When three agents are killed in separate incidents involving
animals, Bill Tanner suspects a connection. Bond's investigations
lead him to Brazil and the mysterious Dr Cat, a brutal and
deranged scientist who has broken away from Red China...
this collection takes its title from the comic-strip adaptation
of Kingsley Amis' Bond novel, it also includes River of
Death, the second of Jim Lawrence's wholly original Bond
its predecessor, The
Harpies, River of Death features some
rather unlikely coincidences in the naming of certain characters.
Once again, the villain's name provides Bond with vital clues:
Dr Cat has two aliases, both of which relate to big cats.
And the feline connection doesn't end there: the love interest,
a Native American CIA agent, is named Kitty Redwing, though
she has no connection with the villain beyond her pursuit
With its Rio de Janeiro setting and the inclusion of a female
CIA operative, this story pre-empts the movie Moonraker
in both those respects. Unfortunately, Kitty proves not to
be a terribly proficient agent. She admits to being "scared
silly" of (the admittedly chillingly depicted) Dr Cat and
a "prize idiot" for cracking under torture, and she happily
defers to Bond as "the senior officer present", even though
the two of them work for different agencies.
also has a bit of trouble writing convincing dialogue for
Bond. To me, the agent seems too common when he utters words
such as "mate" and "luv". And artist Yaroslav Horak is not
as good at drawing animals as he is at depicting people: watch
out for his grinning crocodile on panel 1144.
as with other Lawrence/Horak strips, this is an enjoyably
hard-edged tale. The villain devises some truly horrific punishments
for Bond and Kitty (though, as usual, their actual application
is kept off the page).
When M is kidnapped from his country house, Bond must embark
upon a desperate mission to save him. As his trail leads from
London to Greece, the agent makes some unexpected alliances.
But is M just bait to trap 007...?
complex, action-packed and gritty plot of Kingsley Amis' novel
Colonel Sun provides perfect source material for this
newspaper strip adaptation.
the novelist's more explicit descriptions of sex are, not
surprisingly, kept off the panels, Horak takes the opportunity
to show more female flesh than usual, courtesy of Colonel
Sun's "harem" girls, Doni and Luisa. Their outfits are so
skimpy, they often reveal a bit of builder's bum!
attitudes of the time are preserved in the use of the terms
"yellow", "slant-eyed" and "Chink" to describe the Chinese,
the latter of which is used by Bond himself.
as River of Death anticipates Moonraker, Colonel
Sun pre-empts the movie version of The
Spy Who Loved Me. Here, Bond joins forces with
a female Russian agent (Ariadne Alexandrou - not actually
a Russian but a Greek working for the USSR) to prevent a third
party from provoking a devastating war. Judi Dench's M would
later get kidnapped in the movie The
World is Not Enough, while the villain's name
went on to inspire the character of Colonel Moon in Die
strip also beats the movie-makers to it in another respect,
by referring to the eponymous protagonist as "Ian Fleming's
James Bond". This begins on panel 1359 - and about time too!
Previously the strip's title had always read "James Bond by
Ian Fleming", even when the stories were not based on Fleming
Also including features on Kingsley Amis and the genesis of
his Bond novel, as well as a 1989 interview with Jim Lawrence,
Colonel Sun is another shining example of Lawrence
and Horak's work.
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