Dr. No

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Dr. No adaptation from Showcase #43 © 1963 DC Comics. COVER ART BY BOB BROWN.

Dr. No

(pop culture)
Dr. Julius No, another of the latter-day Oriental masterminds in the mold of Dr. Fu Manchu, towers over James Bond—literally. He is a good half foot taller than Bond, his excellent posture adding to the impression of height. As described by Ian Fleming in his novel Dr. No (1958), “[No's] head was also elongated and tapered from a round, completely bald skull down to a sharp chin so that the impression was of a reversed raindrop— or rather, oildrop, for the skin was of a deep almost translucent yellow.” No has, instead of hands, steel pincers; his hands were forcibly amputated by one of the Chinese Tongs, from whom No embezzled a million dollars. From his base on Crab Key Island off Jamaica, where his cover is that of a dealer in bird guano, No sabotages U.S. missile tests for Soviet Russia. Beneath his island, No has constructed a fortress that puts Bond to “a great deal of pain.” There Bond is dumped into an electrified tunnel of tortures that includes scalding heat, freezing cold, twenty tarantulas, and a giant squid. His physical nature and his sadistic bent cause No to stand out even among Bond's adversaries and his inevitable death is one of the most abhorrent in the entire Bond canon, but he lives on in the form of a set of trading cards produced for collectors. Dr. No was the sixth James Bond novel, but the first James Bond film. Dr. No (1962), directed by Terence Young, features Joseph Wiseman as No. Given that the cold war has thawed, No is no longer in the pay of the U.S.S.R.; he now works for SPECTRE, a worldwide criminal group whose acronym defines its purpose: Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion. The novel was adapted into a comic strip in Britain in 1960; DC Comics published a comicbook adaptation (Showcase #43) of the film in 1963.