- "I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab or the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?"
- ―Jason Bourne[src]
Captain David Webb, USA (retired), better known by his alias Jason Bourne, is a rogue CIA operative and former assassin of the CIA black ops group Operation Treadstone who betrays the interests of the USA on several counts. He is the titular main protagonist in the Bourne series of novels, as well as the film adaptations, video game, televison series and tourist attraction.
Early life (films)
Jason Bourne was born as David Webb on September 13, 1970 (June 4th, 1978 in Jason Bourne), in Nixa, Missouri, to Mary and Richard Webb. Webb joined the U.S. Army Special Forces ("Green Berets") and later joined Delta Force (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta or "1st SFOD-Delta"), where he attained the officer rank of Captain. His military ID tags (dog tags) state that he is a Catholic and his blood type is O-. As Jason Bourne, his blood type states A+ as indicated on his Treadstone file.
Following his enlistment with Delta Force, Webb joined the CIA on January 4th, 1997 and later (after his father's death) joined the Treadstone project where he was codenamed Jason Bourne. On October 7, 1999 his father was killed in Beirut, Lebanon, while working as a CIA station chief. It is revealed that Richard Webb created the Treadstone program and they wanted to recruit his son David into the program but when he found out he threatened to expose the program because he did not want his son to become an assassin. So CIA deputy director Robert Dewey ordered his personal assassin, only known as "The Asset," to kill Richard Webb and stage his death as a terrorist attack in order to pursuance his son to join Treadstone and believe his father was killed by terrorists.
In 2002, during a stormy night, a group of Italian fishermen finds a man floating in the Mediterranean Sea off Marseille, with two gunshot wounds in his back and a device with the number of a Swiss bank account embedded in his hip. Suffering from retrograde amnesia, he finds he is versed in several European languages and can perform uncommon tasks such as sea navigation and tying exotic knots in the ship's ropes, but he cannot remember anything about himself or how he got there. When the ship docks in Oneglia, he sets off for Zürich to investigate the bank account at the Gemeinschaft Bank.
Meanwhile, hassled for sleeping on a park bench in Zurich, Switzerland, an amnesiac Bourne finds out he is strangely skilled in hand-to-hand combat and firearms knowledge when he subdues two Swiss police officers reflexively in self-defense. At the bank in Zürich, using the number found from his hip, he opens his safe deposit box to find several passports containing his picture, large amounts of assorted currencies, a TAG Heuer Link Chronograph CT1111 watch and a Sig Sauer SP2009 9mm handgun among other things. Still, with no idea what his real name is, he assumes the one from the first US passport, Jason Bourne and takes everything form the box except the gun. When American and Swiss authorities attempt to capture him at the US Consulate, he cripples several of them, climbs down the consulate's window ledges and offers Marie Helena Kreutz, a young woman in desperate need of money, $20,000 to take him to Paris, the city of the address on his Jason Bourne passport.
Meanwhile, Alexander Conklin, the head of the CIA black ops group Operation Treadstone, assures Deputy Director Ward Abbott that he will destroy any evidence connecting them to Bourne responsible for the failed assassination attempt on Wombosi. He activates three "assets" to take down their fellow operative: Castel, Manheim, and the Professor.
When Bourne arrives at the address on his passport, he is immediately recognized by the building superintendent and based on the contents of his apartment, he concludes he is in the shipping business. In search of more clues, he hits redial on his phone and is connected to the Hotel Regina, who recognizes one of his aliases from another passport, John Michael Kane. They tell him that Kane was a guest who died two weeks before in a car crash. As Bourne ponders this, Castel blasts through a window shooting an IMI Galil MAR aka a "Micro Galil" and engages Bourne in hand-to-hand combat. After Bourne subdues Castel by stabbing him several times with a biro then breaking his arm and leg, he attempts to interrogate him, but Castel jumps out the window, preferring suicide (to interrogation by Bourne for information). Marie finds wanted posters in Castel's bag with both hers and Bourne's pictures on them.
Bourne continually advises Marie to leave him as he's trying to figure out who he is and why people are after him. He tells her to go to the police and explain everything to them; she chooses to remain with him and encourages him to figure it out with her help. After eluding the Paris police in a high-speed chase around Paris in her beaten up Mini Cooper, and spending the night in hiding, they go to the Hotel Regina. There, Marie asks for John Michael Kane's hotel records.
Meanwhile, Conklin plants a body in the Parisian morgue to fool Wombosi into thinking Kane, his attempted assassin, is dead, but Wombosi recognizes that the body is not his assailant, and Conklin has Wombosi killed in his home by the asset known as "the Professor." Bourne investigates the incident, the previous assassination attempt, and John Michael Kane's contacts, and concludes that he is the failed killer. He and Marie escape the city into the country to stay at the house of a friend of Marie's, where Jason decides that he no longer wants to be who he was.
In the morning, the Professor comes to kill Jason. Bourne uses a double-barreled shotgun to blow up the home's fuel tank to distract the Professor (who was on a hilltop overlooking the home, armed with a suppressed SIG SG 550 SR rifle) while he runs to the woods. Bourne ultimately shoots the Professor twice with the shotgun when he tries to draw a backup Walther P5 Compact and interrogates him briefly, revealing their mutual connection to Operation Treadstone. The Professor dies from blood loss, but not before saying to Bourne: "Look at us. Look at what they make you give."
