Freeze Frame

Story adapted by Caryn Jenner 
Illustrations: Arkadia
Publisher: Buzz Books
Published: 1993

James Bond Jr is the nephew of secret agent James Bond 007, and he featured in an animated television series in the early 1990s. Freeze Frame is based on Weather or Not, which is the fiftieth episode (of sixty-five) from the series.

As the story begins, it now seems that the villainous Goldfinger and Odd Job are now operatives of an evil organisation called S.C.U.M. (Saboteurs and Criminals United in Mayhem). By controlling a weather satellite, Goldfinger causes a freakish snow storm over the bank of London. This enables Odd Job, and a S.C.U.M. minion to rob an armoured car outside, and escape with large sacks with loot.

After the successful heist, Goldfinger sets his sights on the Crown Jewells. Of course, James Bond Jr. realises that something fishy is going on and choses to investigate. Assisted by some gadgets from I.Q. (Grandson of ‘Q’), Bond goes to the Weather Centre and confronts Goldfinger and Odd Job.

I must admit, I cannot get over the way the James Bond Jr series depicts Odd Job. They dress him in loud tracksuits, and have him wear a heavy thick gold chain and medallion, with the initials O.J. inscribed on it, around his neck. He looks more like a gangster rapper, like Run DMC, than a Korean manservant. Other characters from the official EON series are also modified in their animated form.

Buzz Books are aimed at very young children, and the stories are short – the book itself is only 28 pages – and I run the risk here of using more words for this review, than are contained in the actual book.

The illustrations are crisp and colourful and in keeping with the style established in the televison series. But compared to comic book art, the illustrations are stiff and tight with very little energy of movement to them.

Maybe more were released at a later date, but initially there were four James Bond Jr books in this series, being: – Tunnel of Doom, Barbella’s Revenge, Freeze Frame and Dangerous Games.

James Bond Jr is an interesting aside to the Bond universe, but I don’t think the television series is essential viewing for Bond fans. And the Buzz Books, well they are so thin, they are even further down the chain.

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