Waiting For The Trade – Silverfin

Writer: Charlie Higson
Artist: Kev Walker

Well there’s a refreshingly short creator list! This is the graphic novel adaptation of the first of the Young James Bond novels, also by Mr Higson, aimed at the young adult audience.

I’ve had no exposure to the Young Bond franchise, only knowing Higson from his work on the Fast Show but when I saw this in the local library I thought it had to be worth a read and I’m glad I tried it. Based on this outing I’m guessing the franchise is based on Fleming’s books rather than the movies, in fact I’m absolutely certain of that as the young master Bond appears to be at Eton (the college) in what I would guess is the mid 1930s. I don’t believe the date is given specifically in the book at all but references to Hitler ahead of WWII give an approximation.

There are none of the movie clichés present here. James Bond is a rather unfortunate schoolboy of about 13 yrs old (before the term teenager existed) who has lost both his parents and has been sent to the aforementioned boarding school. He’s somewhat socially awkward, in that he seems to get on the wrong side of the wrong people.

The plot gives us the opportunity to get the lead character established, not much of a student but physically adept and with the steely determination you’d expect of him, he’s not afraid of throwing his fists about if the moment calls for it. He’s given a cast of supporting characters and a suitably megalomaniacal villain to face off against. We also get a glimpse into the inquisitive nature that will ultimately lead James into his future career, against the advice of his Uncle.

The art style suits the story and is coloured in a fairly flat way which seems to fit perfectly. At times I could almost see a glimpse of the Bond actors in the various expressions on James’s face but I think this is more about me projecting onto the book than any clear intention.

If you have the opportunity to read this book then I recommend that you do, even if you’re not a huge fan of the Bond movies there’s an adventure romp to be enjoyed. In fact it has something of the Indiana Jones about it, although that might be our two-fisted hero barrelling about in stolen trucks and smashing his way through the bad guys’ plans.


Reviewer: Dave Williams

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