Keeping $30,000, Bourne sends Marie away with the rest of the money for her own safety. He uses the Professor's cellular phone to arrange a meeting with Conklin on the Pont Neuf, which he uses as a distraction to plant a tracking device from the Professor's bag on Conklin's vehicle to discover the location of Operation Treadstone's safe house in Paris.
After following the vehicle to the safe house, Bourne uses an electronic device to trigger the car alarms of all the cars parked on the street, and when the noise distracts the guards, he climbs into the operations safe house where Nicky Parsons and Conklin are.
When he meets Conklin, holding him at gunpoint, he finally begins to remember his last mission. He had backed out of the (officially unsanctioned) Wombosi assassination after seeing Wombosi's children. Bourne was then shot by Wombosi while escaping the fast-moving boat and left behind for dead in the water.
After this memory, he tells Conklin that he is leaving Treadstone permanently and warns him not to try to follow him. He then realizes Conklin silently triggered an alarm and has the backup on the way. Bourne leaves Nicky unharmed, has a shootout with several CIA Special Activities Division agents, and escapes into the night. Abbott, having decided that Treadstone should be closed down for good, has the last operative, Manheim, murder Conklin with a suppressed Beretta 92FS outside the safe house. Abbott then goes before an Oversight Committee and glibly explains Treadstone away as an ineffective assassin-training program, then immediately shifts the focus of the hearing to an idea for a new project codenamed "Blackbriar" (which is not addressed until the third film in the series, The Bourne Ultimatum). Sometime later, Jason finds Marie in Mykonos, renting out scooters to tourists, and the two embrace.
Two years after the events of The Bourne Identity, Bourne and Marie are living in Goa, India. Bourne is having flashbacks of an assassination in a Berlin hotel. Meanwhile, in Berlin, a CIA officer under Deputy Director Pamela Landy is trading $3 million for the complete "Neski Files," documents concerning the theft of $20 million from the CIA, seven years earlier.
They are to complete the exchange in an office building in Berlin. During the exchange, an assassin named Kirill plants Jason Bourne's fingerprint on a bomb in the building's basement which kills the power and proceeds to kill the agent and the source with his Walther P99, stealing the files and money. He sells them to Russian oil magnate Yuri Gretkov.
Kirill travels to Goa in order to kill Bourne, but Bourne spots him and flees with Marie. Just as Bourne and Marie are driving away, Kirill, armed with a Sauer Model 202 .308 Takedown Rifle, fires at the driver whom he believes to be Bourne but is, in fact, Marie, killing her and causing the car to veer off the bridge into a river. Kirill leaves, believing that he killed Bourne, but Bourne manages to swim away undetected. Bourne leaves for Naples, Italy, with money and passports in an attempt to learn why he is again being targeted, believing that Treadstone is pursuing him.
In Berlin, Landy's team finds the planted fingerprint and, upon running it through the database, finds that the identity of the person in question was part of Treadstone and information regarding it is restricted by the CIA. Landy then flies to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to meet with her boss and to find out about Treadstone and who left the print. She discovers that they belong to Bourne and questions Ward Abbott about Treadstone. He admits that he had Conklin killed after a failed mission, but has no idea where Bourne is. Landy tells Abbott that the CIA agent who stole the $20 million was named in the stolen files. A Russian politician, Vladimir Neski, was due to identifying the thief. Before he could do so, however, Neski was apparently murdered by his wife in a Berlin hotel, who had proceeded to commit suicide afterward. Landy believes that Bourne and Conklin were involved in the theft, and, based on the discovered fingerprint, that Bourne was responsible for the deaths of the CIA officer and source in Berlin. Both Abbott and Landy go to Berlin, hoping to find some trace of Bourne and capture him.
Arriving in Naples, Italy, Bourne deliberately uses a known passport under his name. Agents in Langley are notified of Bourne's arrival, and he is detained. He incapacitates an Italian Carabinieri officer and his CIA interrogator, John Nevins, copies the agent's SIM card on his own cell phone, then escapes with Levins's Sig Sauer P225. Bourne steals a car and then listens in on a call from Landy, learning her name, phone number, and that he is suspected of the recent killings in Berlin. He then leaves for Germany. In Munich, he breaks into another Treadstone agent's house. Upon arrival, the agent, Jarda, tells him Treadstone was shut down following Conklin's death; he and Bourne are the only remnants of the project. As Bourne realizes Jarda has called in backup, Jarda attacks with a carving knife, the two struggle, and Bourne kills Jarda by strangling him with his heater extension cord. Bourne sets a trap by opening a gas line and jamming a magazine into a toaster; the home explodes as the operatives arrive, seriously injuring the armed agents.
In Amsterdam, Landy and Abbott intercept and debrief Nicky Parsons. Bourne follows them from a hotel to a CIA office in Berlin. Armed with a suppressed Keppeler & Fritz KS II rifle (Bourne most likely acquired this rifle from a cache in the area that he remembered he had) and positioning himself on a neighboring roof, Bourne calls Landy's phone, questioning her intentions. She tells him he killed two people in Berlin. Although Landy is referring to the agents, he thinks she is referring to Neski and his wife. Bourne arranges to meet Nicky at the Alexanderplatz, where he uses a crowded anti-capitalist protest to evade surveillance and capture. He leads Nicky to the subway station and interrogates her, learning that Abbott was the head of Treadstone, not Conklin. Bourne's flashbacks of Neski's assassination at the Brecker Hotel return, but Nicky knows nothing about the Neski killing. Upon hearing their conversation over Nicky's transmitter, Landy begins to believe that Bourne is being framed. To the surprise of Landy and Abbott, Bourne lets Nicky go unharmed. Back at the office, Abbott's associate Danny Zorn becomes certain Bourne is being framed after examining the basement where the bomb with Bourne's fingerprint was found. After revealing his belief to Abbott, Abbott stabs him to death, proving his involvement in the conspiracy.
