Guide to James Bond

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The Phoenix Project takes Bond back to Turkey in a plot that involves the sabotaging of a suit of armour that is intended to make the wearer invulnerable to small arms, grenades and fire. Suzi Kew returns in The Black Ruby Caper to help Bond fight “Mr Ruby” who aims to put a bomb inside a statue sculpted by African-American artist Roscoe Carver. Bond takes another black lover in the form of Carver’s daughter Damara, a model. The love interest is white again in Till Death Do Us Part when the daughter of an MI6 agent is seduced by a married man who plans to sell her to the KGB.

Unfazed by his interest in other women, Suzi Kew helps Bond battle SMERSH in Acapulco over the Communist plan to subvert Latin America in The Torch-Time Affair. Fickle as always, Bond teams up with Palestinian freedom fighter Fatima Kalid and the PLO to prevent the resurrected Dr No downing a plane carrying US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on his way to a Middle East peace conference in Hot Shot.

Suzi Kew is back on the scene in Nightbird, where Bond’s old flame actress Lisa Farrar is one of a number of people kidnapped by what appears to be a Martian vessel. Lisa is found dead, but kidnap victims who return alive report they have been held on an artificial moon. The man responsible is Ferdinand Polgar, a movie producer who formerly, as a small-time crook, was hideously disfigured by acid in bungled raid on a laboratory.

The last strip to appear in the Daily Express was Ape of Diamonds where trained gorillas are used as assassins in a convoluted plot set in Egypt.

The baton was then handed to the Daily Express’s sister paper the Sunday Express, which began the strip When the Wizard Wakes in January 1977. The plot revolves around a traitor to the Hungarian Uprising, Hungary’s Crown of St Stephen, SPECTRE, the CIA and the creator of a missile targeting system sought by the Russians.

Jim Lawrence and Yaroslav Horak, the artist for the bulk of the non-Fleming strips – or sometimes John McLusky, the artist in the original Fleming-story strips – began to find new outlets for Bond strips in Scandinavia. They produced Sea Dragon, The Scent of Danger and Shark Bait: in the last of these Bond teams up with alluring KGB agent Katya Orlova to foil a renegade Soviet Navy plot.

Suzi Kew makes another appearance in Death Wing where Bond is pitted against Matteo Mortellito, the inventor of a high-tech kamikaze. The Xanadu Connection takes Bond to Mongolia to rescue missing British archaeologist Ivor Bent. In Snake Goddess, Moneypenny’s home is attacked by a giant snake and we find out that she sleeps in a single bed. However, Moneypenny is assigned to work with Bond in Double Eagle, but is supplanted as the love interest by turncoat agent Helga. You have to feel sorry for the woman.

The Bond cartoon strip in the UK was then taken over by another of the Express Newspapers stable, the Daily Star. It began publishing Doomcrack in February 1981. Bond buys the new sonic Doomcrack weapon for the British, but SPECTRE seizes both the weapon and its inventor, and threatens to blow up both the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. Bond comes face to face with Madam Spectra on board her submarine headquarters but is allowed to live because her Persian cat takes a liking to him. The love interest, who has already betrayed him, now realizes that she means nothing to Madam Spectra and helps Bond escape. He turns the updated Doomcrack 2 on the submarine and finishes off Madam Spectra.

Dependable Suzi Kew pops up again in The Paradise Plot to help Bond thwart Father Star, the leader of a hippy cult who also bristles with high-tech gadgetry. Ann Reilly – Q’ute – also makes an appearance. She and Suki return in Deathmask where megalomaniac Ivor Nyborg aims to spread a deadly virus from his robotic plane.

The villain Dr Cat, who makes a remarkable recovery after being shot at the end of River of Death, returns in Flittermouse. Suzi Kew, Q’ute and Bond’s housekeeper May all make an appearance. But Bond teams up with another Native American, the appealing Red Doe, in Polestar where he is pitted against Robert Ayr, president of Polestar Petroleum in a plot that involves runaway rocket scientist Jack Boyd.

