Sea Dragon

Written By Jim Lawrence
Illustrated by Yaroslav Horak
Originally published in syndicated newspapers in Europe 1977
Currently published in ‘Death Wing’ by Titan Books 2007

More James Bond comic strip mayhem. Titan Books over than last few years have been producing a series of Graphic Novels featuring the classic James Bond newspaper strips. Each of these books contains multiple stories. Starting in 1958, originally the James Bond strip started out as a serialisation of Ian Fleming’s stories, but by 1968 they had run out of source material and started to invent their own stories. Sea Dragon was one of the later stories from 1977, and it can be found in the Death Wing graphic novel.

The story starts at sea in the Bahamas. Sir Ivor Morlock’s boat is at anchor and he is doing a spot of marlin fishing. As he dangles he line over the side, James Bond, using a back-pack helicopter flies out and lands on the boat. He has a warning for Sir Ivor. Apparently death threats have been made against him, and Bond advices him to sail into port and come into protective custody. Sir Ivor shrugs off the threats and claims to be perfectly safe at sea, away from the general population.

Sir Ivor goes back to his fishing, and it appears he has a bite. A big one. But rather than reel in a Marlin, he reels in a topless girl with a scuba tank. Once freed from the fishing line, the girl immediately jumps back over board. Bond thinks this is pretty suspicious and dives in after her in pursuit.

The boat then explodes killing Sir Ivor and all those on board. It is surmised that the female diver was an assassin you had planted limpet mines on the ships hull.

Naturally Bond survives the blast, but wakes up in hospital. While recuperating, and assassin sneaks into Bond’s room with a knife and tries to kill him. Bond naturally, survives the attack, but suspects that the nurse who has been caring for him is actually behind the attempt on his life. How else would the attacker know when Bond would be alone.

Once out of hospital, Bond pays a visit to the nurse’s home. Inside he finds a small fertility statuette. Coincidentally, the girl who blew-up Sir Ivor Morlock’s boat had the same fertility god tattooed on her thigh. Back in London, Bond does a little research. He finds out that the fertility goddess in question is called the ‘Magna Mater’. Enquiring about the statuettes at an auction house, Bond finds out that they have all recently been sold to a company called ‘She Unlimited’ – a chain of companies, run by women, for women.

‘She Unlimited’ have a giant skyscraper in the centre of London. Bond decides to pay them a visit with a special helicopter devised by Q-Branch. At the flick of a switch, as Bond flies overhead, the helicopter appears to belch smoke and leak oil. Bond performs a mock emergency landing on top of the ‘She Unlimited’ building.

Bond, adopting the alias Mark Hazard, finds that the head of ‘She Unlimited’, Magda Mathers is most accommodating. She has her own team of mechanics attend to Bond’s helicopter while she entertains Bond in the palatial pool in the buildings penthouse suite. Bond hadn’t brought any swimming attire, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem for Magda Mathers who seems content to parade around naked anyway.

Once Bond’s helicopter is fixed, he is sent on his way. As there was nothing really wrong with the helicopter, Bond finds it rather suspicious that they had to carry out a series of lengthy repairs on the machine. Bond’s suspicions are correct as the helicopter has had a time bomb planted in it and it is set to explode. Luckily Bond is onto the ruse and leaps out over the Thames as the copter goes up in a ball of flame.

Meanwhile at sea, Max Goodstone is on his boat when it is attacked by a sea monster. The monsters head reaches up and grabs Goodstone and gobbles him up. It so happens that Max Goodstone and Sir Ivor Morlock were two of the three directions of a North Sea Oil Consortium, which Magda Mathers wants to buy into. The third director of the company is a Frenchman named Jacques Vizard. Bond figures that Vizard will be the next target for Madame Magda Mathers murderess ways. Bond flies to France but is too late.

The controlling interest in the North Sea Oil Consortium falls to Vizard’s daughter. Angelique, and now as you’ve no doubt guessed, Madame M is now after her.

Sea Dragon is a brisk and extremely entertaining Bond adventure. Like all the stories scripted by Jim Lawrence, Bond is written as a Cockney with plenty of ‘ere Luv type dialogue. At times he comes across more like Willie Garvin from the Modesty Blaise comic strip than the suave sophisticated James Bond. Despite this, Bond’s actions are still very Bond like, and the story has a great climax, which involves Bond battling the Sea Dragon.

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