Publisher: Daily Express
Released: 30th March 1959 to
8th August 1959
Serial: #0226 to #0339
Artist: John McLusky
Writer: Ian Fleming, Henry Gammidge

Data Stream
Villains: Sir Hugo Drax, Willy Krebs, Dr Walter
Bond Girls: Gala Brand
Allies: Vallance, Lord Basildon, Bill Tanner, M
Locations: London, England; Dover, England; English Channel

Above: Bond exposes Drax as a card cheat at M's club Blades.

Capsule Synopsis
Bond investigates the suspicious card cheat and self-made millionaire Sir Hugo Drax who is offering to pay £10m of his own money to give Britain the world's first guided nuclear missile - but his target is London itself!

Above: The opening panel of "Moonraker"

Source To Strip
The third 007 comic strip adaptation "Moonraker" continued the continuity with Ian Fleming's novels and was published four years after the source material on 30th March 1959. It ran for over four months, ending on 8th August 1959.

Above: Bond and Gala escape from Drax twice during the adventure.

Continuing the device of Bond narrating the story in the first person, McLusky & Gammidge used Bond as the storyteller even more so for "Moonraker" than in the previous two adventures. Told in the past-tense, 007 gives commentary throughout the strips, revealing information he could not have possibly known. This was the last strip to use this technique, as the next adventure "From Russia With Love" was told in the (now common) third-person.

Fleming's story takes place in England, which is especially unusual as MI6 agents are supposed to concern themselves with issues outside the British mainland (MI5 takes up "internal" affairs).

Gammidge adapts the novel quiet closely, and given the slightly longer run of this strip, almost everything makes the transition. The only major difference of note is the absence of M at Blades during the bridge game in which Bond exposes Drax as a cheat.

Gala Brand is the quintessential Bond girl who is captured and rescued by Bond, and it is evident when viewing the daily strips collectively that McLusky reused a lot of character artwork through similar scenes. The real gem of the strip however, is the car chase, where the writing is taught and the artwork perfectly captures the intensity of the action.

McLusky's visualization of Fleming's larger-than-life villain Hugo Drax and his depiction of the English 1950's settings are amongst some of his better work from the early stories. Avoiding the obvious risk of sending the story into science-fiction territory (unlike the movie adaptation), McLusky and Gammidge keep Fleming's tale rooted to the technical realities of the 50's. The threat of destroying London with a nuclear rocket remains as plausible today as it did when Fleming first conceived the idea, so despite the period setting, "Moonraker" still stands up as a solid story today.

Above: McLusky's vision of the rocket gives a grand sense of scale.

Best Line
Bond: "I think you are a lunatic - and a hairy faced lunatic at that!"

Blade's Club rule 24 dictates that every member must win or lose at least £500 a year at cards on the club premises. Bond takes £15,000 off Drax in a single hand!

MI6 Rating


Available Now!

Publisher: Titan Books
Released: 25th February 2005
Titles Included: "Casino Royale", "Moonraker", "Live And Let Die"

"Casino Royale" by Titan Books

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