Interview: Jeff Parker on Dynamite’s James Bond Origin

James Bond Origin #1 John Cassaday cover

James Bond Origin #1 John Cassaday cover


Jeff Parker is the popular writer of such comics as Future Quest, Batman ’66, Thunderbolts, and Agents of Atlas. Now he turns his attention to one of the most popular secret agents ever in James Bond Origin with artist Bob Q. Parker shares more about this thrilling series with Westfield’s Roger Ash.

Westfield: How much of James Bond Origin comes from Ian Fleming’s stories and how much comes from you and history?

Jeff Parker: I try to stay very close to actual history and WW2 offers plenty of opportunity for missions that can be crucial yet unknown compared to the massive context of the war. The Ian Fleming Estate make sure I navigate by key landmarks that Fleming mentioned in the novels, but that still leaves me a lot of room to imagine how Bond’s early years unfold.

James Bond Origin #1 Bob Q cover

James Bond Origin #1 Bob Q cover


Westfield: How much research did you do for the series?

Parker: I’m still doing a lot, my view of WW2 has always been mostly through the lens of America’s involvement and now I’m absorbing the rest of Europe’s perspective, mostly Britain’s of course. But James will also go into neutral countries and you get to see how things work in Portugal for example. While James does have an early form of secret service training, his real education is the war itself.

James Bond Origin #1 David Mack Cover

James Bond Origin #1 David Mack Cover


Westfield: What challenges did you encounter while putting the story together?

Parker: It’s hard to find picture reference for a lot of the settings- certain warships of the time, submarines— I don’t like to establish that stuff and then expect Bob to find it all in addition to how much he has to draw.

James Bond Origin #2 John Cassaday cover

James Bond Origin #2 John Cassaday cover


Westfield: How is the 17 year old Bond different from the character we know?

Parker: He’s not worldly-wise and suave yet. He doesn’t have that towering confidence that gets him through any door yet. But he does already have the ferocious tenacity where he won’t let setbacks derail him. He thinks fast and keeps moving until he reaches his goal, which is maybe the core trait of James Bond. It’s an interesting challenge to present a hero who is recognizably the character you think of as James Bond with barely any of the trappings of a Double-0 status, trademark guns and cocktail, all of that. And we do not use this as a chance to introduce those things. You will not find out why James likes vodka martinis shaken, at least not at this point.

James Bond Origin #2 Bob Q cover

James Bond Origin #2 Bob Q cover


Westfield: You’re working with artist Bob Q on the book. What can you say about your collaboration?

Parker: We are really clicking, I feel. Bob is crazy talented, and that’s good because this is a project that requires his level of art power. The most important thing is how much personality he gives James, and yet you completely accept that this is Bond as a young man, but when he didn’t keep his cards so close to his vest. Bob is giving you another way to approach and like a hero who’s been around sixty some years. I lucked out in this collaboration.

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