After that, publication of the Bond strips ceased in the UK. But the Scandinavians could not get enough of him and continued their dedicated publication Agent 007 James Bond. In Codename: Nemesis Bond survives being thrown off a train in Eastern Europe and gets on the wrong side of Felix Leiter. He teams up again with Leiter, a KGB agent and the mysterious “Little” in Operation: Little to fight Wolff, a mad genetic manipulator based at the South Pole. Although Bond is run out of MI6 for gambling debts incurred while drugged, he takes on General Juan Diaz and his puppet Emperor Henry Christopher of Haiti who plan to take over the Caribbean in revenge for the Falklands War.

Bond is kidnapped by aliens in Operation: UFO, then battles neo-Nazis in Norway in Operation: Blücher. He pursues assassin Walter Junghans in Operation: Romeo and tracks the hacker who has wiped the memory of bank computers in Data Terror. He is on the trail of Nazis in Brazil in Experiment Z and Russian agents in Greece in Spy Traps. Returning to the Amazon in Deadly Double, he comes up against a dinosaur, a tribe of beautiful bald women and a megalomaniac who wants to destroy New York. Bond is framed for murder in Greek Idol and helps CIA agent Melody Hopper track three rogue American soldiers on Cuba. In The Amazons, he has to work out which of the women protestors outsides a US Air Force base in Britain is a Soviet agent. Bond gets framed for murder again in Lethal Dose and tracks agent Z17 in Deadly Desert.

International art forgers turn terrorist in Terror Times, while judges vanish in The Vanishing Judges. Bond gets involved with boat people in Flights from Vietnam, while M plays battleships in the bath, and takes on mind control in The Undead. He goes back to Turkey in Istanbul Intrigue, while he is chased around Norway and the UK in With Death in Sight. He plays bodyguard to a ballerina in Danse Macabre and tackles the Leopard Women of the Ubokis in Operation Uboki. The Living Dead takes Bond to Thailand and in Goodbye, Mr Bond he thwarts a plan to replace the world’s top agents with robots; then it is back to Japan for Operation Yakuza.

Dark Horse Comics published Permission to Die in three parts in 1989 and 1991. It pits Bond against mad rocket scientist Erik Wiziadio. Kerim Bey’s daughter makes an appearance. Bond uses a ASP 9mm as in the Gardner novels, and the alias Boldman from Nobody Lives Forever.

In 1991, James Bond Junior was resurrected as an animated series for American TV. Six episodes were novelized by British writer John Peel under the name John Vincent. Marvel Comics issued a series of twelve comic books, and a video game was developed.

Dark Horse Comics continued their comic book series with Serpent’s Tooth in 1992-93. In it, Bond is pitted against megalomaniac industrialist Indigo who plans to wipe out most of mankind with a tidal wave then repopulate it with children sired by women he has kidnapped. If that was not enough, he is resurrecting dinosaurs, dodos and other extinct species using genetic engineering.

As bodyguard to a thirteen-year-old wheelchair-bound computer genius in A Silent Armageddon, Bond had to enter a virtual world to fight the crime syndicate Cerberus. His ward’s avatar is a typical Bond girl, reflecting her crush on him. Bond is teamed up again with Tatiana Romanova, now with the KGB, to track down missing foreign aid in Light of My Death. In Shattered Helix – published in two parts as “The Greenhouse Effect” and “A Cold Day in Hell” – Bond comes up against Cerberus once more. This time they are involved in biological warfare. Minute of Midnight pits Bond against a cartel of terrorists who aim to blow up nuclear power stations around the world. Then in The Quasimodo Gambit he returns to Jamaica before thwarting a plan by born-again Christian mercenary Maximilian “Quasimodo” Steele to napalm Christmas shoppers in New York.

Sega’s 1981 arcade game 005 clearly paid tribute to 007. Then in 1983 came the game James Bond 007 where the player gets to be one of a series of double-O agents and the plots borrow heavily from the films made up to that point. Raymond Benson worked on the 1985 game A View to a Kill. Since then, James Bond computer games have come out based on individual films.

Then in 2005 the British Charlie Higson started the Young Bond series of books. The first book, SilverFin, begins with the thirteen-year-old Bond arriving at Eton in 1933. He meets an American bully and his arms-dealing father. The adventure continues in the Highlands during the Easter vacation. SilverFin also appeared as a graphic novel in 2008

In Blood Fever in 2006, Bond is a member of the Danger Society, a secret club for risk-takers at Eton. In the summer holidays, he goes to Sardinia where he investigates the Millenaria, a secret society that aims to restore the Roman Empire.

