9 historical figures who could be Bond villains
The Bond villain has become a cultural archetype, a figure of menace who is various parts insane, dashing and ruthless. Everyone has a mental image of what the typical Bond villain is like, but why should our imaginations be confined by the world of fiction, especially when human history is full of insane madmen and vile degenerates who embody the worst (best?) qualities of a really good Bond villain? A good question. Hence, this list. Indeed, these nine historical figures all have their differences, but the one thing they all have in common is this: they would all make damn good Bond villains.
Photo credit: david_shankbone, Flickr
I suppose I could have gone with Caligula as the representative of ancient Rome on this prestigious list – after all, the dude once named his horse a Senator – but Caligula was really more of a simple degenerate, relatively beloved by his people even though he was insane. Nero, on the other hand, had more of a diabolical streak to him, even if he was just as insane. Synonymous with ruthless tyranny, Nero had his own mother and step-brother killed and probably would have spent hours torturing James Bond before poisoning him or burning him to death in his garden so he could have some light for a late night dinner party. No, really, Nero used to bring Christians to his garden just so he could burn them alive because their burning bodies provided light. After all, who the hell wants to pay for heating oil? That shit is expensive, even for a Roman Emperor. Of course, there is also the famous story of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned which, honestly, is just the sort of insane yet suave as hell kind of swankish dickery you’d expect from a Bond villain.
8 Lavrentiy Baria
Sure, everyone expects to see names like Stalin or Hitler on this list but really those dudes were just plain old monsters – insane, yes, but so outwardly aggressive and obvious that governments sent whole armies to stop them. Men like Lavrentiy Baria, however, the head of Stalin’s secret police, were just the sort of megalomaniacs a master spy like James Bond was sent to deal with. Baria was not only Stalin’s top henchman, which all by itself should tell you the dude didn’t mind doing some truly heinous shit, he was also the man who oversaw the development of the Soviet Atomic Bomb project and who engineered coup after coup throughout Eastern Europe following the end of World War II, placing Soviet friendly rulers in charge of places like Czechoslovakia, which in effect created the infamous Iron Curtain. And to top it all off, Baria also was heavily instrumental in the Communist victory in China, allowing Mao Ze Dong’s forces to use Soviet controlled Manchuria as a staging area for operations. But perhaps Baria’s longest lasting “gift” to mankind was his personal selection of Kim-Il Sung to be the new leader of the recently conquered North Korea. In the end, Lavrentiy Baria was a man who not only was responsible for the deaths of millions in his own home country, but he personally engineered coups and influenced events that are still causing problems to this day. His ambitions clearly went beyond the Soviet homeland. I mean, when everyone considers you to be the most dangerous and ambitious of all of Stalin’s henchmen, well… it’s pretty safe to say that you’ve earned a visit from ol’ 007.
7 Rupert Murdoch
Oh, Rupert. There’s a good chance that after writing this I will be subdued with an ether rag and then wake up in some hidden facility which shows only Fox News on a 24 hour loop, which really tells you all you need to know here, doesn’t it? I mean, come on, would it surprise anyone reading this – anyone at all? – if you learned that Rupert Murdoch had his own private installation somewhere in the Alps filled with thousands of monitors, each showing surveillance footage from a different part of the world? I can just picture Murdoch sitting in a giant leather chair, stroking a cat and hissing something like “This world vill be mine!” Don’t ask me why Rupert Murdoch has a German accent in this scenario. Just go with it. The point is, is that Rupert Murdoch seems like exactly the sort of egomaniac media mogul who would see the world as his own personal plaything, and it’s a pretty short leap from that to trying to directly control the events of that world. Now, I’m not saying that Rupert Murdoch has a giant laser beam aimed at the moon or anything, but… well, it wouldn’t shock me either.
6 Heinrich Himmler
Again, the obvious choice here would be Hitler, but for sheer insanity and cartoonish supervillainy, I’ll go with Himmler, Hitler’s right hand man. And why not? After all, not only was Himmler the architect of the Holocaust, he was also obsessed with the notion of racial purity and was the driving force behind the Nazi attempt to breed an Aryan race of Nordic Supermen. I mean, that’s basically the same motivation driving Hugo Weaving’s character in Captain America, and that dude didn’t even have a human face. But the craziest part is that Himmler wasn’t some comic book character with a dumb name like The Red Skull, he actually existed. I can just see him screaming at a legion of doctors, demanding that they perfect some weird purification serum while a giant alarm blares because James Bond has infiltrated their facility. Hell, I probably just gave George Lucas an idea for the next Indiana Jones movie so let’s just move on before I get attacked by a rabid Ewok.
