Phillip Kennedy Johnson discusses his tackle James Bond in 007

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Many have taken on the duty of writing James Bond. He’s an iconic spy who has seen his fill of motion and journey. And let’s not overlook his colourful love life. 

This summer season Dynamite is releasing one other installment in Bond’s historical past with 007. With artwork by Marco Finnegan and covers from Tommy Lee Edwards, Marc Aspinall, Marc Laming, and Soo Lee, author Phillip Kennedy Johnson is on the helm of the brand new collection. Johnson chatted with The Beat about including his contact to the MI6 agent.

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Deanna Destito:  How has it been taking up the enduring 007 character and bringing your personal spin to Bond?

Phillip Kennedy Johnson: It’s been an enormous honor and a very enjoyable problem. Each Bond story has to incorporate all of the acquainted parts that make it a Bond story: the automobile, the devices, the Bond lady, the scary-but-theatrical villain. However there’s additionally a accountability to not simply do all the identical stuff that everybody has been doing for generations. We needed to give the lifelong Bond followers the issues they hold coming again for whereas additionally bringing new parts to carry their curiosity, hold them engaged and get them excited to see what occurs subsequent. We’re doing that with some new characters that I’m excited to introduce, and a renewed emphasis on espionage and deception that we don’t usually see from Bond. We all know he’s a spy in concept, however we nearly all the time see him flexing his “particular agent” muscle tissue, the murderer who doesn’t thoughts making plenty of noise. I wished to point out audiences Bond the superspy for a change.

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Destito: This mission is extra private for Bond. How does that have an effect on how he handles it?

Johnson: Yeah, he’s extra emotionally invested on this one. The occasions that occur within the first problem go away Bond about as wounded and offended as we’ve ever seen him, and he’s hellbent on discovering solutions and getting revenge for what’s been taken from him and from MI6. That’s after I like Bond greatest, truthfully… when he’s much less indifferent and extra personally invested. In these moments he appears not solely extra aggressive, however extra intelligent and calculating as effectively. 

Destito: Gwen Gann is a badass in her personal proper, having been an agent as effectively. However she does have a historical past with 007 in a private sense. What prompted this new sort of “Bond Lady”?

Johnson: I believe one of the necessary parts to James Bond tales is that they’re time capsules, every one very a lot of its time and place. A difficult a part of writing a Bond story is to be true to the unique character first launched in 1953, whereas updating his attitudes and habits to replicate the story’s setting, on this case current day. Above all, the character of Bond’s relationship with the feminine lead and her function within the story is a component that’s essential to get proper. 

There’s a line from a Bond novel that caught in my mind on the time, and naturally now I can’t keep in mind the precise phrase… “she was ten years Bond’s junior, and 5 years too previous” or one thing like that. That line represents basic Bond tremendous effectively, however as I used to be fleshing out the solid for this story, I saved coming again to the concept of a Bond lady who was as attractive as ever, but in addition barely older than Bond… a double-O herself, as bad-ass as she is gorgeous, with a profession as storied as Bond’s. That concept actually crystallized in my thoughts, and the character of Gwendolyn Gann type of wrote herself after that. 

Destito: How is it working with the remainder of the artistic staff and bringing this chapter in Bond’s story to life

Johnson: Marco Finnegan was an unimaginable discover by our editor, Nate Cosby. Marco’s one of the versatile artists I’ve ever labored with, he fully adapts his model to the story he’s engaged on. As a collaborator, you’ll be able to’t ask for greater than that. Colorist Dearbhla Kelly is already well-known at Dynamite, having labored on Crimson Sonja earlier than this, and she or he’s doing her greatest work thus far on this e book, giving it a really Matt Hollingsworth sort of really feel. I’m loving how the e book appears to be like; it belongs on the shelf with a number of the coolest entries within the collection. 

Destito: How a lot has your personal navy background influenced the narrative, particularly since 007 has frolicked within the navy himself?

Johnson: My expertise within the navy influenced two key parts of the story of 007. First, the explanations Bond signed up for his line of labor within the first place, which he’s pressured to discover as his loyalties are examined; and second, within the nature of the enemies Bond will face. With out spoiling an excessive amount of, the story is concerning the risks that come up when firms, protection contractors, and different industrial entities play more and more energetic roles in espionage and warfare between nations. It’s not like warfare may ever be an excellent factor, however I discover the concept wars could possibly be pushed from the shadows by personal corporations fairly terrifying.

Destito: What can previous and new followers of the franchise count on?

Johnson: Bond followers can count on to see the Bond they know and love, the unstoppable particular agent who simply bleeds cool with each phrase and motion. BUT, they’ll additionally count on to see him in conditions they’re not used to seeing him: betrayed and offended, pressured to make use of not simply his abilities as an murderer, however as a spy within the shadows, looking for revenge whilst he questions his personal loyalties. As Bond followers ourselves, the entire artistic staff is honored and insanely excited so as to add this story to the 007 mythos. I promise, you gained’t be disenchanted.

Search for 007 #1 in August!

 

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