Bourne revisits the Brecker Hotel in Berlin and remembers more of the Neski mission. He was sent to kill Neski on Conklin's orders; and when Neski's wife unexpectedly showed up, he shot him and then her, positioning the scene to appear a murder-suicide. The German police and SEK arrive after the hotel's lobby report Bourne as wanted, which interrupts Bourne's flashback and forces him to escape via the building's exterior. Having evaded them, Bourne breaks into Abbott's hotel room and records a conversation between him and Gretkov that incriminates Abbott and Gretkov in the theft of the money. Abbott also confesses that he ordered Bourne killed (Marie was not the intended target), Neski's murder by Bourne, the murder of the agents by Kirill, and the planted fingerprint at the scene. Out of respect for Marie's beliefs in non-violence, Bourne spares Abbott's life. Zorn's body is discovered at the office and Landy, realizing Abbott killed him, goes to confront Abbott, who commits suicide with the Walther PP Bourne left him. Landy later receives the tape Bourne recorded.
Bourne travels to Moscow, where he is shot and wounded by Kirill. After an extended high-speed chase through Moscow in which his hijacked taxi is battered by the Moscow traffic and is forced to pull off some dangerous high-speed maneuvers to take out the Federal Security Bureau operatives, Bourne forces Kirill to crash in a tunnel by first blowing out his tires with his Sig P225 and performing a unique PIT maneuver, critically wounding him when his Mercedes slams into a divider (Kirill presumably dies from his wounds) . Gretkov is arrested by Russian police after Landy provides them with the evidence she got from Bourne. Bourne proceeds to the apartment of Irena Neski, Vladimir Neski's daughter, where he informs her that her mother did not kill her father and then commit suicide; Bourne had killed them both on a mission gone wrong, and he apologizes.
Wounded from the car chase, Jason Bourne is still evading the Moscow police. Cornered by two officers while breaking into a medical clinic to treat his wounds, Bourne overpowers the officers and leaves them alive as he escapes, saying to one that his argument is not with them. The story continues six weeks later as Simon Ross, a security correspondent for The Guardian, meets with Neil Daniels, the Madrid CIA station chief, in Turin, to discuss Treadstone and to look for information on Jason Bourne. Bourne goes to Paris to tell Marie's brother, Martin, of her death, then heads to London by train and reads an article in The Guardian where Ross describes Jason Bourne as a CIA officer. Bourne arranges to meet Ross in the city at the south entrance of Waterloo Station. Ross, however, is under surveillance because of his use of the word "Operation Blackbriar" in a phone call to his editor was tracked by ECHELON, alerting the CIA. CIA section chief Noah Vosen alerts his staff to find out any information on Ross, believing that Operation Blackbriar has been compromised.
After receiving a phone call from Bourne, Ross takes a taxi to Waterloo Station and is followed by the CIA, who believe him to be meeting his source there. At the station, Bourne sees CIA officers following Ross and places a prepaid mobile phone on him; through it, Bourne instructs the frightened journalist on how to dodge the station's surveillance, while knocking out the CIA agents attempting to kidnap Ross. However, Vosen orders their asset, an assassin named Paz, to kill Ross and his source. Vosen's team identifies Bourne on a security camera and recognizes him as the original Treadstone assassin, and assumes he is Ross's source. While Paz gets into an excellent position with a scoped and suppressed Sig SG 552 commando, Bourne tells Ross to remain hidden, but Ross panics and foolishly run out into the open, giving Paz a clear kill shot. In the ensuing chaos, Bourne grabs Ross' notes off of his body; the notes reveal Ross' source to be Daniels.
Pamela Landy is asked to help capture Bourne. With Landy's help, Vosen and his team realize that Daniels is Ross' source. They decide to send a team to Daniels' office in Madrid, but Bourne arrives first, finding only one photograph in an otherwise empty safe as Daniels has already left. Bourne attacks the CIA team when they enter the office and, just as he finishes mopping up the CIA agents, Nicky Parsons enters the office. Nicky tells him that she was reassigned to Madrid after Berlin and that Daniels has fled to Tangier. She helps him escape the CIA reinforcements by telling Vosen that Bourne had already left the office. Bourne calls the police to report about gunfire and fires one of the agent's 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022s several times during the call; they leave just as the second CIA team piles out of their vehicles, guns drawn, in front of the office as the police arrive as well. When Bourne asks Nicky why she is helping him, Nicky only hints vaguely at something before Bourne's amnesia. While in Tangier, they realize the CIA has sent assassin Desh Bouksani to eliminate Daniels. Nicky uses her official clearance access to send Desh a message, telling him to meet her for a new phone, thus allowing Bourne to follow Desh to his target. When Vosen realizes Nicky's deceit he orders Desh to kill Nicky and Bourne after terminating Daniels. Landy is outraged at Vosen's willingness to indiscriminately kill CIA personnel and quits the operation.
