Golden Gate saw Largo Winch’s W Corporation stitched up a like a kipper by Cuban gangster Don Candido Panatella. For different reasons, as the cover indicates, both Winch and his chief financial officer Dwight Cochrane are in jail. Also none too pleased is Winch’s best mate Simon Ovronnaz, who’d been enjoying the high life as star of a TV show, now closed down.

Winch is soon released, but the less adaptable Cochrane has to remain: “They’re all brutes Mr Winch! Thugs without faith or law, perverts, assassins, druggies…” “That is the type of person you generally put in jail”, responds Winch. Jean Van Hamme’s attention to detail in this sequence ensures Cochrane’s safety as Winch is released, and sets up a desperately needed later rescue. It compensates for the not exactly subtle information dumps over the first dozen pages, as does a particularly well-conceived rescue sequence that follows them.

The action set pieces throughout are excellent, as Winch, with his company pulled away from him, has to deal with the perpetrators and their seemingly watertight takeover. As is usually his manner, he does so directly. It’s possibly the best way here, as one of the villains proves to be more unpleasant and sadistic than usual.

Philippe Francq’s art is always excellent, and presumably always will be, and never devoid of detail. This looks amazing when he supplies landscapes, but extends to smaller, throwaway elements. At one stage a convoluted joke sequence is topped off with a small figure of the Joker. As with other volumes in the series “in order not to offend our more sensitive readers” Cinebook’s art department have been hard at work draping formerly naked women with strips of cloth.

The next pair of Largo Winch graphic novels are The Price of Money and The Law of the Dollar.