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<   No. 839   2005-05-14   >

Comic #839

1 {scene: Inside the bar. James Stud is standing by the bar where a bartender mixes drinks.}
1 Helix: {walking up to Stud} James Shaken? I'm Helix Leiter, CIA.
2 Stud: Pleased to meet you. Vodka martini, bartender. That's Stud, not Shaken, by the way.
3 Bartender: And for you, sir?
3 Helix: Make mine a double.
4 Stud: A double, Helix?
4 Helix: Drinking is in my genes.

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Now this is a landmark. Helix Leiter first appeared "on camera" back in strip #421, lurking ominously in the background. He's also the suspicious guy tailing James Stud's car in #437. Just like in the movie version of Dr. No, where Felix Leiter is seen in several scenes looking shifty before he is finally introduced as a good guy. If you know the film well, you might even have figured out that this guy was Leiter over 400 strips before his first lines.

Yes, I had it planned that long ago that this character was Leiter. In fact, I've had this gag scripted and in my ideas file for well over a year. I'm glad it's finally seeing the light of day.

2014-07-04 Rerun commentary: James Bond tends to modify his drink of preference depending on where he is in the world. Though the vodka martini, shaken, not stirred, is the go-to drink and the one most associated with Bond, he partakes of several other local specialties over the years. These include sake in Japan, bourbon and branch water in Kentucky, and Red Stripe beer in Jamaica.

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