||30th March 1959 to
8th August 1959
||#0226 to #0339
||Ian Fleming, Henry Gammidge
||Sir Hugo Drax, Willy Krebs, Dr Walter
||Vallance, Lord Basildon, Bill Tanner, M
||London, England; Dover, England; English Channel
Above: Bond exposes Drax as a card
cheat at M's club Blades.
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"
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.
Bond: "I think you are a lunatic - and a hairy faced lunatic
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!
Publisher: Titan Books
Released: 25th February 2005
Titles Included: "Casino Royale", "Moonraker",
"Live And Let Die"
"Casino Royale" by Titan
Newspaper Strips Index
All Comics Articles
Images courtesy Titan Books and Amazon Associates.