Originally published in 1987 as Iskallt Uppdrag, this black & white reprint is from 1992.
Writer: Jack Sutter, based upon the EON Productions film The Living Daylights written by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson
Artist: Juan Sarompas
Translator: Clinton Rawls
Notes: For completionists, this comic adaptation does restore the much debated “magic carpet” deleted scene, but aside from that there is little new or different on display. While it is a perfectly faithful adaptation to the film, I’m afraid that much of the charm is missing. Kara Milovy is no longer a naive and doe-eyed young girl who develops into an independent and capable woman but is instead rendered as a bombshell by artist Sarompas. Similarly, without Jeroen Krabbé’s infectious performance to liven up the proceedings, Koskov makes little impact on this adaptation outside of simply moving the plot along. It should be noted that very few of the characters are illustrated to match the film version and instead are drawn on model in keeping with Semic’s usual output of Bond comics.
Although I’ve seen color pages of this adaptation before, the edition that I have is black and white. If and when I’m able to procure a color copy, I’ll gladly display both versions on the site.
Finally, the cover for this particular printing appears to show Clint Eastwood from the underrated curiosity White Hunter, Black Heart where Eastwood plays a thinly veiled version of the great filmmaker John Huston, known to Bond fans as M in Charles Feldman’s 1967 Casino Royale spoof, though best known for his brilliant career as a writer/director (The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Man Who Would Be King) and occasional actor (Chinatown). Supposedly Eastwood turned down the part of Bond in the 70s but if you’d like to see what a Clint Eastwood Bond film might have looked like then you may enjoy The Eiger Sanction (1975). Ironically enough, the Norwegian title for this adaptation, I Skuddlinjen, translates literally to “In the Line of Fire,” the eventual title for a 1993 Wolfgang Peterson political thriller starring Eastwood.
Artistic Licence: I share author Alan J. Porter’s assessment that the page count must have caught up to the creators because the book suddenly rushes to an end in the third act leading to cramped, muddled, and quickly abbreviated action scenes, along with an overabundance of narration boxes—sometimes several on a single page—that all state something to the effect of “Meanwhile…” In creating this translation I decided not to overuse that phrase as best I could and instead replaced many of those captions with synonyms to the same effect or quick statements to help the story flow as best as possible.