Skyfall is here!
This isn’t entirely related to G.I. Joe but I just had to point out that the 50th installment in the James Bond franchise drops on DVD and Blu-Ray today. Why is this important to fans of America’s first action figure? Simple– the Bond franchise is the longest-running film series in history and has set the bar for so many elements of modern action cinema! From the use of practical effects and world record-breaking stunts to exotic locations and dynamic villains, the Bond films have entertained millions for the past 5 decades! Plus, the 007 series has had more than a “passing influence” on many aspects of G.I. Joe.
Years ago, a young Joe fan who happens to be writing this article was introduced to the world of 007 by his father, thanks to ABC’s frequent airing of the films on Sunday nights. As a kid, I was floored by the similarities between the early appearances of Cobra in both the Marvel Comics and the first Sunbow mini-series and the use of SPECTRE in the Sean Connery films. From the incredible lairs that evoked memories of the design of Ken Adams to the elaborate plots to disrupt the western world, Cobra was the kid-friendly version of a Bond villain. Heck, look at the Sears exclusive Missile Command Headquarters and you’ll see an homage to the volcano base in You Only Live Twice.
Even the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club is utilizing a Bond vibe in this year’s AMAZING 12″ Joe Con set Secret Mission to Dragon Island. One has only to look at the villain Sebastian Gorman in the set to see the uniform worn by Ernst Stavro Blofeld in two of his three cinematic performances. (I don’t count the beginning of For Your Eyes Only.) Plus, many of the sets applicable to the Man of Action are right out of James Bond films.
Regardless, the Bond films left a strong impression upon me and really have shaped my view of what makes for a good spy/action movie. It’ll be this bar that will be measured against when I watch G.I. Joe Retaliation in just a few weeks. Yes, the Bond movies have evolved over time– from the secret organizations of the 60′s, the near-parody of the 70′s, and all the way to the grim realism of the new Daniel Craig era. Like G.I. Joe, Bond is a product of his time reflecting the realities of the world in which he finds himself. He just happens to do it with style and flair. This past Christmas, my father surprised me with what has become my favorite gift in years – the Bond 50 Blu-Ray set. For days afterwards, I poured over the special features and the films like a relapsed dieter at the last Twinkie warehouse. The marketing department behind the set was clever, however. They left one empty tray in the box for the latest film in the franchise– a spot that will finally be filled tonight!
So, if you’re so inclined, run out today and snag a copy of Skyfall. Sit back in your favorite chair, pop in the disc and be prepared to watch 007 prove that “nobody does it better.” It’s a great way to relax and prepare for the arrival of G.I. Joe: Retaliation in just a few short weeks.
I’ll step off my soap box now and let you resume your regularly schedule G.I. Joe website. However, if you’re so inclined, here’s the trailer for Skyfall followed by the “mother of all Bond compilations” to watch. Enjoy!
50 Years of James Bond: The Movie