MI6 looks back at the illustrator and writer Mike Grell's Bond comic mini series "Permission To Die" #3 released by Eclipse Comics in 1991.

"Permission To Die #3" Review
12th September 2004

Above: Mike Grell Original James Bond Artwork

The Story
After a two year gap between issue #2 and the publication of this final part, the story continues with Bond and Edaine both arriving in Idaho and being met by Felix Leiter and Dr Wiziadio's personal aide Sulu. Leiter's involvement doesn't seem necessary, even his later appearances which digress the story.

Upon arriving at the honeycombed complex of cravenness caves, they are meet by the reclusive Dr Erik Wiziadio. After an emotional exchange between Dr Wiziadio's and Edaine (who is Wiziadio's student), a tour of the impressive underground complex takes place with a stop at the economically affordable satellite launch system for which Bond has worked so hard to obtain for the British government.

Over dinner Bond is asked if he would like to relax and heads to Dr Wiziadio's casino with Sulu later that evening.

While swimming Bond spots Mary Chase - a local hunting guide - who explains that the good Dr Wiziadio is up to something sinister. After conquering Sulu, Bond arranges to meet with Mary Chase and Leiter at the casino to further discuss what Dr Wiziadio is planning.

Sneaking into the base via an underwater entrance, Bond discovers the true nature of Dr Wiziadio's evil scheme and his relationship with his niece. Bond is captured by Sulu, who arranges a most painful death for Bond. Mary appears after tailing Bond and she kills Sulu, saving Bond's life. Together they head off to stop the maddened couple by rigging Wiziadio's lair to explode as he launches his rocket which Bond has sabotaged.

Cover Art
The final issue breaks out of the previous colourful illustrations switches to white and blue combination. Book three is the first to feature Bond on his own. The style of the design and Bond's appearance allows a connection to be made with the previous issues. Using the lighter colours of blue and white creates a different mood for this final part. Accompanying Bond on the cover is a close up of Dr Wiziadio's left eye.

The Art
Suffering in the same manner as issue two, the constant feeling is that this final part was an after thought to the original story arc making it the poorest of the three. On a positive note, the layouts are again well conceived and executed, allowing the reader to follow the story easily.


Above: Terrence Stamp

Above: Front cover

Grell continued taking his character inspiration from famous faces, Dr Erik Wiziadio's is based on British actor Terrence Stamp.

The delivery of story through dialogue in the final issue is perfect. It flows and continually moves the plot forward.

Best Line
"I hope you have some idea how to get this off"

MI6 Briefing
Title: Ian Fleming's 007 James Bond - Permission to Die
Publisher: Eclipse Comics & Acme Press
Released: Issue #3 - 1991
Writer: Mike Grell
Illustrator: Mike Grell
Art Assistant: Rick Hobery, Dameon Willich & Mike Jones
Colorist: Julia Lacquement
Letters: Waybe Truman
Editor: Catherine Yronwode & Richard Hansom


Data Stream (Issue #3)
Villain: Doctor Erik Wiziadio, Sulu
Plot: Bond arrives in Idaho with Edaine to investigate Wiziadio's underground lair. 007 must prevent the Doctor from exploding his new rocket technology in British Columbia, Canada - which he hopes will cause global nuclear disarmament.
Bond Girls: Edaine Gayla, Sulu
Allies: Felix Leiter, Mary Chase
Locations: Idaho, Lake Oreille



Above: Back cover

MI6 Rating

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

Related Articles
"Permission To Die #1" Review
"Permission To Die #2" Review
MI6 Comics Coverage