Bourne follows Desh and is unable to save Daniels, who dies from Desh's planted bomb which also nearly kills Bourne. When Desh returns for Nicky, Bourne outruns the Tangier police across the rooftops and fights Desh, eventually smothering him with a towel after disarming him of his suppressed Heckler & Koch USP compact tactical and a rusty knife. Bourne accompanies Nicky to a bus station where she begins her own separate life on the run from the CIA. At the Tangier morgue, Bourne examines Daniels' charred papers and finds the address of the CIA substation in New York City. Bourne takes a flight to New York City, and on arrival deliberately uses a passport that alerts Landy to his presence. Bourne calls Landy while observing her and Vosen from across the street. The ending of The Bourne Supremacy is repeated: Landy tells him his real name is David Webb and that he was born on 4/15/71, a code for the address of the Treadstone facility at 415 East 71st Street. Bourne sends a text message to Landy to arrange a meeting. Vosen and his team intercept the message and follow Landy as she leaves the building. Bourne's meeting, however, is simply a diversion to allow him to enter Vosen's office and steal classified Blackbriar documents.
Vosen realizes the diversion after a taunting phone call from Bourne to get a recording of his voice, the key to unlocking the safe. Bourne states he is in Vosen's office, and a desperate Vosen frantically and comically orders CIA officers back to his office to capture Bourne. Bourne escapes racing to a parking lot, highjacking an Audi A4 and driving it off the roof to get away from the first set of operatives. He then scrambles out of the now wrecked Audi, shoots up the second car of CIA operatives with a Gen 3 Glock 17 (Bourne most likely acquired this gun from either Vosen's office or a cache he remembered he had in the city) and then steals an NYPD police cruiser when he tricks a CIA operative into shooting at the previous occupants of the cruiser. He then enters into a car chase with CIA officers and Paz. Emerging victorious from his vehicular duel with Paz who attempted a similar tactic to the one Bourne used to deal with Kirill but he instead gets a faceful of police cruiser almost killing him. Bourne chooses not to execute him with his Glock 17 and hurriedly walks off. Just outside the Treadstone facility, Bourne meets Landy who reveals that the reason she's helping him is she never 'signed up' for all the deceit and murders and he gives her the stolen documents from Vosen's office before entering the building. Inside, he meets Dr. Albert Hirsch, who ran Treadstone's psychological conditioning program. With his help, Bourne remembers as Captain David Webb, he volunteered for the program and killed a man in the same room. Horrified by the memory of what he did to complete his conditioning and to assume the Jason Bourne identity, he tells Hirsch, "I remember everything. I'm no longer Jason Bourne."
On his way back to the substation, Vosen eventually works out that Landy gave Bourne an address in code when Landy gave Bourne his date of birth. Vosen races to the facility with a gun and a team of operatives and confronts Landy as she finishes faxing his documents that Bourne stole. She looks at Vosen coldly and says, "You better get yourself a good lawyer." Meanwhile, Bourne is cornered on the facility's rooftop by Paz. Paz holds Bourne at gunpoint with a Beretta 92SB and demands to know why Bourne spared his life. Bourne asks if Paz knows why he was ordered to kill him. "Look at us. Look at what they make you give," says Bourne, repeating the dying words of the Professor from The Bourne Identity. Paz lowers his weapon, but Vosen appears and fires on Bourne just as he jumps from the roof into the East River 10 floors below seemingly lifeless.
Sometime later, Nicky sees a news report noting the exposure of Blackbriar, the arrests of Hirsch and Vosen, that CIA Director Ezra Kramer is the subject of a United States Senate hearing regarding his conduct, and that David Webb was shot and fell into the East River. The report notes that after a three-day search, Bourne's body has yet to be found, at which Nicky smiles. The movie cuts back to Bourne, in an allusion to the opening scene of The Bourne Identity, floating motionless in the water; after a long moment he starts to move and swims away into darkness.
While Jason Bourne does not appear in this film, various pictures of him are shown via news reports as well as in his Treadstone files and his name is mentioned several times. Also, his actions in Supremacy and Ultimatum influence the situation of a new character, Aaron Cross, who sees Bourne's name and picture and is in similar circumstances as Jason Bourne is.
12 years after his disappearance at the conclusion of The Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne unexpectedly resurfaces at a time when the world is faced with unprecedented instability. At the same time, a new program, Iron Hand, has been created to hunt him down while he is still trying to find all the answers to his past and family.
After discover the truth about Richard Webb's death, Bourne arrives in Las Vegas to prevent an assassination, and arrives in Robert Dewey's suite to confront the CIA deputy director about his father's death and Dewey's right-hand man Craig Jeffers arrives at his boss' suite to try to kill Bourne, but was shot and killed by the protagonist. Heather Lee arrives as Dewey tries to shot Bourne and she shots him dead. Then Bourne goes after the Asset through car chase and they fought to the death, with Bourne delivered the fatal blow by breaking the Asset's neck. Later Bourne records the conservation between Lee and Edwin Russell, the Director of National Intelligence, later Lee meets with Bourne, promising him that the CIA will become the organization he thought it was when he joined. Bourne asks for time to consider her offer and walks away.
Lee returns to her car and finds a recording, made by Bourne, of the conversation she had with Russell which reveals her true intentions about murdering Bourne as she says "...then, he'll have to be put down."
