But so much for good James Bond adventures...let's focus on one of 007's...shall we say...lesser cases, and it may not be totally new to you, as I covered it in one of my most popular posts ever, Fifteen Things You Never Knew About James Bond. It's from one of those absolutely insane Indian Bond comic books, and it goes a little something like this...an adventure Ian Fleming probably would have titled something lyrical like The Golden Dragons or Misfortune Comes Alone but this comic book creators have called...
from James Bond: Chinese Riddle (1988), creators unknown, published by Everest Publications/SP Ramanathan, Madras, India
Yes, everything looks eminently Chinese about that cover.
It opens just like every James Bond adventure ever...if you ignore the thrilling, exciting, edge-of-your-seat stunt-stuffed (please do not attempt to say that three times fast) pre-credits opening...with 007 meeting M at MI-6 headquarters. M kindly points out where China is on the map in case Bond, and indeed the audience, didn't know. And now we do! China is there.
Something secret is going on, and by gosh, Her Majesty's Secret Service doesn't like that! Me, I'd just suggest they get the News of the World to bug some phones, but instead, James Bond will go to China and relieve himself. (Wait, what?)
Bond hops on an airplane without noticing where it is going! Luckily it's heading in the right direction. Hey, why isn't he flying in first class up front? Do you suppose he got the middle seat between a fat tourist and a crying baby? Do you think he got a choice of beef or chicken? What was the in-flight movie? I bet it was Tin Cup. It's always Tin Cup. Bond loves Kevin Costner.
Immediately upon checking into his hotel, a big strong guy comes and starts to wreck the place! Really, it's Bond's own fault for asking for the "Wrecking Suite" when he checked in.
...and, it just pretty much goes on like that for a whole page. Guy walks into Bond's room, wrecks the place, walks out. Bond stands back and watches him do it. Oh no! He even wrecked the minibar and everything in it! That will cost Bond approximately £78,000 in smashed honey-roasted peanuts and four-ounce cans of Coke.
Enter the sexy Chinese room service attendant! And Bond doesn't even make one move to seduce her! She, of course, isn't thrown or startling by the extensive damage to the room, as this hotel is regularly host to the Who and the Rolling Stones.
Later, she shows up again as a fellow secret agent! Great disguise!
Then, some of that patented James Bond double-entendre dialogue occurs.
What's-er-name flies 007 to the mysterious island of the evil Dr. Saviz! (Trust me on this one.) Bond is still not certain whether to trust her. In a Bond movie or novel this would be an excellent chance for him to seduce her now...
...instead, he takes a nap. Who's playing Bond in this version? Sean Connery in 2012? Luckily, they are only turning. They are not crashing.
Then, they crash.
ACTION SEQUENCE! For a panel, at least.
Bond and Tsu-Chai (oh, that's her name!) are taken captive by the evil Dr. Saviz, who is building killer robots. Bond, as usual, after seeing the robot explode into gears and electronics and being told he is a robot, asks the logical question: "Is he a robot?" Fast on the uptake, our Bond is.
It isn't a 007 story without a long pause for the villain to explain his deadly and devious evil plot, which in this case seems to involve making soldiers be robots so that no one need truly die during warfare and...hey, wait, he's a great benefactor towards mankind! He has not thought out his evil plan very well. Perhaps this is why S.P.E.C.T.R.E.* rejected his evil application for evil membership.
Time for James Percival Bond to snap into action, to stop this terrible plot against all the nations of the free world and save Britain from the terrible threat of...oh, wait, the robots are blowing up by themselves.
It's Tsu-Chai! Sheblew up the robots. Or, in other words, James Bond has done nothing in this adventure. I sure hope the story doesn't try to tell us that he saved the world.
OH FOR PETE'S SAKE, STORY.
Movie James Bond ends a film in bed with a woman. Indian comic book James bond winds up being shipped back to London in the cargo hold of a 747.
Roll credits, recue Top Ten theme tune, display JAMES BOND WILL RETURN IN FOR YOUR VINDALOO ONLY.
And hey, here he is returning already! Naw, I just can't resist the following two panels that perfectly sum up Indian comic book James Bond. In the first panel, 007 poses as a journalist and phones up a glamorous actress to try and gain her confidence, using a false and not-all-together-convincing name...
from James Bond: Death of a Spy (1988), creators unknown, published by Everest Publications/SP Ramanathan, Madras, India
And in the very next panel, she calls Bond by his real name. THE WORLD'S GREATEST SECRET AGENT, ladies and gentlemen!
That, ladies and gentlemen, is Indian comic book James Bond...perhaps the greatest Bond of them all. Nobody** does it better! Play us off, Indian James Bond Theme!
*Society for the Protection of Evil Conquerors, Thugs, Really-Bad-Guys and Evil-No-Goodniks
**Actually, almost everybody does it better.