Jim Lawrence, John McLusky & Yaroslav Horak - James Bond 007: Polestar
Amidst the furious modernism of Daniel Craig’s James Bond incarnation, it’s becoming easier to forget just what a retro thrill the character was for so many years. This collection celebrates a vision of the character from the most sadly outmoded of comic book media, the newspaper serial, which ran from ‘58 until ‘77 in the Daily Express (and latterly the Sunday Express), then returned in the Daily Star from ‘81 to ‘83. Polestar features the last two Star stories, and three serials which were only syndicated outside the UK.
Given their vintage, these tales are (mostly) endearingly time-locked. Fortunately the classic spirit of Connery is invoked more than the cartoonishness of Moore, but there are also sections of gratuitous female nudity and almost subliminal sexism, while Bond more amusingly often goes about his business with a fag hanging from his lips. Where the jagged monochrome art is suitably pulpy, though, the pacing of each two or three-panel installment doesn’t quite lend itself to collected reading.