Monday, August 04, 2014

"Goldfinger": The Comic Strip

Henry Gammidge is back writing the James Bond strip with the "Goldfinger" adaptation, but he's in superior form. Like Peter O'Donnell in "Dr No," Gammidge has dropped the first person narration and it helps the strip a lot. He also takes his time with the story and it never feels rushed. Some scenes are shortened (the golf game, for example), but the cuts are usually good ones. In fact, there are some scenes (like Goldfinger's explaining the Fort Knox job to the gangsters) that could have been shortened even more, but I'd rather have them longer and be able to skim than to have the strip zoom through them too quickly.

There are some interesting cuts made for content, some of which I understand, but not all. I get why there's no mention of Tilly or Pussy's sexual orientation; that might be a conversation that parents in the '50s didn't want to have with their kids over the morning paper. I also understand why Goldfinger simply tells Oddjob to "remove" an offensive cat instead of offering it to the henchman as a meal. But I'm not clear why there's no mention at all of how Jill Masterton died.

Maybe it's because it would be difficult to suggest gold paint in a black-and-white strip, but a simple caption of text could have made that clear. I know the moment is iconic in part because of the film that didn't exist yet, so I want to cut the strip some slack. But it's difficult to read the adaptation and not feel that the loss of gold-covered Jill has left a huge hole in the story.

Those are all minor complaints next to most of Gammidge's other adaptations though. And though Gammidge isn't able to give the same amount of humor to Bond and Goldfinger's verbal war that Fleming does, that seems like an unreasonable expectation in the first place. All considered, "Goldfinger" is one of the best adaptations in the series so far.

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