Double or Die in 2007 has Bond poking round in the darker corners of London searching for a missing master. This spawned The Young Bond Rough Guide to London featuring the locations in the book. Later that year, Hurricane Gold takes Bond to the Caribbean where he foils a robbery. Then By Royal Command in 2008 deals with the incident with a maid mentioned in Bond’s obituary in You Only Live Twice that led to his leaving Eton. The Royal Family and the Secret Service are also involved in the plot.

Higson wrote a Young Bond short story “A Hard Man to Kill” which was published in Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier in 2009.

The female point of view was supplied by Samantha Weiberg, under the nom de plume Kate Westbrook, in The Moneypenny Diaries where she pretends to be the editor of Moneypenny’s work. The first book, The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel, was published in 2005. It fills in the entire backstory for Moneypenny and gives her, for the first time, a first name – Jane.

The short story “For Your Eyes Only, James” was published in the November 2006 issue of Tatler: it tells the tale of a weekend that Bond and Moneypenny spent at Royale-les-Eaux in 1956.

The action in Secret Servant: The Moneypenny Diaries, published in 2006, takes place around the time of The Man with the Golden Gun when the Secret Service is in chaos, with one senior official on trial for treason, another having defected to Moscow and Bond having been brainwashed by the Soviets.

The Spectator published the short story “Moneypenny’s First Date with Bond” on 11 November 2006, telling the tale of Bond and Moneypenny’s first meeting.

The Moneypenny Diaries: Final Fling, published in 2008, covers Moneypenny and Westbrook’s efforts to get the diaries published in the face of official opposition.

In 2008, award-winning British author Sebastian Faulks – “writing as Ian Fleming” – produced Devil May Care to mark the centenary of Fleming’s birth. It is set in the 1960s with the Cold War at its height. Bond is assigned to investigate pharmaceutical magnate Dr Julius Gorner, who has a chip on his shoulder about his deformed hand, and his sinister bodyguard, Chagrin. Bond is warned that his performance is being monitored and a new double-O agent is waiting to take his place. It transpires that Gorner is flooding Europe with cheap drugs and plans to launch a two-pronged terrorist attack on the Soviet Union, whose retaliation will destroy the UK. The attack is to be made using both the stolen British airliner and an ekranoplan, a ground-effect plane. Bond is assisted by Scarlett Papava, who says her twin sister is under Gorner’s thrall.

Bond is eventually captured by Gorner, who explains that Bond is to fly the captured airliner into the Russian heartland. However, with the aid of the pilot and Scarlett, who is hiding on board, Bond regains control of the airliner and crashes it into a mountainside after parachuting to safety. The second attack is foiled by an airstrike. Bond then disposes of Gorner. The new double O waiting in the wings to take over if things had gone wrong turns out to be Scarlett Papava herself. The story about her twin sister was only an excuse for her to accompany Bond. He would not have taken her if he had known she was a trainee double O. As it is, she is happy to become a Bond girl.

Then Ian Fleming Publications commissioned American thriller writer Jeffery Deaver to pen a new James Bond book, which was published on Fleming’s birthday, 28 May, in 2011. Deaver is very definitely not “writing as Ian Fleming”. Instead, he has been called in to give 007 a makeover. In Carte Blanche, Bond is still thirty-something, but a veteran of Afghanistan, not World War II.

He looks much the same: “His black hair was parted on one side and a comma of loose strands fell over one eye. A three-inch scar ran down his right cheek.” But Bond now lives in a world of BBC Radio 4, Boots, Waitrose, Asda and pubs in Canning Town where the Police, Jeff Beck and Depeche Mode used to play. Deaver, an American, has made Bond rather more parochial. He used to be transatlantic.

While he keeps his 00 status, Bond now works for the Overseas Development Group – a new version of the wartime Special Operation Executive – not the SIS. After leaving the Royal Navy Reserve and a stint in Defence Intelligence, Bond was recruited into the ODG by a man known only as the “Admiral” over lunch at the Travellers Club. This is M, whose first name we are later informed is Miles. He has a secretary named Moneypenny and a Chief of Staff named Bill Tanner. An updated René Mathis and Felix Leiter, now with all his limbs back, also put in an appearance.

