By Ian Fleming, Henry Gammidge & John McLusky (Titan Books)
The Dr No edition begins with an adaptation of Diamonds are Forever, which pits the Bond against an insidious gang of diamond smuggling criminals, in an explosive all-action romp before directly segueing into the tense, low-key thriller From Russia With Love, both courtesy of Gammidge and McLusky. The artist hits a creative peak with Dr No itself, scripted by Peter O’Donnell – before he created the amazing Modesty Blaise – as Bond returns to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of two operatives and stumbles upon a plot to sabotage the American rocketry program.
These stories come from an age at once less jaded but more worldly; a place and time where the readers lived daily with the very real threat of instant annihilation. As such, the easy approachability of the material is a credit to the creators.
These volumes are a must for not only aficionados of Bond but for all thriller fans, as an example of terse gripping adventure uncluttered by superficial razzamatazz. Get back to basics, and remember that classic style never goes out of fashion.
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