Though he not been in the series, Jason Bourne was mentioned in the episode The Berlin Proposal, during a conservation between Ellen Becker and Matt Edwards about the events Bourne did by exposing "Operation Blackbriar" in The Bourne Ultimatum and someone is trying to reopen Treadstone by reactivating the Cicadas.
Bourne uses a variety of different weapons throughout the movie series, most of which are handguns but he does use a few rifles. Unfortunately, he deliberately leaves behind and even ditches several really good firearms that would have given him a great advantage later. There are also a few continuity errors on how Bourne acquired certain guns throughout the movies such as the Suppressed Keppler & Fritz KS II in Supremacy and the Gen 3 Glock 17 in Ultimatum.
Handguns: Sig Sauer P226R, Sig Sauer P225, Sig Sauer Pro SP2009, Sig Sauer Pro SP2022, Walther P5 Compact, Walther P99, Walther PP, Glock 17 Gen 3, Glock 19 Gen 2, Beretta 92SB, Beretta 92FS, Taurus Pt 945, HK USP.
Rifles (Assualt/Sniper) & Shotguns: 12 gauge double barrel shotgun, Suppressed Keppler & Fritz KS II, Blaser R93 Sniper Rifle (The Bourne Supremacy movie poster only), Remington 870 (Jason Bourne movie trailer only).
Other: Brügger & Thomet GL-06 40mm grenade launcher.
- Peak Human Condition: Bourne is at the pinnacle of physical ability and in top physical condition. His strength, speed, agility, reflexes, durability and endurance are all at the highest level for a man his age, height and weight. He is capable of taking extensive damage in combat, surviving in freezing temperatures, climbing down the side of buildings, running and jumping across buildings at great speeds, surviving falls from great heights, withstanding intense physical pain and torture, running at incredible speeds for long periods without tiring and even breaking another man's neck with ease. Moreover, Bourne is able to pick up danger before anyone else in his vicinity does, showing noticeably sharp hearing and sight. His acute skills of perception offer aid in otherwise detrimental situations.
- Master Martial Artist: As a former CIA operative and highly trained Treadstone assassin, Bourne is an extraordinary martial artist and a impressive fighter, having extensive levels of knowledge of melee combat as well as being considerably experienced in combat operations. Therefore, he is able to defeat every opponent he has faced in hand-to-hand combat. His fighting style is consisting of Jeet Kune Do, Krav Maga, Escrima, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Muay Thai, boxing and Kali. Bourne can take on multiple opponents, armed or otherwise and often come out of the fight as the victor. Bourne's fighting style is defined by a combination of physical ability, tactical prowess and ruthlessness, assessing an opponent and his environment instantly and using every advantage available to him to come out victorious.
- Weapon Mastery: Bourne shows extensive knowledge in the use and functionality of any fire weapon and is highly skilled with a variety of weapons including handguns, rifles and knives. He is also very skilled at using whatever is available to him as a weapon and using his environment to his advantage in combat. Hence, he is able to use a pen to fight and kill Castel in the Paris apartment. He has demonstrated he can disassemble a handgun in seconds. His knowledge in physical combat and weaponry is so extensive, to the point that he is capable of using virtually any object as a weapon.
- Master Marksman: Bourne is a very accurate marksman skilled in sharpshooting. He has extensive knowledge of firearms and is also highly skilled in the use of mostly pistols, but has also used a shotgun, a sniper rifle, and a grenade launcher throughout the movie series. He is able to shoot opponents accurately no matter how far they are. In The Bourne Identity he is even seen using two different-class pistols, while handling one of them upside down.
- Gifted Intellect: Bourne is a very intelligent, sharp-witted and methodical man, alert and adaptive to the situation. He is a quick learner, having gained great knowledge, if not mastery, in various fields. He has shown himself to be very skilled in espionage, infiltration, counter intelligence and is skilled at adjusting his plans to account for changes as well as knowing how to plan well in advance and improvising new plans when necessary. He also has an excellent memory and can remember messages and details of missions easily. He was able to always stays a few steps ahead of the CIA and managed to fake his own death without anyone knowing including the CIA that he was alive.
- Master Tactician: Bourne is a highly trained tactician and a master of situational awareness. He is extremely good at lateral thinking and finding highly creative ways to stay few steps ahead of the people hunting him. He could effectively track down his targets and determine the best course of action in various missions. He also skilled at coming up with and executing plans for a variety of missions and is very good at understanding his opponents and using their flaws and plans against them.
- Stealth Mastery: Bourne is very elusive and a master of stealth. He can sneak in and out of most guarded buildings silently and without being detected, follow his targets for long periods of time unnoticed, and quickly disappear from sight even in broad daylight. He is also skilled at escaping capture and breaking others out when necessary.
- Expert Driver: Bourne is a very skilled driver who is able to engage in extended high speed chases and maneuver through complex city structures.
- Multilingualism: Bourne is able to speak multiple languages. He can speak English, French, Russian, Dutch, German, Swedish, and Spanish.
Robert Ludlum's Trilogy
The protagonist is found floating in the Mediterranean Sea with several bullet wounds, including a head wound which has given him amnesia. The doctor treating him finds a message surgically embedded in his hip that contains details of a Swiss bank account, presumably anonymous.
