MI6 looks back at the James Bond comic book adventure "The Quasimodo Gambit" released by Dark Horse in February 1995

"The Quasimodo Gambit #2" Review
28th February 2006

The Story
The story arc is broken up into short chapters, and the titles are cleverly worked into the opening cell of each chapter. We rejoin the story at Chapter 10.

Cell from The Quasimodo Gambit #2.


Chapter 10: Blueprint For A Beast
Bond breaks into the private residence of Reverend Hazelwood. Gaining access to the main building, he begins to search for clues to the Reverend’s scheme. The story shifts to a mountainous region after Bond barely escaped capture with vital information.

Chapter 11: Amid The Ganja Crop
More of the plot is revealed as Maximillian "Quasimodo" Steele discusses the delivery of drugs with transport partner Conan Lash. Quasimodo arranges to create a diversion to keep the authorities busy while he and Lash progresses their true scheme.

Chapter 12: Passionate Respite
Picking up form chapter 10, Bond and Valentine venture to a mountain top in search of Ganja fields. While ascending they discover a waterfall and take time to cool off.

Chapter 13: No Need For Anyone To Die Ttoday
Upon coming across the Ganja fields, Bond and Valentine learn more of Qusimodo's plot from an intimidated worker.

Chapter 14: Strategies Over Caviar
While relaxing in a safe house with Nebula, Bond calls Felix to inform him of the coming danger and who to watch in the US. Felix agrees to investigate Reverend Hazelwood and see what resources he can put together to help stop Quasimodo.

Chapter 15: A Harvest Of Green Bananas
We join Lash and Quasimodo at the halfway point of their drugs run. Quasimodo voices concern, which is dismissed by Lash who continues to annoy Quasimodo by calling him 'hunchback'.

Chapter 16: Shadow Detail
Felix and his assistant trail Reverend Hazelwood. The Reverend meets with a New York based contact that is to receive packages, which are key to the operation. We learn a little more about the Reverend the plot and the impending delivery of weapons hidden within the drugs.

Chapter 17: Blackwater Pursuit
We rejoin Bond who is onboard a US Coast Guard boat which is chasing an elusive boat that dumps its illegal cargo overboard. Bond leaps into the river to learn what has been dumped. He is soon discovered by Quasimodo's thugs who have returned to retrieve the cargo before the Coast Guard returns.

Chapter 18: Leeches A La Carte
Bond meets Lash who is awaiting Quasimodo's arrival. Upon arriving Quasimodo taunts Bond and places leeches in his month and face. Quasimodo leaves them to drink their fill while Lash watches over him.

Chapter 19: Quicksand Burial
Bond escapes his captors, who chase him into the surrounding swamp. He manages to evade them by hiding in the swamps undergrowth and witnesses Quasimodo murder Lash. Bond is left deep in the swamp watching Quasimodo leave with his deadly cargo.

Best Line:
"Where is your British pluck now?"

Cell from The Quasimodo Gambit #2.

Cover Design
Moving away from the standard poster layouts, issue two focuses on the face of Bond as he is tortured by leeches courtesy of the villain. Gagged and bubbling blood, Bond's eyes are clear. His face is twisted with pain as the leeches slowly draw blood. This striking image sets a clear tone for the issue and was a welcome change from the established poster style covers.

This first issue established a warm hazy Jamaican atmosphere with soft detailing. Part two continues this style, however, this has resulted in cells losing focus. Added to this the busy layouts for each panel the clarity of artwork easily becomes lost. Several of the cells feel lifeless and posed.

Chapter eighteen is made up of a torture scene in which leeches are used to slowly weaken Bond. This makes for some of the better art featured in this issue. Overall, the quality of art suffers as there is so much contained on each page.

MI6 Briefing
Title: Ian Fleming's 007 James Bond - The Quasimodo Gambit
Publisher: Acme Comics LTD, Dark Horse Comics Inc, Glidrose Publications LTD
Released: Issue #2 - February 1995
Writer: Don McGregor
Art: Gary Caldwell
Cover: Chris Moeller
Letters: Elitta Fell
Editor: Edward Martin III, Robert V. Conte & Dick Hansom


Above: Front cover

Don McGregor again tries to cram large amounts of back story and character development into each panel. The story moves at a fair pace, however, at times it comes unstuck as monologues move off at a tangent. The problems established in issue one carry over fully into the second issue.

Above: Cell from The Quasimodo Gambit #2.
  Data Stream (Issue #2)
Villain: Maximillian Steel AKA Quasimodo, Lighttouch, Reverend Hazelwood, Sister Bridget
Plot: Bond's midnight excursion into The Estate for the Disciples of the Heavenly Way reveals that the believers are more than just quiet and devout -- they're fanatical soldiers bent on the destruction of The Beast -- whatever that is! Following leads and his instincts, he heads deep into the Georgian swamps, only to find his worst fears confirmed and a bloody nightmare from which he cannot escape!
Bond Girls: Valentine Nebula
Allies: Felix Leiter
Locations: Jamaica, New York

MI6 Rating

Images courtesy Dark Horse Comics.

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