Sunday Review: The James Bond Omnibus Volume 004

Bond is back… Twice!

Skyfall comes to the States this weekend and by all accounts it is considered to be one of the best Bonds ever. Two out of three for Daniel Craig isn’t so bad. I thought Quantum Of Solace was pretty lame.

By the time this review is posted I hope to have seen the movie. I plan on taking my 12-year-old Patrick. It will be his first Bond adventure on the big screen. We’ve sat down and watched a few movies together but there is nothing like watching Bond in the theater. I can still remember my dad taking me to For Your Eyes Only which is considered one of the better movies of the franchise. The ski chase, hockey fight and the mounian climb still gets my blood pumping. And how can you not love Bond kicking Locke’s car over the cliff? Exhilarating!

But as my first sentence suggests Bond is back twice: Skyfall and the The James Bond Omnibus Volume 004 from Titan Books. If you are not familiar, this is the reprint of the comic strip which ran on and off from 1958-1983. A total of 52 story arcs were published and includes all the major works by Bond creator Ian Fleming.

This Volume 004, as it is appropriately, titled collects the following with art by Yaroslav Horak and original scripts by Jim Lawrence that ran in the Daily Express:

Title Writer Date Serial no.
Trouble Spot Jim Lawrence December 28, 1971 – June 10, 1972 1810–1951
Isle Of Condors Jim Lawrence June 12, 1972 – October 21, 1972 1952–2065
The League Of Vampires Jim Lawrence October 25, 1972 – February 28, 1973 2066–2172
Die With My Boots On Jim Lawrence March 1, 1973 – June 18, 1973 2173–2256
The Girl Machine Jim Lawrence June 19, 1973 – December 3, 1973 2257–2407
Beware Of Butterflies Jim Lawrence December 4, 1973 – May 11, 1974 2408–2541
The Nevsky Nude Jim Lawrence May 13, 1974 – September 21, 1974 2542–2655
The Phoenix Project Jim Lawrence September 23, 1974 – February 18, 1975 2656–2780
The Black Ruby Caper Jim Lawrence February 19, 1975 – July 15, 1975 2781–2897

As for the book itself, it is Volume 004 and I fully expect there will be three more rounding out to a Volume 7 or 007. Sadly, there is no introduction, extra features or bios of Horak and Lawrence. There is however, this disclaimer:

Much of his comic strip source material used by Titan Books in this edition is exceedingly rare. As such, we hope that readers can appreciate that the quality of reproduction achievable can vary.

I attest that the reproduction is excellent and and reader will be happy with the outcome.

So if you are going to see James Bond for the 23rd time at the movies or your first, pick up these collections and read him again for the first time.

The James Bond Omnibus Volume 004
Based on the character created by Ian Fleming
Written by Jim Lawrence
Art by Yaroslav Horak
Softcover, Black and White newspaper strip
288 pages, $19.99, October 2012, Titan Books
A copy was supplied to me by Titan Books

Recommended reading:
The James Bond Omnibus Volume 001
The James Bond Omnibus Volume 002
The James Bond Omnibus Volume 003

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