Having foiled a gambling scam by the millionaire Auric Goldfinger,
James Bond is coincidentally assigned to investigate the same
man's suspected gold-smuggling activities. In Chicago, they
have a saying: "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence.
The third time it's enemy action."...
fourth volume of James Bond newspaper strips steps
back even farther in time than the last one: back to Goldfinger
and the short stories Risico, From a View to a Kill,
For Your Eyes Only and Thunderball. There doesn't
seem to be much rhyme or reason to the order of the release
schedule. However, I see that the next volume is due to go
right back to the beginning, with Casino Royale, which
will hopefully herald a chronological sequence.
back to Goldfinger. As usual, Henry Gammidge's script
adheres closely to Ian Fleming's original novel. Indeed, all
its implausibility has been left intact. The movie version
of Goldfinger is unique in being more, rather than
less, plausible than the novel which inspired it, because
it overcomes the coincidental nature of Bond's first meeting
with the villain, and the fact that it would have been practically
impossible for Goldfinger's team to have transported the sheer
weight of all the gold in Fort Knox.
strip adaptation does seem a bit tame in places, though. Jill
Masterson's gold-plated demise is absent. Instead her death
is reported to 007 after the fact. Pussy Galore's lesbianism
is even less evident in the comic strip than it is in the
movie. A scene in which Bond confronts a knife-wielding Oddjob
is redrawn to remove the weapon. The original artwork for
this scene is presented at the back of the book, reproduced
from a syndicated Swedish edition.
a couple of panels are missing altogether - from the story's
original opening, which saw Bond saying goodbye to Honey Rider
from Dr No. These panels appeared in the Daily Express
but were omitted from some syndicated versions.
There's a real mixture of lettering styles in this story,
sometimes even within the same
panel, which suggests to me that there may have been a number
of last-minute re-writes.
comic-strip Goldfinger looks remarkably like the actor Gert
Frobe, even though, of course, he wouldn't appear in the role
until three years after the end of the strip's run. Ironically
(as Paul Simpson observes in his accompanying text), artist
John McLusky's rendition of Kristatos in Risico looks
more like Topol, the actor who played his arch rival Colombo
in the film For Your Eyes Only. Meanwhile, Colombo
more closely resembles Gabriele Ferzetti, who played Draco
in the movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Risico, the plot to the short story For Your Eyes
Only formed part of the 1981 Roger Moore Bond film. Several
sections of dialogue remain virtually unchanged in the transition
from prose and comic strip to movie, including Bond's cover
story as a fiction writer in Risico and his warning
to Judy Havelock in For Your Eyes Only about digging
two graves before seeking vengeance. Collected together in
the same volume, Judy's revenge plot seems unfortunately similar
to that of Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger.
In contrast to the other short stories, From a View to
a Kill has little in common with the movie A View to
a Kill, apart from its French setting. More of a detective
story than a spy thriller, it is rather slow moving. It really
drags during the panels 962-965, during which it takes Mary
Ann Russell almost an entire page to agree to issue a report
to M on Bond's behalf!
based on a full-length novel, the strip version of Thunderball
ends up running no longer than a short story, due to the fact
that it was prematurely halted by Daily Express proprietor
Lord Beaverbrook, who was angered by the publication of Ian
Fleming's The Living Daylights in a rival publication.
No sooner has the treacherous Giuseppe Petacchi hijacked the
armed aircraft than Bond and Felix Leiter are suddenly in
Nassau and the enemy has been defeated, with two-thirds of
the story wrapped up in just one week's worth of comic strip!
original artwork that would have appeared that week, had the
strip not been cancelled, appears near the end of the book,
again reprinted from a foreign newspaper, this time Norwegian.
A translation would have been nice, though.
an introduction by Shirley Eaton, who played Jill Masterson
in the movie Goldfinger, this volume also includes
an essay on the impact of Bond behind the Iron Curtain.
This isn't the best collection to be released to date, but
it's still a very enjoyable one, with some fascinating extras.
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