Isle Of Condors

Publisher: Daily Express
Released: 12th June 1972 to
21st October 1972
Serial: #1952 to #2065
Artist: Yaroslav Horak
Writer: Jim Lawrence

Data Stream
Villains: Signor Niccolo Uccelli, Rafaele Barbaro, Stefana, Ugo, Mr & Mrs Gallew, Ghislaine Perault
Bond Girls: Crystal Kelly, Thyrza Holt, Astrid, Ramona
Allies: Bill Tanner, Moneypenny
Locations: Palazzo Uccelli, Italy; Adriatic coast, Italy; Portadriane, Italy; Isola Degli Uccelli (Isle of Condors)

Above: Crystal Kelly is the first black female lead in the strip series' history, and she bears more than a passing resemblance to Rosie Carver from the 1973 film "Live And Let Die"

Capsule Synopsis
Bond is sent to Italy on the trail of a dead Belgian woman (Ghislaine Perault) who was stealing confidential memos from her Foreign Office lover. After meeting a naked horse rider (Thyrza Holt) who claims to have been imprisoned, 007 returns her to the Gallew's who then drug him and discover an ivory pendant of the dead Belgian. The Gallew's are spooked by the coincidence of Bond's arrival and leave for the 'Isle of Condors' and its leader (Signor Uccelli), who feeds them to his birds as punishment. Bond awakes to a private investigator (Crystal Kelly) rummaging through his belongings, looking for clues to the whereabouts of the horse rider. The pair are attacked by one of Uccelli's goons (Rafaele Barbaro), but Bond kills him and they escape to the island. Bond goes under the guise of Mark Hazard, how has swam to the island after his boat sunk. 007 uncovers Uccelli's training school for female spies, who carry out their missions before being fed to the condors - as happened to Ghislaine. Thyrza is found by Bond, but they are captured and are to be fed to the birds by Uccelli. Crystal arrives just in time, and in the proceeding fight, Bond sprays Uccelli with his own bird homing scent. Bond throws Uccelli a gun so he can shoot himself before the birds kill him.

Above: The opening panel of "Isle Of Condors"

Above: Bond arrives on the 'Isle of Condors' under the guise of Mark Hazard

Source To Strip
Isle Of Condors is an interesting entry in the series for writer Jim Lawrence, who stays away from high-technology, globe trotting and simple detective plot lines to create an adventure worthy of Fleming's 00-agent.

The strip can also be seen as a significant shift in the way female characters are portrayed, with the first black lead character and each woman earning James Bond's respect - and are not there purely for the amusement of the red-blooded male readership (with the exception of the female trainee spies who are depicted in the obligatory undergarments).

The rigid story structure created for this entry would be used as a template by Lawrence for subsequent adventures.

After the first few panels, artist Yaroslav Horak pears back the amount of naked flesh on display compared to previous entries and creates a down-to-earth look for the adventure. His standard is of the usual high quality, with bold and well constructed action sequences blending perfectly with character interactions.

Above: Uccelli's female agents are brainwashing in their sleep

Best Line
Bond: "I couldn't care about what you look like in the flesh! Though, if you like, I'll be glad to provide a testimonial!"

This was the first strip adventure to feature a sexy black female lead character, although it is probably not a coincidence that Crystal Kelly resembles Rosie Carver from the 1973 film "Live And Let Die" - which was in production at the time. The female spy training school and brainwashing scheme is more than a passing homage to Blofeld's hideout in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".

MI6 Rating


Available Now!

Publisher: Titan Books
Released: 22nd September 2006
Titles Included: "Trouble Spot", "Isle of Condors", " The League of Vampires", " Die With My Boots On"

"Trouble Spot" by Titan Books

Related Articles
Newspaper Strips Index
Comics Coverage
All Comics Articles

Images courtesy Titan Books and Amazon Associates.