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DECLAN SHALVEY talks JAMES BOND: M one-shot, on sale in FEBRUARY!

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  • DECLAN SHALVEY talks JAMES BOND: M one-shot, on sale in FEBRUARY!

    DECLAN SHALVEY talks JAMES BOND: M one-shot, on sale in FEBRUARY from Dynamite!

    BYRON BREWER: No doubt about it: The comics world (and readers!) has been enjoying some quality material since Dynamite acquired the license to do books featuring Ian Fleming’s 007. We’ve seen a Moneypenny solo, and now here comes M. Declan, how does it feel to be a part of such an iconic franchise’s legacy?

    DECLAN SHALVEY: Ah, it’s pretty intimidating to be honest! I love Warren and Jason’s run on Bond, and the various one shots have been excellent, especially the most recent one by Ibrahim. All I can do is try to tell an entertaining story that adds something interesting to the Bond mythos, then hope for the best!

    BB: We’ve seen a basic M since Dynamite’s first Fleming story by Warren Ellis. But this tale seems much more personal. Tell us about your iteration of M. Who is he as a character?

    DS: I see M as a man who understands the responsibilities that come with his job. The world is filled with chaos and M demands control. He is a character that has tempered over time, yet expects nothing but the best from his agent. He comes from an old-school army tradition, where professionalism is paramount.

    BB: What can you tell us about the storyline for this one-shot featuring Bond’s boss?

    DS: M receives a mysterious message of sorts that brings him back to Belfast. M was stationed there many years ago during his army days and upon his return, find a city very much changed. The same ghosts still count it though, so M must settle old scores and make good on a decades-long promise.

    BB: Some writers love to work with side/supporting characters, others have difficulty, and especially if they are part of a franchise as iconic as Bond. What were the challenges and/or delights of working with this character, adding some depth to his story?

    DS: The advantage with M was that he’s an older character so I had more opportunity to consider past events to mine for story. As a result, M is linked to more old-style espionage and cerebral thinking. The down side was that James Bond stories are synonymous with large set pieces and action scenes, which would directly contradict the type of character that M is. That’s forced me to lean back a little, and tell a more old fashioned spy tale that’s fractured by two different time periods.

    BB: Any other Bond regulars in the book?

    DS: M is very much on an unauthorized solo mission, but we do see Moneypenny feature in a couple of scenes.

    BB: What if anything (even in a non-spoilery manner) can you tell us about the big-bad? No Bond book – even an M one-shot – should be without a brain-busting foe!

    DS: That’s hard to say without giving anything away… there are some past and present politics that come in to play. In a weird way M himself is the big bad but really, as I was suggesting above, a story about M requires more subtlety that a cartoonish villain.

    BB: Declan, talk about the art of PJ Holden & Dearbhla Kelly … especially since you yourself are an artist! (I believe you did a cover for #1?)

    DS: Indeed, I provided the cover for #1 which was a treat. On writing this, I haven’t seen Dearbhla’s colors yet, but I’m especially happy to see her attached as she preciously did an internship in a studio I co-founded. I’ve seen Dearbhla develop her skills over the past few years so it’s such a delight to work with her professionally.

    PJ is an artist I’ve been a huge fan of for years. In fact, he was the first artist to ever give me a portfolio review when I was starting out, so it’s such an honor to work with him on this one-shot. PJ is, simply put, a master storyteller. PJ breathes story onto the page and has such command over so many techniques. It’s a joy to watch him take my script and change it into these wonderful drawings.