Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nods to Bond Where You Least Expect, Part I

Content Advisory: There is full frontal nudity (comic book art) below for the purpose of illustrating one of Bond’s influences.

Whether it’s a movie, magazine, television, or some other pop culture outlet, nods to James Bond seem to appear in some of the unlikeliest of places, but welcomed albeit with an eye roll at times (depending on how Bond was incorporated). Periodically, I’ll post those that I find. Here are a few that I have come across recently (and yes, I either play or watch my fair share of videogames!):

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011, Xbox 360 Videogame)
I remember the earlier Deus Ex PC game with its slick blue palette that made up agent JC Denton world, globetrotting around the world to fight a terrorist movement in the year 2052. In that game, there were several popular culture references, so it really should not come as any surprise that this recently released prequel set in 2025 would continue that same practice. The game follows security director Adam Jensen through the various corporate offices, clubs and such. Computer hacking is part of the encouraged game play, so often emails could provide details that fleshed the overarching story. Sometimes, the emails were just fillers, which always provides for some entertainment, especially if the writers are creative and/or funny. Given that espionage is one of the driving themes of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, it was appropriate that James Bond make an appearance at some point in the game, which brings me to the Bond reference:

No, there was not a maniacal villain with a white cat in the game, but seriously how cool would that have been? And, perhaps it’s a promising prediction that James Bond will still be as popular as he is now.  Could you imagine – Bond at 100?!

Tropico 3 (2010, Xbox 360 Videogame)
I just started playing this micromanaging, political simulation game. There are two game modes: a campaign comprising of main objectives for several Caribbean islands, or sandbox of an open island just waiting for a dictator to come along and build up the economy in any industry and political motivation. You can pick a famous person – Che Guevara, Augusto Pinochet, Evita Peron and many others – to lead the island, or you can customize your in-game avatar. One of the options was “secret agent” and this is where this gem was found:

Should we be surprised? Bond and Fleming spent time in the Caribbean, so why not? And, ouch! Elvis impersonator?! Was that a knock to Never Say Never Again or later 80s Roger Moore Bond films? Undeserving on both accounts, I would have to say. 

James Pond: Underwater Agent (1990, Videogame)
I seriously could not believe when I heard about this game. Originally a videogame developed in 1990 by Vectordean Ltd and Millennium Interactive. From the cover, it is quite easy to see who inspired the golden mudskipper. Similarities do not stop there: there’s a villain named Dr. Maybe who threatens our precious ocean ecosystem with toxic waste. Mr. Pond is hired by the British secret service to save the day, all while seducing beautiful mermaids (some are double agents of course!). And not surprising, the levels spoof James Bond movie titles with “A View to a Spill” and “Leak and Let Die” among others.

The single player platform game spawned almost as many sequels as there were Bloefelds in the filmic versions, which included James Pond 2: Codename Robocod (1991 where secret agent meets Robocop) and James Pond 3: Operation Starfish (1993, where secret agent meets Flash Gordon). More recently, in mid 2011, Mr. Pond returned in James Pond in the Deathly Shallows (nodding to the Harry Potter series) for the iPhone and iPad after an 18-year hiatus. Unfortunately, our aquatic spy did not fare well with the critics –’s gaming critic Jim Sterling placed the game as the second worst games of 2012!

Cavewoman Gangster Issue #3, Variant Cover (2013, Artist: Budd Root, Comic Book)

Bam! Just out of nowhere comes this special “Bond” edition nude cover by artist and Cavewoman creator, Budd Root, according to the Certificate of Authenticity. The story was written by Rob Durham and in this issue, the adventure picks up with Cavewoman working with the police to save her kidnapped boyfriend. Other than a jittery policeman, who is spying for the local gang, there’s no conceivable connection with the Bond cover. There is an alternate Root cover in which the Cavewoman’s coat is open only enough to show off her ample cleavage.

Note: While I did briefly consider whether I should censor the nudity, I decided a content advisory at the beginning of the post was sufficient. This is art and as such, I figured we could all act with maturity.


  1. While the James Bond Easter Egg in the email is funny, I still think the best pop culture reference in Deus Ex has to go to the Robocop reference in the Detroit Police station. Some dude is talking to an "Alex Murphy" (the real name of Robocop) about a movie he saw, and describes the plot of Robocop (which of course has MANY parallels to the Deus Ex story - person nearly dies, rebirth as part man-part machine, takes place in Detroit, you get the idea). The officer is like "mmeeehhh sci-fi isn't my thing".

    I love the Bond special edition of Cavewoman. I think it's cheeky. After reading some of the story arcs (Snow, Extinction, Bunny Farm), the comic isn't as "excessive" as the cover leads you to believe.

    Oh, it's excessive, but just not as bad. I actually like the Cavewoman character - naiveness and cheekyness. Plus, dinosaurs! Everyone loves Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs and ample bosoms. The actual pinup issues of Cavewoman are really well done actually.

    James Pond and a View to a Spill. That's..... that's real bad. Waiting for that prono version of James Bondage.

  2. Nick, the references to Robocop were great in Deus Ex and I would agree, fit within the context of that part of the story...Well, I think that some of the panels of Cavewoman are a bit over the top really, but the random Bond covers was a headscratcher.

    Yeah, someone went there: James Bondage. That will have to be included in the next edition of this series.


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