In Zürich, Switzerland, the protagonist learns that his name is Jason Bourne. While attempting to retrace his steps on his previous visit to the city he attracts the attention of several people who either fear him, warn him of danger or try to kill him—but they all unhelpfully assume that he already knows why. He begins to suspect, on the basis of circumstantial evidence, that he may have been a professional assassin prior to losing his memory. He also meets a woman named Marie St. Jacques in Zürich and on the spur of the moment, uses her as a sort of hostage to escape an attempt on his life in a crowded convention hotel. Realizing that he has put her life in danger as well, he risks his own life to prevent her from being executed. This is the first clue that there may be more to the protagonist than a cold-blooded killer.
The 1988 miniseries is reasonably true to the plot of the novel, but the story of the film (2002) was changed to exclude the subplot about the terrorist Carlos the Jackal and, equally or more significantly, the fact of Bourne's innocence—it is maintained that he actually was an assassin, though of CIA employ.
In the first book, The Bourne Identity, Jason Bourne suffered amnesia. Over the course of the book he regained his memory with the help of a Canadian economist, Marie, and later found that he was previously a special operative for the United States Government in an elite project in Southeast Asia and Vietnam codenamed Medusa. After a tragic accident involving the death of his family, he volunteered to join Medusa, an unofficial group of outlaws and killers, controlled by the U.S Government, whose sole purpose was to disrupt and harm the enemy. While in Medusa, Webb (Bourne) was known as Delta One. Delta was Medusa's most ruthless and reckless operative.
After Medusa, Bourne was recruited for a top secret C.I.A. project codenamed Treadstone 71, where he was used as bait for the infamous European assassin, Carlos the Jackal. Bourne took credit for various kills in China and the rest of Asia, acting as a rival to the Jackal, in order to draw him out of hiding and into the hands of the U.S. Government. In a climactic scene at the end of the book, the Jackal escaped and Bourne was almost killed as he was believed to be a traitor by his uninformed employers.
At the beginning of The Bourne Supremacy, Bourne has recovered from most mental and all physical injuries and is teaching Asian studies at a university in Maine under his real name of David Webb. He is also living happily on campus with Marie, who is now his wife and is getting regular psychological tests from his doctor, Morris Panov.
It is then that a representative of the U.S. Government arrives and informs Webb of an imitator in Asia, someone who is killing under the name of Jason Bourne, a name feared in Asia because of the accredited kills during his work with Treadstone 71. Webb refuses to assist the government.
Meanwhile, Marie is abducted by unknown men during the discussion. Webb returns to the house, finds clues to her abduction, and immediately phones government officials, threatening to leak information about Treadstone and Medusa in an attempt to get assistance. He returns to Asia in an attempt to find Marie after a hint found in his house. There he is told by a wealthy Tai-Pan that he is to assassinate another Tai-Pan in exchange for his wife. Unbeknownst to Webb, the target is a wealthy businessman who is planning a revolution that poses a serious threat to foreign interests in China, and Webb has been set on the track by the U.S., British, and Chinese governments.
The rest of the book consists of two side-by-side stories, one of Webb-turned-Bourne trying to track down and kill the target, and the other of Marie trying to escape and find Bourne in order to tell him the truth. The story unfolds as an ancient cult and ritualistic murders become a part of the revolutionary's plan.
The story is set during the British negotiated handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China on the expiration of its ninety-nine-year lease on the New Territories. Southeast Asia is particularly volatile and fragile, and mistakes cannot be tolerated by any world power.
The novel follows David Webb, alias Jason Bourne, as he works to find his old enemy, Carlos the Jackal, who is trying to kill him. As the Jackal enters old age and his infamy fades, he decides that he will do two things before he dies: kill Webb/Bourne, and destroy the KGB facility of Novgorod, where the Jackal was trained and later turned away. Carlos the Jackal uses a diverse collective of aged men devoted to his handiwork known as "The Old Men of Paris." Webb sends his wife Marie and his children Jamie Webb and Alison Webb to live with his wife's brother, John St. Jacques, in the Caribbean for protection while Webb himself works with old friend and CIA agent Alexander Conklin, and to a limited degree, the CIA, to hunt down and kill the Jackal first. Webb poses as an important member of Medusa (a newer version than the original he was associated with during the Vietnam era) (see Jason Bourne), now a nearly omnipotent economic force that controls the head of NATO, leading figures in the Defense Department, portions of the American and Sicilian Mafia and large NYSE firms. The plan is to use Medusa's resources to contact the Jackal. Webb just misses the Jackal several times, including when the Jackal locates Webb's family in the Caribbean before Webb stages his own death and convinces the Jackal that he has succeeded. In a final confrontation, the Jackal is finally killed and David Webb returns to his family.
Eric Van Lustbader's Trilogy
With the climactic events of The Bourne Ultimatum behind him, Jason Bourne is able to once again become David Webb, now a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. However, this serenity does not last for long and, when a silenced gunshot narrowly misses Webb's head, the Bourne Persona reawakens in him yet again.
Bourne's first objective is to get to his longtime friend and handler at the CIA, Alex Conklin.
However, unbeknownst (as yet) to Bourne, a Hungarian by the name of Stepan Spalko has now drawn Jason into a web—one which he cannot escape as easily as his professorial façade.
Finding Alex dead along with Doctor Morris Panov, Bourne realizes the trap as soon as he hears the police arriving. With his car outside and his fingerprints in the house, he immediately understands that he has been framed.
So, with only Conklin's cell phone and a torn page from a notebook to go on, Jason Bourne sets off to find out who's trying to kill him and who killed his friends.
