Jason Bourne vs James Bond: Who Would Win?

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Answer by Mark Hughes, Top Writer on Quora.

Jason Bourne, and I’ll tell you why.

[Note: I am going to assume, for the sake of clarity and ease of understanding and most common reference points and continuity etc, that we are comparing the film incarnations, not the book incarnations.]

Bourne was trained as an assassin, and the focus of most of his training is for that purpose. He’s a fighting, killing machine. He is highly intelligent and skilled at many things, but most of those things are to help him be a better fighter and better killer. And his skills become particularly dangerous in hand-to-hand situations, where he can immediately adapt to whatever is in the environment around him and use it as a weapon if possible. He knows as many ways to kill with his hands and feet, as with a knife or gun.

Bond is a spy, and his training in combat is indeed impressive, but it is not the primary and sole focus of his training and purpose. He has a wide array of skills not related to killing and fighting, and he has a wide array of equipment to employ in any give situation. He is especially deadly with a gun, and this is an example of his training focused less on hand-to-hand combat to the extent Bourne enjoys.

Bond has a much wider array of skill sets and missions, and his level of skill could be said to be (on a scale of one to ten) somewhere around an 8 overall, with some at 6 or 7 and some at 9 or 10. Bourne has about half the skill set, and is at a 10 in all of them. And all of them are combat.

Compare their histories, too, and notice how often Bourne was beaten up. Never. Now think about Bond, and how often he was subdued — about once per film, he gets captured at some point or otherwise grabbed and physically “bested” (even if it’s merely being knocked around or held firmly by a henchman while some bad guy imparts a warning of some sort).

Bourne is the ultimate warrior, the ultimate soldier, the ultimate assassin. Bond is not, because that’s not his primary job on his missions. Each man is the best at what he needs to be best at, and each man could best the other in a contest on their own “turf” so to speak. And in a street fight, Jason Bourne happens to be the one who is most on his own “turf.”

This question originally appeared on Quora, a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users.