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James Bond Jr Online


Marvel Comics (UK) #3
by Dan Abnett

Featuring: JamesGordo, Goldfinger, Skullcap.

Synopsis: James and Gordo are in Tassiters, a tailor's shop on London's Savile Row - where Gordo is being measured up for a suit, with James's assistance, for the forthcoming Warfield Prize Day. Gordo's pleased with his choice of attire, but James has spotted Skullcap in the shop, also making a purchase. When James confronts Skullcap, the villain pushes past him to the exit, so James and Gordo pursue. They trail Skullcap eastwards, towards the docklands, where they see him enter a satellite television station, and follow him through the doors. In one of the TV studios, they're accosted by Skullcap and his latest paymaster, Goldfinger, who points a gun at James and Gordo. He quickly explains his plan to them; he's taken over the TV station's satellites so that he can spy on the world stock markets' information exchange, allowing him to seize control of the entire global economy and making him rich beyond his wildest dreams. A special scanner will aid him in this task, which can read the satellite network's secret control codes. These codes have been smuggled into the country, he reveals, by Skullcap, in the form of barcodes that had been patterned into the pin stripe of his new suit. James takes action, sprinting away from Goldfinger and whacking Skullcap around the head with one of the TV cameras. Goldfinger takes aim at James, but Gordo intervenes, throwing his suit bag at the crook to unbalance him. James and Gordo escape, planning to alert the authorities, but Goldfinger assures Skullcap nobody will believe their story until it's too late and he's in control of the world's economies. He asks Skullcap to hand over his new suit with the embedded codes - but it transpires that Gordo has taken the wrong bag, and he has Skullcap's suit and vice versa. James doubts whether the pinstripe pattern will suit Gordo...

Review: Not the strongest of the mini-comics, perhaps, hinging on what seems like quite a nebulous and ill-defined plan for world domination involving the international stock exchange and a satellite TV channel. The central conceit of the barcode hidden in the pinstripe is quite good fun, we suppose, albeit recalling the way SCUM smuggled memory gems through customs on a flamenco dancer's dress in Dance of the Toreadors, and laser configuration relays via jewels in a necklace in Rubies Aren't Forever. But the chain of events to which the suit is central seems to make little sense (see 'Lows'), and as is largely unavoidable with these stories, it's all wrapped up with precious little fanfare. On the other hand, it's good to see Gordo at the centre of the action, and there are also a few reasonably good TV-related puns bandied about.

Highs: The suit bags getting mixed up during Gordo's scuffle with Goldfinger is a nice touch, which allows eagle-eyed readers to bask in the glory of having spotted the resolution before it's unveiled on the next page.

Why is Skullcap apparently seen purchasing the pinstripe suit on Savile Row if he'd already smuggled it into the country? Given it was never meant for wearing, it seems unlikely he'd bother getting it adjusted.

Gadgets & Gizmos
: None, unusually, except for Goldfinger's 'special scanner', which he doesn't even get to try out.

SCUM on the Surface:
The organisation isn't mentioned directly, and Goldfinger seems concerned primarily with his own personal enrichment - although the presence of Skullcap implies there's probably more to it.

Blunders & Bloopers: Savile Row is misspelled as 'Saville' in the opening frame.

Notes: This marks one of only two known occasions on which Skullcap appears in a story without Dr Derange - the other being the TV episode Thor's Thunder, which sees him in the employ of Captain Plank.

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