James Bond. When we’re talking the “classic” version of the character–the first thing is who’s playing Bond. And then, depending on the film, you want to talk about the Bond Girl or the Bond Villain. The other day I was chatting with Cosette and, as my brain is wont to do–especially inspired by an infusion of tasty margarita–it went in a random direction. Characters or people that were not Bond Villains but could have made great ones. And yes, we were talking “Bond Classic,” since they were more prone to more insane notions. We love our more realistic Daniel Craig Bond, but these definitely wouldn’t work with him. So we threw together some seven candidates.
Additional notes before we get started: things we tried to avoid. Pairings that were too obvious. Because otherwise then fanfic has already been written on the subject and what good is that? They could be real people, they could be characters that weren’t necessarily evil, or they could be characters so way out that we think it’s very unlikely somebody’s written the fanfic yet. But they should now. Let’s get started.
6. Dr. Rappaccini. Well, I wanted to include one character from an older source. Dr. Moreau, for example, just seemed too bloody obvious. However, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s creation, who creates a garden of poisonous plants that transfers their toxic properties to humans. This is just one plot twist away from becoming an effort at world domination. In fact, Cosette informs me that A way to make humans toxic to one another so that plants could rule the world. Or something. It’s got that “rule the world” feel to it, doesn’t it? I couldn’t find a good picture. So. Just go with it.
5. Dr. Anton Phibes. Okay, at first glance I too wasn’t convinced. Was I just pining for the fact that Dr. Goldfoot is as close as Vincent Price came to the Bond franchise? Perhaps. And yes, he’s more interested in revenge than taking over the world. But he is more interested in revenge and resurrection, sort of like a less talkative Ra’s Al Ghul or something. So that might be something. Plus he does have a beautiful assistant/henchwoman, Vulnavia. That, coupled with his brilliance and madness, makes him ripe for thinking bigger and eventually taking on 007. After all, there apparently were a slew of proposed sequels–consider this the franchise that never was.
4. Alan Moore. I’m not mental. It makes total sense. Consider this: take the idea of Mr. Big and Baron Samedi, both from Live and Let Die, combine them into one character who worships a snake god and you’re good. People who have read a lot of Moore’s work are convinced on some subtle level that he’s trying to take over the world anyway, although if you press them for how they know this or why, they can’t quite tell you. I’m sure Wolven is working on a ten-part thesis about how Moore’s complete works form a memetic sigil/imprint that will control us all. Fight that, Mr. Bond.
3. Johnny Cash. No, not a Blofeld-type, but more of a deadly assassin type. Cosette thought I had lost my mind but consider this: he shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. And he states better than Trent Reznor himself that he is the one who will make you hurt. Dresses all in black–and you should never trust anyone who does this. Exudes badass. That’s Johnny Cash. And that’s a Bond assassin for you. And is there anyone among us who wouldn’t want to see an in-his-prime Johnny Cash kick the shit out of an in-his-prime Roger Moore? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Roger Moore’s the Bond I grew up with and even I’m smiling. Although, honestly, it doesn’t matter what age Cash you get…he still looks like he could break you in half if you pissed him off.
2. Mr. Rogers. Now hold up. I do not, as Doc stated when he was informed of my choice, need “to back up off Fred Rogers.” I dig the hell out of Mr. Rogers. Think he was one of the coolest froods around. But. It takes just the smallest of twists to see his kindness in a sinister light. And get this: he has an entire kingdom at his disposal, The Land of Make Believe. I currently subscribe to the theory that The Land of Make Believe is where they were holding Number 6. Doc is dubious and duly noted. But still. In an Earth-3 version of this reality, Mr. Rogers is a world-beating head of a SPECTRE-like organization. Mark my words.
1. Willy Wonka. It’s so obvious. Head of a worldwide organization. Rich, intelligent, eccentric and able to formulate candy that will do just about anything he wishes. Access to an army of Oompa-Loompas. Wild technology at his disposal, including a glass elevator that heads up to a hotel in space (the movie version of Moonraker, anyone?). And let’s face it–especially in the hands of that genius, Gene Wilder…Wonka was frightening. Of this entire list, this is the one that seems to just need a nudge in one direction in order to become a mega-villain. “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to drink this and be sucked into a fan in the ceiling!” Chilling.
Who would you pit against Bond? And do you have a particular Bond in mind? Do tell in the comments.