Bond is still a conservative, though stylish, dresser with “a navy-blue suit, a white sea island shirt and a burgundy Grenadine tie, the latter items from Turnbull & Asser”. He wears black slip-on shoes – “he never wore laces, except for combat footwear or when tradecraft required him to send silent messages to a fellow agent via prearranged loopings”. On his wrist, as ever, is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual, and under his armpit a Walther. Otherwise, Bond lives in a land of laptops. He is surrounded by a bewildering array of new gadgets, including an iPhone – or rather, an iQPhone – with an app that does iris scans. These are supplied by the head of ODG’s Q Branch, Sanu Hirani.

Bond 2011 no longer smokes, but he still drinks and has come up with a new cocktail which comprises a double shot of Crown Royal whisky, a half-measure of triple sec, two dashes of bitters and a twist of orange peel. He eats plain food in upmarket restaurants, washed down with copious amounts of wine – though his days of drinking “significant quantities of Lillet and Louis Roederer” seem to be over. In England he drives a grey Bentley Continental GT, but develops a sneaking affection for the Subaru Impreza WRX – the STI model with a turbocharged 305-horsepower engine, six gears and spoiler – which he is given when he goes undercover.

When it comes to women, Bond has obviously mended his ways. Mary Goodnight has reverted to being his secretary, but he no longer flirts with her. He manages to resist the blandishments of MI6 analysts Ophelia “Philly” Maidenstone, who has temporarily broken up from her fiancé. Indeed, he manages to hold back until page 259, when he finally succumbs to charity fund-raiser Felicity Willing, though she had another agenda.

The villain, Severan Hydt, has a girlfriend named Jessica Barnes. A former beauty queen, she is now in her mid-sixties – and Hydt is into death and decay. Understandably, Bond does not even try to seduce her, while his contact in the South African Police Service Bheka Jordaan parries his every attempt at flirtation.

Hydt's aim is to take over the world by recycling – or a least, recycling the information he has gleaned from document shredders and the hard drives from decommissioned computers. He has a suitable lair in the midst of a huge garbage tip and a sociopathic sidekick called Niall Dunne. Bond beats them in the end, of course.

Deaver abandons what he calls Fleming’s “one-foot-in-front-of-the-other storytelling” for his own “fast-paced, twisty-turny” style. But we do discover what really happened to Bond’s parents. It wasn’t a mountaineering accident or a suicide. They were killed by the Russians because Bond’s mother was a spy.

Pre-production work was suspended on the twenty-third Bond film when MGM ran into financial difficulties. However shooting began in the autumn of 2011 with Daniel Craig as James Bond and Judi Dench as M.

Further Reading

Alligator by I*n Fl*m*ng, The Harvard Lampoon, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1962

The Blofeld Trilogy by Ian Fleming, Penguin Books, London, 2009

The Bluffer’s Guide to Bond by Mark Mason, Oval, London, 2006

The Bond Affair edited by Oreste del Buono, Umberto Eco, MacDonald & Co., London, 1966

The Bond Files by Andy Lane and Paul Simpson, Virgin, London, 2002

Bond Girls Are Forever by Maryam d’Abo, Boxtree, London, 2003

Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker by Ian Fleming, Penguin Books, London, 2002

Colonel Sun by Robert Markham, Jonathan Cape, London, 1968

The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin, Contemporary Books, Chicago, Illinois, 2003

Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier by Charlie Higson, Puffin, London, 2009

Death Rays, Jet Packs, Stunts and Supercars: The Fantastic Physics of Film’s Most Celebrated Secret Agent by Barry R. Parker, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 2005

Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, Penguin Books, London, 2009

Diamonds Are Forever by Ian Fleming, Penguin Books, London, 2004

The Diamond Smugglers by Ian Fleming, Jonathan Cape, London, 1957

Doctor John Dee or The Original 007 by Robin Brumby, Dacorum College, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, 1977

The Essential Bond by Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall, Boxtree, London, 2000

The Facts of Death by Raymond Benson, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1998

For Special Services by John Gardner, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1982