5 Julian Assange
Like Rupert Murdoch, Julian Assange just seems like a Bond Villain, doesn’t he? I mean, the dude was operating out of a Cold War era nuclear bunker built into the side of a mountain, hacking the world, probably cackling maniacally the whole time with a harem of scantily dressed bimbos by his side – or roofied in a back room. And like many Bond villains, his goal was not so much world domination as it was simple anarchy, an overthrow of the prevailing order. I mean, come on, can’t you just see this dude ranting with an empty look in his eyes about why he did his thing all while James Bond lies strapped to a conveyor belt, drifting closer and closer to some deadly laser beam all while some Amazonian knife-thrower stands waiting in the corner? Look at him and tell me you don’t see that. And again, there is a good chance that thanks to writing this I will “disappear” in the next few days or end up brainwashed and singing Hare Krishna songs at the airport. I’m counting on Chris Spags to save me, Bond style, because that’s just how we roll here at Guyism.
4 Vladimir Putin
Jesus, just look at a picture of him sometime!
3 Dr. Joseph Mengele
Dr. Mengele was so evil that he almost doesn’t even seem like a real person. He actually seems like a dude who could exist only in the world of fiction. He’s so evil that supervillains probably have his poster on their wall, like teenagers do with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. He’s the mad scientist bent on creating a race of Supermen. He’s basically Kevin Bacon in X-Men: First Class without the mutant superpowers. When you’re so evil that they literally base a comic supervillain off of you, well… yeah, you’re really evil. Hell, Mengele might be too evil even for James Bond. You’d need Professor X or Wolverine or Jesus or somebody to stop him. Then again, Jesus probably wouldn’t want to risk getting anywhere near Mengele’s lab for, uh, obvious reasons. Dr. Joseph Mengele is almost the inspiration for the “insane scientist bent on world domination” character and so it should be no surprise that he’s on this list. I just hope James Bond isn’t afraid of getting ethered and then waking up naked on a table, his only sight a madman wielding a scalpel because there is a roughly 82% chance that’s what would happen if he tangled with the fiendish Doctor. Don’t argue with me, it’s just basic math.
2 Grigori Rasputin
First of all, look at the guy. Second, his nickname was the “Mad Monk.” Third, even though he was anti-war, it’s very, very easy to picture Rasputin behind the scenes, holding leader after leader under his thrall, using them as his own personal playthings while the world goes to hell. That’s because, honestly, that isn’t that far off from what actually happened during Rasputin’s wild life. I can just see James Bond going to investigate weird mystic events in Russia only to end up tied up in some weird sex dungeon by Rasputin and his acolytes. You might scoff at me but don’t tell me you can’t picture Rasputin stroking his beard, naked, puffing on some weird long pipe while Bond gets sexed to death by a bunch of nymphomaniac Russians with steel thighs and vacuum cleaner lips. No? That’s just me? Okay, moving on before I embarrass myself completely…
1 Mother Teresa
I know, I’m shocked too, but before you freak out, listen up, okay? We here at Guyism have recently uncovered some previously classified documents, which were given to us by an old Albanian spy disguised as a crackhead named Biscuits, and these documents reveal that Mother Teresa wasn’t just the kindly old lady she appeared to be. Oh no. Her missionary work was just a cover for the truth, which is that she was actually a spy, codenamed Muffy O’Toole, who spent years creating a secret army of street urchins so that her secret organization could one day take over the world. (The name of which was blacked out in the secret documents, but which our crack team of researchers – and by that, I of course mean that they are all on crack – believe to be none other than the Salvation Army, those fiends. I mean, come on, “Army” is right in their name.) What’s worse is that apparently whenever the good guys sent someone to stop ol’ Muffy, she would seduce them with her feminine wiles and then after naked happy fun time she would suffocate them to death by smothering them with [redacted for gross indecency.] or by drowning them in their own [redacted for gross indecency.] I know! Despicable. In the end, I think it’s clear that the only man who could stop a seductress like Mother Teresa is Agent 007 himself. That is if he could only resist her obvious womanly charms. By the way, nobody better steal this because I’m totally pitching this to the producers of the Bond films. I’m gonna be rich! Also, I’m going to hell! Hurray!