The Asian nemesis now has "passion, heart, humor, sex appeal, cockiness and maybe even a touch of pathos"
James Bond villain Oddjob has been reinvented into a sexy Korean secret agent.
As reported by IGN, James Bond villain Oddjob has been turned into a sexy Korean secret agent. The character’s reinvention will feature in Dark Horse Comics and Dynamite Entertainment’s upcoming series ‘James Bond 007’.
Writer Greg Pak said he updated the character to be more of an equal to James Bond.
“In the Goldfinger novel, he’s a Korean assassin with a sweet bowler hat who’s the most physically dangerous opponent Bond has ever faced. That’s what I wanted to keep,” Pak told IGN. “What I wanted to add is passion and heart and humor and sex appeal and cockiness and maybe even a touch of pathos.”
“He’s our Bond’s greatest rival, both physically and, on a subtle level, emotionally. He challenges everything Bond thinks about the right way to move through the world, and vice versa.”
The Asian henchman was played by Japanese-American actor and professional wrestler Harold Sakata in the 1964 film adaptation of Goldfinger.
Character designer Ibraham Moustafa and series artist Marc Laming moved away from Oddjob’s stocky and stumpy build to more of a sex symbol.
Pak said he wanted Oddjob to be “pretty hot” and to “have charm to burn, so we get invested and feel his story in our heart and guts.”
The comic book writer, whose father is Korean American, said he was inspired by Maxine Hong Kingston’s quote about Oddjob: “a face as big as Oddjob’s should star on the Cinerama screen for the audience to fall in love with, for girls to kiss, for the nation to cherish, for me to learn how to hold my face. Take seven pictures of a face, take twelve, twenty of any face, hold it up there, you will fall in love with it.”
Discussing the quote that appeared in Kingston’s book Tripmaster Monkey, Pak said, “that quote meant a lot to me as a filmmaker who cast a lot of Asian American actors and a writer who’s made a point of creating characters of all backgrounds. I believe it in my bones — if you put someone’s face up there on the big screen or the comic book page as a hero, the audience can fall in love in seconds.”
“So it’s a wonderful thing to get the chance to apply that idea to this new Oddjob in an actual James Bond comic book. Our new man is just as dangerous and lethal as the original, but we’re getting the chance to dig into his story, to see things from his perspective, and to explore him in all ways as the co-star of the series.”
“He’s a fantastic foil for Bond — cocky and passionate and unpredictable. He might end up as Bond’s greatest ally — or most deadly opponent. They get under each other’s skin and drive each other crazy and it’s a blast writing them.”
James Bond 007 #1 is released today, 7 November. The comic will see James Bond and Oddjob searching for a man with a dangerous case. Oddjob will challenge Bond’s idea.s
“Deep down, it’s about the rivalry and different world views of Bond and John Lee, our new Oddjob. Which means it’s about professionalism versus passion,” Pak said. “I can’t say too much more without spoiling the story, but under the surface, we’re grappling with huge questions about how we pick our missions and what the right thing is to do in an almost impossibly complicated world.”