James Bond is dead! Or so his employers at MI5 believe...
until he mysteriously returns, brainwashed by the KGB, and
attempts to assassinate M. With his conditioning removed,
Bond has only one shot at redemption: a suicide mission against
the deadliest assassin of them all, Francisco Scaramanga,
"The Man with the Golden Gun"...
is the first in a series of reprints of the classic James
Bond syndicated newspaper strip, which began in the Daily
Express way back in 1958.
Man with the Golden Gun, which first appeared in comic
strip form in 1966, may seem like a strange place to start,
especially since it picks up from the end of the previous
story, You Only Live Twice, with an amnesiac Bond,
missing presumed dead, heading for Russia. However, Golden
Gun, which marked the start of the strip's third series,
is in many ways where things began to get really interesting.
sees the debut of a new writer, Jim Lawrence, who, unlike
his predecessor Henry Gammidge, was not averse to "tinkering"
with Ian Fleming's plots. This is a good thing in this case
because the original novel, barely completed before Fleming's
death, is one of the author's weakest. Its plot rehashed the
Caribbean location of Live and Let Die and Dr No,
and the hoods' convention from Goldfinger, with a little
bit of Live and Let Die's voodoo thrown in. The eponymous
villain is little more than a vicious hoodlum, a far cry from
criminal masterminds such as Dr No, Goldfinger or Blofeld,
or even the suave anti-Bond played by Christopher Lee in the
augments the narrative with a new sub-plot, in which the recuperating
Bond meets an old friend, a crippled victim of Scaramanga's
sadism. This provides 007 with an additional motivation for
taking on the villain.
strip is also the first to be drawn by artist Yaroslav Horak.
His very detailed, slightly exaggerated line work, together
with his dynamic range of close-ups and action shots ensure
that his work stands the test of time better than that of
his predecessor, John McLusky.
Interestingly, just as the movie producers developed a tradition
of not immediately revealing the face of any new actor playing
007, Lawrence and Horak keep their "new" face of Bond hidden
until the eighth panel.
A melancholy Bond faces another sharpshooter: a KGB sniper,
from whom 007 must protect a double agent as he crosses the
volume also contains an introduction by Ian Fleming's niece,
Lucy, background notes by Bond historian Paul Simpson, a handy
checklist of syndicated James Bond strips, and Lawrence
and Horak's adaptation of the short story The Living Daylights.
the movie version of Golden Gun, which contained few
similarities to the novel of the same name (apart from certain
character names and the occasional line of dialogue, such
as the phrase: "tight in all the right places"), the 1987
Daylights film contained a very faithful
translation of the short story, and the rest of its plot was
built around that. Working along similar lines, Lawrence takes
the original story as his starting point, and adds details
to the backstories of double agent 272 and the KGB sniper
Trigger. However, as Paul Simpson notes, this strip, in which
Bond is feeling bored and insubordinate, would have fitted
in better between Thunderball and On
Her Majesty's Secret Service, during Bond's
long and fruitless search for Blofeld (reflecting the publication
date of the original story), than after The Man with the
Golden Gun, when 007 would presumably have a strong desire
to take revenge on the Russians.
is Titan's choice of image to illustrate the Living Daylights
chapter opener very sensible. Admittedly, most Bond fans will
already know the identity of Trigger (no, it's not that bloke
from Only Fools and Horses), but this image will spoil
it for anyone who doesn't.
Despite such imperfections, this is a fantastic collection,
and hopefully Titan intends to reprint every strip on its
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
deal! Click on the logo of the desired store
below to purchase this item.
All prices correct at time of going to press.