Dynamite Entertainment announce that one of the most famous supporting characters in the James Bond franchise, M, will be getting their very own one-shot comic next year. In one iteration or another, 007 has been thrilling audiences in the cinematic and literary worlds for over half a century and is still going strong, with Bond's most recent cinematic outing, 2015's Spectre, grossing over $880 million across the world. A 25th film is currently in the works and actor Daniel Craig has been confirmed as returning to the title role.
One of the most popular figures in the James Bond franchise is that of 007's MI6 superior, M. The role has been played on screen by a variety of actors including Bernard Lee and Judi Dench and is currently portrayed by Ralph Fiennes. Despite appearing frequently in Bond stories throughout the years, M is typically presented as a no-nonsense authority figure whose sole narrative purpose is to send Bond headfirst into danger and provide exposition to the audience, so much so that the role was famously lampooned in Austin Powers with the character Basil Exposition.
It has now been announced that M will be the primary focus of a new James Bond one-shot comic from Dynamite Entertainment. The company confirmed that the comic will be written by Declan Shalvey (Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan) and drawn by artist PJ Holden (2000 AD, Judge Dredd) and is set for release in February 2018. The 40-page story promises to explore M's time as a regular field agent and the official synopsis reads:
"James Bond's superior, code-named M, scrambles MI6's secret agents across the globe. Sometimes, he knowingly sends them to their deaths, for the greater good. But a traumatic event from M's early days in the field returns to haunt him, forcing M to return to Belfast, the scene of a crime…HIS crime."
This isn't the first occasion 007 has ventured into the world of comic books; Dynamite Entertainment has already released a number of Bond comic titles to critical acclaim including Vargr and Hammerhead. The company has also produced spinoffs for other supporting characters such as CIA agent Felix Leiter and as such, it would appear that James Bond: M is in very safe hands. While the M position is a code-name rather than any one character (as many suspect "James Bond" also is), the comic will likely focus on the M present in Dynamite's previous James Bond titles, a man appropriately named Miles Messervy.
James Bond fans only familiar with the movies (i.e. most of them) may be somewhat disappointed that the M spinoff comic won't be delving into the backstory of one of the on-screen versions of the character. Dench gave arguably the most rounded and developed cinematic version of M to date and many fans might have liked to see part of her history as a field agent for MI6.
With that said, the Dynamite series of James Bond comics has worked hard to create its own set of stories and provide a fresh take on classic characters and continues to attract interest. As one of the most enigmatic figures in Ian Fleming's creation, James Bond: M has the potential to be one of their best yet.
James Bond: M is set for release in February 2018.
Source: Dynamite Entertainment