James Bond: Agent of Spectre #1 debuted recently from Dynamite Comics and writer Christos Gage has kindly forwarded us his writer’s commentary on the issue. Delve behind the wizard’s curtain and read Gage’s thoughts on the creative process and teaming up with his artistic partner for this series, Luca Casalanguida. A must-read for any James Bond fans out there.
[+++ WARNING Potential spoilers! Buy & read the book, then come back here for an enlightening commentary! +++]
In classic Bond fashion, we open with an action sequence, this one on a ferryboat as 007 battles a SPECTRE double agent. I was so thrilled we got Luca Casalanguida back for this series…I’m a massive fan of his prior work with Bond. His work is moody yet dynamic; he’s unbelievably fast; and readers may not realize that he puts in the sound effects himself, as a design element of the art. Heather Moore’s coloring is perfect (and Luca loves her work), and I’ve been working with our outstanding letterer Simon Bowland since The Man With No Name. All around, a dream team for me as a writer.
This is indeed what happens when you fire a gun underwater. I looked up videos online. Research is one of the fun parts of writing this book.
I love writing Moneypenny. That is all.
The reference to Bond’s “cold war predecessor” is a bit of a nod to a theory among fans that “James Bond” or at least the designation “007” is a name that has been used by many people over the years. You can read it as just a confirmation that SPECTRE and MI6 have been in conflict for decades, or you can interpret it as an indication that past period-specific adventures (like Fleming’s novels) happened as told at the time. It’s just a fun little aside, not meant to be taken too seriously.
In regards to the description of Blofeld, I followed Ian Fleming’s depiction in the novel THUNDERBALL, Blofeld’s first appearance. Unlike the movie versions, the original Blofeld was a massive man, powerful, a physical match for Bond. And that, to me, was a more interesting way to go than what audiences more familiar with the films might expect.
And here we see in vivid detail, courtesy of our stellar art team, that Blofeld is a real threat to 007 in a fight. But that’s not why he lured him here…
The notion of a civil war within SPECTRE was my first and only pitch for the premise of the story, along with Bond getting caught in the middle. Titania Jones is a new character, one who was fun to come up with and name. Blofeld’s fondness of Cachou breath mints is taken directly from Thunderball.
Blofeld’s leverage against Bond is threatening the life of CIA Agent Felix Leiter, perhaps his closest friend in the world. But that’s not all of it…
Blofeld points out to Bond the harsh reality of what kind of future a man like him might have. Death is quite possibly the kindest outcome. When Bond accepts the offer, I don’t think even Blofeld completely believes he’s all in…but can one walk among monsters without becoming one? Future issues will tell!
James Bond: Agent of Spectre #1 is out now from Dynamite.