MI6 looks at Dark Horse's last offering of James
Bond in "Minute of Midnight" released in
"Minute of Midnight" Review
1st June 2005
This fractured three part story begins with us meeting an undercover
James Bond in Washington D.C, eavesdropping on a group calling
themselves Lexis who are planning their diabolical scheme 'Operation
Miasma'. Bond is set upon by street thugs while in his undercover
garb as a tramp. After rendering the thugs unconscious, he learns
more information about Lexis and his group.
Above: Front cover.
Returning to an undercover CIA office, Bond meets his soon
to be female conquest Miss Shadow Breight. While discussing
his findings with a CIA section chief, Bond is charged with
delivering the sensitive information by hand to London,
via Military transport that is scheduled to leave the following
After spending the night with Miss Breight, we are shown
a inquisitive Breight looking through Bonds clothing. The
morning sees Bond leaving with his CIA escort Mr Robert
Nagell, after saying fair well to Miss Breight and Part
After a smooth takeoff, Robert Nagell reveals his true
colours activating a gas canister to knockout Bond and the
flight crew. With a little acting and some fast hands, Bond
disables Mr Nagell only to have him open the emergency door
and exit the plane with the only parachute. In a very similar
scene to Moonraker's skydive, we see Bond wrestle the parachute
from the ill-fated Mr Nagell and return to the airplane.
Once aboard he takes control of the aircraft and radios
ahead reporting that he still on time.
Business at Hand is the final of this short three part adventure.
We see Bond hand over the documents to Mr Nigel Redditch, who
delivers a message from M to exercise his licence to kill. Later
that evening we see Bond sneaking on to the Lexis estate to murder
Mr Lexis the head of the established organization. Once the 'Joker'
looking villain is silent we see Bond reflect on the cold-blooded
murder, which is the strongest and most original aspect of this
Bond reflects upon his actions via a conversation will Bill Tanner,
and is advised to take a short break to relax. The story concludes
with Mr Redditch discussing with a counterpart about a plan to
Above: James Bond is in disguise in
the opening cell of "Minute if Midnight"
The flow of this story is poor and disjointed. With this being
the last of Dark Horse's James Bond comics before losing the license
to Topp's, there may have been a rush to publish all the remaining
James Bond stories in a single issue, rather then the obviously
butchered story arc. The comic ends with the promise of more but
with the loss of the license this was not to be.
Each of the three chapters could have been
expanded with more character and plot development. The villains
aren't threatening nor appear insane, or enough to be formidable
foes. The villain's plot seams borrowed from Gardner's Licence
Renewed, whereas part two seems like a poor rip off of Thunderball's
aircraft crew gassing and Moonraker's mid-air fight.
The subplots aren't explored but are planted throughout
all three parts. Lexis' daughter is built up and then never
address as a valued character, and the group working within
the respective agencies is not named or even a motive established.
With M not making an appearance, or being addressed in the
comic as a serious player in Bond's universe, the dynamic
of the final discussion is hollow.
Above: Cell from "Minute of Midnight" Part
Overall if more time was available to the creator of this story
it would have been a more enjoyable read.
Above: James Bond deals with the dirty task of murder
- cells from Minute of Midnight Part 3
This flip book features on one side James Bond and the opposite
side Aliens vs Predator. Dark Horse Comics produced this
final issue before losing their Bond licence; the Bond cover
features Moonraker-esque imagery. Bond is in freefall resulting
another character for the single parachute. In the background
a large military cargo plane is bearing down on Bond and
foe. The image sets the mood, but does not feel dynamic
enough. With simple detailing the cover works, but could
have been improved with time.
Overall this cover is by no means the best offered over
the course of Dark Horse's run of Bond comics.
Russ Heath has created a believable visual world, which
is lacking the final background details. The layout of the
cells is standardised and there are no detailed backgrounds
which link a page or double page spread. A rushed story
has blended into rushed art, however, the imagery does keep
the story moving.
As with the story, the dialogue suffers - fractured and
poorly delivered. Moving the story along and planting many
unneeded subplots, the dialogue really shows the mini arc
which was meant for a larger format.
"Kinky with your drinks to!"
Title: 007 James Bond - Minute of Midnight
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics, Inc. / Acme Comics Ltd.
Released: #25 September 1994
Writer: Doug Moench
Cover: Russ Heath
Colorist: Raymond P Murtaugh
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Robert Boyd
Above: Cell from Minute of Midnight Part 1
||Data Stream (Issue #25)
||Lexis, Robert Nagell, Nigel Redditch, Mr Sykes
|| Bond learns of a plan to sabotage nuclear power plants
around the world, and he must get the information to
London for special branch to review. Before he has had
the chance to deliver his report to M in person, Bond
is ordered to strike first and kill the villain behind
the sinister plot.
||Miss Shadow Breight
||Washington D.C, High Above the Atlantic Ocean, London,
Images courtesy Dark Horse Comics.
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