RARA-AVIS: Helm vs Bond:

blumenidiot (blumenidiot@email.msn.com)
Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:37:25 -0600 I just finished The Devastators, the ninth in the series. It is the first
to have all the elements found in the typical James Bond novel:
1. A madman who is a threat to destroy the world
2. Exotic location(if you consider the Scottish Highlands exotic)
3. Early attempts to kill the agent
4. Involved with more than one woman
5. Some Anglo-American cooperation
6. A beautiful, enemy agent who works with him
7. A vast, carefully hidden headquarters that Bond/Helm must penetrate.
8. Escape from this site
9. Its climactic destruction.

I remember the early Bonds were very popular. I'm old enough to have read
them in the mid sixties, but don't remember any great public stir about
Helm. Why the difference in popularity? Was it only because the Bonds were
first? Why is Bond a well known figure now and Helm forgotten?

There are a lot of possible reasons. It was widely known JFK read the
Fleming books. The first Bonds had the glamorous locations of the Riviera
and the Caribbean as opposed to the US and Norway for the Helms. Helm's
plots were "small" It much longer for Helm to have to save the world. The
product placements we have discussed made the Bonds seem more immediate.
Helm is a lot harder edged. Flemings' villians had much more flair were very

While the first movie made of both series was a parodiy, the Helms kept
their tone and stuck with the woefully inadequate Dean Martin. The Bond's
soon had Sean Connery in movies that took the action seriously. I'm sure
there are a lot of reasons I've missed. Any ideas?
Mark Blumenthal

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