The League Of Vampires
|25th October 1972 to
28th February 1973
|#2066 to #2172
|Xerxes 'Big X' Xerophanos, Dr Jemail
|Margot Xerophanos, Tjana
|Dolly Hamnet, Bridget, Isotta Cerulli, Bill Tanner,
|Ajaccio, Corsica; Amsterdam, Holland; London, UK;
Above: It is not made clear why
Bond is in Corsica keeping an eye on a British reporter
at the beginning of the story.
When a vampire cult is spreading fast and getting out of control,
007 sets out to save journalist Dolly Hamnet from trouble,
but fails. Bond is knocked out cold whilst what appears
a vampire kills her. MI6 recall 007 from the field as Andrea
Stefanotis (a Greek ambassador), Cedric Hawes (a Member of
Parliament), and agent
Isotta Cerulli are all killed and the head count is rising
is forced to leave behind
Bridget, who also dies at the hands of the cult.
Above: The opening panel of "The
League Of Vampires"
and world's richest man Xerxes 'Big X' Xerophanos alerts
the authorities that his wife Margo may have fallen in to the
hands of the
goes undercover and by chance manages to disrupt a ceremony
where she is to be killed. But Xerxes
has been behind the cult all along, and after killing
her wealthy father with a tactical nuclear warhead in Norfolk
at a public event,
he plans to present Margo's dead body and inherit her
After the cult killing fails, Xerxes captures Margo and
Bond and takes them aboard his ship where he will trigger the
nuclear blast remotely. Bond threatens to blow up Xerxes'
warhead which he has stowed aboard and causes the crew
Above: Tjana is one of the rare Bond
girls whose fate and motivations are left totally to the
imagination of the reader. Sadly, she never made another
appearance in the series.
Source To Strip
Fans of Ian Fleming may have to grit their teeth to get
past the title of Jim Lawrence's original story for
this outing, but like any good Bond plot, the initial
impressions can be deceiving. For underneath the vampire
cult and paraphernalia is a maniacal man after even
more money and power, with a scheme that soon reveals
itself to be as devious and deadly as any major villain's
Lawrence uses the (rather too sci-fi)
cult well as a cover for his protagonists evil doings,
vampire trappings still do not feel at home in a 007 adventure.
Boiled down to its essence, Lawrence uses a cult to cover
up his villain's activities (Live And Let Die), threatens
to destroy part of the UK with a nuclear weapon (Moonraker)
and plans the destruction of assets to increase
the value of his own (Goldfinger).
It may seem like pick-and-mix plotting on Lawrence's part,
but the ingredients blend well together and produce a solid
picks up pace.
1972 must have marked a change in censorship
policy at the Daily Express as artist Yaroslav Horak unapologetically
after strip with naked or near-naked women. But as is usual
for the Bond series, it is all done in the best possible
taste, with every lady stunningly beautiful. The story also
tips the balance for Horak's depiction of the villains, as
they slide towards caricatures and less of the real-world
imagery created earlier in the series. His action panels
are top-draw as usual though, and there is interesting variation
throughout the story despite its limited locales.
Above: Actions speak louder than
words when Bond attempts to cripple the ship.
Bond: "You speak English?... Good! Then I'll tell you once - get out of the
When Bond questions the man following Dolly, he asks if he works
for the Union Corse (the Corsican counterpart of the Sicilian
Mafia) - in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service:, Bond's father-in-law
Marc-Ange Draco is head of the Union Corse. James Bond must
touch as a "secret" agent - reporter Dolly
instantly recognises him as "the British agent who helped Zarkov
defect in Vienna". Bill Tanner and Bond's investigation of
Isotta's body introduces readers to the MI6 mortuary. Miss
Moneypenny does not make an appearance. Five years after this
story's publication, the movie incarnation of "The Spy Who
Loved Me" would also use a shipping
magnate as its central villain.
Publisher: Titan Books
Released: 22nd September 2006
Titles Included: "Trouble Spot", "Isle of Condors",
" The League of Vampires", "
Die With My Boots On"
by Titan Books
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Images courtesy Titan Books and Amazon Associates.