After warning Marie and his kids, Jamie and Alison, to proceed immediately towards their safe house, he slips through the CIA cordon and makes his way to an independent agent who was talking to Alex Conklin when he was killed. Having received travel plans to Hungary and a mission to meet Janos Vadas, Conklin's contact in Hungary, he proceeds to unravel the truth behind why Alex and Morris Panov were killed.
Meanwhile, a group of Chechen terrorists have been fighting a losing battle against Russian invaders when a man named Stephan Spalko appears to solve their problems. Spalko, we later discover, had Conklin and Panov killed and kidnapped a Doctor Felix Schiffer. Schiffer is an expert in bacteriological particulate behaviour.
Spalko intends to release a bacteriological weapon during peace negotiations between many World Leaders to be held at the Oskjuhlid Hotel in Reykjavík, Iceland, using the terrorists he is cultivating as a diversion. The book charts Bourne's course from the United States, to France and then to Budapest in Hungary where he learns the final thing he needs to do—to stop Spalko's attack in Iceland.
This, of course, has to be done with a CIA sanction out for him to be immediately terminated, as he is believed responsible for the deaths of Conklin and Panov.
There is also the matter of Spalko's hired assassin, Khan, who is preternaturally able to track Bourne where everyone else cannot and best him in hand to hand combat. Khan is revealed to be the Bourne Legacy; he is Joshua, David's son from his first marriage, who believes erroneously that he was left for dead by his father in Vietnam this traumatises him considerably and like Bourne uses this rage as a weapon. We learn that he started killing when he was locked up by a gun runner who he beat to death and was later used by the Khmer Rouge to hunt Buddhist Monks. Bourne, however, refuses to believe that Khan is Joshua, convinced that Joshua was killed decades ago, and continually tries to avoid him and the truth.
Though Khan is at first working for Spalko, he eventually realizes that he has been used as a pawn in Spalko's personal game. After revealing later on to Bourne that Annaka Vadas, the daughter of Janos Vadas, is a traitor, he begins to feel that Bourne is not the hateful father that he had imagined.
Unfortunately, Bourne is still unable to believe Khan is Joshua—until he hacks into the CIA database and discovers that Joshua's body had never been found. In a fit of rage, he attacks Khan, first believing that it is a conspiracy to hurt him, but is later captured by Spalko.
After rescuing Bourne from Spalko, Khan makes an uneasy peace with his father. While on the plane to Iceland, however, Khan reveals a piece of information that finally convinces Bourne that Khan is his son. After subsequently revealing that he (Bourne) lost his memory while undercover as Cain, Khan begins to rethink what his views regarding his father are.
After completing the operation and stopping Spalko, Khan—Joshua makes up with his father and realizes that his hatred was always a reflection of his personal struggles and that, in truth, he truly loved Bourne. He requests Bourne, however, not to reveal his identity to Marie, in whose life he feels he has no place. At the end of the novel, Joshua reminds Bourne with a simple gift that as long as David Webb is Jason Bourne, he (Joshua) will always be there.
At the beginning of the book, Bourne is in Doctor Sunderland's office. Sunderland, recommended by Lindros, is a specialist in memory restoration and miniaturization. Unfortunately for Bourne, he doesn't know that this man posing as Sunderland is actually Costin Veintrop, hired by Fadi to mess with Bourne's brain by creating new memories. These new memories can be evoked by new smells or even hearing things. As Bourne exits the office two things happen: Veintrop calls Fadi and tells him the work is done, and Bourne receives a call that Martin is missing. He then catches a cab and heads back to the CIA headquarters to talk to the Old Man.
Back at the CIA Bourne is introduced to a number of new people: Matthew Lerner (the Deputy Director until Lindros gets back), Soraya Moore (a senior case officer), Hiram Cevik (a prisoner, actually Fadi in disguise), and Tim Hytner (who we come to learn is a traitor to the CIA organization). Tim is working on cracking a cipher created by Fadi. Unwittingly Bourne brings Cevik out of his prison cage to take a walk with him in an attempt to extract more information about Fadi. Then Cevik escapes under the cover of a gun battle in which Hytner is killed. Bourne then steals a motorcycle from the back of a truck to follow the Hummer, which he thinks Cevik is still trying to escape in. Once the Hummer is stopped up the street, CIA officers surround the car, waiting for the prisoners to step out. Bourne then realizes the car is rigged to explode. He grabs Soraya and they make their way to safety just before detonation.
Later, Jakob and Les Silver (Fadi and Muta ibn Aziz in disguise) arrive at the Hotel Constitution, located on the northeast corner of 20th and F Streets. They set fire to the Hotel, but not before having a man named Omar bring them some champagne. They do this by spraying the room with Carbon Disulfide. The champagne was a ruse to kill the innocent man and use his body parts to disguise Fadi. This whole thing is a diversion to get Fadi out of the country more easily.
Bourne boards a plane intent on finding Fadi. While on board he looks at some of the pictures that Deron has given him on Fadi. Bourne ends up going from London to Addis Ababa; Ababa to Djibouti. In Djibouti, he takes a CIA helicopter to Ras Dejen to look for Fadi and check the area. He finds a body suspiciously drained of all its natural fluids; he suspects radiation is the key. While there, in the wreck of Skorpion One, Bourne sees a boy, Alem. Alem leads him into town and to his father. After being chased by terrorists, he goes and sees the victims of Skorpion One inside a church. There the pilot, Jaime Cowell, tells him that Fadi was torturing Lindros.