For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond by Ben Macintyre, Bloomsbury, London, 2008

From Russia With Love; Dr No & Goldfinger by Ian Fleming, Penguin Books, London, 2002

Goldfinger by Ian Fleming, Penguin Books, London, 2002

High Time to Kill by Raymond Benson, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1999

Ian Fleming by Andrew Lycett, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1995

Ian Fleming and James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007 edited by Edward P. Comentale, et al., Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2005

Ian Fleming Introduces Jamaica edited by Morris Cargill, André Deutsch, London, 1965

Ian Fleming: The Man with the Golden Pen by Richard Grant, Mayflower Books, London, 1966

The James Bond Bedside Companion by Raymond Benson, Boxtree, London, 1988

The James Bond Dossier by Kingsley Amis, Jonathan Cape, London, 1965

James Bond: The Authorised Biography by John Pearson, Century, London, 2006

James Bond: The Man and His World by Henry Chancellor, John Murray, London, 2005

John Dee: Scientist, Geographer, Astrologer and Secret Agent to Elizabeth I by Richard Deacon, Frederick Muller, London, 1968

Licence Renewed by John Gardner, Jonathan Cape, London, 1982

The Life Line by Phyllis Bottome, Little, Brown & Co., Boston, 1946

The Life of Ian Fleming by John Pearson, Jonathan Cape, London, 1966

The Man Who Saved Britain by Simon Winder, Picador, London, 2006

The Man Who Was “Q”: The Life of Charles Fraser-Smith by David Porter, Paternoster Press, Exeter, 1989

The Man with the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming, Penguin Books, London, 2002

The Man with the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming, Jim Lawrence and Yaroslav Horak, Titan Books, London, 2004

Martinis, Girls and Guns by Martin Sterling, Robson, London, 2003

No Deals, Mr Bond by John Gardner, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1987

Octopussy by Ian Fleming, Jim Lawrence and Yaroslav Horak, Titan Books, London, 2004

One Girl’s War by Joan Miller, Brandon Book Publishers, Dingle, Co. Kerry, 1986

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming, Henry Gammidge and John McLusky, Titan Books, London, 2004

The Paradise Plot by Ian Fleming, Jim Lawrence, John McLusky and Yaroslav Horak, Titan Books, London, 2008

Polestar by Ian Fleming, Jim Lawrence and John McLusky, Titan Books, London, 2008

Public Faces by Harold Nicolson, Constable, London, 1932

Q, The Biography of Desmond Llewelyn by Sandy Hernu, S.B. Publications, Seaford, East Sussex, 2000

Quantum of Solace: The Complete James Bond Short Stories by Ian Fleming, London 2002

The Science of James Bond by Lois H. Gresh, Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2006

Secret Agents edited by Jeremy Packer, Peter Lang, Oxford, 2009

The Secret War of Charles Fraser-Smith by Charles Fraser-Smith with Gerald McKnight and Sandy Lesberg, Michael Joseph, London, 1981

Secret Warriors: Hidden Heroes of MI6, OSS, MI9, SOE and SAS by Charles Fraser-Smith with Kevin Logan, Paternoster, Exeter, 1984

Shark Bait by Ian Fleming, Jim Lawrence, Yaroslav Horak and Harry North, Titan Books, London, 2008

Silverfin by Charlie Higson, Puffin, London, 2005

The Sixth Column by Peter Fleming, Hart-Davis, London, 1951

The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming, Penguin Books, London, 2002

The Spy Who Loved Me by Ian Fleming, Jim Lawrence and Yaroslav Horak, Titan Books, London, 2005

The Third Hour by Geoffrey House, Chatto & Windus, London, 1937

Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn, Duckworth & Co., London, 1907

Thrilling Cities by Ian Fleming, Jonathan Cape, London, 1963

Tomorrow Never Dies by Raymond Benson, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1997

The Traveller’s Tree: A Journey through the Caribbean Islands by Patrick Leigh Fermor, John Murray, London, 1950

Win, Lose or Die by John Gardner, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1989

You Only Live Once: Memories of Ian Fleming by Ivar Bryce, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1984

17F: The Life of Ian Fleming by Donald McCormick, Peter Owen, London, 1993

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