MI6 looks back at the illustrator and writer Mike Grell's Bond comic mini series "Permission To Die" #2 released by Eclipse Comics in 1989.

"Permission To Die #2" Review
4th July 2004

The Story
The story picks up a day later with Bond meeting a further contact in a crowded downtown market in Budapest and gaining information on the location of Edaine. Bond is ordered off the mission and to return home. However, he disobeys his orders. After a light conversation at MI6 HQ, M and Tanner agree to let Bond continue with the mission.

Returning to the gypsy camp, plans are made to intercept the heavily armed prisoner transport that is moving Edaine to Budapest. With the plan set Luludi beds Bond, after realising they may not see each other again.

After the carefully planed ambush of the prisoner convey has been carried out, Bond rescues Edaine and intends to fly her in a Q-Branch mini helicopter to the Austrian border.

While escaping they are pursued by a military attack helicopter, which was guarding a train carrying reinforcement for the ambushed prisoner convoy. After some creative flying, Bond leads the military helicopter into the train, destroying them both. However, during the fight between the helicopters Bond's mini chopper takes damage resulting in a fuel leak, forcing them to land before the boarder.

This forces them to complete the rest of the journey on foot whilst being tracked by the silver bullet using assassin "The Wolf" hired by the KGB to recapture Edaine.

That night Bond leaves Edaine to rest while looking for a place to cross the guarded boarder. "The Wolf" find's Edaine in Bond's absence and lays a trap. Returning with horses before dawn to make the final dash over the border they leave, with some quick thinking thanks to Q-Branch they make it through the border, eliminating "The Wolf" and border guards.


Above: Front cover

Once across, Edaine and Bond head for the US and the reclusive Uncle Dr Erik Wiziadio The ending for issue two could be considered a conclusion to the series and a further issue not required.

Cover Art
Featured in an off-centred circle, Dr Wiziadio's niece Edaine and Bond are running across the cover, which is completed in reds and black. The white is primarily used to depict and enhance the characters appearance, apposed to the surrounding cover.

Above: Mike Grell Original Bond Artwork
Above: Hoagy Carmichael

The Art
Detail in this issue fluctuates further. The convoy battle suffers with sketchiness and night time setting. Layouts are equal to the earlier issue and are more functional to the story with less visual homage's to Bond. Grell's story comes through stronger, even though the quality is not as high as the earlier issue. Issue two feels that it was rushed to be completed compared to issue one. Grell's Bond was closely modeled on the famous jazz pianist Hoagy Carmichael - 1899-1981.

Sharper and limited use of language in book two is evident, this helps move the story forward at a fair pace even with the sketch cells. Dialogue is used to create the cliff hanger at the end of this issue, thus not effective in creating reader curiosity for issue three.

Best Line
The daughter of Kerim Bey is not likely to pass from the memory of any man!

MI6 Briefing
Title: Ian Fleming's 007 James Bond - Permission to Die
Publisher: Eclipse Comics & Acme Press
Released: Issue #2 1989
Writer: Mike Grell
Illustrator: Mike Grell
Art Assistant: Dameon Willich & Mike Jones
Colorist: Julia Lacquement
Letters: Waybe Truman
Editor: Catherine Yronwode & Richard Hansom

Data Stream (Issue #1)
Villain: "The Wolf", Doctor Erik Wiziadio
Plot: Bond has to attack a convoy and rescue the niece of a reclusive scientist in order to win exclusive technology for the UK.
Bond Girls: Luludi Bey, Edaine Gayla
Allies: Vavra, M, Major Boothroyd
Locations: Budapest, Hungry, Austrian Boarder, London

Above: Back cover

MI6 Rating

Images courtesy Eclipse Comics, MikeGrell.com and Rimis London.

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"Permission To Die #1" Review
"Permission To Die #3" Review
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