Meanwhile, Martin Lindros is being tortured by Fadi and his men, and they are all on the move. They relocate Martin to places that are safe for Fadi and his people; and sufficiently away from Bourne. In this case, they move him to a Dujja hiding place in a cave. When Bourne arrives in Ras Dejen, he is able to rescue Lindros (actually an impostor named Karim al-Jamil) and brings him back to the CIA, where Karim sends him to Munich to meet with Yevgeny Feyodovich, a man that does business with Dujja. Karim gets word from his source that Bourne will be landing tomorrow, and gives orders for him to be executed.
Upon arriving and starting what he believes to be his mission, Bourne discovers Feyodovich is not a real person and ends up in a chase with the terrorists. The chase culminates with Bourne ending up on a beach face to face with Fadi. Fadi says "I've waited a long time for this moment," referring to the time that Bourne killed his sister (which we later learn is untrue). Fadi and Bourne fight, with one of Fadi's associates stabbing Bourne with a knife. During the struggle, a dog attacks Fadi and bites him in the face, knocking him off his guard. The dog is with Soraya and she is there in Odessa to help Bourne, unaware that she was sent by the impostor Lindros to be killed as well.
Bourne and Soraya escape and end up in Istanbul, Turkey, where they find a tracking device planted on him. This happened the day that they took Hiram Cevik out of his prison cage. Bourne figures out that the prisoner was actually Fadi in disguise. They also discover the truth behind a lot of the other deceptions being played out, including the fact that Soraya's friend, Anne Held was Karim (The Fake Lindros)'s Mistress and the true mole in the CIA. They find out that Veintrop was hired by Fadi to do the surgery. They find out that Sunderland's office wasn't even open on Tuesday. Bourne sends Soraya back to the CIA to find the mole inside. Bourne goes to Nesim Hatun's house to ask him about some things. There he starts following Fadi's messenger back to Buyukada, where he poses as the pilot of Muta's airplane. They end up crashing, and Bourne finds out that he didn't actually kill Fadi's sister Sarah; Muta and his brother Abbud did because she was having a secret love affair.
Bourne and his friend Feyd al-Sould find the underground opening to the Dujja facility in Miran Shah. Feyd al-Sould and his cadre go and blow up the water pipes, flooding the underground facility. Bourne then finds Lindros, being held hostage by Fadi, and kills Fadi. Fadi however, had managed to shoot a bullet through Lindros' jaw and eye socket, giving the injured CIA deputy director very little time to live. Katya Veintrop, Costin's wife, is also killed. Costin then deactivates the detonator bomb. Jason makes his way back to the CIA to kill Karim al-Jamil.
Meanwhile, Soraya and Tyrone are on the run from supremacists and terrorists. They end up finding the Old Man getting cremated in a mortuary, as they set out to the CIA headquarters. They get shot at by terrorists in the Old Man's limousine, thinking that they can get into the headquarters by showing them the DCI's face, redone by another one of Fadi's men.
Bourne kills Karim al-Jamil on the IVT facility where Bourne arrived. He then realizes that there is a second timer on the bomb. However, after thinking about it, he realizes that the second timer was put in there by Veintrop, who, to get back at Fadi and Karim's men for hurting and torturing his wife, didn't connect it to the bomb.
Jason Bourne returns to Georgetown University and the mild world of his alter ego, David Webb, hoping for normalcy. But after so many adrenaline-soaked years of risking his life, Bourne finds himself chafing under the quiet life of a linguistics professor.
Aware of his frustrations, his academic mentor, Professor Specter, asks for help investigating the murder of a former student by a previously unknown Muslim extremist sect. The young man died carrying information about the group's terrorist activities, including an immediate plan to attack the United States.
The organization, the Black Legion, and its lethal plot have also popped up on the radar of Central Intelligence, where new director Veronica Hart is struggling to assert her authority. Sensing an opportunity to take control of CI by showing Hart's incompetence, National Security Agency operatives plan to accomplish what CI never could hunt down and kill Bourne.
In Europe, Bourne's investigation into the Black Legion turns into one of the deadliest and most tangled operations of his double life the pursuit of the leader of a murderous terrorist group with roots in the darkest days of World War II-all while an assassin as brilliant and damaged as himself is getting closer by the minute...
Notes: (Oddly, Bourne, who is supposedly more than fifty by now can still hold his own in combat. However, unlike in the Ludlum novels where he seemingly is untouchable when in combat, he is grieviously injured several times during the series.)
David Webb's most notable alias is, of course, Jason Bourne, which in the novels is not only an alias but also a different persona inside Webb. In his early days he went by the name Delta, and years later on the underworld knew him as the assassin Cain.
Note: In The Bourne Identity (2002) his passport says he was born in 1969, and in Jason Bourne (2016) it says he was born in 1978.
- The Bourne Identity (1980) (First appearance)
- The Bourne Supremacy (1986)
- The Bourne Ultimatum (1990)
- The Bourne Legacy (2004)
- The Bourne Betrayal (2007)
- The Bourne Sanction (2008)
- The Bourne Deception (2009)
- The Bourne Objective (2010)
- The Bourne Dominion (2011)
- The Bourne Imperative (2012)
- The Bourne Retribution (2013)
- The Bourne Ascendancy (2014)
- The Bourne Enigma (2016)
- The Bourne Initiative (2017)
- The Bourne Nemesis (2019)