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Adapting the Male Hero: The Comic Strip Adventures of James Bond

From Blofeld to Moneypenny: Gender in James Bond

ISBN: 978-1-83867-163-1, eISBN: 978-1-83867-165-5

Publication date: 26 March 2020


In 1958 the Daily Express began publication of a comic strip adaptation of Casino Royale authorised by Ian Fleming, predating the original film version by four years. For the next 10 years adaptations of the novels and short stories appeared in the newspaper with Bond’s appearance fashioned firstly by John McLusky and then Yaroslav Horak. When the supply of Fleming’s stories was exhausted, new adventures were penned by Jim Lawrence with artwork by Horak, McLusky or Harry North. From 1977 publication switched to the Sunday Express and then the Daily Star. Eventually, the strips were reprinted for a whole new audience by Titan Books.

Subsequently, Bond appeared in a number of other comic book adaptations and reworkings, including key adaptations by the independent publishers Dark Horse and Dynamite, offering contemporary re-imaginings of this iconic, but always controversial, male icon. Taken together they provide a run of Bond adventures over more than 50 years. As such, they contain an alternative Bond universe, where his embodiment of male heroism mimics and varies Fleming’s original and the images constructed in the film franchise. This chapter will consider these mirror images and their responses to changing societal pressures as Bond adapts to new definitions of what constitutes the male hero.



Shail, R. (2020), "Adapting the Male Hero: The Comic Strip Adventures of James Bond", Gerrard, S. (Ed.) From Blofeld to Moneypenny: Gender in James Bond (Emerald Studies in Popular Culture and Gender), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 41-51.



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Copyright © 2020 Robert Shail