Till Death Do Us Part
||7th July 1975 to
14th October 1975
||#2898 to #2983
||Stefan Radomir, Vlad, Nichevo (KGB), Onyegin (KGB)
||M, Moneypenny, Tanner
||Chateau, Austria; Alpine Ski Lodge (MI6 safe house),
Austria; London, UK; Zinkenbach, Austria; British Embassy,
Above: Bond stops short of knocking
Ardra out when he 'rescues' her from the clutches of
Ardra Petrich is the daughter of a prominent MI6 agent and, unbeknownst
to her, the target of cold war factions. Her father's work
as East European section chief exposed him to invaluable intelligence,
and the intentions of her new lover Stefan Radomir are not
strictly honourable. MI6 attempts to grab Ardra, but she flees
to Austria and in to her lovers arms. James Bond is sent to
forcibly extradite her before she unwittingly spills the beans
to the enemy. Despite using every gadget in his all terrain
vehicle, Bond fails to get clear of the Austrian border and
has to go to ground.
Above: The opening panel of "Till
Death Do Us Part"
Ardra suspects 007 is under orders from M to
seduce her and bring her back to England, and Bond is so disgruntled
by the plan (it is never made clear if they were his actual orders)
he threatens to walk out and leave her to her own devices. Overhearing
her lover - who is an undercover Bulgarian secret police officer
- offering to sell her to a group of KGB agents for $25,000
tips the balance, and Ardra supports Bond in his efforts to thwart
Radomir and get her back, willingly, to the safety of Britain.
Above: Ardra sets up the a landmine
for Moneypenny's revelation at the end.
Source To Strip
With the exception of a Q-branch vehicle, writer Jim Lawrence
keeps Bond's feet firmly on the ground in this taught
espionage tale. Bond's mission to grab an unwitting
British citizen from the clutches of the enemy on foreign
soil is a more realistic approach to the 00-section,
and Bond's skills are well exercised with brutal hand-to-hand
combat, expert driving skills, stealth, evasion, social
coercion and bluff.
The aforementioned vehicle may
seem ludicrous, but it would have been well-suited
for the Roger Moore era of films, especially as this strip
was released a year after the flying car in "The
Man With The Golden Gun". Barring the odd 'luv'
here and there, Bond's dialog is fitting and Americanism's
are refreshingly scant.
Of all the later strips penned by Lawrence, Till Death Do
Us Part comes closest to the style of Fleming's short stories.
The strip concludes with a sharp twist that really punctuates
the cold-war feeling, although it is left to the reader to
decide whether Moneypenny's suspicion is correct. Would Bond
have really shot a fake KGB agent in strip 2943?
Artist Yaroslav Horak is back on form in this adventure, with
a high-quality blend of exquisite characterisation, punchy
action sequences, atmospheric locations and interesting ways
of framing dialog scenes. Horak's portrayal of the main players
is realistic and perfectly suit their characters. Bond is depicted
as a world-weary agent who gets the job done by gritting his
teeth, much like Timothy Dalton's portrayal in the opening
sequence of The Living Daylights.
Above: Horak's clever method
of depicting sirens conveys the police threat
The action scenes are top notch, particularly
the opening vehicle chase - which is handled with aplomb despite
the slightly wacky Q-branch amphibious car concocted by Lawrence.
One feature of particular note is Horak's use of concentric
circles to denote the approaching police sirens to readers
- without actually featuring any of their cars until after
Bond is clear of the danger. As with most of the later strips,
Horak features the lead girl in topless nudity for the most
part, perhaps in this case acting as a metaphor of her lack
of trust for 007. She becomes clothed once she accepts his
Ardra: "Wh-who are you?"
Bond: "Sorry I've no calling card with my name - I usually go by number."
Gadgets: Amphibious vehicle (car, boat, hot air balloon); anaesthetic
nerve gas gun in car trunk
M gets called on the carpet in Whitehall to explain why a complaint
has been filed by the Austrian police against Bond's kidnapping
of Ardra. Bond's reputation is getting
a bit ahead of him - Radomir knows of Bond's identity the
second he sees him, and Ardra knows of Bond's romantic prowess
father's past remarks about MI6.
Publisher: Titan Books
Released: 23rd February 2007
Titles Included: "The Phoenix Project", "
The Black Ruby Caper", "
Till Death Do Us Apart", "
The Torch-Time Affair"
"The Phoenix Project"
by Titan Books
Newspaper Strips Index
All Comics Articles
Images courtesy Titan Books and Amazon Associates.