The newspaper strips in this handsome British import deserve reprinting in themselves, besides demonstrating Bond's continuing potency as a cultural icon. After running out of novels to adapt into comics, the Daily Express had its crew of writer Lawrence and artist Horak create original adventures. The four tales gathered here, originally published in 1971-1973, offer solid storytelling and above-average art that was much more detailed than anyone who saw the strips on cheap newsprint could have imagined. They look good, and "Isle of Condors" and "The League of Vampires" are as loopily entertaining as recent films in the series. To be sure, Bond is a lesser strip than its quirkily original contemporary rival Modesty Blaise. Bond himself isn't so much a distinctive character as a container into which male readers can pour their fantasies. However, Lawrence's scripts efficiently set up the reliable mix of over-the-top villains, underclothed damsels in distress and clever-looking puzzles for suave, hypercompetent Agent 007 to solve. Horak's art presents baddies, babes and Bond with a sophisticated, brisk style that is a pleasure to read. The formula works, and this lovingly produced album shows how much fun vintage Bond still can be. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.