James Bond vs. Mitch Rapp
Recently, the stars aligned and I was gifted with a new James Bond movie, SKYFALL, as well as a new Vince Flynn novel featuring my favorite CIA Assassin, Mitch Rapp. This got me to thinking, how do these two heroes matchup?
Both work for their respective governments in the clandestine service. Bond, or 007, is an MI6 covert agent who carries a Walther 9mm short and whatever cool gadgets Q may have sent along. He’s a classy dresser and ladies man, but not afraid to get his hands dirty in a brawl. Bond has demonstrated his ability to operate multiple types of machinery, although they usually end up destroyed. He answers only to M, his female boss.
Rapp is the type of agent the CIA doesn’t even acknowledge exists. While 007 may work in the shadows, Rapp is completely in the dark. His targets never see him coming and there’s no evidence he’s ever been there, other than the bodies. He also answers to a female boss, CIA Director Irene Kennedy. But while M tries to rein Bond in, Kennedy generally lets Rapp work with autonomy as long as he gets results. Dress and weapons are very different as Rapp is a master at blending in and going unnoticed, and always packing more than adequate firepower.
From the romance standpoint, both men are driven by painful loss. Bond’s love died trying to protect him, but he cannot forget her lies or betrayal. Rapp joined up after his fiancée was killed by terrorists. Both fear growing close to anyone as it usually results in a death sentence. While Bond has yet to do so, Rapp tried love again, but she and his unborn child died in a blast meant for him.
While there are many similarities between the two men, who would I want at my back in a fight? To be fair, I am using only the Daniel Craig incarnation of Bond to compare. And it is three movies vs. many books. Although if all goes well, there will soon be Mitch Rapp movies. If I had to choose, I have a soft spot for Mitch. And, I feel he’s better prepared and more knowledgeable than Bond who often seems to be led around by his latest leading lady and falls into trouble rather than having a plan. Plans often go awry, but Rapp always has a contingency to fall back on and I think I’d have a better chance of getting out alive.
Note: Sadly, my favorite author, Vince Flynn, tragically died before his time this past June. His publishing journey from dyslexia to self publishing his first book, to the New York Times list, and now a movie deal is inspiring. Vince, you will be missed. RIP.