have any thoughts on that?

b1w2 w3Basically… we can't wait!


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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